Encyclopedia Titanica

Wallace Henry Hartley

Wallace Henry Hartley
Wallace Henry Hartley

Mr Wallace Henry Hartley, 33, was the son of Albion and Elizabeth Hartley of Colne, Lancashire. But at the time of his death his home was Surreyside, West-Park street, Dewsbury, England. He had led orchestras in Harrogate and Bridlington and was a member of the Savage Club in Leeds.

Hartley, a violinist, worked on the Cunard Liner Mauretania before leaving to become bandmaster on the Titanic. He had a fiancé in Boston Spa, near Wetherby in Yorkshire and spent time with her in that village the week before boarding the Titanic.

After the collision, Hartley led the orchestra in playing ragtime tunes.  According to legend they also played the hymn Nearer, My God, To Thee!

His body was recovered as #224 on May 4th 1912 the body was transferred from Halifax to Boston for its return to Liverpool on board the Arabic where it arrived on May 12th. From Liverpool, the body was taken by hearse to Hartley's boyhood hometown of Colne, Lancashire. The funeral was held at the Bethel Independent Methodist church where hartley had been a choirboy.

NO.224 - MALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 25 - HAIR, BROWN

CLOTHING - Uniform (green facing); brown overcoat; black boots; green socks.

EFFECTS - Gold fountain pen, "W.H.H."; diamond solitaire ring; silver cigarette case; letters; silver match box, marked "W.H.H., from Collingson's staff. Leeds"; telegram to Hotley, Bandmaster "Titanic"; nickel watch; gold chain; gold cigar holder; stud; scissors; 16s; 16 cents; coins.

BANDMASTER WALLACE H. HOTLEY

In 2013 Wallace Harltey's violin was sold at auction for £900,000 ($1.6m).

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Wallace Henry Hartley
Age: 33 years 10 months and 13 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Engaged
Last Residence: in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, England
Occupation: Musician
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 250654
Cabin No. E
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 224)
Buried: Colne, Lancashire, England

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References and Sources

Daily Sketch, April 20, 1912

Research Articles

Senan Molony Titanica! (2004) Titanic's Band: Killing Them Softly.
Just how many people did the ship's orchestra kill?
Stuart Kelly Titanica! (2013) Authenticating the Wallace Hartley Titanic Violin
How Titanic' Bandmaster's instrument was declared genuine
Stuart Kelly Titanica! (2013) Auctioning the Wallace Hartley Titanic violin

Newspaper Articles

Worcester Evening Gazette (20 April 1912) Brave Musicians of Ship Meet Fate Trying To Drown Cries of the Perishing Passengers
Worcester Evening Gazette (20 April 1912) Still Playing As Water Creeps Up
The New York Times (21 April 1912) SINKING SHIP'S BAND CHOSE FITTING HYMN
Newark Star (23 April 1912) MEMORIAL SERVICES ARE PLANNED FOR TITANIC DEAD
Toronto Daily Star (24 April 1912) Nearer My God, To Thee, Is Musicians' Prayer
Those on the Titanic Played It Knowing Their End Was Close at Hand
The Bioscope (16 May 1912) Advertising a film of Wallace Hartley's Funeral
The Times (20 May 1912) FUNERAL OF THE TITANIC'S BANDMASTER

Images

La Science et la Vie Arabic returned Hartley's body to Great Britain
Wallace Hartley's dressing watch
Wallace Henry Hartley
Wallace Henry Hartley's Grave
(1912) Concert by the Apollo Club, Brooklyn in aid of musicians' families

Reviews

Senan Molony Titanic Review (2011) The Band That Played On
Senan Molony reviews Steve Turner's new book about the musicians aboard the Titanic The Band that Played On

Documents and Certificates

(1912) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax, N.S.

Miscellaneous

Nearer My God to Thee
White Star Line Repertoire
(2011) Violin played as Titanic sunk in 1912 finally discovered!
A new book to be published this week, The Band that Played On: The Extraordinary Story of the 8 Musicians Who Went Down with the Titanic by Steve Turner, claims that the violin which band leader Wallace Hartley played as the Titanic sank in April 1912 survived, and may be offered for sale at the time of next year's centenary.
(2018) Cashing in on a Titanic funeral

Graves and Memorials

Brandon C. Holm Titanica! (2007) RMS Titanic: The Funerals, Memorials and Legacy of the Lost Passengers and Her Crew
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