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The Lusitania’s 100-Year Secret

Duncan Kennedy is joined by Micheal Morpurgo to find out why mystery still surrounds the sinking of RMS Lusitania, and pieces together what happened on that fateful last journey.

Watch The Lusitania’s 100-Year Secret on BBC iPlayer.

Micheal explores this in Listen to the Moon, the stunning new novel of World War One. May, 1915. Alfie and his fisherman father find a girl on an uninhabited island in the Scillies - injured, thirsty, lost…and with absolutely no memory of who she is, or how she came to be there.

Michael Morpurgo reveals how the sinking of the Lusitania inspired his book.

There was once in our family a hideous medal, commemorating the sinking of the Lusitania in May of 1915. On one side, there was the ship going down, on the other a skeleton selling tickets (seen here) to the passengers. Ever since those two images stayed with me.

I learned later that the ship was torpedoed by a German U Boat, 12 miles off Kinsale, in the south of Ireland, that she went down in just 18 minutes, with the loss of over a thousand passengers. It was at the time the greatest single wartime civilian disaster in history.

I read around the subject, discovered the great controversy surrounding it, on both sides, that still simmers on to this day.