Jan 6th 1917
Dear Dad and Mam
I wrote to you before about two days ago but am writing again because there is a mail leaving tomorrow so you should be able to have the letter a little quicker than the rest. First of all I hope you are all in the best of health I am in the pink and OK as usual. I am in great hopes now that this war will not last much longer they seem to want peace all round hope I won’t be long away from home after peace is declared I can do my fortnight per year all right. We had the news today that the Ivernia had been torpedoed, I came on her from Mudros to Alexandria after the evacuation of Cape Hellas . We had an alarm when we were all down at tea we thought they were pulling our legs so we carried on eating our tea then in a bit bang goes the gun and then you should see us skit to our boat stations. But all’s well that ends well and everything was bright after. This was in the beginning of February. She also brought out a draft to us in May. She was a fine boat as steady as a rock. The Darflinger was a collier compared to her. I met B. Fry down the YMCA a few nights ago there was a private in the RAMC preaching there he was excellent. It takes a great deal of pluck to stand and talk to a crowd of soldiers all as rough and ready as they possibly can be after being knocked about from one place to another. He preached about the difference in teaching in the Old and New Testaments and he knew what he was talking about. LCpl Dodd now Cpl Dodd was down there with me. I went over to the 2nd Australian Hospital a few days ago to have my teeth seen to again what they did was to pull another two out and I have to go in another ten days to have an impression taken. I am going to keep worrying them until I get teeth this time. Did I tell you that I had only one Xmas card last time and that was sent by Auntie Annie I have written and thanked her for it. I did expect to have a letter a t least from Jon but I have not had a word it’s not very decent of him anyway. We are expecting a mail in every day now if it did not go down on the Ivernia which is quite possible in that case it’s not his fault but have not had a letter for a very long time from him. I don’t know if he has been insulted because I told him not to feed Glyndwr on bully and biscuits. How is the youngster getting on I don’t suppose he can walk yet. How are things going on in Abertysswg will you make enquiries if the Ladies Guild has received my letter yet. You have not told me if you have received my mug which I sent from Cairo about three weeks before Xmas it was a pretty rotten one but I can’t help it, my misfortune in having such a face. How is Mailys and Dyfan getting on hope both enjoyed their Xmas holidays. I must again wish Mailys many happy returns of the day although I did so in my last letter. Hope Mam’s influenza is quite alright again. Well I must wind up now. With best love and best wishes to you all. Solong
Your affectionate Son
Lew Morgan is in good health and sends his kindest regards
SS Ivernia was a British ocean liner owned by the Cunard Line, built by the company Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and launched in 1899. The Ivernia was one of Cunard’s intermediate ships, that catered to the vast immigrant trade. Together with her sister ship SS Saxonia, the Ivernia worked on Cunard’s service from Liverpool to Boston and then later on the immigrant run the Cunard Line had established from Fiume and Trieste to New York City.
Following the outbreak of World War I in August 1914 the Ivernia was hired by the British government as a troop transport. In autumn of 1916, William Thomas Turner (made famous for being the captain of RMS Lusitania at the time of her sinking) was given command.[
On 1 January 1917 the Ivernia was carrying some 2,400 British troops from Marseille to Alexandria, when at 10:12am she was torpedoed by the German submarine UB-47 58 miles south-east of Cape Matapan in Greece, in the Kythira Strait. The ship went down fairly quickly with a loss of 36 crew members and 84 troops. Captain Turner, who had been criticized for not going down with the Lusitania (even though he had believed he was the last person on board), remained on the bridge until all aboard had departed in lifeboats and rafts “before striking out to swim as the vessel went down under his feet.”
HMS Rifleman rescued a number of survivors and armed trawlers towed the bulk, who had taken to lifeboats, to Suda Bay in Crete.
Today Ivernia Road in Walton in Liverpool still bears the name of the doomed vessel.