Miss Evelyn Norbury Wild

Evelyn Wild, 25, and her sister Agnes were from Paterson, New Jersey, United States.  They traveled together on Lusitania in second cabin; their cabin was D-89.  When the ship was torpedoed on 7 May, Evelyn and Agnes were having lunch in the second cabin dining saloon.  Evelyn remembered that she and her sister had "hesistated in our seats about three minutes," and by the time they finally moved, the crowd from the dining room was already at the stairs.  Seeing that there were 200 or so passengers trying to ascend the stairs to the boat deck, Agnes said to Evelyn, "Evelyn, keep quiet; we will go the back way." The sisters took the stairs farther astern up to C deck and joined the main staircase again to reach the boat deck.  Evelyn noted that not very many people who had struggled on the main staircase the deck below were coming with them.  When the sisters reached the open deck, they found themselves on the starboard side of Lusitania, as Evelyn recalled that they were on "the side nearest the water." Lifeboat 21 was in front of them, covered, and on the deck.  Apparently, the list was not severe enough to swing the boat over the water.  The sisters noted that no members of the crew were preparing that boat for lowering, in fact, Evelyn recalled that "there was no one on our side of the boat as the time I and my sister were there." "It is no use standing here." Agnes said to Evelyn, "we shall not get any help here." Evelyn and Agnes then rushed forward through the gate onto the saloon class decks, staying on Lusitania's starboard side.  Evelyn held onto the railing the whole time, but Agnes lost her footing and "rolled the whole length of the deck."  Evelyn was wondering how she was going to be able to help her sister back up to her feet when a member of the crew helped her up, saying, "Oh, I will help you." The crewman proceeded to help the sisters into a starboard boat.  While the sisters were inside the lifeboat, the crew waited for the boat to be filled before lowering it.  With them were a some stewards and a few sailors.  Evelyn recalled that there had not been anyone to lower the boat after they were inside, but after a while, two men, who Evelyn believed were firemen, worked the ropes to lower the boat.  One of the ropes worked and the other, which did not, had to be cut by a saloon class passenger.  The boat was seaworthy. While she was in the boat, a passenger handed Evelyn a lifebelt, but did not have enough for Agnes.  Evelyn recalled that she was the only one with a lifebelt, and no lifebelts had been made available on deck.  Their lifeboat was rescued by the government boat Stormcock. She testified at the Mersey Inquiry, where her name was recorded as "Eveline Wild." Evelyn passed away at age 60 on 12 February 1950 in Paterson, New Jersey.  Her sister Agnes followed a few months after.  Both sisters are buried in Mt. Laurel Cemetery in New Jersey. Contributors: Paul Latimer Michael Poirier References: Minutes of Evidence as given at the Mersey Inquiry.

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