One hundred years ago, in the early hours of the morning, eight brave musicians died doing what they did best- playing music, to try and calm passengers as the Titanic sank below the icy waves. They didn’t have to play- they were employed by Blacks music agency of Liverpool, not the White Star Line, but they did. Many survivors in the lifeboats mentioned the band playing lively waltzes until the list of the deck made it physically impossible to stand, let alone play. Two weeks later, the parents of one of the violinists, “Jock” Hulme, received an invoice from Blacks for 5s 4d, for the cost of his band uniform! It was the first official contact they had had from the agency!
About the same time, the body of Bandmaster Wallace Hartley was recovered from the sea, still with his music case strapped to him. At his funeral, 30,000 mourners turned out to pay their respects!
Eight true heroes.
A plaque in honour of the memory of the band of the Titanic was erected front of house in Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, where it remains today