Wednesday, January 20, 2010

From Nunhead to the Titanic

When the Titanic sunk in 1912 one of the survivors was a young wireless operator, Harold Bride.
Bride first told his story to the New York Times immediately after the disaster. 'I was born at Nunhead, England 22 years ago, and joined the Marconi forces last July. I first worked on the Hoverford, and then on the Lusitania. I joined the Titanic at Belfast'.

Bride seems to have been one of the last off the ship and spent some time swimming in the sea before being picked up. He recalled listening to the band as the ship went down: 'The way the band kept playing was a noble thing. I heard it first while still we were working wireless, when there was a ragtime tune for us, and the last I saw of the band, when I was floating out in the sea with my life belt on, it was still on deck playing "Autumn"'.

On the rescue ship, Carpathia, he quickly went to work on the wireless, sending messages from survivors.

You can read his full story at the New York Times archive for 19 April 1912. See also the entry on him at the Encyclopedia titanica. Bride was born in 1890, in 1903 his family moved to 58 Ravensbourne Avenue, Shortlands, where there is now a London Borough of Bromley plaque.

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