Episode 35

Massacre By Submarine Part Two : In Their Own Words

"At 9.20 pm I suddenly found myself blown out of my bunk and landed on the floor of my cabin. On my rude awakening I did not grasp what had happened until a brother officer came running off the bridge, and said we had been torpedoed..."

Hear the story of the war crime that shocked the world from those that survived. As well as details about The Llandovery Castle, a Canadian opera by composer by Stephanie Martin and librettist Paul Ciufo, created as an act of remembrance to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the hospital ship Llandovery Castle on June 27, 1918.

The opera focusses on the lives and service of 14 Canadian Nursing Sisters who died in the tragedy. The calm confidence, skill and selflessness of Canadian nurses during the Great War stand in stark contrast to the chaos and violence that surrounded them. From the horrors inflicted by inhuman trench warfare, the Sisters offered healing and compassion to soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

The work premiered in two workshops performances in Toronto in June, 2018, to enthusiastic audiences and critical praise. If you're interested in seeing the opera about this tragedy, then just click here.


This podcast has been specially edited from a Bradley Stoke Radio show in Bristol, England. 

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So, thankyou for listening and until next time guys, take care and look after each other.



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McWilliams, James L.; Steel, R. James (2001). Amiens: Dawn of Victory. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 31.

"Obituary: Kenneth Cummins". The Independent. 18 December 2006. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007.

"The Sinking of the Llandovery Castle". The Great War Primary Documents Archive. 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2014.

"Obituary: Kenneth Cummins". The Independent. 18 December 2006. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007.


Sound Effects by zapsplat.com

Intro music by The Model Folk 


About the Podcast

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The BackTracker History Show

About your host

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Alice The Backtracker

Hello there! My name is Alice and this is The Backtracker History Show Podcast where I ask you to join me on a meander down through the archives to find out more about the people, places and events from the past.

From tales of pirates and privateers to murderers, tragic accidents to war time escapades, this podcast has it all.
The show is originally aired on Bradley Stoke Radio, in Bristol, England, before being released into the wild in the form of a podcast.

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