On Sunday 24th April, the Rector of Cobh & Glanmire Union of Parishes, the Rev. Canon Paul Arbuthnot, represented the Church of Ireland at a Service of Remembrance for those who died in the HMS Mars tragedy.
On 14th April, 1902, HMS Mars visited Queenstown / Cobh, and was conducting gunnery practice off the coast when a turret explosion killed 12 men on board. The Service of Remembrance took place in the Old Cemetery, Cobh, where the victims of this tragedy are buried. The liturgy was led by The Rev. Canon Paul Arbuthnot and Fr Liam Kelleher of Cobh Cathedral.
The event was organised by the Cork and County Branch of the Royal Naval Association and included the laying of wreaths at the grave of those who died in the tragedy. The wreaths were laid by the Royal Navy, British Embassy, Royal Naval Association, and Cobh ONE.
The Revd Canon Paul Arbuthnot commented:
This poignant anniversary reminds us once again of the huge risks which our naval forces take in protecting our shores. We commend the souls of those who died serving the common good to the loving protection of Almighty God. We also ask God’s protection over all those who guard our shores and whose livelihoods depend on the maritime economy.