Cόbh honours 20 Sailors and all those who served in World War 1

Filed under: Local News |

Photo: Colm Mc Donagh

A Remembrance Service and unveiling of a Monument took place in Cobh, on Saturday 2nd of June, to honour the 20 sailors Cobh lost at The Great Sea Battle of Jutland in 1916 and recognising all those who served in World War 1.

A joint service held in St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh, was hosted by Father John McCarthy, Catholic Church and Reverend Paul Arbuthnot, Church of Ireland, highlighting that the whole community was affected by the tragic loss of life at Jutland. A packed Cathedral watched as a joint blessing then took place of twenty sailor’s caps, each representing the rank of those Cobh men killed in action on the 31st of May/1st of June 1916. This included Commander Richard Herbert Denny Townsend, the highest-ranking Irishman to die at Jutland.

Ms Eithne Wright, Chairwoman of the Jutland Memorial Society said “It was a very dignified and emotional service”. Ms Wright is the great niece of Shipwright William McGrath lost on HMS Queen Mary that day.

Photo: Colm Mc Donagh

Following the Remembrance Service, a short procession led by Piper Adam Duggan, a symbolic Pall Bearer detachment from the Irish Naval Service Reserve, the flag standards of the Royal Naval Association of Ireland were followed by descendants carrying the twenty sailor’s caps to the Bible Gardens of the Benedictine Nuns, St Benedict’s Priory, former British Admiralty House.

There a Monument to their sacrifice was unveiled by County Mayor, Councillor Declan Hurley at 3pm. It was jointly blessed by Father John McCarthy and the Reverend Paul Arbuthnot. Wreaths were laid and a Bugler sounded the Last Post. This was followed by a 2-minute silence which was concluded with a bell being rung 8 times, traditionally used to mark the change of the duty watch on ships.

The event was concluded by Chev. Adrian Gebruers of St. Colman’s Cathedral where the service began. At 4.03pm, marking the time the HMS Indefatigable sank, he played on the Carillon Bells, the evocative “For Those in Peril at Sea” by John Dykes (1823-76) and then at 4.25pm, marking the sinking of HMS Queen Mary, the beautiful “Abide with Me” by William Monk (1823-89). All those gathered in the Bible Gardens had a grandstand seat for this unique performance with beautiful views across a sunny harbour.

Photo: Colm Mc Donagh

Photo: Colm Mc Donagh