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Tower Museum shines new light on Laurentic tragedy

26 January 2017

Relatives of those who lost their lives 100 years ago during one of the biggest maritime tragedies in modern history, the sinking of the White Star liner SS Laurentic, joined the Mayor of Derry Alderman Hilary McClintock at the Tower Museum last night for the launch of a special exhibition commemorating the event.

More than 350 people died when the Laurentic was destroyed, as it made its way to Nova Scotia with a secret cargo of gold bullion worth £250million.

Relatives travelled from as far as Newfoundland to revisit the site where their loved ones perished in the harsh winter conditions after the 565ft liner hit two U-boat mines in the Swilly.

The exhibition features a range of fascinating artefacts recovered from the ship – many of which are on display for the first time having been loaned to the museum following a public call in.

At the launch Mayor McClintock made a special presentation to local diver Ray Cossum who owns the rights to the ship, and who has over the years worked tirelessly to salvage its contents. The Mayor will join relatives of the crew and members of the public for a special lunch in the Guildhall on Friday and a service remembering the dead which will place at St Mura’s Church in Fahan at 11am on Saturday.
The Laurentic exhibition will run at the Tower Museum until June, and anyone interested in maritime history can view a range of exhibits featuring items recovered from the unfortunate vessel.