People's Stories

Everyone on the Lusitania's last voyage, including passengers and crew.

About Carlton Thayer

Carlton Thayer Broderick was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States of America on 22nd January 1887, the son of Alfred Henry and Etta L. Broderick (née Reading).  His father was president of The Chadwick-Boston Lead Company of 162, Congress Street, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., which was also the family home.  He had a younger brother and sister, Richard G and Helen C. Brodrick, who were twins, ten years younger than him.  Carlton Broderick was educated at Harvard University and having graduated in geology, he became a mining engineer.  He was unmarried.

He travelled extensively, and founded a geology school in Kyshtim, Russia.  He also sent numerous geological samples and valuable data and information to Harvard University, which displayed them as a collection under his name.

In the spring of 1915, he decided to offer his services to The American Committee for Relief in Belgium and as a consequence, booked saloon passage on the Lusitania sailing, which was due to leave New York on 1st May.  It wasn’t his first time on the vessel as he had journeyed from Liverpool to New York on her in January 1914.  Having left Boston at the end of April, he joined the liner at her berth in New York harbour on the morning of 1st May with ticket number 46135 and was escorted to his room B.106, which was situated on ‘B’ deck.  This room was under the supervision of First Class Bedroom Steward Percy Penny, who came from Aigburth, a suburb of Liverpool.

Carlton Broderick had his last glimpse of New York just after mid-day, as the liner began her delayed sailing from the Cunard berth at Pier 54, there, and six days later, whilst she was off the coast of southern Ireland and only hours away from her Liverpool destination, she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-20.  Carlton Broderick was one of the 181 saloon passengers killed.  He was aged 27 years.

His body was recovered from the sea, however; fairly soon after the liner had gone down, and landed at Queenstown, where it was taken to the mortuary set up in the yard next to the Cunard offices at Lynch‘s Quay.  Before it was positively identified, it was given the reference number 46.  Property recovered from it eventually established its identity, however; and on 14th May 1915, sealed in a lead coffin, it was put on board the S.S. New York for shipment to his father, at the Boston address.  It arrived in New York ten days later on Monday 24th May and was then, presumably, despatched to Boston for burial.

When the news of his death became public, the chairman of the Belgian Relief Commission, a Mr. H.C. Hoover sent a message of condolence to Carlton Broderick’s father which gave some details of his son’s fate and read: -

Please accept from the Executive Committee of the Commission for the Relief in Belgium our heartfelt sympathy.  Early in the year your son unselfishly devoted his time and energies to this work and won the regard of all who became associated with him.  Rest assured that many friends are prepared to do everything necessary.

Scott Turner, who survived, was with him several hours after the ship sunk, (sic) and last saw him supported by two oars and with every possibility of being rescued.  He was probably the last passenger to leave the ship and was brave and cheerful throughout.

The property taken from his body was later handed over at Queenstown to a Mr. B. Knox, who was an accredited agent, on the authority of Mr. Wesley Frost, the United States Consul, there, presumably to be forwarded to Boston.

Bedroom Steward Penny, who had looked after Carlton Broderick in room B106 did survive the sinking, however; and eventually returned to his Aigburth home.

Carlton Broderick left an estate in England of £270-4s.-4d. (£270.21½p.) to his father.

His parents submitted a claim for compensation for their son’s loss, and the loss of the personal property he had with him when the Lusitania sank.  The Mixed Claims Commission awarded his parents the sum of $25,000.00 for the loss of their son, and a further $2,855.00 for the loss of his belongings.

Massachusetts Birth Records 1840 -1915, Massachusetts Town and Vital Records 1620 – 1988, 1900 U.S. Federal Census, U.S. Passport Applications 1795 – 1925, New York Passenger Lists 1820 -1957, Cunard Records, Mixed Claims Commission Docket No. 280, Probate Records, New York Times, PRO 22/71, PRO BT 100/345, San Francisco Chronicle., Tragedy of the Lusitania, UniLiv.PR13/6., Graham Maddocks, Geoff Whitfield, Stuart Williamson, Michael Poirier, Jim Kalafus, Cliff Barry, Paul Latimer, Norman Gray.

Copyright © Peter Kelly.

Carlton Thayer Brodrick



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