Tonight’s issue of A Flat Major is In Memoriam to the sinking of the RMS Titanic and the great loss of life that ensued, 100 years ago this day.
Just before 2:20am on April the 15th, 1912, the RMS Titanic sunk into the North Atlantic ocean. The loss of life resulting from the catastrophic collision with an iceberg was at the time, the greatest naval loss of life in maritime history. It has only been surpassed by such disasters as the MV Wilhelm Gustloff where 9000 people were killed.
The loss of life, some 1,514 people shocked the western world at its happening. The ship that was said to be ‘Unsinkable’ collided with an iceberg, sinking some four hours after collision.
She was at the time, the largest luxury liner ever laid down and built. Built by Harland and Wolff, Belfast, she was ordered in 1908 with construction beginning in 1909, completed in 1912.
She foundered on her maiden voyage, the hull integrity disintegrating under the enormous pull as the Titanic sunk. Her forward deck submerging caused her stern to rise out of the ocean leaving her propellers exposed. This in turn led to the ship breaking in two. The survivors were transported to New York harbor by the Carpathia.
The great loss of life on the Titanic was in many parts due to the arrogance of human ignorance. To call any vessel unsinkable is risky at best. It is no less risky than assuming that a war will be short and bloodless.
In reflecting on the great loss of life 100 years ago today, we should remember that regardless of how technologically advanced we are, technology and indeed humanity is always fallible. This does not by any means mean that we should stop trying, stop inventing. In fact, far from it.
The lesson we should take from the Titanic disaster is that none of us should ever become so arrogant as to rely on our own technology as a form of invincibility.
In memoriam to the souls that were lost that fateful night 100 years ago.
Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to thee; nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!
A Flat Major will tonight leave you with two moving tributes: Nearer my God to thee performed by Andre Rieu and Titanic fantasy by the London Horn Sound.