SPECIAL REPORT: The sinking of RMS Lusitania

To mark the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the RMS Lusitania the Irish Examiner and the History Department of UCC have joined forces to collate a wealth of visual and written information relating to all aspects of the ship’s operation, its sinking and its legacy 100 years on.

Lusitania

Lusitania Centenary: Linking poignant moments one hundred years apart

There were many poignant moments on a day of the Lusitania commemoration, but two audibly struck a chord with the thousands who attended it.

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Lusitania Centenary: Emotional ceremony at offshore wreck site

The most unique connection between the modern ships of the Cunard line’s history and the ill-fated Lusitania is Queen Victoria’s second engineer, George Harrison.

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Lusitania Centenary: Rescuers ignored submarine risks

It is difficult to imagine one moment watching the elegance and beauty of a transatlantic liner passing you and the next to see explosions and, 20 minutes, later to see the vessel swallowed by the sea.

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President Michael D Higgins inspects the guard of honour at the Lusitania centenary commemoration in Cobh, Co Cork. 	Pictures throughout article: Dan Linehan

VIDEO: Lusitania Centenary - ‘Tragic deaths should be honoured and remembered with due respect’

The sinking of the Lusitania is a story that has gripped the imagination of the world over the intervening decades and filled the pages of many books and articles, President Michael D Higgins said in his speech marking the centenary commemorations.

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Lusitania: A voyage of the damned

One hundred years ago, the RMS Lusitania sank in less than 18 minutes off the coast of Cork. Richard Fitzpatrick delves into two new books which examine the actions that led to the unnecessary death of 1,198 men, women and children.

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A wreath is laid by members of the RNLI on the site of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. Pictures: Niall O'Sullivan

VIDEO: Courtmacsherry remembers Lusitania victims with touching tribute at sea

One West Cork community marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania with a poignant commemoration at the site of the wreckage.

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VIDEO: Queen Victoria cruise liner arrives in Cork for Lusitania commemorations

The Queen Victoria Cruise liner arrived in Cork today ahead of the 100 year commemorations of the sinking of the Lusitania ship. This story is enriched with multi-media content

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Scissors sold for €7,000

A pair of 18 carat gold-handled, stainless steel-blade scissors used in the Lusitania launch ceremony on the River Clyde in 1906 fetched £5,000 (€7,000) at a sale of liner memorabilia held by Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire, England, on April 18 — double their estimate.

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Model ship fetches a small fortune

A 37.5-inch replica of the ill-fated Lusitania, the star lot in an auction of antique toys collected by the late Malcolm Forbes and his sons, sold for $194,500 (€180,000) at Sotheby’s in New York in 2010, a record for a toy boat sold at auction.

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VIDEO: School friends share family links with ill-fated Lusitania

Two best friends who share a unique connection to two survivors of the Lusitania disaster are set to play a key role in the centenary commemorations.

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The RMS Lusitania on one of its earlier visits to Cork Harbour, taken from the Irish Examiner's photo archive. Ref. 44

Torpedo attack rocked Ireland and the world

When the Lusitania first went into service in September 1907 it was the biggest ocean liner ever built. It sailed from Liverpool to New York and back with a stop at Queenstown (now Cobh) on each voyage.

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One the three stained-glass windows created as a reminder of the Lusitania's sinking. They can be viewed at St Cyriac's, in Swaffham Prior, England.

The British and the legacy of unrestricted submarine warfare

The A14 and A11 are dual carriageways now, designed to speed motorists across the Cambridgeshire fens.

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A gathering of a small number of the total 764 people who survived the sinking of the Lusitania;  Picture: Irish Examiner Archives, Ref. 44

Emotional journey from horror to heroism

All the horror, heroism and heartbreak of the Lusitania’s sinking started to unfold on the dreary quays of Queenstown some six hours after the liner was torpedoed, writes Ray Ryan

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Occupied France offers literary response

UCC French lecturer Prof Grace Neville recounts how the sinking of the Lusitania shocked France

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US President Woodrow Wilson, who resisted entry to the First World War for two years after the sinking of the Lusitania, citing the casualties the war would cause to American citizens.

