A Lusitania Memorial Appeal

For those of us who have not yet sent our money but still want to, can we do so? Can the extra money go toward flowers and other costs for the ceremony that will take place later when the graves are officially purchased and the headstones unveiled?

An original "Lucile" swatch of silk, a large turquoise and gold piece, along with a 1915 autographed portrait of Lady Duff Gordon, did not arrive in Newport in time to be included in the TIS auction but these articles, which will be suitably framed by Shelley Dziedzic, are still available for purchase in aid of the Lusitania Memorial Fund.

Lady Duff Gordon's Titanic experiences are well known but her Lusitania connections are less so. It is my honor to be able to offer (belatedly) these items to benefit a cause of which she would heartily approve.

Please contact Shelley for more information on the items which are being shipped to her presently.

Randy Bryan Bigham
Update on the fundraising: We have raised the amount to purchase the graves of little Frank and Emily. This was something we had not planned to have to buy, but the city of Darlington is adamant. Back in 1917, Mr. Anderson paid all the funeral expenses, but apparently (maybe because he was in Connecticut arranging things), he did not buy the actual gravesites. Including the footing and two names engraved on the stone, we still must raise about 800 dollars. The footing is 175 pounds and the stone is about 500 pounds. The stonemason is on holiday until June 9th but is raring to go. Please think about helping if you have considered it before. Emily's birthday is coming up in July- and it would be wonderful to be able to show Barbara a photograph of the finished stones. Thanks Cliff, for all the phoning and traveling and time spent arranging this. The addresses for America and the UK are right above if you want to send a dollar. Give up a trip to MacDonald's one day and put it in an envelope instead. When I think that somebody came up with 53,000 dollars for a Titanic hatribbon- I just know we can come up with $800 somehow! People are certainly more important than things. Am getting feisty here- Lusy historians everywhere, show me the money! :)

I'm sorry for the delay in sending the Lucile items as promised but I am still eager for them to go toward the fund for the Anderson graves. I am Fed-Exing the package to you on Friday, June 6.

For anyone interested in purchasing the photo of "Lucile," Lady Duff Gordon and the swatch of silk-lame from her London workrooms, which is to be authentically framed by Shelley, please be assured that these are genuine. They were given to me by LDG's great granddaughter Lady Clare Lindsay. The silk is from Bianchini Freres, the Lyons manufacturer of Lucile's textles. It is an off-cut of material that was used to make a dress for Lucile's daughter Esme, Viscountess Tiverton.

The 1915 publicity photograph is an original 8x4 inch sepia print by Arnold Genthe, a leading celebrity photographer of the day. It is set into an oblong, 12x6 inch textured linen card (also original), and bears the stamped signature "Lady Duff Gordon" at lower right. The photo is a three quarter-length, standing pose of Lucile wearing a dark evening dress, a long pearl necklace and a sheer headscarf. It has not been published (to my knowledge) since 1916 and, although negatives exist for other pictures from this Genthe photo session, there is no extant negative for this particular pose, which is a very striking one.

At long last an update on this worthy project begun two years ago. After much red tape and fund raising, the memorial stone to Barbara's dear mother and baby brother is in place in Darlington. Heartfelt thanks to all who sent money, donations for the auctions, support and encouragement both in the U.K. and America. We received donations both big and humble from school children, Titanic societies and admirers of Barbara McDermott everywhere. This upcoming week, flowers will be placed for the first time at a memorial stone to these tragic victims of the Lusitania story, from Barbara and her family, by Cliff Barry, whose tireless efforts in procuring permission and cooperation in Darlington have brought this project at last to fruition. Barbara, who has had a difficult year following a fall and two eye surgeries, is so happy, as is her family about this permanent tribute to their lost family so far way. Barbara remains cheerful and positive in spirit, and an inspiration to all who meet her. Photos will be posted soon of the finished memorial, with my gratitude for all those at ET and elsewhere who paused in their busy lives to remember this wonderful lady with generosity and good wishes.
Thanks for the update, Shelley. Cliff Barry has indeed done an incredible job and his devotion to Barbara is to be commended. I look forward to hearing more about the memorial and to seeing the pictures. Thanks to everyone who contributed. I hope Barbara is feeling better now and that she knows she is loved by many people.
Sorry for the delay in posting a picture of the memorial stone, here it finally is, on a recent visit to see Barbara and her family at the begining of October this year Shelley, Mike Findlay and myself gave Barbara and her family the news of the appeal success and the photo's, the family also now own the rights to the grave in Darlington, as shelley has said previously, a big thank you to everyone who contributed and made this projecy such a success

[This and subsequent posts have been edited/deleted as the images failed to upload - Paul Rogers]
hope this works

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Yes, it looks like you’ve finally got it, Cliff! In the meantime, here’s a larger version of the photo you sent me. Sorry I didn’t check my email in time to help earlier. My congratulations to you, Shelley, Mike and others who have worked so hard to help Barbara. I’m sure she and her family are very pleased. The grave stone is beautiful! Great work Cliff!

Grave 1
thanks for reposting Randy, i was worried it wouldny come out

You’re welcome, Cliff.

You know, after the initial excitement over the project succeeding, I’m feeling a little sad now about the poor mother and baby who’ve slept unremembered for so long. This was really a great thing that was done. I hope everybody will take a moment and pay their respects to Emily and little Frank.

Although Purser Wiliam Harkness,has been covered in another thread, i dont think it has been posted as to what happened to Barbara's saviour, born on 18th June 1885 Harkness spent 34 years at sea and travelled over 2,000,000 miles during that time, In early 1938 he retired from the Cunard Line due to ill health and unfortunately passed away 13th July 1938 from a weakness of the heart, he was buried in the Liverpool/Birkenhead area, it is such a shame that Barbara never had the opportunity to meet him