I thought a few little facts about Mersey, supplied by my kinfolk, the English Bighams, might be amusing. According to them, Mersey liked chicken sandwiches and ate several a day. He also had a crush on the music hall diva Marie Lloyd and wrote her adoring fan letters. He was pals with Gilbert & Sullivan, who were his contemporaries, attending both their funerals. Into his old age, Mersey amused dinner guests with quips and songs from their work, including a particularly lilting:
"...And ev'ry one will say,
As you walk your mystic way,
'If this young man expresses himself in terms too deep for me,
Why, what a very singularly deep young man this deep young man must be!...'"
Also worth mentioning: Mersey's son, Captain the Hon. Clive Bigham, supposedly had to wake him up from naps several times during the Titanic Inquiry! This will not surprise detractors of my esteemed distant cousin.
(who has inherited his forebear's love of barnyard foul for lunch and his misfortune in taking rather grim-faced photos!)
Part of my posting about Lord Mersey and Gilbert and Sullivan is perfectly true. Mersey knew both of them, especially Gilbert, and he really was a capable singer. It's in his son's autobiography, A Picture of Life. (By the way, there is no major Biography of Lord Mersey. His son thought of writing one, but felt he was too ignorant of the law to do a good job).
The song itself, is by a certain Aussie ratbag with a talent for parody. If you feel the urge to sing it at a Titanic meeting, go right ahead. The tune is of course Sir Joseph Porter's song, from HMS Pinafore.
Michael, I did a bit of digging and found that if the Persia affair is mentioned it would be in the second volume, which covers 1940 to 1951.
It's called Journal and Memories. It was published by Murray in London in 1952. A good library might have it, though perhaps not in the USA. I can get hold of it with some difficulty, as the library that has it is miles away.