Mersey Report

The following is the published finding of the court from the Mersey Inquiry into the Lusitania sinking. The full text of the Lusitania Inquiry can be found online at the Titanic Inquiry Project here.  While reading, please keep in mind that because it was wartime, there was incentive to whitewash the findings.

SHIPPING  CASUALTIES.

(LOSS OF THE STEAMSHIP “LUSITANIA”.)

REPORT of a Formal Investigation into the circumstances attending the foundering on 7th May, 1915, of the British Steamship “Lusitania,” of Liverpool, after being torpedoed off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland.

Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of His Majesty

LONDON: PRINTED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF HIS MAJESTY’S STATIONERY OFFICE By DARLING AND SON, LIMITED, BACON STREET, E. - Report on Loss of the “LUSITANIA” (S.S.) - THE MERCHANT  SHIPPING ACTS, 1894 TO 1906 -

IN THE MATTER OF the Formal Investigation held at the Central Buildings, Westminster, on the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th of June, at the Westminster Palace Hotel on the 1st of July, and at the Caxton Hall, Westminster, on the 17th of July, before the Right Honourable LORD MERSEY, Wreck Commissioner, assisted by Admiral Sir F. S. INGLEFIELD, K.C.B.; Lieutenant-Commander HEARN; Captain D. DAVIES; and Captain J. SPEDDING, acting as Assessors, into the circumstances attending the loss of the steamship “Lusitania,” of Liverpool, and the loss of 1,198 lives at a spot ten to fifteen miles south of the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, on the 7th May, 1915.

REPORT OF THE COURT.

The Court, having carefully enquired into the circumstances of the above-mentioned disaster, finds, for the reasons appearing in the annex hereto, that the loss of the said ship and lives was due to damage caused to the said ship by torpedoes fired by a submarine of German nationality whereby the ship sank. In the opinion of the Court the act was done not merely with the intention of sinking the ship, but also with the intention of destroying the lives of the people on board. Dated this seventeenth day of July, 1915.

MERSEY,

Wreck Commissioner.

We concur in the above Report,

F.S. INGLEFIELD.

H. J. HEARN.

DAVID DAVIES

JOHN SPEDDING.

Assessors.

TABLE OF CONTENTS -

INTRODUCTION

1. THE SHIP

Lifeboats and Life-Saving Appliances

Captain, Officers, and Crew

The Passengers

The Cargo

The Ship Unarmed

2. THE VOYAGE

Departure from New York

Speed of the Ship

3. THE TORPEDOING OF THE SHIP

Orders given after the Torpedoing

Launching of the Lifeboats

4. THE NAVIGATION OF THE SHIP 5. FINDING OF THE COURT

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(5927r-14.) Wt. 24393-233. 14,000. 9/15. D&S. G. 4.                                                     A 2

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