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RMS Titanic Memorial Walk – Sunday 15 April 2018

Monday 16th April 2018

Under a heavy sky, with rain beginning to fall, Geoff Watts led 16 people, together with FoSOC members, on our annual Memorial Walk to remember the loss of the Titanic, in which more than 1500 died. The walk was on the 106th anniversary of the sinking on 15 April 1912.
All the locations visited in the cemetery had been strimmed and tidied by a team of FoSOC members led by Steuart Thompson, to whom thanks were given by Geoff.
Geoff explained that, although a small number of the bodies of some of the dead, retrieved from the North Atlantic after the sinking, had been repatriated to the UK none had been returned to Southampton. A number of those, from Southampton, who died are remembered on family headstones. The group visited the grave of the family of second class passenger, Henry Price Hodges, who, once, had musical instrument and record shops in Southampton. His body was recovered and is buried at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Stories relating to crew members, who had died, were related including Stewards of different classes, such as First-Class Bedroom Steward Edmund Stone whose personal effects found with his body were auctioned in 2008 for £235,000, and George Henry Chitty, an assistant baker on the ship.
The cemetery holds some who survived the Titanic and the walk included stops at the graves of Horace Leopold Ross and Alfred Crawford, each of whom has a different ‘lifeboat story’.
Two restored graves in the cemetery, with which FoSOC was involved, relate to the aftermath of the disaster here in Southampton. Henry Bowyer, Trinity House Pilot and Lt, Cdr. RNR, was the Mayor at the time who began the setting up of what became the Titanic Relief Fund and Miss Ethel Maude Newman from 1912-1940 (when she died) devoted 28 years of her life as Southampton’s Lady Visitor to the families receiving money from the Fund.
In all, 21 locations were visited and, at a number of them, Geoff brought in wider stories relating to the tragedy. Generous donations were received, all of which go towards FoSOC’s work in the cemetery. FoSOC is happy to take groups, including just a few people, on this Titanic walk. Please contact us by e-mail to discuss this or any of our other walks.