'The story is deeply engrained in our local identity': Remembering Titanic's last port of call 110 years on

The harbour town of Cobh is tomorrow set to hold its first public ceremony of remembrance for all who lost their lives in the Titanic disaster since the onset of the pandemic.
'The story is deeply engrained in our local identity': Remembering Titanic's last port of call 110 years on

Picture shows passengers strolling along the deck of the doomed liner off Roches Point.

The harbour town of Cobh is tomorrow set to hold its first public ceremony of remembrance for all who lost their lives in the Titanic disaster since the onset of the pandemic.

Organisers have issued an open invitation to the public to gather in the town to remember all those who died when the liner sank on her maiden voyage to New York in 1912.

The ceremony, typically an annual event featuring music, prayers and wreath laying organised by Cobh Tourism, will commence tomorrow at 2:30pm.

Picture shows the doomed liner off Roches Point.
Picture shows the doomed liner off Roches Point.

A colour party from the Cobh Irish Naval Branch ONE will parade from the Old Town Hall at Lynch’s Quay to the Titanic Memorial in Pearse Square where a ceremony of prayers and wreath laying will take place along with musical honours provided by the Commodore Male Voice Choir.

Proceedings will then move to the Promenade where the names of the passengers who boarded the Titanic in Cobh on April 11, 1912 will be read aloud.  

A wreath will then be placed in the sea in memory of all those lost in the tragedy.

The ceremonies will conclude with music from the Cobh Confraternity Band.

In April, 1912 the RMS Titanic called to the port of Queenstown (Cobh) on her maiden voyage. The pride of the White Star Line arrived at Roche's Point at 11.30am. A total of 123 passangers embarked at Queenstown. Three days later the liner struck an iceberg. Of the 2228 passangers and crew aboard only 705 survived. Pictured is Captain Smith (on right), skipper of the Titanic, pictured on board.
In April, 1912 the RMS Titanic called to the port of Queenstown (Cobh) on her maiden voyage. The pride of the White Star Line arrived at Roche's Point at 11.30am. A total of 123 passangers embarked at Queenstown. Three days later the liner struck an iceberg. Of the 2228 passangers and crew aboard only 705 survived. Pictured is Captain Smith (on right), skipper of the Titanic, pictured on board.

"Cobh is a beautiful, scenic town with a rich maritime history and the Titanic story is deeply engrained in our local identity," Hendrick Verwey, Board member of Cobh Tourism, commented ahead of tomorrow's event.

"Being able to come together as a community once more for this significant 110-year commemorative ceremony is another significant step for the town in regaining normality after the challenges of the pandemic."

Delegates from the British Titanic Society have also travelled from the UK to stay in Cobh for four days as they host their 35th annual convention in the town. 

Their event series will feature tours and lectures by Titanic scholars as well as a gala dinner.

"We are delighted to welcome the Society and look forward to the tourism boost their convention will bring," Mr Verwey said. 

Picture shows two tenders about to leave Queenstown, carrying cargo and passengers to the doomed liner.
Picture shows two tenders about to leave Queenstown, carrying cargo and passengers to the doomed liner.

The sinking of the Titanic is one of the world's most famous catastrophes. 

The ill-fated liner famously sank off the coast of Newfoundland in the early hours of April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg on her maiden voyage.

Bound for New York, the Titanic was touted as unsinkable when Captain Edward Smith set sail a few days prior on April 10.

"The White Star liner Titanic, the largest ship in the world, left Southampton this morning on her maiden trip to New York," The Echo noted in the paper that evening.

The Belfast built ship moored off Roches Point a day later - its last port of call before its tragic end.

When she left Cobh for New York, there were approximately 2,200 passengers and crew on board.

Queenstown vendor sells Irish lace. Picture: Father Browne Titanic album
Queenstown vendor sells Irish lace. Picture: Father Browne Titanic album

Late at night on April 14, Titanic hit an iceberg.

Ice warnings from other ships earlier in the day were ignored and Titanic did not reduce her speed.

When lookout Frederick Fleet spotted an iceberg dead ahead the crew was able to slow down and avoid a head-on collision but ultimately sideswiped the iceberg, causing the fatal tear to the hull.

The ship, which sank bow first, took two hours to descend fully to the depths of the freezing Atlantic.

Some 1,500 people perished that night owing to a woeful shortage of lifeboats.

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