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An interesting Lusitania Medal


Dafydd

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Many of us have Lusitania medals and I have seen some posted.

What is interesting about this medal is that the accompanying leaflet is still extant as this was often lost and I reproduce it here for the benefit of those who haven't seen one.

Many years ago I owned the medals of Captain Irvine who captained RMS Laconia. It was actually the Laconia that pushed the USA into the war and not the Lusitania. 

On 25 February 1917, The  Laconia was torpedoed by  SM U-50 six nautical miles (11 km) northwest by west of Fastnet while returning from the United States to England with 75 passengers (34 first class and 41 second class) and a crew of 217 commanded by Captain Irvine. The first torpedo struck the liner on the starboard side just abaft the engine room, but did not sink her. 20 minutes later a second torpedo exploded in the engine room, again on the starboard side, and the vessel sank at 10:20 pm. A total of 12 people were killed; six crew and six passengers. Two of the killed passengers were American citizens, Mrs. Mary Hoy and her daughter, Miss Elizabeth Hoy, who were originally from Chicago The death of the Hoys stirred up public opinion in America against the Germans, and raised public support for the United States entering the war.

Chicago Tribune  reporter Floyd Gibbons was aboard Laconia when she was torpedoed and gained fame from his dispatches about the attack, his graphic account of the sinking read to both Houses of Congress and was credited with helping to push the United States into joining the war.

 

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This is a famous propaganda medal & styled after a bronze medal made by Karl Goetz. When Goetz made the first bronze castings of this medal he mistakenly dated them 5 Mai 1915, & later corrected to date to read 7 Mai 1915. The medal shows a skeleton selling tickets for the cruse ship Lusitania. The German government warned the British any ships carrying contraband would be targets for German submarines, & sunk the Lusitania on May 7, 1915 😮! The British claimed the medals dated May 5, 1915 indicated the Germans planed to sink the ship before the voyage & claimed there was no contraband aboard. Goetz tried to retrieve as many of the medals with the wrong date as possible, but couldn't retrieve them all. Today the medals dated 5 Mai 1915 are highly prized & very expensive. Your iron copy is very common, however, the original box & paperwork make your medal very collectable 🤩

Edited by Al Kowsky
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