The commemoration of the 107th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania will take place in Cobh on Sunday 8th May 2022. Organised by Cobh Tourism, the ceremonies are fitting memorials to all those who lost their lives on that fateful wartime voyage. Cobh has an enduring connection to the Lusitania and its tragic story because it is where survivors were brought and many of the dead were buried.
The memorial ceremony commences at the Lusitania graves in the Old Church Cemetery at 2.30 pm. Following prayers, musical honours by the Commodore Male Voice Choir and the laying of wreaths, the proceedings move to Cobh Town Centre. A Colour Party from the O.N.E. and representatives of the Royal Naval Association and other maritime and historical groups will assemble at approximately 3.15 pm at the Lusitania Peace Memorial in Casement Square.
Further ceremonies will take place here including a wreath-laying ceremony. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.
The Lusitania Tragedy
On May 7th, 1915 Cunard Ocean liner ‘Lusitania’ was sunk by a German torpedo 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale. The ship had been en route from New York to Liverpool with 1,962 people on board. This tragic maritime event is particularly etched in minds of people locally because of both the scale of the tragedy and the valiant nature of the rescue attempt. Once damaged, the Lusitania quickly listed to one side, making it difficult to launch lifeboats. A flotilla of rescue boats was launched from the nearby Cork coast and while 761 people were saved, 1201 passengers sadly lost their lives, the majority of these bodies were never recovered.
Survivors were ferried to Queenstown, as Cobh was then known and were accommodated in local hospitals, lodging houses and private homes. Nearly three days after the sinking of the Lusitania over 145 of her victims were buried in three mass graves and some smaller plots in the Old Church Cemetery, 1 mile north of Cobh town, 80 of whom were never identified.
Visitors to Cobh on the anniversary weekend and the coming weeks will therefore find it particularly poignant to follow the Lusitania Trail which includes: The Lusitania Peace Memorial in Casement Square, Lusitania A Day in May Exhibit in Cobh Museum www.cobhmuseum.com/Exhibitions/Lusitania and the Lusitania Exhibition at Cobh Heritage Centre. This extensive exhibition includes images from the Poole Collection of glass plate photographs taken by A.H Poole in the days following the sinking www.cobhheritage.com/lusitania/
In addition, the Cruise Ship ‘Ambassador Ambience’ will arrive mid-morning on Sunday 8th May and is scheduled to sail at 7 pm. Ambassador is a new UK-based Cruise Line the first new British cruise line to be launched since 2010.
Musical performances take place every Sunday from now until September on the Victorian Bandstand in Cobh’s Promenade. This Sunday the Cork Light Orchestra will perform from 2.30 pm until 4.30 pm. The summer series of recitals on the 49 bell Carillon of St Colman’s Cathedral has also commenced. Recitals are from 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm on most Sundays from May to September.
For more information on Lusitania Commemorations, Cruise Liner Visits, and visitor attractions in Cobh visit www.visitcobh.com