Monday, 20 November 2017

A Strange Set of Coincidences


From frequent mentions in the press anything Titanic related is always a huge news story. For me though, beyond it being a terrible human tragedy, it's never really been on my personal radar. When in Belfast last year we visited the Titanic exhibition [my chaps wanted to go]. It was interesting, but I chose not to blog about it.

 An old college friend though is fascinated by the whole subject and is tremendously knowledgeable. Jack Phillips, the chief wireless telegraphist came from her home town and he is locally celebrated [there's a pub named after him]

Recently J has been to Belfast herself and when she came for lunch a few weeks ago she mentioned that apparently one of the victims came from Horsham. Had I not just read a local survey of one of our redundant graveyards a matter of days before I would have been amazed as there is no mention in the local museum or a commemorative plaque anywhere. The town is silent about this chapter of our history, but yes tucked away at the back of the cemetery is a rather unkempt gravestone which makes a brief mention of this sad loss at the bottom.



John James Charman was a young saloon steward on his first voyage. His body was not recovered, but poignantly he is immortalised in stone on his parents' grave.

Arilx

4 comments:

  1. Interesting. In Peterborough, there was a Sage’s Lane. The Sage family died on the Titanic and I’ve always wondered if it was named after them. My Mother lived in Sage’s Lane during ww11 and my Father’s family lived on the same street (Gladstone Street) as the Sage family at the time of their departure from England. Natalie

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    1. It would be interesting to find out wouldn't it. Perhaps the local museum or library might have the answers. I've just found out the story behind a local pubname by asking on our town's FB memories group. Thanks for your comment.
      Arilx

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  2. We had a band member, Wallace Hartley, from our local town, Colne, who went down with the Titanic. He is commemorated with a bronze bust adorned with suitably weeping women at his shoulders, a huge gravestone complete with musical notes and a violin carved into it's surface and more recently a titanic museum with a sculpture of the ship 'afloat' suitably blue grasses to represent the sea. Apparently his body was recovered and was given a rather heroic burial with an estimated 30 - 40,000 lining the route to the cemetery. On looking him up now, I find out that he was actually the band leader - learn something new every day :)

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    1. Crikey! Rather different to here. It would seem that he wasn't born in the town but his parents had relations here and moved here later on in his life. The surname is a local one and perhaps they don't want the attention. We shall never know.
      Arilx

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