LEST WE FORGET PART 2 As The Lusitania Went Down


Jim Kalafus

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"128 pages? Isn't that a bit much....?" (Casual reader on right)
"Wait until you see the manuscript for Part 3 in early 2006....." (The authors, on the left)

Mike and I are pleased to say that our new Lusitania article is up on ET, and we are both exceptionally happy with the work Phil Hind did editing and formatting 128 pages as quickly and effectively as he did while simultaneously revamping ET and maintaining an outside life. So, thank you Phil, and thank you to all of the researchers, friends, family and concerned bystanders who made,and continue to make, this project so much fun.

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Included in the article is a series of previously unpublished photos taken by an Australian named Saunders who travelled around the world in early 1912. His album yielded the sold onboard souvenier photo of the liner used under the title, the large format view of the lounge also acquired onboard, and various deckshots including the one of the readers at the start of this post and the above shot. Saunders travelled NYC to Liverpool aboard Lusitania in early May 1912. Note in the large photo that although the extra lifeboats and collapsibles have been installed post-Titanic, those in the central third of the deck lack davits with which to lower them.

We both hope that you will enjoy the article, and also hope that the feedback, both positive and constructively critical will continue to come our way (there is an addendum in which a few minor mistakes
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from part one have been addressed) as we assemble part 3.
 
May 12, 2005
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I’m nowhere near finished reading this article —— actually " tome" is more fitting! —— but I have read enough that the word "Wow" seems both apt and inadequate. This is a spectacular piece of work by a team of researchers regarded by some as underdogs in the field. I’d say that is all behind them now, as Jim and Mike have proved their worth through solid, steady research. They are a team to reckon with, and I salute them for their dedication to mining new information on Lusitania and her people, and for sharing their findings with us all here on ET.

These guys don’t need my praise, and they certainly haven’t solicited it. But I give it freely and proudly because, although we may have our differences and I know I haven’t been the friend I should’ve been in the past, I admire Mike and Jim very much. The extensive work they’ve undertaken and the example they have become of selfless researchers qualifies them as front-runners from here on. They always have been, I guess; it’s just now no one can deny it anymore!

Also, the lay out is beautifully done. (Poor Phil needs a break, and a beer, after all the work)

Now, to try and finish 128 pages before dinner!

PS) This guy who took the photos —— Jim, you say he was on Lusitania in early May 1912? Was this the May 8 voyage? I ask because the Duff Gordons returned to England aboard Lusitania on the May 8 trip. (Any chance of the noble couple lurking in the background of some of the pictures!?….)
 
Apr 11, 2001
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I thought nothing would top Part I- but this is a masterful research effort, filled with fresh, new material, spectacular photographs, and compelling stories. Congratulations to you both. Such substance, so gloriously presented, is seldom seen on the Internet. Kudos, orchids- and a standing ovation!
 

Jim Kalafus

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>regarded by some as underdogs in the field

Well.....

Where to begin. I guess with the positive stuff.

We've been very fortunate since we started writing in earnest last January, in that we had and still have a large circle of really great people working with us. And who we, in turn, support 100% in their respective projects. Peter, Craig, Paul, Shelley, Mike, Anthony and so many others have on so many occasions come up with missing pieces or rendered sound advice that years have been shaved off the compilation end of LWF and the cliche about 'we could not have done it without them' is, in this case, true. What's more, in 99% of the cases, we've become friends above and beyond the shipwreck link and in a field fraught with (alleged) "backstabbing" we've not had a single encounter with it since commencing this phase. So, if "underdog" is the case of our standing, we have had the backing of a truly first rate bunch of researchers anyone would be proud to have as friends, and we do not take that lightly. However the project turns out (material exists for at least another three parts as long as this one), either trendsetting epic or epic fiasco, we're winners in the important sense of the word because of the quality of those with whom we work and socialise. And also made winners by the absense of those with whom we don't.

Fact is, we never wanted to be 'the best.' That is setting oneself up for a good mudballing. What we wanted, and still want, to do is write a series of articles that speak for the forgotten survivors and victims, entertain those who read them, and in the long term cause us no embarrassment. In short, we want our articles to be 'the best' we can do, because it is the articles and the memory of the Lusitania's people, not our standing in any community, which ultimately matter. We like what we have achieved so far and are glad that others seemingly do as well.

There are two particular days which, to me, sum up the charm of this project. One was a pleasant day last May on which we met with Mike Findlay, meandered around NYC for a bit, ate in an excellent restaurant and, quite by accident, found Josephine Brandell in Woodlawn Cemetery while searching for someone else. A great day with a lot of laughs and a research find as well. The second was a day that Mike, Shelley, Mike and myself set out on a road trip (still classified, it is their story to tell) during the course of which I laughed so hard that it seemed physically dangerous and, incidentally, found the home address of a Lusitania survivor I had not had before. In either case, although the research finds were pleasing, it was the fun and social interaction which, long term, meant more. Both days would have been equally pleasant without the research material, but the research material would not have half as much meaning without the memories of a pair of days well spent behind them.



