Maritime Heritage Weekend
Friend and Foe 2017
On the 4th and 5th of August the Barony of Gaultier Historical Society presents a Maritime Heritage Weekend with the title “Friend and Foe 2017”.
The rescue a German U-Boat commander by three ﬁshermen from Dunmore East in August 1917 is the core of a two-day centenary commemorative event entitled Friend and Foe 1917: U-Boat activity and rescue in Waterford Harbour.
The event takes place in Dunmore East, County Waterford Ireland on August 4th – 5th, 2017.
Kapitan Kurt Tebbenjohanns, commander of the mine-laying submarine, UC44, the only survivor of the thirty-man crew was rescued by three young Dunmore East men, Jack McGrath, Tom Power and his brother, Patsy Power.
These men braved the danger posed by mines that were known to be lain across the mouth of Waterford Harbour to search for survivors after they heard the explosion at sea. Friend or foe did not matter for these young men – they were responding to the age-long code of the sea – help a fellow sea-man in distress. They searched for two hours and it was after midnight when they heard a faint cry through the darkness. Within a short time the survivor was hauled aboard their small, oared ﬁshing boat and brought to the safety of Dunmore East.
The two-day centenary commemorative event will honour the three Dunmore men who responded bravely to the universal code of the sea. In so doing it will honour all those who save lives at sea, particularly the crews of our RNLI life-boats and air/sea rescue.
It will pay homage to the captain and crew of UC44 and it will remember with respect all those who lost their lives at sea as result of war action in Waterford Harbour in that fateful year of 1917, particularly the crews of the two British trawler/ minesweepers, the George Milbourn and the Loch Eye.
Maritime Heritage Weekend Events
Friday 4th of August
4pm Commemorative Walk at Dunmore East.
A 90 minute walk through the village of Dunmore East recalling the village as it was in 1917 and recounting the story of the rescue of Kapitan Tebbejohanns and the subsequent bringing into Dunmore of UC44 and the fate of her crew.
6pm Opening of the Friend and Foe 1917 Memorial Exhibition St Andrew’s Church, Dunmore East.
8.30pm Memorial Concert
A variety programme from the Irish and German traditions. St Andrew’s Church, Dunmore East.
Saturday 5th of August
9.30am – 12.30pm Seminar, Friend and Foe 1917: U-Boat activity and rescue in Waterford Harbour.
The seminar consists of several talks giving ﬁndings of the most recent research into the sinking of UC44 and the rescue of its commander. It provides a context for the war at sea especially U-Boat activity and mine sweeping operations on the Irish south coast, more particularly in Waterford Harbour. It considers the salvage operation and the bringing of UC44 into Dunmore East. It also makes public the fate of the German crew, eighteen of whom were in the submarine when brought into Dunmore. The second half of the seminar will be a panel discussion and engagement with the audience. Speakers include British naval historian, Mr. Tony Bab BEM, WW1, Maritime and Royal Navy historian, Roy Stokes, WW1 war at sea historian and author of ‘U-Boat Alley’. Also on the panel will be relatives of the rescuers and other local historians.
2.15pm Blessing of the Boats
This annual ecumenical event, planned this year to coincide with Friend and Foe 1917, will take place near the Lighthouse.
2.30pm Laying of the Wreath at Sea
This will be done within view of the Harbour and will consist of the annual laying of the wreath for deceased Dunmore ﬁsherman and the formal laying of a wreath to honour and remember those who died in Waterford Harbour due to war actions in 1917 including the crews of UC44, and the trawler/ minesweepers George Milbourn and Loch Eye. The Dunmore East Life Boat will carry the wreath accompanied by a small flotilla of ﬁshing boats and leisure craft.
3.15pm Unveiling of Memorial Seat and Plaque Dunmore Harbour near Lighthouse.
3.45pm Musical entertainment & BB Q hosted by the Dunmore East Lifeboat Service. The Harbour, Dunmore East.