The Musicians of the RMS Titanic all perished with the ship when it sank in 1912. They played music, intending to calm the passengers, for as long as they possibly could and all went down with the ship. All were recognized for their heroism.
The ship's eight-member orchestra boarded at Southampton and travelled as second-class passengers. They were not on the payroll of the White Star Line, but were contracted to White Star by the Liverpool firm of C.W. & F.N. Black, who placed musicians on almost all British liners. Until the night of the sinking, the orchestra performed as two separate entities: a quintet led by violinist and official bandleader Wallace Hartley, that played at teatime, after-dinner concerts, and Sunday services, among other occasions; and the violin, cello and piano trio of Roger Bricoux, George Krins and Theodore Brailey, that played at the À La Carte Restaurant and the Café Parisien.
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. One second class passenger said:
List of musicians:
Theodore Ronald Brailey
Roger Marie Bricoux
John Frederick Preston Clarke
Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Colne, Lancashire, England
John Law Hume
Georges Alexandre Krins
Percy Cornelius Taylor
John Wesley Woodward
Theodore Ronald Brailey:
Theodore Ronald Brailey (25 October 1887 - 15 April 1912) was an English pianist on the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage. He died in the disaster.
Theodore Ronald Brailey was born on 25 October 1887 in Walthamstow, Essex., the son of William "Ronald" Brailey, a well-known figure of Spiritualism at the time. He studied piano at school and one of his first jobs was playing piano in a local hotel.
In 1902 he joined the Royal Lancashire Fusiliers regiment signing for 12 years service as a musician. He was stationed in Barbados but resigned his commission prematurely in 1907. He returned to England and lived at 71 Lancaster Road, Ladbroke Grove, London. In 1911, he enlisted aboard ship, playing first on the RMS Saxonia, prior to joining the Cunard steamer RMS Carpathia in 1912, where he met the French cellist Roger Marie Bricoux. Both men then joined the White Star Line and were recruited by Liverpool music agency C.W. and F.N. Black to serve on the RMS Titanic Brailey boarded the Titanic on Wednesday 10 April 1912 in Southampton, UK. His ticket number was 250654, the ticket for all the members of Wallace Hartley's orchestra. His cabin was in the 2nd class quarters.
Brailey was 24 years old when he died. His body was never recovered.
Roger Marie Bricoux:
Roger Marie Bricoux (1 June 1891 - 15 April 1912) was a French cellist on the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage. He died in the disaster.
Roger Bricoux (French) was born on 1 June 1891 in rue de Donzy, Cosne-sur-Loire, France. He was the son of a musician and the family moved to Monaco when he was a young boy. He was educated in various Catholic institutions in Italy. It was during his studies that he joined his first orchestra and won first prize at the Conservatory of Bologna for musical ability. After studying at the Paris Conservatory, he moved to England in 1910 to join the orchestra in the Grand Central Hotel in Leeds. At the end of 1911, he moved to Lille, France, living at 5 Place du Lion d'Or and played in various locations throughout the city.
Before joining the Titanic, Bricoux and pianist Theodore Ronald Brailey had served together on the Cunard steamer RMS Carpathia before joining the White Star Line He boarded the Titanic on Wednesday 10 April 1912 in Southampton, UK. His ticket number was 250654, the ticket for all the members of Wallace Hartley's orchestra. His cabin was 2nd class and he was the only French musician aboard the Titanic.
Bricoux was 20 years old when he died. His body was never recovered.
In 1913, after his apparent disappearance, he was declared a "deserter" by the French army. It was not until 2000 that he was eventually officially registered as dead in France, mainly due to the efforts of the Association Française du Titanic. On 2 November 2000, the same association unveiled a memorial plaque to Bricoux in Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire.
Wallace Henry Hartley:
Wallace Henry Hartley (2 June 1878 - 15 April 1912), an English violinist, was the bandleader on the Titanic.
John Law Hume:
John Law Hume (9 August 1890 - 15 April 1912) was a Scottish violinist on the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage. He died in the disaster.
John Law Hume (also known as 'Jock') was born on 9 August 1890 in Dumfries, Scotland and lived with his parents at 42 George Street, Dumfries. He had already played on at least five ships before the Titanic. He was recruited to play on the maiden voyage due to his good reputation as a musician.
He boarded the Titanic on Wednesday 10 April 1912 in Southampton, UK. His ticket number was 250654, the ticket for all the members of Wallace Hartley's orchestra. His cabin was in the 2nd class quarters.
Hume was 21 years old when he died, unaware that his fiancée, Mary Costin, was pregnant with his child. His body was recovered by the CS Mackay-Bennett, a cable repair ship, owned by the Commercial Cable Company, registered in London. He was buried in grave 193 at Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on Wednesday 8 May 1912. A memorial was erected for John Law Hume and Thomas Mullin (third class steward) in Dock Park, Dumfries. It reads:
In memory of John Law Hume, a member of the band and Thomas Mullin, steward, natives of
these towns who lost their lives in the wreck of the White Star Liner "Titanic" which
sank in mid-Atlantic on the 14th day of April 1912. They died at the post of duty.
Hume and the other members of Wallace Hartley's orchestra were all members of the Amalgamated British Musicians Union and were employed by a Liverpool music agency, C.W. and F.N. Black, which supplied musicians for Cunard and the White Star Line. On 30 April 1912 Jock Hume's father, Andrew, received the following note from the agency:
We shall be obliged if you will remit us the sum of 5s. 4d., which is owing to us as per enclosed statement.
We shall also be obliged if you will settle the enclosed uniform account.
C.W. & F.N. Black
The letter caused controversy at the time when it was reprinted in the Amalgamated Musicians Union's monthly newsletter. Andrew Law Hume decided not to settle the bill.
Georges Alexandre Krins:
Georges Alexandre Krins (18 March 1889 - 15 April 1912) was a Belgian violinist on the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage. He died in the disaster.
Georges Alexandre Krins was born on 18 March 1889 in Paris, France. His family was from Belgium and soon after his birth they moved back there to the town of Spa. He first studied at Academie de Musique de Spa. He then moved to the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Liège, Belgium where he studied from 30 October 1902 until 1908 where he won first prize for violin, with the highest distinction.
As a young man he wanted to join the army; however his parents persuaded him otherwise. He worked in his father's shop and played in La Grande Symphonie, Spa. In 1910, he moved to Paris to be first violin at Le Trianon Lyrique. He subsequently moved to London and played for two years at the Ritz Hotel until March 1912. He lived at 10 Villa Road, Brixton, London and became bandmaster of the Trio String Orchestra which played near the Café Français. This led to him being recruited by CW & FN Black, Liverpool to play on the Titanic.
He boarded the Titanic on Wednesday 10 April 1912 in Southampton, UK. His ticket number was 250654, the ticket for all the members of Wallace Hartley's orchestra. His cabin was 2nd class and he was the only Belgian musician aboard the Titanic.
After the Titanic hit an iceberg and began to sink, Krins and his fellow band members assembled in the first class lounge and started playing music to help keep the passengers calm. They later moved to the forward half of the boat deck, where they continued to play as the crew loaded the lifeboats. Krins was 23 years old when he died. His body was never recovered.
RMS Titanic Musicians' Memorial, Southampton
Titanic Bandsmen Memorial monument in Broken Hill, Australia (1913)
SS Titanic Memorial Bandstand in Ballarat, Australia (1915)
Two documentary films have been made about the Titanic's band. The British film, Titanic: The Band Played On, was completed in 2012, and shown on Yesterday television. The American Film, Titanic-Band of Courage, was shown on Public Broadcasting System stations in 2014.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license