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Lusitania remembered at Merseyside Maritime Museum

07 May 11 12:06

A memorial service to mark the 96th anniversary of the sinking of the Liverpool liner, Lusitania, has taken place at Merseyside Maritime Museum.

A German submarine torpedo sank the Cunard vessel off Kinsale, Ireland, on 7 May 1915, killing 1,200 people.

The disaster was pivotal in prompting the US to enter World War I as many passengers were US citizens.

Following the service between the museum and the Piermaster's House a wreath was cast into the Mersey.

Ian Murphy, deputy head of Merseyside Maritime Museum, said: "Lusitania was Liverpool's favourite ship and visited the port hundreds of times after her maiden voyage in 1907.

"Many Liverpool people died in the disaster and to lots of people she came to symbolise the city's losses in the First World War.

"Merseyside Maritime Museum started this annual service some years ago and everyone is welcome to attend.

"It is fitting that those who died are remembered on the waterfront that Lusitania called home."

The 31,550-tonne liner sank in just 18 minutes.

Germany claimed she was a valid target as they had issued a warning that all Allied shipping would be treated as legitimate targets.

Controversy still surrounds the disaster as it remains unclear whether or not the liner was carrying arms.

Merseyside Maritime Museum has a Lusitania collection which includes items from the ship and some of the letters and belongings of Captain William Turner who survived the sinking.

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