Traces of the past in Cobh, Co. Cork

Traces of the Past in Cobh, Co. Cork

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I happened to be in Cork over the May bank holiday weekend. The whole town was in commemoration mode as the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania approached. On a stroll from where we parked, up to the town, I noticed a few old stone-carved signs and one ornate sign for “The Cunard Steamship Company Limited”. Inside this building, the Cunard Line Offices were once located and it was at Cunard pier, behind the building, that many of the victims and the survivors of the Lusitania were brought ashore, following the ship’s tragic sinking on 7 May 1915.

Inside, there is an exhibition of photographs from the National Library of Ireland’s A.H. Poole Lusitania collection. The photographs, digitised especially for the exhibition, show the survivors of the disaster on the streets of Cobh (or Queenstown as it was known then), as well as the mass funeral and burial of the victims.

What struck me was the number of signs that I had just walked past that appear in these photos, taken a century ago such as the Soldiers Home:

 

Newspaper articles about the photo exhibition:

Lusitania survivors gave Cobh an eerie unreality, Irish Examiner, 27 April 2015

Unique exhibition of survivors of the Lusitania opens in Cobh, The Irish Times, 27 April 2015