Thursday, 7 May 2015

100 years since the sinking of RMS Lusitania

Today is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Lusitania off the coast of Ireland.  There are several commemoration events taking place including those at Cobh, Ireland where many victims were buried, and Liverpool, the home port of the ship. 

Lusitania Memorial, Cobh, Ireland.  Taken by Jim Collins for, used under the Creative Commons share alike license
Lusitania Memorial, Cobh, Ireland.  Taken by Jim Collins for, used under the Creative Commons share alike license
Last year, Jo wrote two blog posts about the impact of this event in County Durham, these can be read here:

Since then she has found the following newspaper report of the burial of an engineer on the Lusitania who was originally from the Sedgefield area.

"Auckland and County Chronicle
20 May 1915
Interment of a Lusitania Victim

The interment took place on Saturday at Kirkdale Cemetery, Aintree, of Engineer W. A. Anderson [William Affleck Anderson], second son of Mr W Anderson, of Winterton, Ferryhill, and clerk of the works at Sedgefield Asylum, who was drowned with the RMS Lusitania, which was torpedoed by a German submarine off the Irish Coast. Deceased was a very popular personage in the Sedgefield district, and the tragic circumstances of his death provoked the deepest sympathy amongst all his friends. He had been engaged with the Cunard Company for over eight years, a greater part of which was spent on the mammoth liners Lusitania and Mauretania. He was held in highest esteem by the officers of both liners.

The body of the deceased was recovered at Queenstown and conveyed to Liverpool for interment, the officiating clergy being Rev McMusky. The service was deeply impressive and many were moved to tears as the remains of so gallant a life – hurled to such an untimely end as the result of a deed which has set all Europe on fire with indignation – were laid to their last resting place.

The under-bearers were Lieut Engineer C Rennie, Lieut Engineer F M Curror, Engineer H McFarlane, Engineer A Hedderly, Engineer H W Botting and Engineer J Morrison, late colleagues of the deceased connected with the Cunard Company.
The chief mourners were Mrs Anderson (widow), Mr Jack Anderson and Mr Ernie Anderson (brothers), Miss J Telford and Mrs J Telford (sisters-in-law), Trooper Telford, N H Y.

Also present were Mr A L Booth, Mr Paton, Mr Harris of the Cunard Co (Liverpool), Mr J C Oliver (Durham), Mr C Cuthbert (Liverpool), Mr and Mrs Popplewell (Monkseaton), Mr Button (Liverpool) etc."

There is further information about William Anderson in the People’s Stories section of the Merseyside Maritime Museum’s website:

Information about commemoration events can be found here:

Composer Frank Bridge wrote a piece of music prompted by the disaster - Lament (for Catherine, aged 9 "Lusitania" 1915):

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