The White Star liner Titanic left Belfast on route for Southampton. The Right Hon. A Bonar Law visited Belfast and arrived at Larne from Stranraer on the mail train from London. He was met with huge crowds in Whitehead, Carrickfergus and Larne on his arrival. He travelled on to Belfast to attend a meeting outside the Ulster Reform Club. He then travelled toward High Street and on to Comber, Newtownards and Mountstewart.
The newspapers at this time were then dominated by the disaster of the Titanic sinking. The newspapers listed the survivors and the names of the dead including lists of the Irish passengers who joined the ship at Queenstown. It was reported that there were 2358 passengers on board. The Irish first class passengers were Dr W E Minahan, Mrs W E Minahan and Miss Daisy Minahan, and the second class passengers were named as Mr Lamb, Mr Myles, Mr Charles Kirkland, Nora and Daniel Keane and a Miss Slayter and Mr John Lingane. There were many employees of Harland and Wolff on board the Titanic including Thomas Andrews the managing director, Mr Parr, electrician, Mr Chislom, ships draughtsman, Mr Anthony Frost, fitter, Ennis Watson, electrician, Mr Robert Knight, fitter, Mr Wm Campbell, Joiner, Mr Francis Parkes, plumber and a Mr Cunningham, fitter. It was reported in the early reports of the 20th April that most of those who were saved were women.
The disaster occurred some 650 miles from New York off the coast of Nova Scotia. The Titanic sister ship the Olympic was about 700 miles away and the Virginian about 75 miles for the collision with the iceberg. Memorial services for the dead of the Titanic were held throughout Ulster. Some of the victims were reported in the papers such as Mr E Chisholm of Sandford Avenue who was the chief draughtsman with both the Olympic and Titanic. William Campbell a young apprentice joiner on the Titanic.
Mr Harry Crease was the third engineer on the Titanic and was from the Stranmillis area. William McReynolds of Rotterdam Street also died on The Titanic. Mr Jack Collins aged 8 and a cook on the Titanic survived the accident. By 26th April the Carpathia had arrived in New York with the first news directly from the scene of the disaster. A further five died on board the Carpathia. There were many accounts reported from the survivors including the stories of bravery of the Captain and of Colonel Astor who both remained with the boat. It was also reported that many women remained with their husbands.
A day of mourning was requested at the Queens Island by order of the directors of Harland and Wolff. A citizens meeting was also held at the City Hall Belfast, which was attended by many people of Belfast. Investigations into the cause of the Titanic disaster began with Bruce Ismay being questioned at length regarding the speed of the Titanic. Harold Bride the wireless officer was also examined about wireless messages from the Titanic. There was a great deal of discussion about the lack of lifeboats on board the Titanic which although were perfectly legal did not meet the requirements to save all those on board.
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