Lusitania Memorials


John Clifford

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Great pictures, Jason.
The pictures bring back wonderful memories of trips to Cobh & Kinsale.

For the victims of the Lusitania, and those they left behind: their stories need to be remembered, and their memories retained; my prayers for all of them, that such an tragedy will never be forgotten.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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If there's one person on earth who does not need tips on Irish newspaper contacts and archival research, it's Senan Molony (he is, after all, a senior correspondent for the largest newspaper in Ireland, as well as the one man who has done perhaps more work than any other in Irish newspaper archives).
I'll not trouble myself to deconstruct your latest partisan perorations...
And there speaks the pot, having a word to the kettle.
Your photos are great as well! It says a lot about the townspeople when they did something, as kind as that. I'm sure your father appreciated it.
He did
happy.gif
Like just about everyone else who has spent time in Cobh, he thought the people there were wonderful, their hospitality unmatched. Even later that night in the Mauretania pub, when Oz beat Ireland in the RU World Cup we were all watching on TV, the genuine warmth and cameraderie were unabated.

I need to find the rest of my Cobh/Old Head photos.
I can't imagine how other people find it dull!
Welllllll...to be fair...I can understand why others don't all share my enthusiasm for building biceps by hauling out GRO index volumes, covering decades at a time. Or willingly submit themselves to the blinding headache that arises from an afternoon with the microfiche. But then, they'll never know that very particular thrill arising from finding a missing piece of the puzzle.
 

Senan Molony

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Jan 30, 2004
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Hi Ing, and God save all others here,

I am glad, Ing, that you tramped through the long grass. The Old Church has plenty more to offer.

It also includes the graves of Napoleon’s physician at St Helena (maybe the wallpaper did for him too), that of Jack Doyle, the “Gorgeous Gael” boxer who had a colourful life to say the least, and Charles Moore, who wrote that splendidly martial poem, The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna:

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note
As his corpse to the ramparts we hurried
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O’er the grave where our Hero we buried


You may have passed the impressive edifice to Admiral Sit Robert Stokes, who died of pneumonia within a few days of his arrival in Queenstown. That necessitated the recall of the superannuated Vice Admiral Coke, who was thus in charge at the time of the Lusitania emergency. Stokes might have made a better fist of it.

There are some powerful maritime connections, besides the Lusy. Just in front of Mass Grave A, row 22, is the memorial to those lost on the Mars.

96173.jpg


You can see the stone has survived very well its 100-odd years here. There is a bouquet of poppies from the Royal British Legion (Republic of Ireland branch).

The Mars tragedy occurred exactly ten years before the Titanic hit her iceberg. On April 14, 1902, a 12-in round jammed in the breech of the port gun of the Battleship’s foreturret.

96174.jpg


When the order was given to open the breech, air rushed in, re-ignited the smouldering charge, and blew the whole turret off, taking the lives of two lieutenants and six men.

The memorial was paid for by sailors of the Mars and the Jupiter.

Also right alongside here are the remains recovered from the British submarine A-1. The A-1 was the first British submarine ever to enter service (leaving aside prototypes).

She was on an exercise here on March 18, 1902, when she submerged to practise an attack on the Juno, of Lusitania fame. She never resurfaced.

The passenger Berwick Castle heard some clunking under her keel, and it is supposed she ran over the unfortunate A-1, the first in a very long list of British submarine casualties.

Among the Lusitania private graves, at row 16, close to the perimeter path, is a rank of stones erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to commemorate the Captain and several crew of the freighter Anglo-Californian.

96175.jpg


This is one of my favourite stories. The Anglo-Californian, like the Lusitania, was attacked by a German submarine in 1915. Her Captain, Frederick Archibald Palstrow, won a posthumous Victoria Cross for gallantry, and lies here.

From my copy of the Illustrated London News, from which I also obtained the pictures:

“One of the bravest deeds in the annals of the British merchant service was told when the London steamer Anglo-Californian, reached Queenstown on July 5, [1915] with Captain Archibald Parslow and eight men dead, and eight others wounded, after an encounter with a German submarine off the Irish coast.
The Anglo-Californian, which belongs to the Nitrate Producers Steamship Company, was homeward bound from Quebec when the submarine overtook her, and began firing at her wireless apparatus. ‘Our Captain,’ said a survivor, ‘was a brave man, and kept on the bridge smiling at the enemy as shot and shell were discharged at his vessel.’

96176.jpg


Eventually the gallant Captain was killed. His son, the Second Mate, who was by his side, was knocked down, but bravely took the wheel and steered the ship, lying on the bridge, with shells bursting around him, ‘until assistance arrived’ and the submarine disappeared.
Our correspondent states that over thirty horses on board were killed. The submarine, he adds, fired mainly at the bridge and at the boats being lowered. The ship was hit about twenty times.”

