Enderby Area U3A August 2023


This month we had a second visit from Andrew Lound, who had enthralled our members with his talk about the Titanic. Once again, wearing his military uniform and striding up and down as archived pictures were shown on the screen, he was word perfect as we were told about the tragic loss of the liner Lusitania. In the early 1900s the Cunard shipping company was astounded when Germany was awarded the coveted Blue Riband for the fastest trans Atlantic crossing with their new four-funnelled liner SS Keiser Willem der Grosse. Previously only 3-funnelled ships had been built. Immediately Cunard took up the challenge and two new ships were built – the Mauretania and Lusitania. 

Mauretania became a much loved passenger liner and on her maiden voyage in 1907 regained the Blue Riband.

On the outbreak of war the slightly smaller Lusitania was used as a merchant warship which was subject to strict merchant rules but was not entirely obeying those rules. On 7th May 1915 while about 11 nautical miles off the Head of Kinsale, Ireland – again not on its proscribed route – the Lusitania was hit  by a torpedo fired by a German U boat. It was immediately followed by an explosion from the ship itself. Within 17 minutes she turned on her side and sank. No shipping came to her rescue and it was Irish fishermen who put to sea in their own vessels to save the 761 survivors of the tragedy. There had been an estimated 1,962 crew and passengers on board; some of the American citizens who perished that day had previously been survivors of the Titanic disaster 3 years earlier.

An inquest was subsequently held and the coroner’s verdict was that it had been an act of wilful murder with the perpetrator being Kaiser Wilhelm 2nd.

At Enderby Area U3A  we meet at the Civic centre on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. If you would like to know more about us you can contact our membership secretary Anne on 07933165200 or visit our website at www.u3asites.org.uk/enderby