The Lusitania Resource > People > Saloon (First Class) Passenger List > Mr. Friedrich Wilhelm August Schwarte

Mr. Friedrich Wilhelm August Schwarte

Friedrich August Schwarte, 44, was a British national listed as living in New York City, New York, United States. His ticket aboard Lusitania was number 46122, and he stayed in cabin A-11. He survived the Lusitania sinking and was treated at a Queenstown hospital in Ireland before going to the Queen's Hotel. He had previously come to North America aboard Lusitania on 9 October 1914. Also aboard Lusitania on that trip were Walter McLeanThomas SlidellLeo Schwabacher, and Henry Sonneborn. Mr. Schwarte gave this following account to Nottinghamshire Weekly Express, published 14 May 1915, where he was credited as Augustus Schwarte:
"As soon as I got to the door of the room, I heard a terrible explosion. Everyone made a rush – the same as I did – for their cabins. In a trice I had fixed on a lifejacket. I met a friend of mine, Mr. Battersby, of Stockport, who had a cabin close to me, and he also put on a lifejacket. We rushed together to the boat deck, where the people had congregated, and even as we went we could perceptibly feel the vessel sinking. The captain refused to let any of the boats down for a while, probably thinking the Lusitania might be kept afloat, or judging it would be too risky to lower them owing to the movements of the ship. "When the boats were lowered as far as I could see, only six or so got off safely. The ship had an awful list. I helped as many women as I could into one boat, and as it was lowered I sprang into it myself. Some of the women could not be persuaded to get in, and one who was with her husband refused to leave him, and would not move, even when told there was room for them both. After events showed that it was just as well, for when our boat got into the water a boy in the boy could not get the tackle loose – I don’t know whether the man who saw to things on deck could not free us, or was thrown over, but the boat remained fast to the ship. A passenger drew out a knife and had cut all the ropes that held us save one when there was a lurch, and we were all thrown into the sea. I sank, and when I came to the surface again the ship was gone. "The cries and curses of the people who were swimming and struggling in the water were terrible. I don’t want another 20 minutes like the first 20 I had after coming to the surface. I caught hold of an oar and a piece of mast, and by their aid managed to keep afloat. Then I lost consciousness, and awakened on one of the destroyers. I soon swooned off again, and the next time I came round I was in the Royal Naval Hospital at Queenstown."
Contributors: Jim Kalafus Judith Tavares References: "Survivors' Accounts from the Lusitania, 7th May 1915." Small Town, Great War. Hucknall 1914 - 1918. Online. <>.

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