Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Last Survivor of the Lusitania Dies

Audrey Lawson-Johnston (née Warren Pearl), the last known survivor of the RMS Lusitania, died earlier today at the age of 95. The First World War was in full swing, and the famous Cunarder was just a few miles from the Irish coast when she was torpedoed by the U-20 on May 7, 1915: Lusitania sank in just 18 minutes.

Mrs. Lawson-Johnston's family was traveling to Great Britain when the disaster occurred. Her parents and brother survived, while her two sisters did not unfortunately. At only 3 months, there would have been no chance for the infant Audrey to survive on her own. She was saved, however, by nanny Alice Lines. The two women would remain close until the latter's death in 1997 at the age of 100. With Mrs. Lawson-Johnston dies the last living link to that long ago, wartime disaster.

References: "Last know Lusitania survivor, 95, dies." BBC News, January 11, 2011, under "UK," http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-12161194 (accessed January 11, 2011).

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