Over a period of four years, four ships were lost under different circumstances and 4,000 lives with them - but one thing links them all: it was John Charles Bigham, Lord Mersey, who was appointed to head the inquiries into each disaster. Mersey is often referred to in contemptuous terms in the many Titanic and Lusitania forums, as a 'company man', or a government stooge. But is this the whole truth? In themselves these stories are as dramatic as they come; everyone knows about the Titanic and the Lusitania, but the loss of 104 lives aboard the Falaba when torpedoed by U28 in March 1915, is not so famous - and it really was the preamble to American entry into war. Did Mersey produce a whitewash for the government in the Lusitania investigation, talking of two or three submarines lying in wait for the Cunarder, telling the nation what it wanted to hear in contradiction of the evidence? Was he totally biassed against Captain Walter Lorder of the Californian, the ship that failed to react to the Titanic's distress rocket? A new approach, above all, to the Titanic story? Yes, it's possible.
Four Thousand Lives Lost
The History Press
The Inquiries of Lord Mersey into the Sinking of the Titanic, The Empress of Ireland, the Falaba and the Lusitania