On the day: Visitors were involved in stencilling and will had opportunity to hear some of the poems written by the community and view the artwork created by local school children.
The portrait revealed on this beach was:
Age: 21 Date of Death: 25/01/1917
Seaman John Buckley (22 November 1893 – 25 January 1917)
John Buckley died while serving as a merchant seaman aboard the SS Laurentic, which sank off the Donegal coast, after she struck mines laid by a German U-Boat. The ocean liner had set off from an unscheduled stop at Buncrana when she was holed just off Lough Swilly. It only took 20 minutes for the ship to go down.
Originally operated by the White Star Line – also famous for its ill-fated Titanic – Laurentic had been converted during the war into an armed merchant cruiser. She was carrying soldiers back to Canada, but was also laden with an estimated 43 tonnes of gold ingots at the time of its sinking, worth £300 million. She stopped in Buncrana to drop off some ill seafarers after an outbreak of yellow fever.
Local fishermen rescued the survivors, although many that made it to the lifeboats died due to extreme cold weather that evening. John had been born in Youghal, County Cork, to Mary and Patrick Buckley. He is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.