We honour all these British dead. We honour their noble foes of the Deutsches Kiegsmarine. And we salute all men who do their duty.
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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"If there's one person on earth who does not need tips on Irish newspaper contacts and archival research, it's Senan Molony (he is, after all, a senior correspondent for the largest newspaper in Ireland, as well as the one man who has done perhaps more work than any other in Irish newspaper archives)."

So what the hell's he doing questioning my veracity when he presumably has the requisite provenance at his fingertips?

"And there speaks the pot, having a word to the kettle."

In my reluctance to deconstruct the aforesaid partisan perorations, my intention was merely to spare the rest of you the tedium of reiterative prolixity. Your dutiful impartiality is appreciated.

And Senan,

Should you encounter the Great Historical Airbrush at the Examiner you could of course consult the contemporaneous proceedings of the local town council. I doubt anyone's got round to 'redacting' them.

And if that fails, give Bill Howie a call at Rushbrooke just up the road from Cobh itself. Just mention my name and the m.v.Accra. He was resident at the material time. Furthermore he's a Scotsman and therefore immune to the political amnesia that you give me to believe proliferates thereabouts.

Noel
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Thanks John. Yes, it sure does bring back wonderful memorials of the trip.

"Even later that night in the Mauretania pub, when Oz beat Ireland in the RU World Cup we were all watching on TV, the genuine warmth and cameraderie were unabated."

That's of the great things about them. They are so genuine and warm.

Very interesting stories and photos, Senan. Thank you for sharing them. The memorial to the Mars is quite impressive. I would imagine it stands well against the rest, in that area.
 

Inger Sheil

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So what the hell's he doing questioning my veracity when he presumably has the requisite provenance at his fingertips?
Senan at no point has questioned whether placards were placed around the Lusitania memorial. The issues you differ on are whether these constitute a 'desecration', and whether these were targeted specifically at the Lusitania because of a perceived Englishness.

You have indicated that you are operating from a memory of something you read 24 years ago. Can you tell me exactly what those placards said? Verbatim? You are the one making the allegations - the onus of proof is upon you, however high-handedly you demand that Senan research your remembered observations.

Senan has already pointed out the very apt analogy of the Nelson memorial and its role in a range of protests, and I would further extend the analogy to include D.C. memorials in America. The memorial/monument distinction is completely specious - these structures are both memorials and monuments. If you had been to Cobh - and I assume you have - you would be aware that the Lusitania memorial occupies a central place in a square off the high street. It is the most prominent local site suited for a protest or demonstration, including the civil rights demonstrations of 20 odd years ago. It is a natural focal point for protests.

Have you been to Cobh and asked local people what their memory of placards that went up 25 years ago is? If not, why do you presume to anticipate their reaction?
In my reluctance to deconstruct the aforesaid partisan perorations, my intention was merely to spare the rest of you the tedium of reiterative prolixity
'Reiterative prolixity' - exceedingly tedious at that - pretty much sums up what your repetitious posting on this subject has become.

Everyone else who has participated in this thread - Senan Molony included - has being trying to discuss the Lusitania commemorative ceremonies. You have shown no interest in doing so. You, instead, focus on your own disputed interpretation of a past incident, basing your posts on something you remember reading about decades ago.

If anyone here is dishonouring the memory of the Lusitania, it's not the civil rights demonstrators of the early eighties. It's you, Noel, by your insistant harping on this issue.

Get over it and move on. As matters stand, you are dishonouring both the dead and the living.
 

Inger Sheil

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Cheers for posting that image of the Mars, Senan. It is remarkable that the stone has survived in that condition - has there been any restorative work done on it, do you know? Anchor and chains are a popular graveyard theme, but this was a particularly fine and detailed example of the type. It caught my attention as well when I visited, and I think I have some photographs of it among my misplaced images.

The saga of the Anglo-Californian reminds me somewhat of the fate of the Addah, one of the Elder Dempster vessels Harold Lowe had served aboard in earlier years. The captain had ordered his crew to abandon ship, but then had his gunner open fire with the stern gun. She hit the U-boat but failed to inflict serious damage. When the captain and gunner jumped overboard and made it to a liveboat, the U-boat commander rammed and sank it.

I remember seeing the CWGC stones in Cobh - like so many of them in military and civilian battlefields around the world, they are deeply moving.

Apparently the HMS/M A1 is still in remarkably good condition.

http://www.submarineheritage.com/gallery_a1.htm
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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"Senan at no point has questioned whether placards were placed around the Lusitania memorial."

Well that's news to me Inger. Get this:

"I'm sorry, but this is a wild, nonsensical and
untrue claim."


And:

"It is absurd. It is preposterous. It is untrue."

When I am assailed in such manner what to you expect me to do? Capitulate? Sorry Inger, I'm not of that kidney.

