The Rileys - Survivors of the sinking of the Lusitania, Cobh (formerly Queenstown), Co. Cork

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Where: Cork, Ireland

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When: 08 May 1915

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With thanks to our amazing contributors, it seems that this really is the Riley family: Annie and Edward Riley and their 4-year-old twins Ethel and Sutcliffe. Given that only 764 of the nearly 2000 souls aboard the Lusitania were saved (more than a few due to Irish rescue boats and fishermen), it’s very telling that this image seems to capture one of the few (and perhaps only) families to survive the Lusitania sinking “intact”. Other young families were not as fortunate. It is good to know that the Rileys continued their journey home to Bradford, where they lived the rest of their days....

Photographer: A.H. Poole Studio Photographer

Collection: Poole Photographic Collection

Date: Saturday, 8 May 1915

NLI Ref: POOLED 2725

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

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Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 80453
ahpoole arthurhenripoole glassnegative nationallibraryofireland lusitania sunk uboat oldhead kinsale 1915 cobh countycork queenstown rmslusitania disaster survivors riley sinking torpedoed children twins headscarf trompelœil pub rescue edwardriley annieriley explore poolephotographiccollection thelusitania ethelriley sutclifferiley munster saturday 8th may 1910s peopleidentified locationidentified dateestablished 20thcentury

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  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 06/Oct/2016 08:34:52

    The following is a list of all survivors under 10 years of age. ANTILA, Master Carl4 MARICHAL, Miss Phyllis Renée4 RICHARDS, Master Cecil Harry4 RILEY, Miss Ethel4 RILEY, Miss Sutcliffe4 LEWIS, Miss Edith5 MARICHAL, Miss Yvonne “Eve”5 PEARL, Master Stuart Duncan Day5 SMITH, Miss Helen6 FRANKUM, Master Francis7 KAY, Master Robert Belsher7 MAINMAN, Master Edwin Richard7 MAINMAN, Miss Elizabeth7 RICHARDS, Master Thomas Percy7 BRAMMER, Miss Edith8 FISH, Miss Marion Enid8 SCOTT, Master Arthur, Jr.8 WILLIAMS, Miss Edith9 www.rmslusitania.info/people/lusitania-survivors/

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    B-59

    • 06/Oct/2016 08:43:56

    I think the children could be 4 years old, and it's the Riley family: www.geni.com/people/Edward-Riley/6000000021221438693

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    B-59

    • 06/Oct/2016 08:45:25

    See www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/lest-we-forget-the-lusitani...: Riley, Mr. Edward. Riley, Mrs. Annie. Riley, Miss Ethel. 4. Riley, Master Sutcliffe. 4. (www.geni.com/people/Emily-Riley/6000000021221483732 gives the name of the daughter as Emily)

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    B-59

    • 06/Oct/2016 08:49:15

    The same woman and the two children are visible in sites.google.com/site/thegreatlusitania/survivors

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    DannyM8

    • 06/Oct/2016 08:59:48

    I think this is the building? www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.8504289,-8.2944663,3a,75y,282.1...

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    sharon.corbet

    • 06/Oct/2016 09:02:37

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] You can see it here the Rob Roy Hotel.

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    Owen J Fitzpatrick

    • 06/Oct/2016 09:12:34

    Fabulous shot from the archives. Here's to happy lives.

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    B-59

    • 06/Oct/2016 09:15:47

    "Surely all struggled with the randomness of life's lottery. Which might explain the uneasy expressions of parents Annie and Edward Riley and their two children, Ethel and Sutcliffe. Apparently they were the only full family to survive the tragedy intact." www.independent.ie/irish-news/good-souls-are-neither-sain...

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 06/Oct/2016 09:32:23

    Belt and braces! I suppose you would go for double safety after such a traumatic event.

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    j.coffey78

    • 06/Oct/2016 09:34:37

    The family were from Bradford, West Yorkshire.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 06/Oct/2016 09:37:53

    "Elizabeth also remembered that the twins Ethel and Sutcliffe Riley were thrown in the boat, but their parents couldn’t get in as the boat was already lowering." From an account by Elizabeth Hampshire.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 06/Oct/2016 09:39:41

    Among all of this tragedy here was also those who had survived the atrocity such as a family from Great Horton. They were Mr and Mrs Eddie Riley and their young twin children. For several years the Riley’s had been living in Lawrence, Massachusetts which is located 25 miles north of Boston, and was built in the 1840's as the USAs first planned industrial city. The massive mill buildings lining the Merrimack River, produced both woollen and cotton textiles for the American and European markets and many families from the North of England emigrated there as both living standards and wages were much better than could be expected back in England. For reasons unknown the Rileys boarded the Lusitania to return to Bradford and, having made several previous crossings of the Atlantic, were not too worried about the threat from enemy submarines as both passengers and crew did not believe the Germans capable of committing a felony against a civil passenger liner. Thoughts of and attack seemed to fade as the ship began its home run and everyone was in high spirits prior to the torpedo finding its mark. The Rileys were fortune to be placed in one of the first life boats which was launched successfully. Minutes later and they would have perished as the ship began to list preventing more boats from been launched. Having witnessed the scenes of men, women and children screaming for help, and the whole sea strewn with human beings and floating wreckage, the family were naturally in a state of shock when they arrived at the house of Mr Timothy Taylor, the father of Mrs Riley, at 33, Ewart Street, Great Horton the following Monday. After not sleeping for three nights, Mr Riley remarked that it felt grand to be back home again, surrounded by their friends and family. From Telegraph and Argus, May 6 2015.

