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Lusitania Memorial Service

Posted on Tuesday 7th May 2013
Lusitania liverpool large

Lusitania Landing at Liverpool, 1907 © National Museums Liverpool

Merseyside Maritime Museum Tuesday 7 May

A service marking the 98th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania will take place alongside the ship’s salvaged propeller on Tuesday 7 May 2013.

The luxury liner was torpedoed by a German submarine with the loss of 1,201 lives in one of the most horrific incidents at sea during the First World War.

Each May Merseyside Maritime Museum holds a commemoration of the disaster. It will take place on the dockside between Merseyside Maritime Museum and Museum of Liverpool. A wreath will be laid to remember those men, women and children who perished.

Latest research by curators indicates that as many as 600 people aboard Lusitania had connections with Liverpool, Wirral and the wider region.

Public and media are invited to attend the event on Tuesday 7 May which starts at 1.30pm. Press contact on the day: Dickie Felton 07706 166 787.

With the centenary of the sinking two years away curators are also carrying out new research into Lusitania. They have launched a fresh appeal for Merseyside people to come forward with information about her Liverpool connections.

Merseyside Maritime Museum will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking in 2015. People with information or links to this famous ship should email:

Lusitania@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk|

Ian Murphy, Deputy Head, Merseyside Maritime Museum, said: “Lusitania was Liverpool’s most famous ship. Her sinking sent shock waves around the globe and influenced America’s entry to the war. 

“So many Liverpool families remain touched by this sinking even though it was 98-years-ago. As we approach the 100th anniversary we’d really like to hear the stories of Liverpool families involved.”

It was a calm sunny day on 7 May 1915 when the 31,550-ton liner was torpedoed off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, and sunk in just 18 minutes.

Germany claimed Lusitania was a valid target as it had issued a warning that all Allied shipping would be legitimate targets. The action by U-20 submarine sparked revulsion, particularly in Liverpool and New York, where Lusitania had been a regular visitor.

The commemoration on 7 May (which usually lasts around 20 minutes) will include a welcome by Ian Murphy, Deputy Director of Merseyside Maritime Museum, and the Act of Remembrance led by The Rector of Liverpool, The Revd Steven Brookes.

Mr Murphy added:  “We feel it’s important to remember those who died that day which included 94 children.  Merseyside Maritime Museum started this annual commemoration some years ago and everyone is welcome to attend.

“It is particularly poignant to hold the service alongside the propeller which is one of the most iconic objects in our collections.”

The Lusitania disaster is featured prominently in Merseyside Maritime Museum. Among the many Lusitania items are a cork and canvas lifebuoy, deck chair, cushion from the First Class music room and a model of the liner made by a former crew member.

There are souvenirs, letters and personal belongings including a stunning gold pocket watch belonging to Captain William Turner who miraculously survived the sinking.

More details on Merseyside Maritime Museum’s Lusitania collection at:

http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/lusitania|

About National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic.

We attract more than three million visitors every year. Our venues are the International Slavery Museum, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum,  Museum of Liverpool, Sudley House, UK Border Agency National Museum, Walker Art Gallery and World Museum.    

Merseyside Maritime Museum is situated at the Albert Dock. It is England’s second most visited museum outside of London. It contains a variety of objects associated with the social and commercial history of the port of Liverpool. Highlights include ship models, maritime paintings, colourful posters from the golden age of liners and even some full sized vessels. There is also the major current exhibition Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story. This tells the story of Liverpool's links to the ill-fated liner.

Public and media are invited to attend the event on Tuesday 7 May which starts at 1.30pm. Press contact on the day: Dickie