100 years ago today, 10th April 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton to begin its maiden voyage to New York. Only five days into its journey across the North Atlantic Ocean the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg. The tragedy claimed the lives of 1517 passengers and crew members and became a historical disaster that still remains a strong topic of public interest even today.
This year’s 100th anniversary provides a chance to look back and commemorate all of those who were aboard the ship. Remembering those who sadly lost their lives and reflecting on how the disaster affected those who managed to survive the catastrophe.
The 1997 film ‘Titanic’, based on the ship and its passengers, has been rereleased in 3D to coincide with a century since the disaster and the BBC have created a Titanic themed website which features related articles, archived stories and in-depth facts regarding the ship’s structure and design. In addition the BBC is currently airing ‘Titanic with Len Goodman’ an insightful series which looks into the history, passengers and legacy of the Titanic.
In a more literal way to remember the MS Balmoral set sail from Southampton over the weekend carrying 1309 passengers (the exact same number of passengers on board the Titanic) in a voyage which hopes to recreate the Titanic’s journey. Passengers include relatives of those who died in 1912 disaster and Titanic enthusiasts who will all take part in a memorial service of Sunday 15th April- 100 years to the day that the great ship sank to the bottom of the ocean.
For me, however, the most intriguing commemorative treat has to be Ancestary.co.uk’s Titanic collection which includes new records of passengers and crew members. The latest additions includes a full passenger list complete with names, dates of birth, nationalities and occupation enabling all budding researchers to find out if any of their relatives were part of the Titanic tragedy.
The Titanic collection is available to access free of charge until the end of May, which is a great excuse to sign up to Ancestary.co.uk and find out more about your heritage. Even if you don’t find anyone who was directly related to you the records are incredibly interesting to read and include historic photographs from the 1912 scene. There are several images of sparsely filled lifeboats which give a feel for just how empty the life rafts were upon departing the ship; a criticism which many blame for the huge loss of life at the Titanic.
I’d love to know if you’ve got any Titanic history in your family. If so please do get in touch, it would be great to hear more about how the Titanic affects people even years after the disaster.by