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Titanic Remembrance Day
"Many brave things were done that night, but none were more brave than those done by men playing minute after minute as the ship settled quietly lower and lower in the sea."
~ Lawrence Beesley, Titanic survivor, referring to the eight-member band led by Wallace Hartley
The RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of 15 April 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK, to New York City, US. The gold band in this tartan represents the brave band musicians that continued to play in an effort to calm and comfort the passengers assembled in the lounge as the ship was sinking. As the ship continued to plunge, the band moved to the forward half of the boat deck, and continued playing even when their doom became apparent. All members of the Titanic band died that night while playing. The song that they were last heard playing remains one of the many mysteries surrounding this doomed voyage. 🚢 🎻
The sinking of the Titanic resulted in the deaths of more than 1,500 passengers and crew, making it one of the deadliest commercial peacetime maritime disasters in modern history. The largest ship afloat at the time it entered service, the Titanic was the second of three Olympic class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line, and was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, with Thomas Andrews as her naval architect. Andrews was among those who died in the sinking. On her maiden voyage, she carried 2,224 passengers and crew.
From the registry notes:
The Spirit of the Titanic Halifax tartan is a tribute to those who perished during the tragic event. The thread count is based on the date of the sinking of the Titanic 15/04/1912. Colours: black represents the hull of the Titanic; blue represents the North Atlantic Ocean; white and red represents the White Star Line and the Canadian Maple Leaf for the rescue and recovery efforts; yellow representing gold, consisting of 8 threads, is dedicated to the brave band members that continued to play in an effort to calm and comfort the passengers as the ship was sinking.
From The Ultimate Titanic Site:
The band of Titanic is one of the most mysterious and legendary tales that comes from the ill-fated ocean liner. Titanic’s eight-member band was led by Wallace Hartley, and upon panic of the passengers during Titanic’s sinking, assembled in the first-class lounge to play in an effort to keep everyone calm. As the ship continued to plunge, the band moved to the forward half of the boat deck, and continued playing even when their doom became apparent. All members of the Titanic band died that night while playing. However, the final song they played is still up too much debate.
Mrs Vera Dick, a first-class Canadian passenger reported that the final song played by the band was the hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee”. However, reports indicate that Mrs Dick had left by way of lifeboat an hour and twenty minutes previously, and could not have been there to witness the final song played by the band.
Although, the band’s leader, Hartley, did say once to a friend that if he were on a sinking ship, “Nearer, My God, to Thee” would be among the songs he would play. Harold Bride, one of the wireless operators, reported in 1912 that he had heard the song “Autumn” just before the ship sunk to the depths of the sea. This account of Harold Bride was popularized in the Walter Lord book A Night to Remember. Despite this, neither the hymn “Autumn”, or the closest version to it, waltz “Song d’Automne”, were in the White Star Line songbook for the band. This still remains the best testimonial as Bride was the only person who could have possibly heard the band’s last song, as he floated off the deck just before the ship went down.
For more about these brave musicians, click the painting of the doomed liner .