15 April 1912 – News spreads through Southampton of a great tragedy
The White Star liner, Titanic, the “unsinkable” new ship struck an iceberg at 11.40 pm last night and had sunk by 2 am. She left Southampton five days earlier with 2,224 people on board and only 707 were saved. Captain Smith stayed at his post and as the ship sank, the ship’s orchestra, who had been playing for a dance, apparently played the hymn “Nearer My God to Thee”.
There were many stories of bravery by both crew and passengers that night. Wives stayed with husbands to die together. Some men changed into their tail coats and best clothes “to dress for the occasion” and thirteen couples who had chosen to spend their honeymoon on board were separated in death. Many died in the freezing conditions, others were buried at sea and richer passengers buried in Halifax, Canada.
Here for the first time is news of the Catholic crew and passengers mourned by the parishes of Southampton at the time as seen through the pages of The Southampton and Woolston Catholic Magazine, assembled by Carole Olding, Diocesan Archive Assistant for Southampton Central & West and a St Boniface parishioner.