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Posts tagged with 'lusitania'

“Those monstrous funnels coming down on us”

8 May 2017 by Ellie

Portrait of Lusitania survivor Winifred Hull

This photograph of Winifred Hull was taken in Liverpool, just three weeks after the sinking. Courtesy of Geoff Pawling.

Geoff Pawling, who spoke at this year’s Lusitania commemoration, describes a remarkable letter written by his grandmother and the emotional impact on one family of the sinking:

“Our home was haunted by the Lusitania. My grandmother Winifred Hull, travelling alone to visit her parents in Wallasey, was fortunate.  She survived the torpedoing of the great transatlantic liner on 7th May 1915. Yet the terrible scenes she witnessed stayed with her for the rest of her life and cast their shadows over the childhood of her daughter, Ruth. Ruth, in turn, passed on to me and to her other two sons that legacy of memory: another family story, but this one, in its scale and horror, unlike any of the others. Read more…

Osmund Bartle Wordsworth – a survivor of Lusitania

2 May 2017 by Ellie

Osmund Bartle Wordsworth in military uniform

Courtesy of The Warden and Scholars of Winchester College

As we approach the 102nd anniversary of the tragic sinking of RMS Lusitania, guest blogger Lucy London is here to tell us about her research project and how she came across a Lusitania survivor as a result:

“Since 2012 I have been researching the First World War for a series of commemorative exhibitions. I began by researching women poets and discovered quite a few poets with a link to Merseyside, for instance, May Sinclair, very famous on both sides of the Atlantic in the early 20th century, was born in Rock Ferry, Wirral. I then moved on to forgotten male poets and, again, found quite a few with links to Merseyside who were not as famous as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves.

The role of women during the First World War came next; then I added the heading ‘Fascinating Facts’, such as Rin Tin Tin the American film star dog found as a puppy in a bombed out kennels by an American soldier.

During the course of my research to commemorate 1917, I discovered a writer called Osmund Bartle Wordsworth, who was related to the poet William Wordsworth of ‘Daffodils’ fame. I was interested to discover that Merseyside Maritime Museum was looking for further information about Lusitania survivors, and Osmund was one of those.  Read more…

Centenary of the sinking of White Star Line’s Laurentic

25 January 2017 by Ellie

Laurentic at Belfast

MCR/82/167 Copyright unknown, believed to be expired

As we continue to mark the centenary of the First World War, I wanted to highlight a Liverpool ship that was lost on 25 January 1917.

Laurentic (originally named Alberta) was built in Belfast by Harland & Wolff in 1908 for the Dominion Line. During construction, Alberta and her sister ship Albany were purchased by White Star Line and were renamed Laurentic and Megantic.  Laurentic departed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Canada in 1909, and over the next few years carried thousands of passengers across the Atlantic. Read more…

Movember 2016

24 November 2016 by Sarah Starkey

Photograph of crew members of the ship Lusitania

Photograph of crew members of Lusitania, Cunard Line, taken in New York, 1910 (Maritime Archives and Library reference DX/1055).

I almost made it through November this year without mentioning Movember – the month of charity moustache growing. So many men have massive facial hair at the moment that I sometimes wonder who would notice if they grew a moustache.

But the charity’s mission is still an important one, so we are highlighting our gallery of moustache images from the collections of the Maritime Archives and Library on the Merseyside Maritime Museum website.

And then I came across this photograph Read more…

Remembering Britannic – Titanic’s sister ship

21 November 2016 by Ellie

Postcard of HMHS Britannic

DX/2108/4/3

Today marks the centenary of the sinking of White Star Line’s Britannic.

Built at Harland and Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast, she was the third of the Olympic-class passenger liners – sister ship to Olympic and Titanic.

Read more…

Rare photos of Cunard Building on its centenary

1 July 2016 by Sarah

Foundations of Cunard building, dated 28 July 1913. Credit: Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool (Merseyside Maritime Museum)

Foundations of Cunard building, dated 28 July 1913. Credit: Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool (Merseyside Maritime Museum)

On Saturday 2 July 2016, Cunard is celebrating the centenary of its former Liverpool headquarters – the iconic Cunard Building on the city’s world famous waterfront. Did you know that in our Maritime and Archives Library, we have some very rare images of the building under construction 100 years ago? Anne Gleave, Curator of Photographic Collections, Merseyside Maritime Museum tells us more: Read more…

Online collections – Lusitania and Liverpool’s First World War at sea

6 May 2016 by Ellie

Dry-point etching on paper of RMS Lusitania

1987.306 Lusitania in the Mersey, by W L Wyllie

This time last year, RMS Lusitania was a focus of local, national and international attention as we marked 100 years since the sinking of this famous Cunard ship on 7 May 1915. Read more…

Lusitania families reunited

3 May 2016 by Sam

two women

Joyce Percival and Mary Jones at the Lusitania commemoration in 2015

Every year on 7 May Merseyside Maritime Museum marks the anniversary of the tragic loss of the Lusitania with a commemoration and minute’s silence at the quayside, by one of the ship’s propellers which is now part of our collection.

For the centenary of the sinking in 2015 there was also a special service at Liverpool Parish Church Our Lady and St Nicholas. The service included an unexpected twist for Mary Jones, who attended in memory of her great grandfather Michael Cooney, a fireman in the engineering department on board the Lusitania who lost his life in the tragedy, along with his son, also called Michael. Read more…

A wee tale from the ‘poop’ deck

21 July 2015 by Jen

Cropped for blog resized

Box of Bromo toilet paper. Accession number 1986.210.194

Part of my job as an Assistant Curator that I’ve absolutely loved is working in the museum stores with our fantastic collections. Sometimes though, due to the vast size of these collections, we come across some rather unexpected items. Such as toilet paper…

This item dates from the late 19th or early 20th century and was a popular brand in its day. The paper inside the box is in individual sheets, rather than the rolls we’re now familiar with, and its texture is not dissimilar to that of a paperback novel… despite it’s claims to being ‘soft and strong’ I suspect most of us would be reluctant to give it a home in our bathrooms today!

So why does the Maritime Museum have this absorbing item? Had collecting standards gone down the pan? Should we be flushed with embarrassment at this seemingly non-maritime object sneaking into our collections?  Read more…

Lusitania 100 years later: never forget

9 July 2015 by Sam Vaux

Propaganda poster of the Lusitania sinking liner.

Following the war, the Lusitania was used as a propaganda tool. This dramatic image shows the sinking liner, while encouraging Irishmen to join an Irish regiment and ‘avenge the Lusitania’. © Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division/J Kent Layton Collection

This is the tenth and final blog post in a series by J Kent Layton, maritime historian and author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy at Merseyside Maritime Museum:

“The Titanic remains the most famous ocean liner disaster in history. Yet the sinking of the Lusitania is a subject that still fascinates us today. While both she and the Titanic suffered untimely demise, their lives and deaths could hardly have been more dissimilar. Read more…



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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.