Were they told to do so by the captain?
Was it part of their job description? Did they think they would be saved? They were employed by a Liverpool music agency that was in turn paid by the ship. I believe the band took the courageous decision to play because of the moral character of their leader, the violinist Wallace Hartley. Subscribe Subscriber Benefits Give a Gift.
Titanic's Band That Played On
Subscribers receive full access to the archives. Faith on the Decks of the Titanic. Tim Morgan. As we come to the th Anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, , we thought that it would be useful to remind ourselves of the role that religious faith has had during the catastrophe and, in the aftermath, of its impact on New York City's moral culture. Turner has made frequent appearances at art gatherings here in the city.
In addition to the Titanic book, Turner has written an extraordinarily good book on Johnny Cash. Hurd wrote the first article with eyewitness accounts of the sinking To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access. Log In Subscribe. Already a CT subscriber? The thirteen were all that remained of the proud steamer that had left Southampton on April 10 for its maiden voyage.
Everything else was spread out over the ocean bed miles off the coast of Newfoundland. The Carpathia turned toward the Cunard Pier, where at it tied up. The first person to emerge was a sailor dressed in a yellow oilskin. Then out came the first survivor, a fragile and unsteady woman who needed the support of a ship's officer. She was collected by her husband, who wept tears of joy and relief on her shoulder. This scene, and ones very like it, was played over and over again through the night. In many cases the longed-for face didn't appear, and there were tears of bitterness and loss.
For waiting journalists the challenge was to work out how best to use their limited time in researching and writing the most dynamic and informative copy for the next morning's papers. This was clearly a story that would win or lose the reputations of newspapers, editors, and reporters.
Everything from advanced planning and breadth of coverage to shorthand skills and speedy copyediting would be put to the test. This truly was journalism as the first draft of history. The New York Times had led the way in the accuracy and scope of its reportage. Its newsroom received the first Associated Press report that the Titanic was in trouble at on April 15, based on a message picked up by a Marconi station at Cape Race, Newfoundland. It stated that an iceberg had been hit, lifeboats were in the water, and a distress signal had been sent.
Half an hour after this initial contact, wireless communication from the stricken liner ended. Working late that night was the paper's inspirational managing editor, Carr Van Anda, who cast his eye over the facts and intuitively felt that something far worse than a damaging collision had taken place. After telling correspondents in Montreal and Halifax to pursue the story, he trawled the cuttings library and found that there was a history of shipping collisions with icebergs in this vicinity. The Carmania, which had arrived in New York only the day before, had reported a field of ice.
A year before the Anchor line ship Columbia had smashed her stern in the same area. Two years before that the Volturne had found itself "pinched" by moving ice, some of which ground along its side. Other ships had reported an ice pack during the past week. The Niagara had been badly dented, the Lord Cromer and the Kura had both been damaged below the waterline, and the Armenia reported an ice field at least seventy miles long.
What made the Titanic band keep playing, even as ship sank? - Fox News - WORLD SHIPPING - SeaNews
Captain Dow of the Carmania had been quoted as saying: "I never saw so much ice and so little whisky and lime juice in all my life. Had the ingredients been handy there would have been a highball for every man in the world!
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Although Van Anda knew that he couldn't go into print announcing the loss of the Titanic —as yet there was no conclusive evidence—he used his hunch to give the story of an Atlantic collision the prominence worthy of a disaster. He spread the news over four columns, and around the core information about the distress call and subsequent radio silence, he packed stories of the other ships that had encountered ice, listed important passengers, and used images of the captain and his ship.
He employed the word sinking in the early editions, and there are claims that he used sunk in later editions, although, if he did, no copy of this edition is known to exist. The arrival of the Carpathia with its hundreds of eyewitnesses presented a logistical problem for all newspapers. Who were the best passengers or crew members to interview? How should the rapacious appetite for facts and truth be balanced against the need of survivors for peace and consolation?
What was the most effective yet honest way of getting an exclusive on a story that would spread as quickly as a virus once the survivors were home? Van Anda hatched a plan. He booked an entire floor of the Strand Hotel at West 14th Street, close to Pier 54, to use as the New York Times base while it covered the arrival. Telephones on this floor would be linked directly to a desk at the Times where quotes and descriptions filed by reporters could be instantly hammered into stories by skilled rewrite boys. The journalists could then be reassigned to other interviews. The Times, in common with all other papers, was only granted four pier passes, but Van Anda ordered an additional twelve reporters to head down to the area to mingle with arriving survivors and their kin.
The most vital source, Van Anda knew, was Harold Bride, the Titanic 's twenty-two-year-old junior Marconi operator, who had not only survived the sinking but had worked the wireless of the Carpathia as it sailed back to America. With the captain and most of the senior officers dead, he was the only person alive who would have been present at the heart of the drama. He had been in direct contact with Captain Edward Smith, had communicated with nearby ships, had witnessed the rescue, and would have been one of the last men to leave the ship.
He also had the advantage of being able to explain what he saw in nautical terms.