US holds fire as the war twists and turns

UCC historian Dr John Borgonovo recalls the response to the sinking of the Lusitania in his native US, which took another two years to enter the Great War

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Some of the survivors from the Lusitania are pictured at Cobh (Queenstown) shortly after the sinking. Picture: Examiner Archives, Ref. 44

Heroic relief efforts against backdrop of threat of further attacks

In the years that it took to develop the submarine as a weapon of war, many military strategists thought the idea fanciful.

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Lusitania docked in Liverpool, its final port before the torpedo struck at the outset of its intended passage to New York.

Emigrant communities, moral economy and Liverpool’s anti-German protest riots

In May, 1915, the sinking of the Lusitania, the Cunard Line British passenger ocean liner, provoked riots across Britain.

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Walther Schweiger, commander of the German U-20 submarine,who ordered the torpedo to be fired at the Lusitania.

U-boat captain’s role in the 1916 rising

The commander of the German U-20 submarine who ordered the devastating torpedo to be fired at the Lusitania and the officer who launched the strike have sidebar links to another dramatic event in Irish history — the 1916 Rising.

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Propaganda rages on in world at war

UCC art historian Ann Murray looks at how authorities came to give more thought to managing public opinion

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Passengers being served on deck, in a Cunard publicity photo that shows the luxury on offer to passengers.

Cunard caught in crossfire of WWI

In 1914, Cunard was unusual in having two large steamers constructed with a loan from the British taxpayer, and in being paid an annual subsidy, against their potential use as auxiliary cruisers, writes Dr Steve Cobb

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UCC conference puts spotlight on Lusitania

Historian Gabriel Doherty outlines impacts of the Lusitania sinking, due to be analysed at a seminar in UCC; the following pages feature articles by other conference speakers

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An image on exhibition at Cobh Credit Union Lusitania Centenary Photographic Collection in Cobh. For more see www.visitcorkcounty.com/Lusitania100Cork. Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Museum tells ship’s tale in numbers

An exhibition which opened a month ago at Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool reveals that there were more passengers on board the Lusitania when it was sunk than official figures show.

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Some of the Lusitania survivors at Queenstown railway station shortly after the attack. Ref. 44

Coastal communities rally to support victims of horrific attack

The horror that unfolded off the Old Head of Kinsale as the Lusitania began to sink after being crippled by a German torpedo can only be compared in the history of this century with what happened in New York on 9/11 when two passenger jets were flown into the Twin Towers in a terorist attack that shocked the world, writes Ray Ryan.

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An American victim of the Lusitania, shrouded in the Stars and Stripes, is carried to a temporary morgue in Queenstown. Photo: Examiner Archives, Ref.44

Turner seals verdict of wilful murder

THE last Master of the Lusitania was known to his friends as “Bowler Bill” because of the hats he wore when off duty, writes Ray Ryan

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King Street, now MacCurtain Street, Cork, photographed in the 1920s. The Coliseum (left foreground)screened footage of a mass burial in the aftermath of the Lusitania disaster just days after the event. The Irish Examiner Archive

Moving images of events that shook society to core

We’ve never been closer to the past. The continuing proliferation of online searchable material is making available to us all an ocean of information and artefacts from our past. 

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Crowds watch the Lusitania leaving New York on its fatal last voyage, in which nearly 1,200 people died. Picture: Corbis

Calm before storm of ship’s final voyage

It was wet and damp as crowds gathered at Pier 54 in the heart of New York City on May Day in 1915.

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Open letter to Irish society from the owner of Lusitania wreckage

Any ship wreck that results in the mindless slaughter of 1,198 innocent citizens would seem to cry out for a thorough investigation.

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Mary Josephine 'May' Barrett, a passenger on the Lusitania with a remarkable story of survival.

Remarkable life journey of Cork's May Barrett

Declan Keegan recalls the tale of his grandmother, May Barrett, and her pal Kitty O’Donnell, who survived the sinking of Lusitania

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Some of the survivors are pictured at Cobh railway station shortly after the sinking. Ref 44

Mayhem awaits fireman emerging from belly of ship

A fireman from Robert’s Cove in Co Cork had finished a four-hour shift in the coal bunkers deep in the Lusitania as she travelled along the calm sea that May morning, writes Ray Ryan

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Large crowds gather for the funeral cortege of Lusitania victims inQueenstown (Cobh), Co Cork. Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Flor and Julia’s happy reunion following 18 hours unsure of each other’s fate

A young husband and wife held hands and jumped together for their lives from the deck of the sinking Lusitana, writes Ray Ryan

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