Lusitania memorabilia on display in Shasta County

May 8, 2015 5:56 PM by News Staff

Just one day after the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania a display featuring artifacts from the ship was shown at the Shasta Senior Nutrition Center, as a part of the Healthy Aging Summit.

Memorabilia of 3rd Officer John Idwal Lewis was on display for the first time, courtesy of his grand-daughter Michelle Glass and her husband Dow. Lewis survived the ship's sinking, and helped load many passenger boats before the ship went under. He clutched to a piece of wood and hung on for hours in the open sea until he was rescued.

His grand-daughter told Action News Now she learned about her grand-father's heroics over the years, and as she has gotten older, she has learned about the importance the ship played in his life.

As history records the event, on May 7, 1915 the ship was 11 miles off the coast of Ireland when it was torpedoed by the Germans. Nearly 1200 people were killed.

Lewis later served as the Chief Officer of the Carpathia, the ship that rescued many passengers from the Titanic.

Lewis was born in 1885 to John and Catherine Lewis of Whales, he passed away in 1974.

Among the memorabilia on display Friday was a gold watch Lewis had found floating on the deck before the ship went under, his boarding pass, the opinion of the court on the incident, and his World War I medals.

The presentation was made possible by Lewis' family and the Golden Umbrella Senior Corps.


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