The Titanic remembered and a little-known story told
This weekend marks the centenary of the sinking of RMS Titanic on her maiden voyage. The little-known story of her strong links with Catholic life in Liverpool, where she was designed and registered, is now revealed.
At 11.40pm on April 14, one hundred years ago, RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg 375 miles south of Newfoundland as she sailed on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
Built in Belfast by Harland and Wolff, she was operated by White Star Line. There were around 2,200 people aboard Titanic when she sank, including some 900 crew.
Notoriously, the ship had enough lifeboats for only half of the number on board and 1,517 people died; just 710 people survived. Some of the male survivors, most notably White Star Line’s chairman, J. Bruce Ismay, were accused of cowardice for leaving Titanic while women and children remained on the ship. Subsequently, Ismay faced social ostracism and obloquy. The disintegrating wreck of Titanic lies on the seabed but through a succession of books and films, memory of that fateful night remains sharp.
Commemorating this most deadly of maritime disasters, Liverpool’s Maritime Museum has opened an exhibition entitled ‘Titanic and Liverpool: the Untold Story’. But within that story there is a deeper one, which links the beautiful church of St Mary of the Angels in Liverpool to Titanic, to White Star Line’s heiress, to the Poor Clares and to the remarkable Kay Kelly.