Cobh’s history has always ebbed and flowed through its harbour, linking the island town with many world events, such as the First World War and the sinking of the Lusitania on 7 May 1915.
The bombing of the vessel brought the ravages of war home to Cobh, with many local women joining the 6,000 Irish Red Cross nurses to aid the war effort on the front lines in Flanders.
It was these women, the Red Cross Nurses who cared for and nursed the injured both here on the Great Island at White Point House and in the battle fields of Flanders.
On the 6 April 1917 US President Woodrow Wilson brought America into the War of Nations as a direct response to Germany’s indiscriminate attack on ships like the Lusitania.
On 4 May 1917 a flotilla of 6 US destroyers led by USS Wadsworth arrived in the harbour area under Commander Joseph Taussig.
On arrival in the Port, the van guard’s commander met with the Royal Navy’s admiral Bailey who enquired how long the American Navy needed to prepare for operations at sea.
Commander Taussig responded “we are ready now Sir” which became enshrined in US Naval folklore.
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