Miss Marjorie Pye

Marjorie Pye, 18-months old, was the daughter of Charlotte Pye.  They were from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  She and her mother were traveling aboard Lusitania to visit Charlotte’s parents in the United Kingdom.  Marjorie and Charlotte were at lunch when the ship was torpedoed.  They were placed into a lifeboat that overturned.  Charlotte was saved from the disaster.  Marjorie was lost. The day of the Lusitania disaster, 7 May 1915, Charlotte and Marjorie were at lunch when the torpedo struck.  A few minutes prior, Charlotte had been telling the woman sitting across from her how Charlotte intended to stay on deck all night until they reached Liverpool, for fear that something might happen.  Her table companion remarked, “They [the Germans] daren’t do any such thing” and the torpedo struck. Everyone in the dining room stood up.  Her friend shouted, “she’s going down!” Charlotte picked up Marjorie and made her way to the boat deck.  The ship’s list to starboard was so severe that she was having difficulty walking.  She banged her head several times trying to navigate the large ship but managed to hold on to her baby.  All around her she saw “poor women” running about the deck. Charlotte did not have a lifebelt and was fortunate to meet a gentleman who took off his and strapped it around Charlotte and Marjorie.  When time came for Charlotte and Marjorie to board a lifeboat, Marjorie was taken and handed into the lifeboat first.  Charlotte followed.  She felt that she had hardly gotten into the boat when she saw the Lusitania leaning over and threatening to fall on top of them, with people on deck jumping onto the lifeboat for their lives.  The lifeboat upset as a result and everyone was thrown into the water. Marjorie screamed and Charlotte and the baby were sucked under the water together.  The force of the suction ripped Marjorie out of Charlotte’s arms.  Charlotte recalled, “I shall never forget the agony of it: while I was under the water I felt my end had come.” Searchers in Queenstown eventually found Marjorie’s body, #239.  Marjorie was buried in Private Grave #545, row 17.  Sharing Marjorie’s coffin is an unidentified female baby, body #240, 12 to 18 months old.

Links of Interest

Encyclopedia Titanica:  Lest We Forget - Part 1
Contributors: Jim Kalafus, USA Michael Poirier, USA Judith Tavares References: Hickey, Des and Gus Smith.  Seven Days to Disaster.  G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1981.  Pages 161, 187, 215, 244, 286. Kalafus, Jim and Michael Poirier (2005) Lest We Forget : Part 1 ET Research. <http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/lusitania-lest-we-forget.html > Preston, Diana.  Lusitania:  An Epic Tragedy.  Berkley Books, 2002.

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