"The issues you differ on are whether these constitute a 'desecration', and whether these were targeted specifically at the Lusitania because of a perceived Englishness."

I couldn't disagree more. Mr Moloney was clearly seeking to deny that the primary desecration, (the hedging about of the memorial with substantial IRA propaganda placards over a period of time) ever took place, never that the rationale you now put forward obtained. Go back and read the posts.

And if you want deconstruction and prolixity, Mr Moloney put to me the following:

"........Your contention is that the Cob Town Council and the townspeople of Cobh engaged in prolonged xenophobia.

The council were either pusillanimous or tacitly supported the hijacking over "months and years" of their central monument. That charge is bad enough.

The police, of course, stood idly for the same period by during this strange vigil by malcontents."


Exactly. Those were PRECISELY the consequent allegations made in the British press at the time. As to whether the inaction of the municipality and/or the police stemmed from "xenophobia" or intimidation, you must enquire locally. The consensus favoured the latter.

On a detail: the plinth of Nelson's column has provided a convenient podium for issues contentious and otherwise ever since it was built. That does not categorise as a desecration (the structure is rather large for that in any case!).

As the record will show (if anyone should care to go back and actually read it), all I originally did was provide some contextual countervailing information without any political 'side' to it. This being Ireland, I knew there was a risk that some would rise, as to a bait, and seek to politicise it but I did not expect to encounter such irrational vehemence. Or indeed – and regrettably – from a quarter that I hitherto regarded as accruing some gravitas.

All-in-all I consider I have shown commendable restraint in responding to an unprovoked attack upon my veracity and integrity. As the matter clearly remains unresolved I'm minded to spend the money (you'll have to go back and look that one up an'all).

For the time being I look forward to receiving Mr Moloney's meet apology in due course.

Noel
 

Inger Sheil

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I couldn't disagree more. Mr Moloney was clearly seeking to deny that the primary desecration, (the hedging about of the memorial with substantial IRA propaganda placards over a period of time) ever took place, never that the rationale you now put forward obtained. Go back and read the posts.
I have read the posts - again - from begining to end. Doing so makes it quite clear to me that you do not understand the point Senan is disputing(and, incidently, why others are so resoundingly of the opinion expressed here publicly and privately that enough of your axe grinding is quite enough). As your own cites make clear, Senan made no claim that placards were never erected in, on or near the vicinity of the memorial. What he did dispute is the view put forward by you that this consituted a prolonged 'desecration' of the memorial, and the implications of xenophobia on the part of the local population, continuing to this day.

Again - you are operating from something you remember reading about decades ago, regarding a highly contentious political point that polarised public opinion not just in Ireland or England, but around the world. While you desire to present yourself as having no 'political side' to your posts, a side is most certainly discerned by many who have read this thread. The very characterisation of the placards as a 'desecration' rather than as 'a protest', and your interpretation of their placement indicate that there is most certainly a 'side' to your comments. You compound this by your theorising on the present-day reactions of Cobh residents to questioning on the matter of the placards might be, without proferring any evidence as to this being the case (but then, of course, coming from 'the mainland' and 'this being Ireland' your own entrenched biases are such that I wonder if you're even cognisant of the calumny that is so clearly evident to others).

The analogy of Nelson's column (as with other memorials, such as those located in DC) is an excellent and apt one. All of these, because of their location, have been convenient focal points for demonstrations. There were demonstrations all over the world over the events that took place in 1981. You compound this by your theorising on the present-day reactions of Cobh residents to questioning on the matter of the placards might be, without proferring any evidence as to this being the case (but then, of course, coming from 'the mainland' and 'this being Ireland' your own entrenched biases are such that I wonder if you're even cognisant of the calumny that is so clearly evident to others).
All-in-all I consider I have shown commendable restraint in responding to an unprovoked attack upon my veracity and integrity.
You're a one-man band in that regard - I don't think you have shown any restraint at all, but rather considerable self-indulgence and not a little self-congratulation in your posts. As responses in this thread indicate, people want to talk about the Lusitania - and that is difficult to do with your resounding and deafening axe-grinding. Your contribution to this thread has been neither constructive or instructive.
For the time being I look forward to receiving Mr Moloney's meet apology in due course.
If anyone has shown admirable, commendable and, indeed, quite noble restraint in this thread, it is Senan Molony - whose name you apparently can't even spell correctly. If an apology is owed by anyone, it is your own to the people who have tried to participate in this thread, only to have the discussion derailed by your decision to introduce a highly contentious political issue and to continue pushing it, ignoring all efforts to turn the flow of discussion back to the anniversary commemorations.

It is clear that your view is so narrow and so blinkered you have no idea why members of this board have made their views that 'enough is enough' known. Rather than continuing your personal vendetta on this issue, igniting further bitter political controversy, I suggest you contribute something constructive to the discussion about the Lusitania.
 

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