AS the hull the the mighty courage splintered and a torrent of freeze water gushed into the first-class cabin, bandsman Jock Hume walk the unthinkable: the calmly re-cover his violin and played one final song.

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For plenty of of the 2224 passenger onboard, the critical sound lock heard to be Jock's violin, the Titanic band's mournful hymn ringing the end over the ocean.



The famous Titanic film stops brief of the grisly restore operationCredit: Alamy

Meanwhile, ago in Dumfries, pregnant Mary Costin waited anxiously in ~ home, praying the her fiancé Jock would certainly be among the 700 survivors rescued by a passing cruise ship and heading for brand-new York.

But ten days after the tragedy, on the work Jock and also Mary were due to be married, there was still no update - return the crew that a recovery vessel had found a human body in a musician's uniform bobbing among the Titanic's wreckage.

Weeks later, the letter which ultimately arrived in Scotland bore devastating news: a body had actually been identified, and it to be Jock's.

Mary to be devastated, yet she had closure, unlike the relatives of hundreds of anonymous passengers who bodies to be consigned forever come a watery grave.


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body were identified on the restore ship's deck, wherein possible, v third-class passenger buried earlier at seaCredit: Discovery
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Jock Hume, AKA John, was hailed a hero because that playing with the Titanic band as the ship sankCredit: Discovery

A no hope mission

Everyone knows what happened when the "unsinkable" vessel, activate by the White Star Line, win an iceberg ~ above April 15 1912 - 109 years back to the day.

But few people understand the grisly story behind the recovery operation which prioritised first-class victims of the tragedy even in your death.



The reality of the Titanic's demise is much less glam than the movie version, certification Leonardo DiCaprio and also Kate WinsletCredit: Alamy

In the results of the Titanic disaster, the CS Mackay-Bennett, a cable-laying delivery docked in Canada was sent out in a recovery effort.

The vessel was based in the city the Halifax, Nova Scotia, at the closest port to the Titanic's final destination, and also so it to be hired by the White Star line to mount the main recovery mission.


With Captain Frederick H. Larnder at the helm, the hardy ship was stripped that its normal cables, loaded with coffins and also turned into a "mobile morgue" complete with one on-board undertaker.

But leaving port on the 17th April, the crew the 75 - every paid double to compensate for the grim job ahead - never expected to find countless bodies in ~ the website of the disaster.

Titanic expert Christopher Ward, the grandson of Jock Hume, said in a discovery documentary: "There were strong winds and also currents transferring the bodies many, countless miles.

"The White Star Line collection it out v 103 coffins on board, so their expectations weren't high."



It to be the crew the the Mackay-Bennett that were tasked v recovering bodies from the wreckageCredit: Alamy

The dead and also the debris

Built come navigate in ice and fog, the Mackay-Bennett braved choppy waters to reach the Titanic's last well-known position - arriving at the scene on Sunday 21 April, after four days in ~ sea.

The crew found more bodies than they were all set for floating amongst the driftwood, and also spent seven days dragging corpses on-board, the hair of the dead stiff with cold and also the eyelashes coated in frost.

Tracy Oost, a foresnsic anthropologist, says: "They would have seen frozen and also frostbitten bodies. They more than likely wouldn't have actually looked in poor condition top top the surface.

"But as soon as they began pulling bodies the end of the water lock would have actually noticed the the lower section was far more decomposed.


"Most probably didn't drown. Castle would have frozen come death."

The bodies were hauled from the sea and laid out on deck, where they to be numbered and their physics characteristics and also records were noted.


restore crews bulled frozen body from the water during a week-long operationCredit: Discovery

The cruelty of the class system

After the first day the the week-long rescue mission, 51 bodies had actually been recovered, numerous too mangled or rotten come be i can identify if that wasn't for their belongings, which were meticulously logged and also stored in numbered bags.

But shortly the crew establish they had actually a problem: they were running out of coffins.


