Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    This is translated from German to English ....

    In February 1915, Germany launched in response to the English word "hunger blockade", an extensive submarine war. The German submarines, the British Admiralty initially underestimated, has been in a short time become a serious threat to the entire shipping in the Atlantic. The American President Wilson warned Germany if his country's citizens to be victims, he, the German Empire "to account" will. On 7 May torpedierte "U 20" under Commander Schwieger within the war zone for the marine section, said the English Cunarddampfer "Lusitania". The "Lusitania" falls within 18 minutes. 1198 passengers and crew members, including 124 Americans will leave with the ship. 761 people are fishermen from the nearby Queenstown rescued. The sinking of the Lusitania "should have serious consequences for the German Reich, as now in the United States more and more votes for an open war against Germany Debates entrance.


    Annie :)
  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member


    Born on 7th April 1885 to a noble family in Berlin, Walther von Schwieger entered the Kaiserliche Marine as a Sea Cadet in 1903, at the age of 18.

    His initial training took place at the shore-based training establishment Stosch and on 15th April, 1904 he was promoted to the rank of Fahnrich zur see, which was generally speaking, the Kaiserliche Marine's equivalent of the Royal Navy's Midshipman.



  3. cally

    cally New Member

    I am not sure that I agree with the famous quotation that says a good picture is worth a thousand words but I do believe in their importance!

    RMS Lusitania.:)

    Attached Files:

  4. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    ABC here in Australia is running a documentary on the sinking of the Lusitania next Sunday (Jan 11).
  5. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Sad story of casualties .... :(

    MITCHELL, Walter Dawson - Civilian

    Walter Mitchell was the youngest son of the Rev. George Patton Mitchell Rector of Drumbo Parish between 1890 and 1922 and Elizabeth (Bessie) Dawson. He was educated at RBAI and The Municipal Technical Institute in Belfast. Unlike his father, and older brother, he choose a career in the linen industry rather than the church, though the family joke was that they were all men of the cloth. At the Technical Institute he won a Drapers Company Exhibition an award which, in the view of one of his tutors, “is only obtainable by those who apply themselves with great earnestness to the practice and theory of their special subject”. He served his apprenticeship at the Island Spinning Company, Lisburn and in December 1912 was offered a “highly responsible” position in the firm of Messrs Marshall and Co., New Jersey.

    Before his departure though he proposed to Jeanette Elizabeth Moore (Nettie) eldest daughter of William Moore a dairy farmer of Newgrove, Ballylesson, whom he had known since childhood. She accepted and agreed to go with him to America. The wedding had to be hastily arranged and as there was no time for a wedding dress to be made, one had to be purchased from Robinson and Cleaver’s, Belfast’s first department store. They left for America immediately after the wedding, travelling up to Derry in their wedding clothes. It was just before Christmas 1912. Their ship called at Queenstown (now Cobh) on the way to New York and some of Walter’s Dublin relations travelled there to see them off.

    The Mitchells seem to have settled in well to their new home in Newark, New Jersey. Walter, a keen photographer took many pictures and sent them home to his family and in August 1914 their son, also called Walter Dawson, was born. But that summer was not an entirely happy time for the family. Bessie Dawson, Walter’s mother, had died on the 14 July aged 56 from an infection resulting from a thorn ***** she had received while gardening and on the declaration of war in August, Nettie’s brothers Bobby and Archie (see below) had been amongst the first recruits to enlist.

    By the spring of 1915 the Island Spinning Company needed Walter back in Lisburn. Walter and Nettie’s happy sojourn in America had come to an end and they treated themselves to a voyage home on the Lusitania. Nettie’s brother John Moore, who by this time had settled in Connecticut, decided to join them for a trip home.

