24th March 1916
There are no troopship sailings on this day. However one ship was allowed to sail, the S.S. Sussex.
While crossing from Folkestone to Dieppe the S.S .Sussex is torpedoed. Manliffe Francis Goodbody, Enrique and Amparo Grandados, Prince Bahram Mirza Sardar Mass’oud, Maurice Planckert and others were all killed.
Maurice Planckert is buried in Folkestone Old Cemetery, “Victime de la Catastrophe du Sussex.”
The following is an extract from Papers relating to the torpedoing of the S.S. Sussex. United States. Published by the Washington, Government. Print. Office.1916.
From the deposition given by Edna Francis Hilton. (File Number 851.857Su8/50)
“Q. Are there any more remarks you would like to make?
- There was a sailing boat coming and then going. There was nothing done to save the lives of the passengers. The lifeboats were in awful condition, there were three holes in the one I was in and there were only four of them. I saw a number of British steamers within the harbor of Folkestone, which I was told were being held on account of the presence of submarines in the channel. It therefore surprises me that the Sussex should have been sent out without escort.
Edna F. Hilton.
Subscribed and sworn to before me, Arthur Hugh Frazier, Second Secretary of the Embassy of the United States of America, at Paris, this 28th day of March,” (1916)1
On the 16th June 1916 in a letter to his sister, Captain E,H.L. Southwell wrote;
“And oh, I saw the Sussex at Boulogne, with all her bones stove in, without a trace of emotion. I have seen too many ruins before now in this game, and one is very like another; a house that is no house has too often been an everyday sight. And so, when I came here, I found this billet a shade more demolished than anything I thought possible, the whole air rather more triste and sinister; but that was all. I could stand all that, and even the piano (shade of Ivor Atkins !) shattered o bits, and the keys choked with brick-dust; but one thing was just a fraction too much, and when I saw it I confess I caught my breath for a moment; it was a child’s marble, chipped, and past all hope of rolling. . . .”2
1 From the copy held by the Cornell University as reproduce online by the Hathi Trust.
2 Page 196-197 Two Men a Memoir, Oxford University Press 1919.
Written by Peter Anderson (https://ppaanderson.wordpress.com/)