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Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

RMS Lusitania Centenary - 2015

RMS Lusitania Centenary
Thu 7-May-2015, 10am-4pm
Sandford Mill

CARS was at Sandford Mill operating GX0MWT from the 2MT Marconi Hut on Thursday 7th May to commemorate the saving of 761 lives from the RMS Lusitania when it was sunk in 1915. Our Club callsign letters MWT - Marconi Wireless Telegraph aligns with wireless history and the role it has played in saving lives at sea. Core of the operation for this event was the CARS CW team, coordinated by Andy G0IBN.

CARS club callsign GX0MWT (Marconi Wireless Telegraph) on air

The RMS Lusitania was owned and operated by the Cunard Company. Her keel was laid on 16 June 1904 and she was launched on 7 June 1906. She was the largest, fastest, and most luxurious ship in the world at the time of her launch, although she was soon eclipsed in size and speed by her sister Mauretania and in size and luxury by rivals Olympic and Titanic.

Lusitania was making her 202nd crossing when torpedoed by the U20 on 7 May 1915, off the coast of Ireland and sank in 18 minutes. Of the known 1,960 people on board, 767 survived and 1,193 perished. Four of those survivors died in the following months, bringing the numbers to 763 survivors and 1,197 victims. The wreck lies in 300 feet (91 metres), approximately 11 miles (18 km) south of the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland.

Andy G0IBN at the key (Photo and those below by John G8DET)

Radio Amateurs around the world commemorated the centenary and the fact that the Marconi designed and manufactured wireless equipment, built in Chelmsford enabled the Lusitania to transmit a SOS which resulted in ships rescuing the survivors. Amonst other contacts, we managed to work GB100MFA. This was the special event station organised by the Radio Officers Association for the centenary and used the MFA callsign letters that the Lusitania had.

Oliver M0WAG (blue jacket) and Steve G4GHO (white jumper) operating
In the second photo new Sandford Mill Curator Nick Sturgess (rear centre) is also looking on

The Lusitania story had also been been the topic of talks by John, G8DET, CARS Vice President at the recent International Marconi Day (IMD) event on Saturday, 25th April.

CARS Members and Marconi Veterans were welcome to attend. On the day this included this colorful pair who are supporters of the current campaign to preserve Marconi Heritage at Hall Street in central Chelmsford.

Supporters of the Marconi Hall Street Campaign

Useful Links:-

  • See also GB100MFA which was operating on the same day
  • Marconi Heritage / Hall Street

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