The Lusitania Resource > People > Saloon (First Class) Passenger List > Lieutenant Frederic Macquarie A. Lassetter

Lieutenant Frederic Macquarie A. Lassetter

Frederic Lassetter Saloon Passenger Saved
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Born Frederic Macquarie Antill (?) Lassetter 30 July 1892 Farleigh, Woollahra, New South Wales, Australia
Died 24 February 1940 (age 47) Whitchurch, Shropshire, England, United Kingdom
Age on Lusitania 22
Ticket number 46107
Cabin number A 14
Traveling with - Elisabeth Lassetter (mother) - Harold Boulton (friend)
Lifeboat None, used wreckage (box)
Rescued by Westborough (Katrina)
Occupation Military officer (lieutenant)
Citizenship British (Australia)
Residence Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Spouse(s) Nancy ? (Please provide name and dates)
Lieutenant Frederic Lassetter (1892 - 1940), 22, was an officer in the Scottish regiment, the King's Own Light Infantry, and had been wounded fighting in Flanders in September 1914. He was convalescing and visiting relatives in Los Angeles, California, United States with his mother, Elisabeth Lassetter. In May 1915, Fred, his mother Elisabeth, and Oxford classmate Harold Boulton, were returning to England aboard Lusitania. When the ship was torpedoed and sinking, they were on the port side, where passengers were told to get out of the lifeboats. Fred, Elisabeth, and Harold all jumped into the sea instead and used flotsam for flotation. All three of them survived and were rescued by the Westborough (Katrina).

Early life


Frederic Lassetter was born 30 July 1892 in Woollahra, New South Wales, Australia, a suburb of Sydney. His father was Colonel and later Major Brigadier-General Henry "Harry" Beauchamp Lassetter and mother was Elisabeth Ann Antill.   The Lassetters lived in the area of Sydney, Australia, but Fred was educated at the University of Oxford, where he met friend Harold Boulton. World War I broke out in August 1914, and being of military background, Frederic became an officer in a Scottish regiment, in the King's Own Light Infantry.  He was wounded in September 1914 in Flanders and took a three-month leave to recover.   In May 1915 he was returning to England with his mother, Elisabeth, on the Lusitania after visiting relatives in Los Angeles, California, United States.  His school friend Harold Boulton was also on board.

Lusitania


The Lusitania was torpedoed on 7 May 1915. As the ship was sinking, Commander J. Foster Stackhouse told the young man to look for his mother.  Frederic returned with his mother, both of them wearing lifebelts.  They also saw Stackhouse give his lifebelt to a little girl and assist with loading the lifeboats.  He was explaining to them they he could not join them because "There are others who must go first." Harold Boulton met up with Lassetter and his mother on deck.  Boulton and the young Lieutenant helped Elisabeth into a port side boat, but not without difficulty.  The following is Frederick Lassetter's deposition as read during his mother's testimony:
1961 I will not read the early part because it is immaterial, but he goes on thus, "The order was given from the bridge to lower the boats to the level of the boat deck.  This was done with some difficulty with the boat opposite us as it had jammed owing to the list. The boats crew however, managed their work though no officer was present to take charge.  I gave my lifebelt to a woman and returned to the cabin for another.  I came back passing through the Captain's cabin where I saw the Staff Captain, who told me to tell everyone to lower no more boats. "
Lassetter and Boulton did as they were told and helped Elisabeth out of the boat.  Boulton glanced forward and was shocked to see "the bow just beginning to submerge."  He then turned to Lassetter and said gravely, "This ship is going to sink" - "the only thing to do is to jump." Boulton instructed a nervous Elisabeth to remove her skirt.  Harold, Elisabeth, and Frederick, in that order, held hands and jumped about 90 feet into the ocean.  Frederick and Elisabeth bobbed up next to each other in the swirling water and held onto some flotsam.  Harold Boulton was nearby, holding on to a large box. Frederick looked to see the Lusitania make her final plunge and saw Commander Stackhouse standing calmly on the stern.
1964 Then it goes on thus: "finding the ship sinking by the bow I jumped in with my mother, and after three hours we were picked up by the ship's boat of the Katrina, we owed our lives to a square box 4 feet 6 inches as there was no room in the half sinking lifeboats near us. A great many people, especially ladies, on being reassured from the bridge went into the lounge on the boat deck just before the ship sank . . .."
The "Greek" Katrina was actually the SS Westborough in disguise. Later newspaper reports would sensationalize Fred and Elisabeth's survival by saying that they waited for rescue on top of a floating grand piano. Frederick's father, Major General Lassetter, went to Ireland to collect Frederick and Elisabeth upon hearing news of the Lusitania's demise.

Later life


Harry and Elisabeth lived out the rest of their lives around Sydney, Australia. Fred Lassetter married a woman named Nancy, with whom they had children and have living descendants today. Fred Lassetter died on 24 February 1940 in Whitchurch, England, United Kingdom. He was 47 years of age. His family believes that he died young due to the fuel oil he may have ingested while in the water. Contributors: Paul Latimer Michael Poirier Judith Tavares Hildo Thiel References: Hickey, Des and Gus Smith.  Seven Days to Disaster.  G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1981. Hoehling, A. A. and Mary Hoehling.  The Last Voyage of the Lusitania.  Madison Books, 1956. The New York Times, Tuesday, 11 May 1915, page 2 Preston, Diana.  Lusitania:  An Epic Tragedy.  Berkley Books, 2002.

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