Lusitania lifebuoy

This item is on display until 22 October 2014.

Lifebelt with faded text 'SS Lusitania Liverpool' and rope around the edge

This cork and canvas lifebuoy (or ring lifebelt) is a rare souvenir of the sinking of SS Lusitania.

It was obtained by the skipper of a fishing boat from Kinsale, County Cork, who helped to rescue Lusitania survivors. He gave it to fish merchant Arthur Miller, who happened to be in the port at the time. Mr Miller later displayed it for many years in his office in Passage East, County Waterford.

The lifebuoy is on long term loan to Merseyside Maritime Museum courtesy of Dr Arthur Neiland, the grandson of Arthur Miller.

Loan number MH LI 5/2007

Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller was depicted in this 'Ink-lings' cartoon by John Elmes in 'The Munster Express' in 1940.

Cartoon illustration of a man

'Ink-lings' cartoon of Arthur Miller, from 'The Munster Express', 1940

The text below his caricature reads:

'No. 130 - Arthur Miller (Passage East, Donegal and London)

Large-scale fish buyer and curer and as famous in his own sphere as Whang and Mick the Miller. Nothing fishy in his piscatorial avocation, and a whale of a man for work. Excellent, efficient employer, he introduced Scotch men and women curing experts to Passage and Dunmore. Also a curer of blues with a hearty smile and a ready hand for rich and poor netting him a big haul of friends. Contributes further to the national food effort as a gardening expert who disbelieves that onions build you up physically and let you down socially!'