Mr. Arthur Jackson Mitchell

Arthur Jackson Mitchell was an American merchant with the Raleigh Cycle Company who booked passage in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  He was an American citizen originally from Nottinghamshire, England. On the Lusitania, Thursday night, 6 May, he got together with others to plan a committee on how to show people to put on their lifebelts. Captain Turner relented and gave his approval on the provision that it be stressed that it was only a precaution and that there was no danger. On the day of the Lusitania disaster, Friday, 7 May 1915, he was resting in his E deck cabin when he heard a "thud accompanied by the sound which I can best describe as of an iron safe falling to iron from a height of thirty or forty feet[.] "  He said that as he came into the passageway, it smelled of sulfur and powder.  Mitchell ended up in front of lifeboat 15 and had to persuade Mrs. Sarah Fish to enter the boat.  Mrs. Fish was undoubtedly worried about her sister Elizabeth Rogers who still had the youngest Fish with her.  Mitchell threw Sarah's middle daughter Marion Fish into the boat while the elder daughter, Eileen, took a running jump and got in.  After he assisted Ellen Hogg into the boat, Mitchell was told to get in. Mitchell remembered that lifeboat #15 had a terrible time trying to get away from the ship. Wallace Phillips was also in the boat and said that the lifeboat finally got away due to the fact that a collapsible slid off the ship and nudged boat 15 forward.  The Marconi aerial fell onto boat #15, but the wire snapped and the boat escaped. When the ship went down, boat #15 was whirled around the vortex a few times and managed to get free. Several people hanging onto the sides such as Ian Holbourn were pulled into the boat, but eventually the boat became so crowded that they could only tell people to "hang on" while they looked for another boat to offload their burden. From the Nottinghamshire Weekly Express, 14 May 1915:
"I cannot really tell you what happened. The liner went down at half-past two – 2.37 to be exact then I was in the water struggling for nearly an hour. The next things I remember is that I was in a boat. It was too terrible an experience to attempt to describe. No one can describe nor say how he feels. The reaction, too, is awful. I was not really fit to come home; in fact I should not have come if it had not been for the wife." Mitchell saw another Nottingham man, Fred Tyers, picked up from the sea, "I last saw him in a boat, after he had been picked up from the water, but I cannot say what happened after that. The experience was too awful for anything." Tyers’ parents were comforted that he had been seen to picked up but he was not amongst the survivors. His body was returned to Nottingham for burial.
The Lusitania was not Mitchell's first disaster at sea.  He was on the RMS Arcadian when it was wrecked. Contributors: Michael Poirier References: "Survivors' Accounts from the Lusitania, 7th May 1915." Small Town, Great War. Hucknall 1914 - 1918. Online. <http://www.facebook.com/notes/small-town-great-war-hucknall-1914-1918/survivors-accounts-from-the-lusitania-7th-may-1915/293207364031341>.

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