Piper J.S. (‘Jack’)

Poppy on a wooden cross

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Address: Emscote Road

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Jack Piper was not a member of the armed forces and his name is not on the Warwick War Memorial. But he deserves a place among the ‘Not Forgotten’.

Here is an extract from Graham Sutherland’s book, ‘Warwick in the Great War’:

Warwickians did not worry too much about the war at sea until the sinking of the Wayfarer and the RMS Lusitania, both of which had local connections. The Lusitania sinking on 7th May 1915 off the Irish Coast caused a massive anti-German backlash throughout the world. The vessel was a powerful ocean liner carrying nearly 2,000 passengers but at the time of her loss her captain was travelling at only 20kph, less than half her maximum speed, and instead of sailing on a zigzag course she went straight and was hit by a single torpedo. She sank along with some 1,200 passengers, many of whom were American citizens. While this barbarous act did not bring America into the war, it certainly did the German cause no good.

An inquest held on the bodies returned a verdict of ‘Wilful and wholesale murder’. Germany might have rejoiced at the news, but it was a pyrrhic victory as the incident caused a massive increase in men joining the British Army. Two ladies from Kenilworth were killed, while a man from Leamington survived. However the Lusitania’s chief officer, J.S.Piper, who lived in Emscote Road, Warwick, died at his post ‘doing his duty like the brave soul he was’.”

Later it was reported that ‘The body of Mr. J. S. Piper, chief officer of the Lusitania, was found seventy miles from the scene of the sinking of the liner and has been buried near his sister, the late Miss Lottie Piper, in the neighbourhood of Liverpool’.

Military Service

Rank & Number: Civilian (Chief Officer, Royal Merchant Ship Lusitania),
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Date of death: 7 May 1915
Cause of death/Battle: Drowned after Lusitania was sunk by U-boat torpedos
Commemorated/Buried: Near Liverpool
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Contributors

Author and Historian Graham Sutherland