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The Sinking of RMS Lusitania

Remembering one of Britain's worst maritime disasters and a pivotal moment of World War One.

It was the worst maritime disaster of World War I so far. 1,197 souls were lost when the Cunard liner RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by German U-boat 20 off Ireland's south coast on the 7th May 1915. The mighty Lusitania, once one of the proudest vessels in Cunard's fleet, took just 18 minutes to sink. The tragedy had profound repercussions on the international stage, sparking anti-German riots in Britain and outrage across the globe. The death of 148 American citizens started a process that ultimately led to neutral America entering the war on the Allied side. This small collection gathers together films of the Lusitania, from her heyday as one of Britain's most popular luxury liners, to reportage of her sinking and its aftermath, and the official commemorations on the anniversary of the tragedy. The films highlight some of the issues surrounding the disaster, from the personal tragedies to official reactions and the Lusitania's use as a powerful symbol in war propaganda.

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American Liner "Lusitania" Entering New York HarbourAmerican Liner "Lusitania" Entering New York Harbour

Non-Fiction19110 minsSilent

This stunningly-photographed newsreel item captures the majestic but ill-fated RMS Lusitania in happier days.

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Sinking of the LusitaniaSinking of the Lusitania

Non-Fiction19152 minsSilent

The tragic fate of the once-glorious ocean liner and its aftermath.

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John Bull's Animated Sketchbook No. 4John Bull's Animated Sketchbook No. 4

Animation & Artists Moving Image19155 minsSilent

An animated recreation of the sinking of the Lusitania is the centrepiece of this pioneering mix of comedy, satire and outrage in cartoon propaganda.

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Anti-German Riots in Liverpool following the Loss of 'Lusitania'Anti-German Riots in Liverpool following the Loss of 'Lusitania'

Non-Fiction19152 minsSilent

Newsreel footage captures the aftermath of riots in Liverpool following the sinking of Cunard liner 'the Lusy' during WWI.

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Funeral of the Lusitania VictimsFuneral of the Lusitania Victims

Non-Fiction19152 minsSilent

Queenstown (Cobh), County Cork, mourns the dead of one of WWI's greatest maritime tragedies.

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Remember the LusitaniaRemember the Lusitania

Non-Fiction19162 minsSilent Location: Hyde Park

Remembrance is used to fuel anti-German feeling in London on the first anniversary of the sinking of RMS Lusitania.

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Lusitania DayLusitania Day

Non-Fiction19161 mins

One year on from the tragic sinking of RMS Lusitania, the 1198 dead are remembered with grief and anger.