I mistitled that last post. This one is the family one, because it explains why I was so totally excited to be able to visit Cobh. Because in my husband’s family, they have the Alamo story, and in my family? We have the Lusitania.
Here is a picture of Clifford and Lily:
Clifford and Lily had a dad named Dick Lockwood, and a mom named Florence (Robshaw). The two had met in England and then moved to New Jersey – the suburbs of New York City. Meanwhile, (here’s where I have tried to keep the facts straight – but, hey, it’s my blog…) Florence’s father back in England was not too thrilled with his daughter’s marriage to a welder. The father was the president (or owned?) a company and thought a welder wasn’t quite up to snuff for his precious daughter. The Lockwoods have two children – the dear ones shown above. Meanwhile, Daddy Robshaw gets sick back in England and Florence decides to go back and visit him and take her two children. Her husband can’t get the time off work and doesn’t go. Guess what ship she and the children sail on? The Lusitania. Which, in case you didn’t know, was torpedoed by the Germans when the ship was about ten miles off the coast of Ireland. The Germans claimed that there was ammunition onboard (something that is still debated to this day) and that’s why they attacked. There were warnings in the U.S. papers that if you sailed to England during that time, there was a possibility you could be involved in acts of war. But still… nobody expected the Germans to torpedo a passenger ship. The Lusitania sunk in 18 minutes. Dick Lockwood remarried and had two daughters, Ruth and Louise. Louise Lockwood Massey is my grandmother. Dick Lockwood never became a U.S. citizen because he was upset about the government losing his family.
Many fishermen from several towns in Ireland rowed out to try to help the drowning men, women and children. And there were survivors. But 1,198 people died that day – Clifford, Lily and Florence among them.
There is a beautiful memorial in the town of Cobh to the sinking of the Lusitania. An angel looks over two anguished fishermen as they mourn the tragedy:
Further out from town (read: two hills more to walk!), next to an Aldi grocery store (!), is a very old cemetery. In the cemetery are a couple mass graves of Lusitania victims. We walked out to the cemetery and visited Lily (from our research, it seems she is the only one of the three family members whose body was found and identified and further proof shows she was buried in this site. Side note: Actually, there’s a documentary made by National Geographic that shows her lying in her coffin – she looks so peaceful…like she’s sleeping.):
View down the row from the mass grave:
Graves at the front of the cemetery: