Display tells of heroic rescues

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An exhibition focusing on heroic rescue stories from around the coast of the UK during World War One is coming to Carrick Civic Centre.

‘RNLI: Hope in the Great War’ is a family-friendly exhibition which aims to encourage hands-on learning, with the opportunity to dress up and take pictures with the displays.

The rescue stories are told in an atmospheric multimedia display, brought to life by community art projects.

The RNLI provided vital support to the war effort and from 1914–18 the lifeboat crews launched 1,808 times, rescuing 5,332 people.

With younger men on active duty, it was often down to the older generation to go to the aid of those in danger around our coasts.

During the war years, the average age of a lifeboat crew increased to over 50.

The war also brought with it a different type of casualty. Ships in the North Sea, the English Channel and the Atlantic were targeted by the German Navy, after Germany declared a blockade on Britain in 1915.

The sinking of the passenger liner Lusitania on 7 May 1915, off the coast of County Cork, was a contributing factor into to the United States’ entry to the war.

RNLI lifeboat crews were often called out to ships that had been torpedoed or struck mines, while there were also calls out to ships on official war duty, such as the hospital ship Rohilla.

Rohilla struck Whitby Rock on October 30, 1914 on her way to France to pick up wounded soldiers.

In high seas and storm force winds, six lifeboat crews worked for 50 hours to save 144 lives.

The Rohilla rescue features in the Hope in the Great War exhibition, along with more inspiring rescue stories.

The RNLI exhibition will be on display from June 12 - July 10 in Carrickfergus Museum and Civic Centre.

It is part of a wider programme of events and displays at the venue to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

A display on ‘War Years Remembered’ will be featured in a temporary gallery at the Civic Centre at the end of June.

Meanwhile, a full-size replica of a Churchill tank, created by students from Downshire School, will be on display at the centre throughout July, with displays entitled ‘Across the Hawthorn Hedge - The Noise of Bugles’ , ‘Carrickfergus and the Great War’ and ‘The Last Post’ scheduled for later in the year.