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From a drawing by C. B. Norton from Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19150422-47-2

The Falaba was sunk by a German submarine on 28 March 1915, some 38 miles to the west of the Smalls, Pembrokeshire, on her way from Liverpool to Sierra Leone. Warning was given by the Germans for the 280 passengers and crew to take to the boats, but before they could do so a torpedo was fired, and the vessel sank almost immediately.

104 passengers and crew were killed by the explosion, by drowning, or from hypothermia caused by freezing cold seas. It was the first unarmed passenger ship to be attacked in the war, and in the days following newspapers from around the world published reports of the horrific scenes and harrowing witness accounts from an inquest held in Milford Haven.

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