General Interest - Lucitania


RMS LUSITANIA. The official analysis of missing and survivors issued by the Cunard Steamship Company on 1 March 1916, listed 1,195 missing (178 first class, 374 second and 239 third and 404 crew members) and 764 survivors (113 first class, 227 second and 134 third, and 290 crew members). This figure has since been amended to 1198, which probably
includes 3 German stowaways who’s names have never been confirmed.


Even though Germany had issued a state of war warning that any ship in, what would be now called ‘an exclusion zone’ would be classed as a legitimate target, the RMS Lusitania set sail from New York on the 1st of May 1915 for Liverpool in the UK. Six days later, off the south coast of Ireland, near Kinsale, and because of fog, at approx. 1.40pm her Captain, W.T. Turner, slowed from full speed to a slower rate. This was a fatal error. Kapitän-lieutenant Walter Schwinger of the U-20 fired one torpedo into the starboard side of the luckless liner. The shot registered as a hit, and was followed immediately by a second thundering explosion. One can only speculate as to the reason for this secondary explosion. The Lusitania sank within 18 minutes on the 7th May 1915. 

Records show there were nine Kelly’s on board, two died and seven were rescued. Two traveled 2nd Class, three travelled 3rd Class and
the remaining four were crew members.

KELLY, Miss Margaret S. Age 32 Pittsburgh, PA 2nd Class Margaret S. Kelly, 34, 

was the oldest of ten children. In 1889, her parents had immigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States from Ireland. She was a naturalized US citizen. The rest of her family (her cousins and grandparents) was still in northern Ireland, so in spring of 1915, Margaret boarded to Lusitania to see her Irish family.

Margaret Kelly was born about 1880 in Ireland to Thomas and Margaret Kelly. She was the oldest of 10 children, although only four brothers and four sisters, for a total of nine children, are mentioned. Court documents state that Margaret moved to the United States when she was 12, though when her parents moved to America in 1889 she would have been 9.

Her father Thomas was a pattern maker in the employ of the Allegheny Foundry Company in Pittsburgh. Margaret had for more than 12 years been in the employ of the Pittsburgh Lamp and brass Company as a clerk and stenographer. For the last four years before her death she was paid a salary of $85 per month. The record indicates that from this salary she made contributions to her father somewhat in excess of the reasonable value of her board and lodgings. Margaret was lost in the disaster. Her body was recovered, #125. Some of the possession that were recovered with Margaret and
returned include her eyeglasses, a very small pocket knife, a small Irish Bible, a coin purse and a ticket stub for a deck chair on the Lusitania and a ledger that included a list of her monthly expenses. Margaret was buried in Common Grave B.Margaret was survived by her father, Thomas Kelly, and her mother, Margaret Kelly, then 58 and 54 years of age respectively; and also by two married sisters and by four other brothers and sisters who were then minors. Body No 125