People's Stories

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

Edward Skay

Edward Skay

About Edward

Edward Skay was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1884.  He lived at 155, Baker Street, Kensington, Liverpool, England.

He engaged as a kitchen porter in the Stewards' Department on board the Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915 at a monthly rate of pay of £5-10s-0d., (£5.50p.) and reported for duty at 7 a.m. on the morning of 17th April before the liner left Liverpool Landing Stage for the very last time.  It was not the first time that he had served on the liner.

Having completed the Lusitania’s sailing to New York, Skay reported for duty for her return leg to Liverpool on 1st May and was on board when she was torpedoed and sunk six days later by the German submarine U-20, only hours away from her home port and twelve miles off the coast of southern Ireland.

It was reported in the book The Last Voyage of the Lusitania by Adolph and Mary Hoehling that he had spotted saloon passengers Charlie and Mary Plamondon during the course of the sinking :-

Many clung to the forlorn hope that they still should stay with the ship.  The Charles A. Plamondons were of this desperate turn of mind.  Edward Skay, a steward, (sic) spied them together on the promenade deck, refusing his entreaties to try for a lifeboat.

After the liner took her final plunge, Edward Skay was pitched into the sea, where he remained for a long time before he was picked up by a tramp steamer and eventually landed at Queenstown.

According to an article printed in the American journal The Evening Post, on 24th May 1915, undaunted by his experiences, he immediately engaged as a steward on the United States Lines ship New York, bound for New York, with another Lusitania survivor, Steward James Smith.

Although there was not a survivor named James Smith, there was a First Class Steward named William Smith and this is probably Skay's companion on the New York. As far as can be ascertained, both Skay and William Smith survived the war.

On his eventual return to Liverpool, he was officially paid off from his final voyage on the Lusitania.  His pay amounted to £5-8s-8d., (£5.43p.), which was in respect of his duty on board the liner from 17th April 1915 until 8th May, 24 hours after she had foundered.

Cunard Records, Evening Post, The Last Voyage of the Lusitania, The Lusitania Case, PRO BT 100/345.

Edward Skay



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