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  Cape Clear Connection to the Lusitania

The Lusitania

The Cape Clear Connection

Dr Richard Walton LonDr Long, Lusitania Doctorg, born at Castleview Hoouse, Aughadown on the 2nd July 1858 was the Medical Officer on duty at Spike Island Naval Base when the Lusitania sinking occurred. Unusually, he was the most senior ranking officer on duty at the time, which was the only time in his career he found himself in this position. Family lore has it that civilian vessels only took part in the rescue of the Lusitania because there were no naval officers present to command the rescue.

Dr Long, nevertheless took command of the medial situation and immediately set up a field hospital in Cobh which saw to the needs of survivors. For this he was presented with a gold watch by Cunard shipping line which is currently in the possession of his great grand daughter, and Island resident, Fiona Mac Lachlainn. The photo shows the watch in front of a family photograph of Dr Long and his wife Maria Long Clerke. The inscription on the back reads “Presented to Surgon R.Walton Long, R.A,M.C. By the Cunard Steamship Co.Ltd, in appreciation of valuable services rendered at the time of the “Lusitania” disaster, 7th May 1915.

While Fiona is the third generation of her family to live on the Island the family connection with the Island extends as far back as 1777 when Dr Long’s, maternal great great grandfather Joseph Wright became Church of Ireland rector of Kilcoe, Aughadowna and Cape Clear. He was succeeded by his son of the same name, Joseph Wright Junior who was born in 1779 and who died in 1832. The senior Reverend Wright died in 1824.

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