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Forever Cunard

The Titanic Centenary

April 19, 2012


Posted in: Forever Cunard

Hello All

I wanted to let you know how touched we were by the many wonderful and touching comments on the story of Carpathia. Here’s how things drew to a conclusion for the Titanic centenary…

Commemorations took place across Southampton on Sunday 15 April, and Cunard played a respectful part in remembering the 1,500 who lost their lives as well as the rescue of all of Titanic’s survivors by the Cunard ship Carpathia, under the command of Captain Arthur Rostron.

It was in recognition of the heroic role played by the Captain Rostron in 1912 that a special service was held at his graveside in West End, Southampton. A floral tribute in the shape of anchor was placed on his grave by Captain Rostron’s granddaughter Rosemary Pettet, with Captain Chris Wells placing a wreath on behalf of Cunard. After prayers, a lone trumpeter led singing of ‘For those in Peril on the Sea’. The ceremony was well-attended and Rosemary Pettet was delighted to meet two ladies whose great-grandfather, a 1st class steward on Titanic who had been put in charge of one of the lifeboats, had been rescued by her grandfather. They pointed out that they would not be here today but for the actions of Captain Rostron that night, a poignant reminder of the human story at the heart of the Titanic commemorations.

The service was followed by a plaque unveiling ceremony at the house Captain Rostron lived in from 1926 – 1940, attended by Rosemary Pettet.

In the afternoon of Sunday 15 April, a service of remembrance was held for those who lost their lives on Titanic, over 500 of them crew from Southampton, at St Mary’s Church in the heart of the city. Despite its large proportions, the church was packed, with standing-room-only half an hour before the service was due to begin. A combination of music, readings, and an address from the Bishop of New York led to the laying of wreaths, with Captain Wells offering a tribute on behalf of Cunard, as a string ensemble played ‘Nearer My God to Thee’, the hymn said to have been struck up by Titanic’s bandmaster as the ship went down.


It seemed a fitting way to round off a week of remembrance and reflection on a tragedy that still resonates with us today.

  1. jill jones says:

    such a wonderful remeberance for all the staff especially from Southampton. It was lovely to see our Captain from the queen elizabeth,

  2. Susan Greatorex says:

    Thank you for sharing this story — it brings us full circle in in remembering Titantic and Carpathia. We have no family connections to either ship, but my husband and I sailed on Queen Mary 2 from New York on 14 April 2009 and knew the significance of the date. Last year, as part of Queen Victoria’s Altantic Homecoming, we were caught up in the emotion of visiting Cobh on 11 April, the 99th anniversary of Titantic’s departure from there.

    This year, at home in North Carolina, we had the pleasure of hearing maritime historian Graham Anthony speak at a meeting of the English Speaking Union on 11 April. He enthralled us with photos and descriptions of such a different time and the new age of technology in 1912. God bless the young radioman on the Carpathia who received and understood Titanic’s SOS and then had the courage to wake the captain!

  3. Richard Smith says:

    From on board Queen Elizabeth.

    On the the evening of 15 April our dinner menu was a very special, beautifully produced document commorating the part played by the Carpathia and Captain Rostron. We thought it was a very positive way in which to record the tragic yet heroic events one hundred years ago.

  4. Daniel Skriker says:

    To say it is tragic that 1500 passengers perished when the Titanic sank is the understatment of the centaury.
    If it had not been for the Carpathia the death toll would have been much wore (it’s a shame that a Cunard ship wasnt around to save the Costa Concordia). But because of Titanic it adds to the magic of Queen Mary 2′s classic golden age Transatlantic crossing.

    I look forward to cruising next year on Queen Mary 2, the worlds greatest ocean liner from Cape Town – Southampton over the 101th Anniversery of the worlds former greatest ocean liner sinking, R.M.S Titanic.

  5. Judith Sayers says:

    Another excellent blog re the remembrance .

  6. Beryl Moss says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us all. It was a very fitting tribute to those who lost their lives and the survivors along with the many descendents of all the passengers and crew of the Titanic.

  7. Edgar Price says:

    Wonderful photos and a very fitting tribute. What a tragic day that was, many years ago.

    I was fortunate to sail on QE2 in April 2008, NY-Southampton, when she cruised over the exact spot where the RMS Titanic sank on the same day, April 15th. The passengers and crew stood by the railings of the QE2 and a brief ceremony commemorating the lost ship and the many fatalities was conducted. It was raining, and I thought it appropriate for the solemn occasion. May they all Rest in Peace.

    We hope to see you soon here in Valencia, Mr.Shanks. We’re only minutes from your office.

    Kind Regards,

    The Price Family
    Valencia,CA USA

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