Join us May 7 & remember a day in RRU history

Tess Wixted

On 7 May 1915, the British ocean liner Lusitania was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland by a German submarine, sinking in 18 minutes. Of the known 1,960 people on board, 767 survived and 1,193 perished in the Lusitania disaster, including Lieutenant James A. Dunsmuir, son of James and Laura Dunsmuir, the original owners of RRU's historic Hatley Castle.

May 7 marks the 100 anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania, a pivotal event in the dark and grief-filled days of World War I. Join Dr. Geoffrey Bird, Associate Professor, for Searching for Traces of War: A Pilgrimage to the Battlefields of Ypres, Belgium, an evening of remembrance and to learn more of his recent battlefield pilgrimage to Ypres, Belgium. Dr. Bird will discuss what is perhaps the most tumultuous time in Victoria’s history. In addition to the loss of the Lusitania, April 22, 1915, marks the first gas attack on the Western Front, and the first time Canadians were in an offensive engagement: a midnight charge to a stand of trees known as Kitcheners Wood. By morning, 2/3 were either killed, wounded or missing. In the days and weeks that followed, the casualty list in local newspapers included many who called Vancouver Island home. The battle forms an important part of Canada’s cultural memory of the ‘Great War’ in many ways. For example, it was when the poem, In Flanders’ Fields, was written by John McCrae. In addition, famous paintings mythologize the battle. Geoff will present on the experience of touring sites of memory with representatives of the Canadian regiments and next of kin who fought in the battle, exploring that tumultuous time along with the symbolism, significance and meaning for Canadians today.

Date: Thursday, May 7
Time: 7-9:30pm
Location: Hatley Castle Drawing Room
Cost: By donation to The Poppy Fund– Learners must register to reserve a seat

Also join Dr. Bird for a free lunch-and-learn on May 7, 12noon-1pm in Learning and Innovation Centre (LIC), room 222.

Contact Continuing Studies at 250.391.2513 for more information.

Photo credit: Lusitania via Flickr Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.