To commemorate the centenary of RMS Leinster, Dun Laoghaire’s National Maritime Museum www.mariner.ie hosted an exhibition funded by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council about the largest ever loss of life in the Irish Sea which occurred 12.25 nautical miles (22.7 kms) from the Museum, just one month before World War One ended.
Radio Officer Arthur H. Jeffries’s name on the former 180-year-old Mariners Church War Memorial serves as a poignant reminder of the 569 civilians, Post Office workers, crew and military of six nationalities who died when the outbound Kingstown to Holyhead Royal Mail Ship was torpedoed by German submarine UB-123 on 10th October 1918.
Story boards, artefacts, personal memorabilia and interactive touch screens funded by BIM’S FLAG Probramme display information on over 800 RMS Leinster casualties and survivors of this dreadful tragedy and the 36 man crew of UB-123. Beneath an impressive RMS Leinster scale model are a brass spittoon from the wreck and an inscribed silver pocket watch presented to Fireman William Maher by passenger Dorothy Toppin for saving her life.
A large brass fire pump emphasises the scale of this 115 metre (377 feet) long ship capable of 24 knots speed. A triangular display portraying a riveted ships bow embedded with two original RMS Leinster brass portholes shows the luxurious interiors of a first class cabin and dining room. Also displayed are medals, memorial cards, galley keys and a franked letter retrieved from the sea and subsequently delivered to the addressee in Canada.
The Museum’s Amateur Radio Station with Call Sign EI100MCV (MCV was RMS Leinster’s call sign) is spreading the story of the RMS Leinster tragedy worldwide and has already received over 25,000 contacts from 77 countries to date see here
The Maritime Museum is very keen to encourage school children and families to learn about this maritime tragedy in which seven out of ten people died.
Here are all the events that took place during the RMS Leinster commemoration week and the events in the Maritime Museum are as follows: