Mr. William Edgar Mounsey

William Mounsey Second Cabin Passenger Lost
image credit:  Joy Stocking Hill.  Click for full image.
Born William Edgar Mounsey c. 1857 Keswick, Cumberland, England, United Kingdom
Died 7 May 1915 (age 58) At sea
Age on Lusitania 58
Traveling with - Sarah Lund (daughter) - Charles Lund (son-in-law)
Occupation Mover
Citizenship United States
Residence Chicago, Illinois, United States
Spouse(s) Fanny Sewell (? - 1914, her death)
William Mounsey, 58, was traveling aboard Lusitania with his daughter Sarah and his son-in-law Charles Lund to look for Mounsey's wife, Fanny Sewell, who had been missing since she sailed aboard the ill-fated Empress of Ireland, which sank in 1914.  William and Charles were lost in the Lusitania sinking.  Sarah survived. William Mounsey and his wife Fanny Sewell were both born in Keswick, Cumberland, England.  When their oldest child, John Thomas Mounsey, called Thomas, was about four years old, the family emigrated to the United States. They subsequently reared John Thomas and eight other children in the midwest US, finally settling in Chicago, where they lived at 4420 Laporte Avenue.  They opened a family business called Mounsey Movers. In 1914, Fanny had the opportunity to visit her family in Keswick, Cumberland, England.  She and her traveling companion Mrs. John Fisher boarded the Canadian Pacific liner Empress of Ireland as second class passengers.  Fanny had been reluctant, but Mrs. Fisher's persuasion of a scenic trip through the St. Lawrence convinced her.  On 29 May the Empress of Ireland was struck by the Norwegian collierStorstad and the Empress went down in 14 minutes.  Both ladies were lost and neither's body was recovered. Almost a year later, the Mounsey family received word from England that a woman in a Liverpool institution named "Kate Fitzgerald" was uttering the name "Mounsey" and had a fear of water.  She was believed to be a survivor of the Empress of Ireland disaster.  Without a moments notice, William, his daughter Sarah, and her husband Charles Lund traveled to New York to take the Lusitania. On the train to New York, they met Eunice Kinch and her son William Mostoe-Kinch while passing through Cleveland.  They, too, would be traveling aboard the Lusitania and the two parties became friends. William was in the lounge with William Mostoe-Kinch when the torpedo struck, and was met by his daughter who had run in to find him.  Charles was nowhere to be found.  They crossed to the portside and entered a boat that had no plug. They were then told to get out of the boat and that the Lusitania would not sink. Running over to the starboard side, Sarah was very frustrated and scared and implored Robert Timmis to get her a lifebelt. He gave her his own. She then beckoned her father to follow her to the funnel deck when the ship sank rapidly and an explosion threw them into the sea. Sarah did not find her father or Charles afterward. Sarah pressed on to Liverpool to seek out "Kate Fitzgerald."  The woman in the institution, however, turned out to be nothing like her mother.  William and Charles had died in a quest that "had been futile from the start." In a statement made by William's son, William Mounsey, Jr. on page 3 of the Monday, 10 May 1915 New York Times, he stated:  “Father had no premonition that anything would go wrong on this trip . . ..  He was so overjoyed at the prospect, faint as it was, that mother was to be rescued from the dead that he had not a moment’s thought that a fate like hers would be his also.” Charles Lund's body was found eventually, and his remains returned to the United States.  William's body was never recovered.  The youngest of the Mounsey children, Bertha Mounsey Stocking, passed away in 1994.

Related pages


William Mounsey at the Mixed Claims Commission Charles and Sarah Lund at the Mixed Claims Commission
Contributors: Joy Stocking (granddaughter of William Mounsey) Michael Poirier Juidth Tavares David Zeni References: Hoehling, A. A. and Mary Hoehling.  The Last Voyage of the Lusitania.  Madison Books, 1956. Preston, Diana.  Lusitania:  An Epic Tragedy.  Berkley Books, 2002. Zeni, David.  Forgotten Empress.  Goose Lane Editions, 1998.

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