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 06/Oct/2016 09:46:16

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I would agree with your identification of the family.

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    B-59

    • 06/Oct/2016 09:47:55

    "Mr and Mrs Edward Riley and their twin children, Ethel and Sutcliffe Riley, aged 4, whose home is at 10 Camden st. were passengers on the Lusitania. They were going to England to visit relatives for a few months." May 8, 1915 - The Boston Daily Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · Page 9 www.newspapers.com/newspage/56927625/

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 06/Oct/2016 11:12:56

    Sutcliffe Riley Birthdate: 1911 Birthplace: Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK Death: Died 1967 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK Immediate Family: Son of Edward Marlton Riley and Annie Riley Husband of Alice Riley Brother of Emily Riley www.geni.com/people/Sutcliffe-Riley/6000000021221449798

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    Niall McAuley

    • 06/Oct/2016 11:13:25

    Emily Riley Birthdate: 1911 Birthplace: Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK Death: Died March 6, 1966 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK Immediate Family: Daughter of Edward Marlton Riley and Annie Riley Wife of James Jeffery Sister of Sutcliffe Riley

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    Niall McAuley

    • 06/Oct/2016 11:14:52

    Edward Marlton Riley Birthdate: 1885 Birthplace: Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK Death: Died 1954 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK Immediate Family: Son of Sutcliffe Riley and Martha Ann Riley Husband of Annie Riley Father of Sutcliffe Riley and Emily Riley Occupation: Waste Merchant

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    Niall McAuley

    • 06/Oct/2016 11:26:58

    Annie Riley (Taylor) Birthdate: 1886 Birthplace: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK Death: (Date and location unknown) Immediate Family: Daughter of Timothy Taylor and Hannah Taylor Wife of Edward Marlton Riley Mother of Sutcliffe Riley and Emily Riley

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    Niall McAuley

    • 06/Oct/2016 11:35:04

    We can narrow the date down considerably, too, as, per Sharon's article: they arrived at the house of Mr Timothy Taylor ... the following Monday. The Lusitania was torpedoed on Friday May 7, 1915, in the afternoon. By Monday 10th the Rileys were in Yorkshire.

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    DannyM8

    • 06/Oct/2016 15:02:08

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Sharon, indeed it is, If I ever own a pub I will paint it just like Rob Roy's!!

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    guliolopez

    • 06/Oct/2016 16:58:24

    According to this survivors list, the two younger Riley children were rescued by a vessel named the "Stormcock" (Perhaps this trawler, although apparently there was a tug out of Queenstown of the same name...) Unsurprising, if they weren't on the [same] lifeboat, that the parents' rescuer vessel isn't listed - as they were likely rescued separately, and only reunited later. Doesn't bear thinking about really...

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    philfluther

    • 06/Oct/2016 18:30:48

    Charmed lives' 'chance' embellishment.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 06/Oct/2016 21:04:04

    Whoever painted thatTrompe-l'œil on the pub did a great job; you have to look close to see that it isn't 3D, particularly right of frame. Voting for Saturday May 8th, 1915.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 06/Oct/2016 21:36:29

    Amazing stuff as usual all. Brilliant to ring the "subject identified" klaxon on this one. Such a tragic and harrowing incident - a small mercy that this family managed to survive such a terrible event. Description, map, etc all updated

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    dorameulman

    • 06/Oct/2016 22:07:32

    What a brilliant photo and story. Thanks for sharing.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 07/Oct/2016 06:59:54

    For anyone interested in Lusitania photos, there is an amazing collection of 58 views of the ship (spookily without passengers) on Flickr - www.flickr.com/photos/smu_cul_digitalcollections/albums/7... via [https://www.flickr.com/photos/smu_cul_digitalcollections/] For example - [https://www.flickr.com/photos/smu_cul_digitalcollections/9008463747/in/album-72157647351186054/]

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    Pietro Latrino

    • 07/Oct/2016 11:48:46

    There is nothing quite like those old monos where the subjects leap out of their background in such fine detail and focus. There is a reality that doesn't show up in digital or even modern film.

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    Stephen Rees

    • 07/Oct/2016 23:02:12

    I am currently in the middle of reading "Lusitania: Saga and Myth" by David Ramsay 2001 Highly recommended

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    elainsor

    • 09/Nov/2016 10:46:16

    There has long been a story in my family that my Great Grandfather was fishing near Dingle, Co Kerry shortly after the sinking and that they found the body of a young child. Recently I decided to see whether there was any evidence to support the story and found an article detailing the finding of the child and that the child had come from the Lusitania.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 09/Nov/2016 23:01:40

    Thanks https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] - very poignant.

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