Miss Bridget Lee

Bridget Lee, 51, was a British citizen and Irish national who lived in New York City, New York, United States.  She and her niece, Margaret Galligan, were originally planning to sail aboard Cameronia to Ireland, but the British Admiralty's requisition of that ship reshuffled them aboard Lusitania.  Both Bridget and Margaret survived the Lusitania sinking. Bridget Lee, was originally from Denn, County Cavan, Ireland, but had lived in New York City, New York, United States for the last 25 years and crossed the Atlantic frequently.  She was traveling on the Lusitania's last crossing with her niece, Margaret Galligan.  Margaret and Bridget originally booked passage on the Cameronia to visit friends in Denn, but when the British Admiralty requested that ship at the last minute, they and many of those originally traveling on the Cameronia were transferred to the Lusitania. Among Bridget's shipboard acquaintances were Susan Coleman and Ernest Moore. On Friday, 7 May 1915, Bridget and Margaret were sitting at lunch talking about submarines when the ship was torpedoed.  All in the room got up at the impact, but the stewards and waiters assured them that nothing was the matter.  Bridget and Margaret sat back down in their seats.  When the second explosion happened, they had a difficult time getting out and reaching the boat deck. According to the 15 May Irish Post and Telegraph, Bridget and Margaret made their way up top after the torpedo hit and were on deck when "the second torpedo found its mark."  Margaret and Bridget were supplied with lifebelts but the launching of the lifeboats was slow and disorganized.  The two women held onto each other and the Lusitania sank so quickly that they went under with the ship. The two women were still holding on to each other when they surfaced, and they struck for a floating deck chair.  A nearby man also made for the chair and the three of them clung onto their piece of flotsam for two hours until they were picked up by a lifeboat then holding 20 people.  From the lifeboat they were transferred to a tugboat that took them into Queenstown.  Margaret and Bridget stayed there until Monday, 10 May before leaving for Co. Cavan.  In Queenstown they looked for their shipboard acquaintances, Susan Coleman and Ernest Moore.  Coleman was saved, Moore was not. Contributors: Senan Molony, Ireland Judith Tavares Hildo Thiel, The Netherlands References: Anglo-Celt, 15 May 1915, pg. 1. Irish Post and Telegraph, 15 May 1915, pg. 3. Molony, Senan.  Lusitania:  An Irish Tragedy pg. 46.  Mercier Press, 2004.

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