‘They were within sight of Ireland’
Episode 61 - Lifesaving in Wartime: Mark Hudson
3 years after the Titanic, 1200 lives were lost when the RMS Lusitania was torpedoed. 200 Voices talks to the grandson of the last living survivor.
On 7 May, 1915, en route from New York to Liverpool, the luxury passenger liner Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of Cork. Lusitania sank within 18 minutes. Yet, against the odds, 3-month-old Audrey Lawson Johnston survived.
Audrey’s grandson, Mark Hudson, recounts what happened that day. When RNLI Courtmacsherry volunteers rowed for more than 3 hours to reach the area, it would be the start of the family’s long association with the RNLI.
Audrey remained an ardent RNLI fundraiser all her life, helping to raise enough money for a lifeboat at New Quay. It wouldn’t be the only lifeboat funded by the family. And when, in September 2023, the Audrey LJ was retired from service, Mark and 20 others embarked on a fitting farewell.
The money raised by the Tour de Dyfed and West Glamorgan will be shared equally by the lifeboat stations at New Quay and Tower. To donate, visit Mark’s JustGiving page.