A riveting account of the aftermath of the Titanic’s sinking

2011-10-26 00:00

PENNED by the grandson of Jock Hume, the 21-year-old violinist in the band that kept playing as the Titanic sank, And the Band played On… tells a remarkable story of the aftermath of the Titanic’s sinking and its effect on two of the families that were left ­behind.

A factual account, embellished with fictional poetic licence, the story begins rather grimly with an account of the night the ship went down. Not for the faint-hearted, the clinical account of the way the human body subjected to icy water shuts down makes for chilling reading, no pun intended.

The story then shifts to the account of the recovery of the bodies, and the appalling way the White Star shipping company dealt with the corpses according to strict class rules. They consigned those who appeared not to be of any social standing to a shroud, a weight, a hasty prayer, and tossed them overboard. More eminent people were given coffins for the journey home for burial, while others were put on ice in the hold and frozen until they reached shore.

The White Star was not alone in their mistreatment of relatives. The company Jock Hume was contracted to the Titanic from, sent his father a bill for his uniforms and sheet music, which his outstanding wages were not enough to cover. How callous is that?

Ward also tells of the glovemaker Mary Costin and her love for Jock, which had culminated in her expecting Jock’s child when he died, and her fight to legitimise her baby daughter (the writer’s mother), and get compensation from the trust fund set up for survivors’ families. Jock’s father opposed her efforts vehemently, claiming that Jock was not the child’s father, calling her names reserved for those of loose morals.

The book also contains the curious story of Jock’s sister who created an elaborate hoax, claiming her sister had been brutally murdered and had written a farewell note after her breasts had been cut off by Germans in World War 1. Fascinating stuff.

Ward’s research is detailed and being from manifold sources, creates a valid history which will enthral those who have been captivated by the Titanic and her demise to the deep. The release of this book will also provide a good memento for those revisiting the Titanic as the centenary of her sinking comes up on April 12 next year. Well worth reading.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?

 
 

Paws

How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.