The Lusitania Resource > People > Victualling Crew List > Mr. Matthew Freeman, Waiter

Mr. Matthew Freeman, Waiter

Matthew Freeman, about 19, was a British citizen and waiter aboard Lusitania. He is reported in Hoehling and Hoehling as the amateur lightweight boxing champion of England. During the sinking, he helped lower the boats and injured his hand in the process. Marie Depage helped bandage his hand. Once Marie bandaged his hand, he tried to find a way off the ship. He ran to the stern, now the highest part of the ship, and looked over the edge. He wondered if it was a bit too high for him to dive from there. Remembering that he was an athlete, he gathered his self confidence. He climbed over the railing and dove. As he landed, his head struck the side of a floating lifeboat. Blood started to ooze from the wound. Though a bit dazed, he maintained consciousness and started swimming. Freeman was submerged a second time by a man who had grabbed him, "eyes bulging with fear." Freeman surfaced again and swam to a deck chair. Dr. Daniel Moore called to him to urged him to grab the other side of the keg several times.  They and four other men struggled to hold on to the keg to keep afloat. Freeman grew faint, but harsh speaking roused him.  Once Freeman said:  "I am going to go," but Moore ridiculed this and it gave him strength.  By stroking with their legs they succeeded in reaching an upturned lifeboat with about a dozen people clinging onto it. They were in the water for about an hour and a half.  Moore vomited from the exposure but kept himself going. Freeman collapsed, half-conscious. There were about twenty-three persons on the raft, but in the hours that followed many dropped off.  Freeman recalled "ten of them died beside me there in the water." They were picked up by the patrol boat Brock. By then, only five, including Freeman and Moore, were still alive and clinging to the lifeboat. As of 1955, at age 59, Matthew Freeman was living in Miami Beach, Florida, at 1042 Michigan Avenue. Contributors Michael Poirier References Hoehling, A. A. and Mary Hoeling. The Last Voyage of the Lusitania, pages 130, 151-152, 178. Madison Books, 1956. “Long Battle in the Water.”  New York Times, Monday, 10 May 1915, page 3.

About the Author