#AskLetters1916 chat: Lusitania and Naval Ships in WW1

 

#AskLetters1916 | Letters of 1916
#AskLetters1916 | Letters of 1916

Today’s #AskLetters1916 Twitter chat will take place from 5.30 – 6.30pm (GMT): @letters1916

To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania, the topic for the chat is: Naval Ships in WW1.

Tweet us and join the conversation! Remember to include the hashtag: #AskLetters1916 in you tweet!

 We are looking forward to tweeting with you!

To find out more about the Lusitania, visit the Cobh Heritage Centre.

 

HMS Defence. Courtesy of the Scott Family Collection
HMS Defence. Courtesy of the Scott Family Collection


There are a number of letters in the Letters of 1916 archive related to Naval Ships in WW1 and the maritime theme in general:

 

Letter from Patrick Clarke to Matthew Nathan, 21 May 1916

National Archives of Ireland

http://letters1916.maynoothuniversity.ie/diyhistory/items/show/1593

The letter refers to a father who is seeking to have his fourteen year old son, Patrick James Clarke (b. 1902), placed on a naval training ship as he is not interested in his school.

 

Letter from Lawrence Brown to his sister Margaret Brown, 19 November 1915

Lawrence Scott, Private Collection

http://letters1916.maynoothuniversity.ie/diyhistory/items/show/1050

Lawrence Brown wrote this letter while on board the HMS Defence. He wrote to his sister Margaret Brown, who at the time was living at the Viceregal Lodge, the official residence of the lord lieutentant of Ireland (Lord Wimborne in 1915) in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Lawrence was a gunner in the Royal Marine Artillery. On 31 May 1916 the HMS Defence was sunk during the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of the Great War, and Lawrence was killed. His body was never recovered.

 

Christmas card from Lawrence Brown to his sisters, Christmas 1915

Lawrence Scott, Private Collection

http://letters1916.maynoothuniversity.ie/diyhistory/items/show/1063

This Christmas card contains a brief message from Laurence Browne to his sisters Mary and Nellie. The card was written on board the H.M.S. Defence and Lawrence writes that he was on his way to Malta or the Dardanelles.

Lawrence was a gunner in the Royal Marine Artillery. On 31 May 1916 the HMS Defence was sunk during the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of the Great War, and Lawrence was killed. His body was never recovered.

 

Christmas card from Lawrence Brown, Christmas 1915

Lawrence Scott, Private Collection

http://letters1916.maynoothuniversity.ie/diyhistory/items/show/1051

This is a typed Christmas card from Lawrence Brown on board the HMS Defence in 1915.

Lawrence was a gunner in the Royal Marine Artillery. On 31 May 1916 the HMS Defence was sunk during the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of the Great War, and Lawrence was killed. His body was never recovered. Attached is a photograph of the HMS Defence.

 

Letter from Herbert Pim to John Sweetman, 21 October 1916

National Library of Ireland

http://letters1916.maynoothuniversity.ie/diyhistory/items/show/699

The letter is from Herbert Moore Pim (1883-1950) to John Sweetman (1844-1936). Pim was a political activist and writer. He had joined the Irish Volunteers in 1914, published a pamphlet series entitled ‘Tracts of our times’, including writing by Patrick Pearse, and in early 1916 founded the literary and political monthly, ‘The Irishman’. Sweetman was a member of Sinn Féin and patron to Arthur Griffith. In 1915 he spoke out against conscription and was arrested in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising.

This letter refers to politics and the Sinn Fein movement with Pim mentioned that the Sinn Fein revival would prevent internal dissent and ‘Invincible methods’, i.e. violence. It also refers Sir John Griffith and his son, former and current chief engineers at Dublin Port and to potato blight which had set in in Connacht, suggesting reducing the export of foodstuffs and sending them to the West of Ireland instead.

 

Letter from John Sweetman to Sir John Griffith, 23 October 1916

National Library of Ireland

http://letters1916.maynoothuniversity.ie/diyhistory/items/show/700

The letter is from John Sweetman (1844-1936) to Sir John Purser Griffith (1848-1938). Sweetman was a member of Sinn Féin and patron to Arthur Griffith. In 1915 he spoke out against conscription and was arrested in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising. Griffith has been chief engineer at the Dublin Port and Dock Board but took early retirement in 1912. He has been knighted in 1911 and later became a member of Seanad Eireann.

It is a request to Griffith on behalf of political activist and editor of ‘The Irishman’, Herbert Moore Pim (1883-1950). Sweetman has written an article which is due to appear in a forthcoming edition of ‘The Irishman’ in which he mentions a rumour that Sir John Griffith’s son resigned his position as engineer-in-chief of the Dublin Port and Docks board. He is requesting that Sir John Griffith contact Pim on the subject.

 

Telegram from John Mannix to John Robert O’Brien, 21 April 1916

National Archives of Ireland

http://letters1916.maynoothuniversity.ie/diyhistory/items/show/1854

Telegram from John Mannix, Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry, to John Robert O’Brien, Secretary of the Congested District Board (CDB), Dublin, asking if the CDB can permit the Howth Petroleum Company to supply Mannix and other boat owners in Cahirciveen with petrol to transport their supplies and carry on their businesses.

 

Letter from James Finn to May Fay, 3 April 1916

Finn Family Collection

http://letters1916.maynoothuniversity.ie/diyhistory/items/show/816

This is from a series of letters written between James Finn and his fiancee Mary (May) Fay. They became engaged in January 1916 and married in June and the letters were written between them during that period. He lived in Dublin, she lived in Westmeath; he was 20 years older than her at 39 and had become acquainted with her during his regular visits to his relative Mrs Mary Seery, her neighbour. He tells how he “had his eye on her” for a long time but waited until she was old enough. Throughout the series of letters you can see how their relationship develops from the first somewhat tentative letters and how her confidence grows.

James speaks of accountant Gallagher’s trip to London and the Zeppelin raids there. His cousin Jim is working the mail boat and he fears danger for him.

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