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Myths and Legends
Titanic
Titanic, Southampton

© Mary Evans Picture Library
Wallace Hartley: Bandmaster of the Titanic

One of the most evocative and emotive legends which arose from the Titanic disaster is the image of the band playing on while the liner sank and over 1500 people drowned. Lancashire lad Wallace Hartley was leading that band when Titanic went down, and has become one of Titanic’s most famous characters. His exhumed corpse received a hero’s welcome when it returned to his home town of Colne.

In the aftermath of Titanic’s sinking, the media’s manipulation of Hartley’s story reveals much about what the British public wanted to have happened, rather than what actually took place. The crux of this manipulation is disagreements over the last song Hartley is alleged to have played. Though trustworthy accounts say it was a jolly, rag-time tune, instead the sombre hymn ‘Nearer, My God, To Thee’ was adopted as the soundtrack to the final moments of Titanic. More...

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Your comments

1 Borislav Neshev from Bulgaria - 28 December 2003
"I don't know. I think that we must to make discoveries abouth TITANIC. It is beautiful."

2 Serena from New Zealand with Lancashire roots!! - 18 December 2003
"I read somewhere that Wallace Hartley and Sir William Hartley pickles are related, how so?"




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