The tragic sinking of the Lusitania during the First World War had a devastating effect on the tight-knit dockland communities in north Liverpool, where most of the liner's crew lived. 404 crew members died, including many Liverpool Irish seamen. Every year on 7 May Merseyside Maritime Museum marks the anniversary of the sinking with a memorial service on the quayside by the Lusitania's propeller. Unknown to us, this year a 6 year old boy many miles away in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire was also inspired to make his own tribute to the ship. His mother Joanne Colley got in touch with us when she realised the coincidence.
She explains: "My son Sam, aged 6, has drawn a wonderful picture of the sinking of the Lusitania from his reading history books. Due to wet weather at playtime the children were kept indoors and my son drew this picture which went completely unnoticed at school. When he brought it home that day I was intrigued to know what he had drawn.
He is fascinated with First World War history and I was amazed the story of the Lusitania sinking had inspired him, so we researched it on the internet and your museum came up. He would love to visit the propeller and your other artefacts connected with the Lusitania that we saw on your website. Then we noticed the coincidence that it had just been the 99th anniversary memorial service the day before. We will definitely come to the museum next year to mark the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania, it is firmly on our 'To Do' list! And finally we are still intrigued how Sam knew to colour the funnels red and black when he had only seen black and white photos in books!"
Sam Colley with his picture 'The sinking of the Lusitania'