April 27, 2011 at 8:47 PM
On April 15 1912 the White Star Ocean Liner RMS Titanic hit an iceberg while undergoing a transatlantic journey from South Hampton (Great Britain) to New York City. The ship carried over 2000 people on board including a shipboard Orchestra led by a fellow violinist one Wallace Heartley. Wallace Heartley was an English born Violinist and bandmaster during the Titanic's First and Last voyage and by all accounts a Hero in that he and a few volunteers continued to play to keep the people attempting to flee the ship from overt panic and continued to play right until the moment the ship itself sank forgoing there own lives to bring hope and some measure of peace to the 1500 people who lost there lives on that tragic night.
After the Titanic hit an iceberg and began to sink, Hartley and his fellow band members started playing music to help keep the passengers calm as the crew loaded the lifeboats. Many of the survivors said that he and the band continued to play until the very end. None of the band members survived the sinking and the story of them playing to the end became a popular legend. One survivor who clambered aboard 'Collapsible A' claimed to have seen Hartley and his band standing just behind the first funnel, by the Grand Staircase. He went on to say that he saw three of them washed off while the other five held on to the railing on top the Grand Staircase's deckhouse, only to be dragged down with the bow, just before Hartley exclaimed, "Gentlemen, I bid you farewell!" A newspaper at the time reported "the part played by the orchestra on board the Titanic in her last dreadful moments will rank among the noblest in the annals of heroism at sea."
It is reported that the final song played that night by our fellow musicians was none other the "Nearer my God to Thee" a hymn that Heartley played in church when he was younger which is a beautiful song fitting to be the last song of such Noble musicians. We should from time to time stop and remember those who followed the song and gave there lives to touch and comfort the hearts of there fellow man.
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