Sunday 29 November 2009

Monte Carlo - the casino terraces

I picked up this card because I'm interested in seeing cards of places which have radically changed over the years and of course Monte Carlo is one of them.  What I didn't realise at the time was that the reverse was every bit as interesting as the picture on the front, possibly even more so.

As you can probably see, it was postmarked Southampton and dated 24 February 1927.  I had no idea what R.M.S. Lancastria was until I looked it up.  It was a Cunard liner, first sailing on 19 June 1922, and on scheduled crossings of the Altlantic until 1932 when it became a cruise ship.  This must have been sent at the beginning or end of a crossing, though you have to wonder why there was no message at all.

During the war the Lancastria became a troopship and was sunk during the Dunkirk evacuations, on 17 June 1940.  Approximately 4000 lives were lost (and possibly considerably more) making this the greatest loss of life in British history, greater than the losses of the Titanic and Lusitania combined.  Because it was such a disaster, public announcement was banned, though the New York Times and the Scotsman published the story in July that year.  It is well worth reading the Wikipedia article if you have time, or the Lancastria Association history.
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  1. I was just in Monte Carlo during my October birthday cruise though I have been there several times. I had not heard of the Lancastria but I will, indeed, look it up on Wikipedia!

  2. Oh, I didn't know about the Lancastria! What a terrible story. I did learn about the Lusitania when we went to the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool and that story made me quite ill. It was a luxury liner that was torpedoed by a German u-boat in 1915 during WWI and 1,198 people died with over half of them children.

  3. @RNSANE, we must have been there at about the same time!

    @Emm, I hadn't heard about the Lancastria either, not until I looked it up. I'd heard about the Lusitania, but only the barest details.


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