This publication is a reflection on the human stories that surround the sinking of the Lusitania. Just as the Lusitania has but a small part in the larger story of the First World War, so do each of the events that make up her story. Her story is often remembered only as a catalyst to America’s entry into the war, and U-20 in turn, only as the catalyst to the sinking. The aim of the book is to remind the reader of the unlimited number of tiny events that make up our histories. Often it is some seemingly inconsequential event many years before that sinks a ship. Sometimes it is a last minute misunderstood message that leads to unspeakable tragedy.
The cover consists of an A0 fold-out that contains the names of all 1,198 victims of the Lusitania sinking. Across it is a series of questions put to William Turner – captain of the Lusitania – during the Mersey Inquiry into the sinking. The aim was to give a sense of scale to the tragedy in the inclusion of the name, age, class, and nationality of all the dead, while contrasting it with the almost poetic responses of Turner as he describes the day of the sinking.