Lusitania

Limitation of Liability Hearings

Deposition of Marian May Bird

Stewardess

ss "Lusitania"


 


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Southern District of New York.

IN THE MATTER

Of

The Petition of THE CUNARD STEAMSHIP COMPANY LIMITED,
as owner of the Steamship LUSITANIA, for limitation of its liability.

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DEPOSITION of MARIAN MAY BIRD taken before R.V. WYNNE, Esq. the Commissioner at the Law Institution, Chancery Lane, London, W.C.2. on Friday, 15th June, 1917.

The Commissioner having duly administered the oath to SPENCER PHILIP HARRY as Shorthand Writer administered the usual oath of a witness to MARIAN MAY BIRD.

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Examined by Mr. RAEBURN.


Q. Were you a stewardess on the “Lusitania”?

- Yes.

Q. I think this was your first voyage with her since November of 1914?

- I am not quite sure when the "Aquitania" came out. I left the "Aquitania" to go in the "Lusitania".

Q. Before November 1914 had you served in the “Lusitania” before?

- On her first trip.

Q. She was built in 1907, so her first trip would be when?

- The 7th September.

Q. How many years were you in her altogether?

- A little over 6 years.

Q. Did you know your boat station on this voyage?

- Yes.

Q. What was your boat?

- 19.

Q. On the "Lusitania" do the stewardesses take part in the boat drill?

- No.

Q. What roots had you charge of on the voyage home?

- The starboard side on the C. deck, from 1 to 28.

Q. The whole of those rooms, or the odd or even numbers?

- The odd numbers and Number 28.

Q. That would be fourteen rooms altogether, I think?

- Yes.

Q. With regard to those rooms, were there lifebelts?

- Yes.

Q. Were they easily accessible?

- Yes.

Q. Were there any notices put up telling people how to use them - how to put the belts on?

- Yes.

Q. In how many languages?

- I am not sure whether it was two or three.

Q. In your own room how many life belts were there?

- I occupied a third class room.

Q. How many life belts were there in that?

- Four life belts and two stewardesses in the room. We had a four berth room and occupied two berths in it.

Q. When the torpedo struck the "Lusitania" where were you?

- In my section.

Q. Were there women and children about?

- Yes. They were dining.

Q. What did you do when she was struck?

- I asked the ladies to keep calm, get their life belts as quickly as they could, and get on deck.

Q. Did you help them to get their life belts?

- Yes.

Q. So far as the people whom you saw were concerned, did they all get life belts?

- There was not one person left on the deck when I left -

Q. While you were still below did the lights go out?

- Yes.

Q. After that, did you go up on to the deck?

- I threw what remaining life belts were there out before I went on deck.

Q. Threw them out where?

- On to the deck.

Q. Then did you go up?

- Yes.

Q. By that time how was the steamer? Had she listed at all?

- Yes, very heavily.

Q. Was it easy to stand on the deck?

- No, not at all easy.

Q. Were there officers about on the boat deck?

- There were not very many on the boat deck when I got up.

Q. Not very many people?

- No.

Q. Were there many boats left?

- I got in the last boat that was leaving.

Q. Did she get away from the ship allright, or was there any difficulty?

- No difficulty, but she came down with the ship.

Q. Did she get clear of the ship at once, or was she fouled by anything?

- No, she got clear. I think the Marconi wires did just foul her; they fouled one of the oars or something.

 

Cross-examined by Mr SCANLAN.

 

Q. Did you see any of the other boats come to grief as they were being lowered?

- No.

 

(The Witness withdrew).

 

Signed by the witness
after the deposition had
been read to her.
M. May Bird [sig.]
R. V. Wynne [sig.]