Date: 20 May 1915


"Shame and Disgrace" of the Pirates.

The Board of Trade inquiry into the loss of the steamship Falaba was opened, before Lord Mersey in London to-day.

Mr. Aspinall intimated that the managing owners, Elder Dempster and Company, were not parties to the inquiry, but he represented their interests among others. On behalf of the owners he expressed sympathy with the relatives of those who lost their lives by the disaster.

The Solicitor-General for the Board of Trade told the story of the sinking of the Falaba by a torpedo from a German submarine west of St. Ann's Head, shortly after noon on March 28th. The disaster was accompanied by grievous loss of life. There were some deeds, added the Solicitor-General, which spoke louder than words, and the circumstances under which this vessel was lost would tell more strongly than any words he could use of the shame and disgrace of the people who caused it.

Dealing with the causes of the loss of, life, the Solicitor-General said the submarine pursued the Falaba, and after getting within about 300 yards it was said she dropped the British ensign and put up the one under which she was really bound to sail. She afterwards signalled to the Falaba to stop and abandon the ship. The vessel did not stop, and the submarine again signalled "Stop, or I fire." The Falaba stopped, and directions were given to the passengers to get into the boats. Two of the latter, containing passengers, capsized, others got away safely, and whilst the people were struggling in the water the submarine selected this moment for the purpose of driving her torpedo through the struggling people straight into the starboard side of the boat.

"The Falaba Inquiry." The Cambria Daily Leader. 20 May 1915. 6.

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