April 14, 1902, 12 members of the ships company of HMS MARS lost their lives during gunnery exercises off the Fastnet Rock, County Cork. Nine of the victims are buried in the Old Church Cemetery at Cóbh.
In 1999 Irish Naval Service Chief Petty Officer Owen O’Keefe found the graves and he set about restoring them. In 2000, the Navy assisted the Cork and County Branch of the Royal Naval Association (RNA) in erecting a small monument near the site.
On Sunday April 14 2002, a ceremony, organised by the Cork and County Branch of the Royal Naval Association took place to mark the Centennial Anniversary of the deaths of the crewmen. The ceremony included a service at Christchurch, Cobh and Commemorative address by the Chairman of the Royal Naval Association. This was followed by a Wreath Laying ceremony at the Old Church cemetery. Crew from LÉ EITHNE and HMS SUTHERLAND which was on a Courtesy visit also attended the ceremony along with representatives of O.N.E. - The organisation of ex Servicemen and Women.