Wilton Library will welcome Joseph Williams, author of "Sunken Gold: A Story of World War I, Espionage and the Greatest Treasure Salvage in History" on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. A Q&A and book signing will follow the free and open to the public talk. Registration is highly recommended. Booka will be available for purchase courtesy of New Canaan's Elm Street Books. To register online, please click here.
On January 25, 1917, the HMS Laurentic struck German mines off the coast of Ireland and sank. Its shipment was critical: Britain at that time was facing escalated submarine warfare, which had been sinking millions of tons of cargo and threatening the country with starvation. The Laurentic was carrying 44 tons of gold bullion to the still-neutral United States via Canada in order to finance the war effort for Britain and its allies. The salvage mission was confidential, since the British government dared not alert the Germans to the presence of the sunken treasure.
Lieutenant Commander Guybon C. C. Damant was the most qualified officer to head the mission. His deed became one of the most notable exploits in the annals of undersea diving and naval operations, and the Laurentic became a model for later salvages. More than an incredible story about undersea diving adventure, "The Sunken Gold" is a story of human persistence, bravery, and patriotism.
Joseph A. Williams is a librarian, archivist, and historian holding master's degrees in History and Library and Information Science from Queens College. He worked for several years at the State University of New York Maritime College's Stephen B. Luce Library which specializes in nautical research. Currently, he is the Deputy Director of the Greenwich Library. Joseph has published in the fields of maritime history and librarianship including articles in scholarly journals, popular sea history magazines, trade publications, and chapters in anthologies.
Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton, Conn. For more information, visit wiltonlibrary.org.