Photographs Taken Aboard Last Voyage


Jim Kalafus

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From the Pritchard Letters:
(Thanks to Mike Poirier for the use)

.....By the way a young lady we both knew took some photographs on board the day before the disaster. I am not quite sure now whether your son was in one group or not, the photos were published in the "Daily Mirror" she told me in a letter I received from her on May 23rd. I have not heard from her since but her address was then Miss Elsie Hardy 115 Ilford Lane, Ilford, Sussex. I am not sure of this but I know three or four fellows were in some of the groups she took....
Yours very truly, Thomas Sumner

and the follow-up:

260 W. 122nd St.
N.Y. City

Dear Mrs. Pritchard
Please pardon my seeming neglect, but when your letter came I was very ill-unable to answer it,& so this is the first opportunity I have had.....
Trusting by this time you have had some news and please accept my sympathy I am
Yours Sincerely
E. Hardy
P.S. The snaps I took were no good, none came out.

All of which is quite interesting. It would be great to track down the May 23rd. letter to Mr. Sumner to see exactly what Miss Hardy said to him regarding the photographs. Since she acknowledged, briefly, that she had saved her camera, he obviously didn't make the whole thing up, but one is left wondering if "didn't come out" meant "totally blank negative" or just "blurred and overexposed" like the still-interesting Father Browne out takes.
 
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Richard Coplen

Guest
I only just bought a book yesterday - "A Wilful Murder - the sinking of the Lusitania" by Diana Keston (?). It's photos include one supposedly taken by wireless operator Robert Leith hours before being torpedoed. The photo is looking down Lusitania's deck with all the lifeboats swung out. The deck is eerily quiet. The photo is somewhat damaged by saltwater which got into the camera later that fateful day. The excellent book contained many photos I have'nt seen before. I highly recommend it!
Regards,
Richie.
 
May 3, 2002
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Wellington, New Zealand
The Last Voyage of the Lusitania by AA & M Hoehling refers to Patrick L. Jones, London staff photographer with the International News Service taking photos as fast as he could load and focus his camera. This was during the sinking.
p. 112 1957 hard cover Longmans edition.

Martin
 
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Zack Schwarz

Guest
The body of Patrick Jones was recovered but there is no mention of what property he had so it seems likely that the camera was lost during the sinking and not on his body. I could be wrong. A fellow employee of the News Service took charge of his property so if the camera was found and the photos were still good they would have been published.
 
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Matt Endacott

Guest
Hey,
When i was on ebay last week, there was an auction up for an original "Daily Sketch" newspaper with two photographs posted on the front. They fitted your description and pictured the lifeboats and several passengers strolling down what seems to be the promenade.
The title read "LAST PICTURES OF THE LUSITANIA" and were said to have been taken on the final voyage.
I placed several bids, but the price reached around 40 Great Britain Pound and i gave up (to me in Australia it was almost $120!)
These photos must have been quit popular around the time of the sinking, yet i have never seen them in books..
 
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Alex McLean

Guest
Rob Leith took some photos of the scene before jumping into the water. These photos must have been lost somewhere, otherwise they would be very widely published. Imagine what they must have looked like...

By the way, Matt, what part of Australia are you from? Feel free to email me some time, error141@hotmail.com
 
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Matt Endacott

Guest
hey, does anyone know if the Lusutania's telegraphist, Robert Leith (who took the pics of the ship going down) was saved or lost? On a passenger/ crew list i have it just states his job. If he was saved, has he got any close family? Maybe he kept the pics in the family??
 
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Matt Endacott

Guest
Also,
Does anyone know who owns, or has the rights to that i could contact about the pictures of Lucy in New york harbour, the numerous 1915 sketches of the sinking and photos aboard the ship?
Are they split up into numerous collections, and if so what are some?
 
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Matt Endacott

Guest
One other thing,
I came across this pic on the ad for "Lest We Forget" (1918) and zoomed in on the still of the sinking Lusitania. Is it possible, by any chance this still is one of the photos taken by Rob Leith as the ship went down. A close look, you can notice major detail. The rope on the lifeboat, th jumping man below the boat and the whole stern area. It looks exactly like Lucy. And for a movie made in 1918, i must admit features & props like those would have been quit advanced & costly. I may be wrong, but this pic could possibly be one of the photos. IS THIS THE REAL LUSITANIA SINKING? Any opions?

-Matt
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The Real Lusitania Sinking (1915)?
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Alex McLean

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Matt,
Rob survived, but that is all I could say. I don't think he would have taken any photos from the water, as it is to my understanding he scrambled aboard an overturned lifeboat.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Matt: The photo from Lest We Forget is not a Lusitania original, unfortunately. There are a couple of articles, (1917) about the making of this film which mention the shooting of this scene (without giving the name of the ship used as a floating prop) so this is definitely not one of the Leith photos. Also, if one compares it to the onboard shots of the Vestris capsizing one can see how 'static' this still is when compared to the real thing. I still hope to find the photos Elsie Hardy took on board which she claimed were no good.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Matt- If you go to the beginning of this thread you'll find a pair of letters I posted. Survivor Thomas Sumner told the mother of victim Richard Preston Prichard that her son might have been in one of a series of group shots Elsie Hardy took the day before the sinking. He also said that they had been printed in "The Mirror." Mrs. Prichard wrote Elsie Hardy to enquire about the photos- Miss Hardy informed her that the pictures did not come out.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Not a photo taken on the last voyage, but a beautifully composed deck shot taken aboard "The Ship That Escaped," Orduna, from a series of large format Orduna negatives I received today. The "scanner print" of this does not do the photo justice.
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Jim Kalafus

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CRYPTIC PHOTO: I have no idea on what ship this oddity I bought today was taken, but the elements of the severe list, unruffled gentleman seemingly ignorant of the missing outboard wall of the promenade deck on which he is seated, and the onrushing water combine to raise one convoluted series of questions. Sadly, whoever took this snapshot neglected to caption it.
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Jim Kalafus

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UNRUFFLED GENTLEMAN: In close-up. The sign over the door reads something like "Women's Cabin." The woodwork, although of decent quality appears old and scuffed, so whatever this ship was, I would guess that it was not fresh from the shipyard.
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Jim Kalafus

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DAMAGE- Must have taken place over a period of time, as elements from the missing outboard wall were stacked against the bulkhead, and the "bench" upon which the man is seated appears to be a fragment of panelling.
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Alex McLean

Guest
Great photo though, Jim. Does anyone have any idea which ship this came from? Doesn't look like the Lusitania to me.
See you all later!
Alex
 

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