A century after her tragic sinking, the city that built the Lusitania remembers with words and music

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THE 100th anniversary of one of the most shocking and far-reaching episodes of the First World War will be marked with an evening of words and music on Friday (May 8).

The Clyde-built Lusitania was sunk with the loss of 1,195 lives on May 7, 1915, by a German U-boat.

Among the dead were 128 Americans and the outrage of their then neutral government eventually forced the Germans to suspend unrestricted submarine warfare.

It was hoped the Lusitania's speed would help her evade German U-boats
It was hoped the Lusitania’s speed would help her evade German U-boats. Almost 1,200 people died in the disaster.

 

Friday’s event, at Glasgow’s Tall Ship, will feature the stories of some of the victims of the sinking off the south coast of Ireland.

The one-off event is backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and has been organised by military charity Glen Art in association with the University of Edinburgh-led project Scotland’s War.

Edinburgh historian and Director of Scotland’s War, Yvonne McEwan, will open the evening.

The programme also includes songs by composers who lost their lives in the First World War.

They will be performed by McOpera – members of the Scottish Opera orchestra – led by conductor Tobias Ringborg.

Lament by Frank Bridge, will also be performed, which was written for a nine-year-old called Katherine, who was killed during the attack on the Lusitania.

Scottish actor Scott Ryan will recite a work by American poet Alan Seeger, who later lost his life at the Battle of the Somme.

An exhibition highlighting a number of those on board the Lusitania – including Albert Bestic, who was a Junior Officer on the Lusitania and survived the ship sinking – will also open on the night.

Director of Glen Art, Fiona MacDonald, said: “We are delighted with the support from Heritage Lottery Fund, which has enabled us to commemorate this internationally significant event. It has also been fantastic to work with Scotland’s War, which has proved to be an invaluable resource and a relationship we hope to continue in the future. We look forward to sharing stories from the Lusitania and feel it is a fitting tribute to those that lost their lives.”

An Evening of Words and Music.8 May 7.30-10pm at the Tall Ship at the Riverside, Glasgow, G3 8RS. Tickets are free, but booking is essential.

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