This story is really fascinating and really sad. A man in England found the violin that belonged to Wallace Hartley, lead violinist on the Titanic. If you’ve seen the James Cameron film about the Titanic, you probably remember the musicians playing until the very end. It’s just really strange and sad to think that this was the exact violin played.
A few highlights from the article:
The wooden instrument used by Wallace Hartley as the band famously played on while the liner sank was thought to have been lost in the Atlantic in the 1912 disaster.
It wasn’t until 2006 when the son of an amateur musician who had been casually given the instrument by her violin teacher unearthed it in the attic of her home.
Titanic experts have described it as the most important artefact associated with the infamous liner to have come to light.
Within minutes of Titanic striking an iceberg on April 14, 1912, Hartley was instructed to assemble the band and play music in order to maintain calm.
The eight musicians gallantly performed on the chilly boat deck of the Titanic while the passengers lined up for the lifeboats.
The band carried on until the bitter end, famously playing a final hymm of ‘Nearer, My God, To Thee.’
Hartley, and the other seven band members, perished along with 1,500 passengers and crew when the luxurious vessel sank at 2.20am on April 15.
After his body was recovered by the ship the Mackay Bennett 10 days later, the violin wasn’t listed by officials among the inventory of items found in his possession.
A newspaper report later stated that Hartley was found fully dressed and with the instrument strapped to his body.
The conflicting accounts gave way to the theory that either the violin simply floated off in the Atlantic or was stolen by somebody involved with handling the bodies.