Monthly Archives: May 2015

8 May 1915; Saturday

At work as usual1. Finished in decent time. Met Charlie in the station. At work at night. Went to Roker.

Heavy loss of life in Lusitania2 disaster. Got news at night of loss of “Maori”3 off the Belgian Coast.


  1. Saturday morning working was of course normal – as it remained until the 1960s. 

  2. Lusitania: See notes on 7 May

  3. Maori”: RN destroyer, built 1909, sunk by a mine on 7 May 1915 off Zeebrugge. 

7 May 1915; Friday

At work as usual. Busy all day. Finished late. Wrote up some of Parson’s Weekly News. Wrote up shop books. Received word of Bob’s Death1.

Lusitania2  3 sunk, with about 1900 people on board, by German submarine4. Relations between Japan & China very strained.


  1. See Robert Thomas Brotherston on this site. 

  2. Lusitania”: too well known to require much comment, but – launched 1907, briefly world’s biggest ship (31,500 tons), commandeered as armed cruiser in 1914, but unsuitable so returned to passenger use on condition she carried government cargoes; left New York 1 May 1915 (allegedly carrying munitions), torpedoed 7 May 11 miles from S. Irish coast, sank in 11 minutes; 1,195 lives lost, including 128 Americans, thus influencing American opinion against Germany. 

  3. Coincidentally, the departure of the Lusitania (presumably from New York) is noted in the same New York Times headline as reports the declaration of war on Germany by “England” on 5th August 1914

  4. The submarine was the SM U-20