Special service to mark sinking of Lusitania 100 years ago

A SPECIAL service marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania will take place on Thursday.

The Lusitania moored in the Mersey.

The Cunard luxury liner was torpedoed by a German submarine with the loss of 1,191 lives in one of the most horrific incidents at sea during the First World War. Only 771 people survived.

A service will take place at Liverpool Parish Church from 12.30pm followed by a walk of remembrance to Lusitania’s salvaged propeller, located near the Maritime Museum.

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There will be an act of commemoration, with a minute’s silence at 2.10pm, the time of the sinking.

The service will include first hand accounts read by actors Joe McGann and Roy Carruthers.

Merseyside Maritime Museum opened a new exhibition in March which features items from the ship which have never been on display before.

Ian Murphy, of Merseyside Maritime Museum, said: “Our commemoration of the loss of Lusitania is particularly poignant this year, the centenary of the tragic sinking.

“In 1915, Lusitania was the world’s most famous ship, and the jewel in Liverpool’s crown. Her sinking sent shock waves around the globe and was said to have influenced America’s entry to the war.”

More than 50 passengers or crew were from Yorkshire.

Many tragic stories have emerged of family members who perished while others survived.

Passenger William Goodall, his wife Beatrice and sons Leonard and Jack, born in Batley, all died.

Hannah Ackroyd and her three-year-old son Fred, of Bradford, were lost. Robert Hebden survived only to die in battle two years later. His wife Clara died in the sinking.

Sheffield man Stanley Critcheson survived but lost his wife, Lillian, and their infant son, Bernard.

Researcher Peter Kelly has carried out extensive research into those who were on board the final voyage.

He is interested in communicating with relatives or descendents of those on board.