British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 3


Examined by the SOLICITOR-GENERAL.

1713. Were you a fireman on the "Lusitania"?
- Yes.

1714. I think you made many voyages in her?
- Yes.

1715. Were you formerly in the Naval Reserve?
- Yes, for 15 years.

1716. And you have had instruction in the recognition of torpedo attack during that time?
- We were given instructions how to recognize a torpedo when it was coming through the water,

1717. Do you remember about 2 o'clock on the 7th of May, the day the "Lusitania” was sunk?
- Yes.

1718. Where were you?
- On the starboard side between the after-end of the engineers' quarters and the commencement of the second class cabins.

1719. What happened?
- There was another shipmate of mine and me looking at a passenger fixing a trunk up, and this shipmate says to me, "Joe, what's that?" I immediately looked to the forward end on the starboard side and I saw two white streaks approaching the ship; one seemed to be travelling quicker than the other. At the beginning I thought there was only one, but as they approached the ship they opened outwards and the after one seemed to strike the ship either forward or near the centre of No.2 funnel, and a white flash came and an explosion. There seemed to be two explosions but they were like together.

1720. Have you any doubt from your experience that there were two torpedoes you saw at this time?
- No, no doubt at all, because there were two streaks.

1721. I need not ask you questions which have been dealt with by other witnesses, but was this the last torpedo you saw or not?
- No.

1722. Tell the Court what you saw next?
- When we were getting ready to go down the rope to go over the side aft, there was this streak of a third torpedo coming from a diagonal direction.

1723. On what side?
- On the starboard side.

1724. From starboard to port?
- It was fired from the forward end on the starboard side, not the same as the others in a straight line, but in a diagonal line.

1725. Did that strike the ship?
- No.

(The Witness withdrew.)