Saturday 16 January 1915 – We Lost 101

by greatwarliveslost

RMS Lusitania

RMS Lusitania

The Lusitania is involved in an international incident that gives the ship’s presence in the North Atlantic a very high profile. The ship is traveling through rough seas on the way to Queenstown and, fearing the possibility of a torpedo attack, the Captain hoists the ‘Stars and Stripes’.  With America neutral and Germany reluctant to bring her into the war on the side of the Allies, it is considered that this would guarantee a safe passage. The use of the United States flag, however, comes to the notice of the press and the incident makes world news.

Today’s losses include:

  • A father and son killed together

Mrs. Margaret Booth of West Hartlepool suffers the loss of her husband and son when H M Tug Char (Lieutenant Robert Percy Melsome) is lost after a collision.  First Engineer William Booth is killed at age 58 while his son Fireman Edward Booth dies at age 22.  Her entire crew of seventeen is lost when the tug is lost off the Thames Estuary. She is alongside a Belgian Steamer, S S Erivan, and is attempting to send crew to board her. There is a fierce gale at the time and the two ships collide. The Char is severely damaged and sinks quickly with the loss of all hands. The Erivan can do nothing in the weather conditions to assist.

photo from