British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 3


Examined by Mr. ROSE-INNES.

1912. I believe your name is Eveline Wild [sic]?
- Yes.

1913. Were you a second class passenger on board the "Lusitania"?
- Yes.

1914. At the time she was struck by the torpedo were you having lunch with your sister in the dining saloon?
- Yes, I was.

1915. There was a rush, was there not, by a number of people to get up the main staircase to the deck?
- Yes, I should think about 200 people went up.

1916. And did you reach the deck by going up the back stairs, which led to the deck?
- Yes, we hesitated in our seats about three minutes, and by that time the crowd had got on to the stairs, and my sister said: "Eveline [sic], keep quiet; we will go the back way."

1917. And then you went up the staircase and reached the deck?
- Yes. We reached the "C" deck then, and then we joined the main staircase again; and a few of the people had struggled from the main staircase and joined us on these stairs, but not very many.

1918. When you reached the open deck were you on the port or the starboard side?
- We went to the side nearest the water.

1919. That we know was the starboard side?
- Yes.

1920. Did you there find a lifeboat which was covered?
- Yes, we did.

1921. How was it covered?
- It was covered just like they always are, in a perfectly ordinary way; it was covered right over with canvas.

1922. Was that boat on the starboard side swung out over the water or was it not?
- No, it was on the deck.

1923. Did you see any member of the crew attempting to handle that boat?
- There was no one on our side or the boat at the time I and my sister were there.

1924. What did you and your sister then do?
- My sister said: "It is no use standing here; we shall not get any help here," so we immediately rushed along the second class deck through the gate and on to the first class deck, still keeping on the side that was nearest the water, and there I clung on to the rail, and my sister rolled the full length of the deck, and I was still wondering how to pick her up, and a member of the crew picked her up, and said: "Oh, I will help you," and he helped her into the boat.

1925. And did you and she both get into the same boat?
- Yes.

1926. Now I think you were both there with some of the stewards of the ship, were you not?
- Yes, stewards, and we had a few sailors.

1927. When you got into the boat, did they seem to understand the handling of it?
- Yes, very well.

1928. Just tell us what they did?
- They kept waiting for other people, to see if they could get anyone else off the ship, and then when it was time to be lowered, there seemed to be a difficulty in lowering the boat; there did not seem anyone to do it to begin with, and after a while two men on deck, I think they were firemen, steadied the ropes, and one of the ropes worked and the other did not work, and eventually it was cut by one of the passengers, a first class passenger.

1929. That boat reached the water and it was quite a sound boat, was it not?
- Yes, it was.

1930. Now just one more question - Had you looked about to see if you could find any lifebelts?
- We had no lifebelts until we were in the lifeboat, and then one of the passengers handed me one. But my sister had none.

1931. Were you the only one that had a lifebelt?
- Yes.

1932. Had you seen any about on the deck?
- No, I had not.

Mr. Butler Aspinall:
No question.

(The Witness withdrew.)