Lusitania remembered in Cobh

At about 2 pm on Friday May 7th 1915, the Cunard Ocean liner, RMS Lusitania, was torpedoed by a German U-Boat as she approached Cork Harbour on a voyage from New York to Liverpool. She sank in just 18 minutes off the Old Head of Kinsale, with the loss of 1,198 lives. 764 people were saved and many of these were landed at Cobh, together with many of the dead. 289 bodies were recovered, 189 of whom rest in the graveyard just outside the town.

Part of the impressive monument on Cobh

The monument is also dedicated to those who assisted the survivors and buried the dead.

In the nearby President John F Kennedy Memorial Park is this wall of tiles in memory of survivors and victims who came ashore on that fateful day.

Tiles in memory of the people who landed in Cobh.

At the Old Church Cemetery, are the mass graves – one containing 23 bodies, one holds 52 bodies and the third has 69 bodies. Clear perspex panels are placed on each of the three sites, erected on the centenary of the sinking.

Canadian flags at one of the mass graves.

And some of the 20 individual graves

The Pity of War.


Filed under Ireland

11 responses to “Lusitania remembered in Cobh

  1. It’s a beautiful, evocative churchyard isn’t it? I love the way the older part of the cemetery has been (or was, when I was last there) minimally managed to encourage nature. I must confess I didn’t know about the Memorial Park though.

  2. I don’t think I have ever been to a cemetery where there were mass graves. It must be very moving to think of all those being buried together like that. May we never forget.

    • We have a number of them in Ireland as we have mass graves for famine victims of the 1800s. One in Skibereen Co Cork reputedly has in excess of 10,000 people in it. They are sobering places for sure.

  3. Pingback: Lusitania remembered in Cobh | homethoughtsfromabroad626

  4. Until I read this post I hadn’t realized how close the Lusitania was to land when it was sunk.

    • About 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale. It was rumoured that there were munitions aboard this passenger ship and witnesses reported a second explosion after the initial torpedo which seems to reinforce the rumour. Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Congratulations! Your blog has been included in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
    Thank you, Chris

    Wonderful memorials…and a great tribute.

  6. I visited Cobh and thought it was absolutely charming. So much history there, too!

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