And The Band Played On


Thanks to Rochelle for continuing to keep the Fictioneers in tune and to David Stewart for his photo this week, there was a bandstand like this one, in the park near where I grew up, those were the days…

Copyright David Stewart

                        Copyright David Stewart

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

And The Band Played On

‘When we’re married, you won’t go away to sea anymore will you, Wallace?’

‘No love, I promise. But these jobs bring in more money than I was earning in the orchestra.  I get to see more of the world too.’

Maria smiled, sensing it was best to leave things there. He had promised.

The letter telling him the band had been transferred to the White Star Line came three days later.

‘Look, I’ve been assigned as the new bandleader love, I could make some good contacts for the future.’

With Maria’s blessing he boarded RMS Titanic on 10th April 1912

♫ ♫ ♫

Wallace Hartley was born in my home town of Colne in Lancashire.  A large bust of him stood outside the library and I used to pass it most Saturdays when I went shopping with my mother. The story of how the band played on as the Titanic sank, was told to every pupil. The town is very proud of its famous son. You can read more about him here

Wallace_Hartley wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

180px-Wallace_Hartley_memorial

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

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50 thoughts on “And The Band Played On

  1. A beautiful piece of historical fiction. I had not heard that story until I saw the movie, years ago. I was so moved by that band, playing as chaos reigned around them. I remember being stunned that it was true. You’ve tied history and fiction together seamlessly here, Dee. That much sadder for its truth.

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    • Thank you Dawn. I grew up with stories of the ‘man on the pedestal’ outside the library. It is hard to believe that Wallace and the band could play on, trying to calm the panic and fear all around them, knowing that in all probability they would not be saved.

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      • It’s amazing in particular (to me) in the sense, that I would think that so many on the Titanic would be in disbelief, and thus assume it would somehow all work out… boats would take them, help would come, etc.. that these men understood what they faced and chose to play music, for others, is truly inspirational. Again, wonderful story, Dee, and incredible history!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The minute I read White Star Line I got a chill. I remember reading how the band on the Titanic played right to the very end. Always makes me cry. Nice you added pictures. One of the best ones I’ve read.

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    • Dear Rochelle

      I didn’t mention Titanic in my first draft, but thanks to your dedication to Friday Fictioneers, the group now has participants from all over the world and I wondered if everyone would get the inference of the White Star line.

      Thank you for your kind comments.

      Best wishes

      Dee

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  3. This is a wonderful little piece of historic fiction, with an insight into the possible decision process that led him to be on the Titanic. What a brave decision he made in the end, to ease the stress of the situation for everyone else by continuing to provide music.

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    • Thank you Alicia. I think the men were amazing, given that they knew they would almost certainly perish. There are a lot of sad stories from the Titanic disaster, but so much more tragic when close to home.

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    • Dear Doug

      As children, we all got so used to the bust of him outside the library, we sometimes forgot why it was there. As an adult, I became aware of the mistakes that ultimately led to the sinking of Titanic and of the tragic loss of life. I think Wallace and the band hoped to ease the panic a little and bring a little calm to the terrified passengers and the town is right to be proud of him.

      Best wishes

      Dee

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  4. How sad for everyone concerned, Dee. What a grand thing that they played almost until the end. They’re still showing programs about it on TV. Good story based on historical fact. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

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