Irishmen Avenge the Lusitania

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM PST 13654
Art and Popular Design
Production date
Place made
Subject period
  • Support: paper
  • medium: lithograph
  • Support: Height 763 mm, Width 502 mm
Alternative names
  • object category: Poster

© IWM (Art.IWM PST 13654)

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Object description

whole: the image occupies the whole. The title is integrated and positioned in the upper quarter, in red outlined black, in black and in yellow outlined black. The text is integrated and positioned in the lower quarter, in in red outlined black, and in yellow outlined black, and centre right, in yellow. All held within a black border and set against a white background. image: a depiction of RMS Lusitania, after being struck by a torpedo. The ship sinks, with the bows submerged and the stern raised clear of the water. Fires rage about her funnels and superstructure. Lifeboats, filled with passengers, are launched from the vessel, whilst other figures are scattered in the waters. In the foreground, drowning civilians cling desperately to floating debris. text: IRISHMEN AVENGE THE LUSITANIA LUSITANIA JOIN AN IRISH REGIMENT TO-DAY. W.E.T ISSUED BY THE CENTRAL COUNCIL FOR THE ORGANISATION OF RECRUITING IN IRELAND. John Shuley and Co., Dublin. Wt. P.110-7,500. 5/'15.


The sinking of the British passenger liner RMS Lusitania was one of the most controversial incidents of the First World War. On 1st May 1915 the Lusitania set sail from New York bound for Liverpool, with over 1,900 passengers and crew on board. Six days later a German submarine, the U-20, sank her as she approached southern Ireland. 1,200 lives were lost, including 128 Americans, causing outrage in both Britain and America. In her defence, Germany argued that the Lusitania was carrying supplies of ammunition and also cited American press warnings discouraging travel on Allied ships. Nevertheless President Woodrow Wilson issued an official protest and there were anti-German riots in American cities. Meanwhile British propaganda capitalized on the incident (see PST 11782, PST 11803, PST 11821 and PST 11856), portraying it as an act of German barbarism. Though America remained for the time neutral, the sinking of the liner caused a significant hardening of opinion against Germany, which eventually led to her entry into the First World War, in 1917, on the side of the Allies.

Physical description

Wt. P.110-7,500. Linen backed poster.


MAY 1915

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