>the example they have become of selfless researchers

Thanks! The answer here is two-fold. Our friends have given so freely that hoarding would not only be hypocritical but also bordering on larcenious. Also, should our lives become so devoid of any deeper meaning that we begin posting "teaser" references on the board, or hoarding material I would hope that someone would knock some sense into us. We are one chicken bone or poorly refridgerated salmon away from the void, and I hope that at the end my ultimate life achievement does not consist of finding a survivor photo and hiding it.

>This guy who took the photos —— Jim, you say he was on Lusitania in early May 1912? Was this the May 8 voyage?

Yes, it was.

>I ask because the Duff Gordons returned to England aboard Lusitania on the May 8 trip. (Any chance of the noble couple lurking in the background of some of the pictures!?

I will post the only group shot from the series in a separate posting. There is a man with a camera....
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Jim, Mike, it's probably going to take me a week to get through the magnificent article you put up yesterday. Even at a glance, I can tell it's an impressive peice of work with a lot of very human stories that may be seeing daylight for the first time in ninety years.

Good job, guys!
 

Mike Poirier

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Thank you to all who have sent their congratulations on and off board. It certainly means alot. A special thanks to Phil who has given the Lest We Forget series an excellent presentation.

Yes, Randy, that would be an amazing and pleasant coincidence if Lady Lucile and Sir Cosmo were in the picture.

I don't think I can really add to Jim's post, but again to offer my sincere thanks to all who have supported our efforts to bring the Lusitania and her people to life.
 

Senan Molony

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Haven't read it yet, lads, as it is of intimidating length... but you really should have done this as a book, you know!

I don't think there is any tome that is solely dedicated to the Lusitania passengers. Which is a great pity.

You guys should still definitely do the American one! It has to sell in America, surely, given the association [if erroneous] in the public mind between the sinking and US war entry.

Did you try to get a publisher?
 

Brian Ahern

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Many thanks to Jim Kalafus and Michael Poirier for posting this. I've been studying the Titanic for most of my life, so it's really cool to turn to the Lusitania and Empress of Ireland where there's so much info that's new to me. And I'm grateful to anyone who takes the time to research the passengers and give a human face to either of these tragedies.

As an aside, one part I rather wish I hadn't read was the account of Mrs. Logan. Researching shipwrecks for so long has given me thick skin, but the account of this woman's last moments with her two-year-old boy on the deck of the Lusy hit me hard. Emotional types should skip over that particular part of an otherwise highly enjoyable write-up.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Hello, Senan: Thanks for the support!

>you really should have done this as a book, you know!

The idea has come up from time to time, and a book eventually will happen, but for the time being the advantages of this format outweigh the advantages of publishing. We have the luxury of limitless space (with thanks to Phil Hind on that point) limitless photos, in color, and immediate access to any Lusitania buff in the world who has access to a computer and knows how to use a search engine. We've so far done about 180 pages (part 1 and part 2) and have three parts left to go. Once we've exhausted the possibilities of this format, the hundred or so best stories will be expanded into book form. Hopefully, by that point we will have built ourselves some sort of fan base who might, conceivably, buy the book
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And, hopefully, by then I can afford to commission Stephen Card to do the cover art!

There are several other shipwrecks I'd like to profile in this manner, among them Slocum and Morro Castle. I'd like to see an eventual series of books, told mostly in the first person voices of survivors and victims' kin.

>Did you try to get a publisher?

That is most likely to happen in 2007, after the online version is complete and we've reworked our favorite parts.

After that, or course, comes world domination.
`jk
 

Jim Kalafus

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Brian: Thanks for the good review! Both Mike and I are pleased that you enjoyed the article.

>As an aside, one part I rather wish I hadn't read was the account of Mrs. Logan. Researching shipwrecks for so long has given me thick skin, but the account of this woman's last moments with her two-year-old boy on the deck of the Lusy hit me hard. Emotional types should skip over that particular part of an otherwise highly enjoyable write-up.

Yes, Mrs. Logan's account certainly is harrowing. Did you read those by Mrs. Pye and Mrs. Adams in Part 1? In the past we have both been appalled by people who have said "In Schweiger's place I'd have done the same thing..." and that sense of revulsion served as the genesis of this series. We wanted to give first person voice to those who lived and died that afternoon, and a better understanding of what "doing the same thing" would actually result in. This series, and this paragraph are by no means meant as a lecture on "the morality of war," which is too complex an issue to sum up with pat statements (particularly in discussing World War 1) but are simply manifestations of our wish to cause people to think before they say or write such things. So, the Logan, Pye, Adams, Owens accounts are depressing but necessary.