    Walter Mitchell died “of drowning and exposure” on the 7.5.15 when the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk off the south coast of Ireland. According to an interview given by John Moore to the Lisburn Standard, they had just finished lunch and Mrs. Mitchell had gone to the cabin to look after the baby when the ship was torpedoed. “In a moment the passengers were rushing on deck to ascertain what had happened. When he got there the vessel had listed, lifeboats were being swung out from the lower side, and lifebelts handed around. He did not get a life preserver but managed to get into a boat, which on reaching the water, overturned. Luckily he got hold of a rope which was hanging over the ship’s side and held on for a little time, during which the passengers were jumping down in crowds, many of them striking him as they passed and bruising his body. Subsequently he found himself struggling in the water, and just managed to clutch the keel of one of the upturned boats, with which he supported himself until he was rescued by what he thought was a mine sweeper. He could not describe the awfulness of the scene. He had lost sight of his sister and her husband and was despairing of seeing them again, when he observed them being taken out of the sea and brought aboard the trawler. Mrs. Mitchell was in a semi-conscious state and her husband was unconscious. Mrs. Mitchell recovered under the treatment she received, but though everything possible was done to restore Mr. Mitchell it was without success. As for the baby, he did not see it after he left the liner. As to the subsequent search for some trace of the baby and the heart-rending scenes he witnessed Mr. Moore could not trust himself to speak.”

    According to Nettie, as the Lusitania sank, she and Walter had found themselves in the water clinging onto a lifeboat with Walter supporting their infant son. However, in the absence of any help the young child soon died of cold. His mother knew that he was dead, “because his skin went a dark bruised colour and he had froth at his mouth”. Then as his father too lost consciousness, the child’s body slipped into the water was never recovered.

    Nettie herself was fortunate to survive. When fishermen on a trawler pulled her and Walter out of the water, neither showed any sign of life. “Nettie, however, was still just alive and remembered the sensation of being dragged by her feet with her head bumping along the deck. She and Walter were left with the dead”. According to family tradition, her brother John eventually found her at Queenstown “among the corpses laid out on the harbour steps” and seeing her eyelid move, realised that she was still alive and resuscitated her.

    Walter Mitchell’s body was brought home by train by his widow and brother-in–law late on Sunday night the 9 May. They were met at Lisburn station by the Rev. Mitchell, Mr. Moore senior and Miss Pounden, Mrs. Mitchell’s favourite aunt and it was to her that she, “poured out the great agony of her wounded heart.” He was buried beside his mother on Tuesday 11 May 1915 in the family burial plot at Ballylesson Parish Church, “among many manifestations of profound sorrow. The cortege was a large and imposing one, people coming from far and wide.”

    The death of his wife, which George Mitchell “had taken very badly”, and then the loss of his son and grandson, left the Rev. Mitchell a “broken man.” He died on Boxing Day 1922 and is buried along with Bessie and Walter at Ballylesson. The death of Walter senior, though not his infant son, is recorded on the family headstone to the right of the main drive leading to the church.

    Walter Mitchell’s wife, Nettie Moore, was born 10 July 1886 and after attending school in Lisburn, had helped her mother run the house and dairy at Newgrove, the family home. It was a Georgian building, single storied at the front with the farmyard and outbuildings tucked in behind and was built on a rath above the Lagan. It lay just across the road from Ballylesson (Drumbo Parish) Rectory her future husband’s home.

    Nettie would have been 26 at the time of her marriage and still not 29 at the time of her husband’s and son’s deaths in 1915. Following her return to Ballylesson in May 1915, “she could not sleep and really thought that she could loose her mind”. Eventually though she decided to train as a midwife and went to the Rotunda Maternity Hospital in Dublin. She was working there during the Easter Rising when the centre of the city was in flames. “Ypres on the Liffey” she called it. When she had completed her training she returned home to Ballylesson and volunteered for the Red Cross in Belfast. After the war she married William Waters a cattle dealer originally from Co. Tyrone, and settled down with him on his farm on the Ravenhill Road in Belfast. On the 10 July 1925, Nettie’s 39th birthday, their first son Brian was born, followed two years later by a second boy Allen.
  6. johnny_doyle

    johnny_doyle New Member

    Walter was the nephew of Dr John Colley Pounden of Gorey, Co Wexford, RAMC (the brother of Elizabeth Dawson Pounden, Walter's mother). Did quite a bit of work on the Pounden's in 2008 :


    John and Elizabeth's mother and sisters were living in Dublin according to the 1911 census so Nettie may well have been able to visit with family whilst in Dublin.

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