The White Star Polka - March

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Piano music from the 1880s featuring White Star Line ships.

The White Star is a Polka March, written by John Twiname Gardner between 1880 and 18971.

The White Star was probably a novelty or promotional pice, it is unclear whether or not it was commissioned by the White Star Line itself.  It is probably not a piece that would have formed part of the repertoire of White Star Line orchestras, but rather for sale to the general public.

Gardner was born in 1854 and worked as a doctor in Ilfracombe, Devon.  An accomplished musician, he conducted the Ilfracombe Choral Society and founded the North Devon Orchestral Society.  He retired in 1904 and died in 1914 aged 59.


  1. Probably towards the start of that period as the ships featured on the cover are early White Star sail and steam liners such as the first Britannic (1874).  Publishers Francis Day and Hunter published under that name from 1880 and moved to Charing Cross Road in 1897.  Currently, there is no other information available on the date of publication.

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Chris Gardner

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  1. avatar

    Alex Clark said:

    I have a CD of music played, or likely to have been played on the Titanic and other WS ships of the period. The 1st track is the fake White Star Polka written by Ian Whitcomb. Why they didn’t just include the actual track or else just leave it, or even name the Whitcomb track something else, I don’t know. However, I actually prefer the fake one to the original. Although both are good.

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2020) The White Star Polka - March ( ref: #114, published 28 March 2020, generated 21st September 2021 11:02:30 AM); URL :