Wallace Hartley's violin


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Daniel Rosenshine

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Wallace Hartley's Violin 2

Hello,

I was just speaking to Andrew Rogers about it today, when we were looking for the fireman John Murdoch's grave (and yes we did find it) and he suggested I put this hear.

Wallace Hartley's body was found with his violin strapped onto him. Does anyone know what became of the violin? Does it exist anywhere today, or does anyone know what happened to it since 1912?

Sincerely,

Daniel.
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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The story seems to vary. It's said that the object strapped to the body was not a violin case but his music case. Whatever it was said to be, the documentation is lacking. I'll bet that if his violin had been found it would have been widely announced.
 
Sep 12, 2000
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Dear Dave Gittins,

This is not a test or anything, but I really would like to know at that time, what was the difference between a "music case" and a "Violin case". And why would a person strap a music case to themselves and allow a $500 or better violin go into the water? I am just curious. And yes, Gittins, you would find Maureen floating strapped to her Cello or bass Viola de Gamba if that were the case. Cause i wouldn;t leave it.

And I figure that you'd just throw me and the viol back! he he

Actually, my question is somewhat serious although I have difficulty in remaining so throughout my question Sir.

Good to see you back. You were gone for a while, a few days.

Maureen.
 
Sep 12, 2000
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Dear Sir Gittins,
I want to thank you for answering my question and not planning an experiement with Daniel to have me tossed overboard to test out the theory of the viol da gamba thingy strapped to me! You are truly a gentleman...and a scholar.

I just received a packet of booklets on the Hays story by Gavin Murphy and he included several newspaper articles to me with it. {Thanks Gavin!) One of the articles mentions the "music case". I wonder what his resource for this was. But he is traveling so will ask him when he gets back.

Enjoy your day kind sir!
Maureen.
 
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Daniel Rosenshine

Guest
Hello all,

Thank you for answering guys.

Ok, where is the music case then, or what ever it was strapped to him would still be exceptionally interesting. It may likely have contained the music they played that night. Also coming to think of it wasn't the band required to memorize the tunes they were to play on board, rather than bother with things like music strands and music sheets. Being professional band members and having played the music over and over again for many years, this is not difficult.

Daniel.
 
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Andrew Rogers

Guest
Have had a look through some assorted informational sources and I can't seem to find anything about WHH having any sort of a musical related "case" on his person.
If it was with his body, then it should have been recorded on the undertakers identification card.
???
Andrew
 
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Gavin Murphy

Guest
J,

Interesting and rather hard not to agree with you. But it has always troubled me and it may be more than simply an urban myth.

Perhaps Hartley did have it with him when the ship went down, and either took it off in the water, or it simply washed off between sinking and recovery of his body. Maybe some of the survivors recall seeing him with the case strapped to him and that is how the story came to be.

For what it's worth, etc.

G
 

Jordan Miner

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Jan 30, 2001
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Gavin,

I understand what you mean. In an article published in the British National Press, 3 May 1912, under the title "Titanic's Bandmaster Found With His Music Case Strapped To His Body" goes on to read..."The body of Frederick Hartley, the heroic band-master of the Titanic, was identified last night. His music case was found strapped to the body. This will be forwarded to the White Star Company". But then again, the crew of the Mackay Bennett seemed so meticulous in recording anything they found with the bodies, why leave such a large object out?

Jordan
 

Ian Bland

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Sep 20, 2001
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I thought I would re-open this thread instead of starting a new one. I went to Wallace Hartley's grave to take some photo's a couple of days ago. I was speaking to a local person who told me that there is a biography about to be published. (she works in the book trade, but couldn't remember who the author is). Anyone know anything about it? There are still the same plastic flowers attached to the grave that were there last time I went. I wonder who put them there?
There is a mural in the town (next to the market) which was painted to celebrate the millenium. It has a painting of WHH and the sinking ship. I thought the likeness was a good one.
I noticed earlier in this post the discussion about sheet music. I bought a CD of music played aboard the ship, which I have in my car. It claims to be pieces from the White Star Line Song Book. Which kind of gives the impression that the musicians played from music, rather than memory. (but I wouldn't read too much into it). I have some other Titanic music which is very turgid and dreary, but the CD is really rather jolly. Although I'm not convinced it would take my mind away from the thought of imminent death.
 
Oct 13, 2000
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in her recently released biography of Wallace Hartley, the author, Yvonne Carroll makes a comment that Hartley's body was recovered with his violin strapped in its case to his body. but both violin and case were never recorded as recovered, and they were certainly not listed amongst his effects.

Carroll wrote:
It was not the violn case strapped to the body that had identified him, but various possessions that were now in a canvas bag marked No. 224.

and about a page later:

The violin case, which, according to newspaper reports, was to be forwarded to the White Star Line, did not feature on the list (of items found on Hartley's body) and never did materialize.

I knew Hartley's body had been recovered, but this is the first time I have read about his violin and/or case possibly being recovered. as the author points out herself, neither the violin or even the case was listed with Hartley's other possessions by the coroners on the Mackay-Bennett as they processed the bodies.

unfortunately, the author does not give any sources for her claim that the violin and/or the case was recovered. does anyone know any further details about this?

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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Hope you don't mind that I've shifted this thread to keep it together with the previous thread on this topic.

FWIW, according to remarks later attributed to Boxhall post the making of ANTR, the former Fourth Officer believed the story of the Hartley being found with the case strapped ot his body. He pointed to it as an example of the mythologising of the disaster - i.e., the idea that the band played until they were swept off the decks.
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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In some versions of the tale, it's not his violin case, but his music case. Both versions are equally undocumented.
 

mueller

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Apr 1, 2012
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hi there mr/mrs /ms Tennaro, I have some news you may want to know today an news article came out that says the actual violin used my hartly has been discovered at a auction house in london Its called henry aldridge and son. I am including a news article so you can read how it was found, and what they did to uthenticate the fact its the real violin and heres the article :Titanic Violin Found! Instrument Played By Bandmaster As Ship Sank, Auction House Says i hope this helps answer your question about the violin
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Other than possibly inventive newspaper stories published back in 1912, is there any evidence to support the idea that Hartley's violin case was strapped to his body? The inventory of his recovered effects lists everything he was wearing, his jewelry, the contents of his pockets, even pieces of paper. But not a large leather case, with or without a violin inside, which would surely have been the most obvious thing to include.
 

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