Before he collection off, Captain Larnder had agreed a device to monitor in case tough selections had to it is in made: bodies of first-class passengers, i can identify by the an elaborate clothes and expensive possessions, would certainly be prioritised and given an useful coffin space.


The story the the Titanic is fine known... But couple of know the the horrors which adhered to the disasterCredit: Getty - Contributor

The remains of second-class passengers, meanwhile, were stored in canvas sacks, while passengers figured out as being third class would certainly be buried at sea.

By the moment the Mackay-Bennett to be at complete capacity, the ship was transferring 190 bodies - just over 10 every cent of all the Titanic dead - and 116 an ext had been cast earlier into the depths.

Of all the negative passengers who were left come rot beneath the waves, covering in cloth and also weighed under so they would certainly sink come the bottom, just 56 were ever before identified.


The crew the the Mackay-Bennett determined they had actually no an option but to bury the negative at sea after castle ran the end of coffinsCredit: Alamy

Frederick Hamilton, the ship's engineer, wrote at the time: "The words 'we now commit this body to the deep' room repeated.

"At every interval comes a splash together the weighted body sinks right into the sea. Splash. Splash. Splash."

Sacks soon ran out and also coffins, and the Mackay-Bennett had actually to regroup through a support ship to collection more.

Before long, the delivery was hefty with body - among them one unidentified masculine in the uniform of the Titanic band.


He was numbered 193 and also brought ago to land, where he would later be later figured out as brave violinist Jock Hume.


the 2,224 passengers, roughly 700 to be saved, v 1,500 still lacking todayCredit: Hulton save - Getty

The ship of death

The crew that the Mackay-Bennett had been said to keep an eye the end for a particularly notable corpse - the of man Jacob Astor, the richest male on the Titanic.

His household had promised to provide $10,000 (worth roughly £175,000 today) come whoever discovered his remains.

Astor was identified on-board the recovery ship many thanks to his diamond cuff links and also the initials embroidered in his jacket.


v the sinking of the Titanic, portrayed here in a painting, over 1,500 human being were never ever seen againCredit: PA:Press Association
The wealthy Mr Astor was found by the crew, earning them a hefty reward from his familyCredit: Discovery

But nothing, not even finding the rich Mr Astor, struck the crew as much as detect the body of a tiny boy, about two years old, in ~ the very first hours the the rescue.

Even despite there to be no means to recognize him, the crew couldn't be affected by each other to ask him at sea, so they stowed the body and also brought it earlier to Halifax.

When the vessel, which had actually earned the nickname "the ship of death", came into view of the coastline, onlookers were stunned to view bodies heaped top top the deck and the church bells in the city rang out in a grim chorus.

The dead were required to the regional curling rink - the just place big and cold enough to keep them - whereby the neighborhood registrar set about identifying as many as possible based on your belongings and also clothes.


Mass tombs were dug to ask the 190 corpses brought earlier to HalifaxCredit: Discovery

A storm of fury

Up come this point, the White Star Line had refused to say exactly how many people were missing, and would not disclose who had actually been presumed dead once asked through passengers' desperate relatives.

In Jock Hume's case, it take it weeks before the violinist's death can be confirmed.

Meanwhile, the crew that the Mackay-Bennett had actually arrived home into a storm of fury about the water burials lock had lugged out.

But the men, determined to do the right thing, collected their reward money for finding man Astor and used the to hold a funeral for the unidentified young they had found.


The wreck of the Titanic still hides plenty of secrets, consisting of where the body of 1,500 lacking ended upCredit: AP:Associated Press

Many the them would certainly come back to the cemetery each year to pay your respects come the child, who tomb rock was marked "Our Babe".

Nearly a century later, in 2007, the secret of the boy's identification was solved.

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DNA test revealed the corpse to be the of 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin, a third-class passenger from Melksham, Wiltshire, whose whole family died on the Titanic.