Master Arthur Scott, Jr.

Arthur Scott, 8, was the son of Arthur Scott, Sr. and Alice Scott (nee Kay) of Nelson, England and later North Adams, Massachusetts. Alice and Arthur, Jr. were traveling aboard Lusitania, while Arthur, Sr., stayed in North Adams. Alice and Arthur, Jr. befriended Elizabeth Duckworth during the voyage. The Scotts and Elizabeth were on deck when the torpedo struck and Alice and Elizabeth placed Arthur in a lifeboat that was successfully lowered. Alice entered lifeboat 17, which upset while lowering, and died. Elizabeth survived. The night before leaving for New York, Alice had dreamt that the Lusitania would be destroyed. Her family had jokingly chided her, suggesting that maybe she should cancel her reservation. Alice replied that she could only die once, and that she was going. During the voyage aboard the Lusitania, the Scotts roomed with Elizabeth Duckworth, a widow living in Connecticut, originally from Blackburn, Lancashire, England. On the day of the disaster, the three had finished lunch and Alice and Arthur first went back to the room to recover from a headache. Then Elizabeth and Arthur went for a walk on deck when they saw what they thought was a fish. It was the torpedo. The impact and explosion caused hot cinders to rain down on them, and they rushed to the forward deck. There, they were told that was a “gaping hole” in the Lusitania’s side and that the ship was indeed going to sink by the bow, where they were standing. The Lusitania was beginning to roll over and it seemed that it was only a matter of time before the ocean reached them. Panicking, Elizabeth and Arthur started climbing the ship’s rigging. An officer, perhaps Second Officer Hefford or First Officer Piper, ran after them and persuaded them in a calm voice to come down. He told them that a lifeboat was ready for them on the Promenade Deck. Elizabeth then told Arthur Scott to slide down the rope ladder and that she would catch him. Arthur was too scared to do so, but Elizabeth shouted, “Come on, you will be lost!” Arthur finally gathered himself together and slid down. Elizabeth, however, missed catching him and Arthur landed on the deck on his back, with the wind knocked out of him. It took Arthur a few seconds to recover. Now with Alice, the three headed toward the lifeboat on the starboard side. Upon arrival, another officer told them, “We can get the little boy in, but we can’t get you in.” “All right, get him in.” was Elizabeth’s reply. Elizabeth and Alice entered lifeboat #17, but because the sailors were taking too long to get the boat underway, Elizabeth got out while Alice remained in the boat.  The lifeboat spilled, throwing passengers against the side of the ship and into the water. Alice went under and never came back up. Back in North Adams, Massachusetts, the senior Arthur Scott kept a vigil, with members of the press, as he awaited word of his wife and son. The first list of survivors erroneously included Alice on the list, causing the senior Mr. Scott to tear up with joy and relief. The reporters congratulated Arthur with back-slapping and handshaking. Arthur Scott, Jr., did not talk of the disaster that claimed his mother's life. He passed away on 19 June 2001 at age 94 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Contributors: Jim Kalafus, USA Michael Poirier, USA 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.

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