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Past Lives

Jon Bauckham recounts the final crossing of RMS Lusitania – sunk with nearly 2,000 people on board...

THE TERRIBLE COST OF WWI’S INFAMOUS CIVILIAN ATTACK

HISTORY THROUGH THE EYES OF OUR ANCESTORS

On 1 May 1915, Reverend Herbert Gwyer and his new wife, Margaret, boarded the RMS Lusitania in New York and set sail for Liverpool. After serving as a missionary in Canada for three years, Herbert was due to begin a new post back home in England, where he also hoped to introduce the young bride to his parents.

Although war was raging across Europe, it should have been a safe crossing for the newlyweds. Not only was the United States a neutral nation, but the luxurious Lusitania was capable of an average speed of 25 knots per hour – more than enough to escape any skirmish. Not that anyone thought it would come to that. As fellow passenger Parry Jones would later recall, there was a feeling among the travellers that “no nation would dare” to sink a vessel packed with civilians.

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

The Roman occupation of Britain changed the course of our history – building cities, roads and great walls, pacifying tribes and creating a unified economy. But how and why did they come to invade, and why did their mission ultimately fail? PLUS The Black Death: The terror of medieval Europe Stalin: the brutal regime of Britain’s WWII ally Prohibition: when America was dying for a drink Coco Chanel: the ultimate rags to riches story The 10 wealthiest people ever The King and Mrs Simpson: Edward VIII’s abdication The Wright Brothers Boston Tea Party The Cold War Death on the Lusitania And much, much more!