Iris Burnside (1894-1915)
A young woman lost at sea when the Lusitania was torpedoed.
Iris Burnside had a first class ticket on the Lusitania, an elegant passenger ship, travelling from New York to Liverpool in 1915. She was going with her mother, Josephine and their maid to visit family in Ireland.
The Burnsides knew it was risky to go by ship during the First World War. Iris and her mother were having lunch when the Lusitania was hit by a German torpedo. The ship sank 18 minutes later.
Josephine managed to scramble into a lifeboat. Iris was one of the 1,195 passengers and crew who didn’t survive.
Iris and her brother Allan are remembered on the handsome family tomb, although only Allan is actually buried here.
Iris was used to travelling in style. Her grandparents were the founders of Eaton’s Department Store in Canada, the ‘largest retail organisation in the British Empire’. The family was well-known and very wealthy.
When the British-built Lusitania was launched in 1906, she was the largest, fastest and most luxurious cruise liner in the world. She crossed the Atlantic over 200 times.
Lusitania and her sister ship, the even larger Mauretania, were operated by the Cunard Line. This was founded by the Canadian Samuel Cunard, who is also buried in the cemetery.