Why Was the Empress of Ireland Forgotten?
Historians have suggested a number of reasons why the Empress, the worst disaster in Canadian maritime history, was forgotten.
It was true that the memory of the Empress of Ireland faded quickly from the public but from the technical point of view why the Empress sank so quickly came up several times in discussions by Naval Engineers as late as 1919. Probably the most important of these was the outbreak of World War I less than two months after the sinking. The initial enthusiasm for war in all European capitals tended to push all other unrelated events aside, as men were called up or volunteered for service in a war that was widely expected to be over by Christmas. But this was war on a scale never seen before and, in time, the horrors of trench warfare on the Western Front led, in England, to a popular feeling that everything which had gone before and had contributed to the old order deserved to be forgotten. It was the fate of the Empress to be lost just before the most destructive war in European history, and to be overshadowed by all that came afterwards.
EMPRESS of IRELAND
January 1905: Construction started on the RMS Empress of Ireland under the supervision of Lloyd's Register surveyors at the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co., Glasgow, for the Canadian Pacific Railway Co.
January 27, 1906: RMS Empress of Ireland launched on the Clyde.