Mr. Martin Mannion

Martin Mannion image credit:  New York Times, Sunday, 18 May 1915. Click for full image. Martin Mannion, while listed in the newspapers from Troy, New York, United States, is stated in Hoehling/Hoehling to be from St. Louis, Missouri, had an address in Albany, New York, United States, but had roots in Kildare, County Kildare, Ireland.  He was described as “a curly-haired lad with a lame foot.” Mannion had been a jockey in Ireland, attached to the stables of Mr. Michael Dawson, a popular Curragh trainer.  Mannion left the Curragh and went to the United States on the White Star Line's Laurentic, the same ship that brought Dr. Crippen from Canada after his headline-breaking arrest.  Mannion was returning to Ireland from the states on Lusitania to take an engagement with the Curragh. The day of the disaster, 7 May 1915, Mannion had been in the second cabin smoking room, talking to Thomas Turpin of Maryborough when the torpedo hit.  Word soon spread that a torpedo had hit the ship.  Mannion thought he had no chance to get in a lifeboat because his leg was in a cast, severely injured in an accident a few weeks prior in the United States, and told Turpin so. An article in the New York Tribune of 10 May 1915, recounted that Mannion was playing poker when the torpedo hit.  All of his card buddies ran off in seconds.  Seeing that other tables were empty, he walked "uphill" to the bartender (Wallace Wood?) and proposed, "Let's die game anyway." "You go to hell!" the incredulous barkeeper shouted. The barkeeper then leapt over the counter and ran out of the smoking room.  Mannion shrugged at the outburst and opened for himself a bottle of ale. However, this piece of yellow journalism does not fit with Mannion's account. Mannion found himself going down with the ship.  When he surfaced, he saw a crowd of at least 200 men and women clutching and clinging to each other, crying to be saved.  Mannion believes that everyone in that group was drowned and he was fortunate to have kept out of their way.  Mannion had been a good swimmer and was in the water for four hours.  He did not recall how he was saved, but he was pulled out of the water and into a boat with Duncan Hanes. Mannion was on the Sunday, May 9, list of missing and probable dead; however, a picture of him in the pictoral the next weekend, where he is posing for photographers in Queenstown, show that this was obviously not the case. Mannion believed that Lusitania would not have sunk, or would have sank slowly enough to reach port and save everyone, had it not been for what he believed was a second torpedo.  In the Cork Examiner, 21 May 1915, Mannion relates that the sinking was "sorrowful in every way." Contributors: Bob Florence Senan Molony Judith Tavares Hildo Thiel References: Cork Examiner.  21 May 1915, pg. 6. Hickey, Des and Gus Smith.  Seven Days to Disaster.  G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1981. Hoehling, A. A. and Mary Hoehling.  The Last Voyage of the Lusitania.  Madison Books, 1956. Irish Independent.  11 May 1915, page 5. Molony, Senan.  Lusitania: An Irish Tragedy.  Mercier Press, 2004. Saskatoon Star Phoenix, May 1915.

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