And we did go 'commercial' this time, and wrapped up the article with a cheerful tale in which everyone got a happy ending
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And we hope you'll enjoy Part 3 as much, in early 2006. Thanks again for reading and posting!
~jk
 

Jim Kalafus

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>Need any sinister minions?

Always. One can never have enough.

> Seriously, I'd buy any book you two put together in a heartbeat!

Seriously, thanks!
 

Senan Molony

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This is Mrs Phyllis Wickings-Smith and her daughter Nancy in another photo, which appears in my book [Lusitania, An Irish Tragedy] on page 28 as an unidentified woman survivor and child in Queenstown.

Same earrings, same bootees, same baby, everything. Amazing how little puzzles get solved by other bits of the jigsaw.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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I haven't finished it yet, but I did want to post to offer my congratulations on a cracking piece of work. The amount of information is mind-boggling.

Best wishes,

Mark.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>Amazing how little puzzles get solved by other bits of the jigsaw.

Part of the fun of doing things like this is the constant discovery of these "little pieces." I'm glad to see you found a good quality print of that photo: mine is retoucbed, heavily, in the style of 1915 newspapers to the extent that it looks more like a drawing than a photograph.

>I did want to post to offer my congratulations on a cracking piece of work. The amount of information is mind-boggling.

Thanks! The amount of paperwork spawned by the Lusitania is mind boggling (500+ pages of documentation on George Vernon alone, for instance) and each time one thinks that a bio is 'finished' something surfaces to prove one wrong. But, the project has been a lot of fun thus far and we look forward to putting the next segment together.
 

Senan Molony

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Pic of Lily Lockwood, who appears in the piece as just a coffin, God love her...

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I have a number of glass plate negatives showing survivors in Queenstown, but unfortunately the captions are missing for them. No idea who these Lusy survivors may be ...unless another pic turns up!

A few records survive from an unpublished cache I was lucky enough to find. But not enough.

One shows that the famous hand-bandaged survivor at the bottom of p. 114 of the "Ballard" book Exploring the Lusitania is steward Leach.

On the top of p. 115, opposite, hitherto unidentifed, are Annie and Sutcliffe Riley, third class survivors, followed by Ethel Sutcliffe to the right of photo.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>Pic of Lily Lockwood, who appears in the piece as just a coffin, God love her...

She appears in Ballard's documentary as a cadaver, along with Eva Grandidge (shown alive in part one of this article) and Margaret Coughlin giving us three more reasons to love him
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Thanks for posting the "life" picture of her- I wanted to contact her half brother for permission to use it, but since she was not featured in this segment except as a coffin I went off on other tangents, and time ran out before I could do so.

The frequently uncaptioned news photos are frustrating, as are those which appear miscaptioned. Recently, the descendents of Elizabeth Hampshire and Florence Whitehead were able to pick them out in a newsreel used in a TV documentary, giving living "faces" to two more survivors. Am consistently amused by the apparent papparazzi swarm that followed Angela Pappadopoulo in Queenstown- every time I think I've seen the last 'new' photo of her another turns up.

BTW- Am fairly certain that the stern faced woman with whom Helen Smith was photographed sitting was Cecelia Owens. She, "Cecelia" looks a lot older in that photo than she does in her others, but there are similarities in the facial features, and considering what Mrs. Owens had just endured it is hardly surprising that she did not appear in the full flattering bloom of youth.

Have you any opinions on the ID of the woman in the Mystery Photo recovered in the Lusitania debris drift? Mike feels she strongly resembles the published photos of Kathleen Hammond and I, too, see a resemblance.

One recurring frustration is when one finds a photo of a previously "faceless" survivor or victim on microfilm, and the transfer quality is so poor that he or she appears as a dark blob against a darker background.
 

Senan Molony

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Hi Jim,

A lot of it is a problem of falling between two stools - or rather between two sides of the Atlantic.

European newspapers tended to do pix of their own people and American ones ditto, hence researchers restricted to newspaper libraries on one side of the Atlantic are missing out on the other!

I really couldn't hazard a guess about the Mystery Woman.

I share your frustrations about microfilm pix, especialy when pix of any kind are so rare in newspapers of the time. My publishers told me time and time again "Nope, quality's too bad, can't use that..." such a shame.

And then when you get a FANTASTICALLY clear picture like this one:

Senan's Lusy Stewards Pic From a Glass Plate Neg

There's no accompanying caption!

Any ideas on these geezers? It's a surplus pic from that cache that didn't make the book.
 

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