I think by now everyone who follows by blog knows who Wallace Hartley is, so here’s a fairly short biography. You can find my other posts H E R E !
Wallace Hartley was born in Colne, Lancashire and grew up in and around the town, he was school in the Wesleyan Church School which is where he made some of his earliest performances Hartley worshiped at Bethal Chapel, where his funeral was eventually held (it is no longer there).
Hartley and his family moved to Yorkshire before 1903, Hartley started working in Bridlington with the municipal Orchestra and in 1909 moved to Dewsbury, West Yorkshire and began working for the Cunard Line playing on their ships such as RMS Lusitania and RMS Mauretania (White Star’s rivals). During his time working for Cunard, his contract was change to a company that employed musicians for both Cunard and White Star, meaning he was no longer part of the crew but still accountable to the captain.
Hartley was initially reluctant to be away from his fiancee, Maria Robinson, but he know the opportunities such a luxurious liner could open up. It is well known that Wallace Hartley continued to lead the band well into the sinking, and none of the band members survived.
Wallace Hartley’s body was recovered:
NO.224 - MALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 25 - HAIR, BROWN
CLOTHING - Uniform (green facing); brown overcoat; black boots; green socks.
EFFECTS - Gold fountain pen, “W.H.H.”; diamond solitaire ring; silver cigarette case; letters; silver match box, marked “W.H.H., from Collingson’s staff. Leeds”; telegram to Hotley, Bandmaster “Titanic”; nickel watch; gold chain; gold cigar holder; stud; scissors; 16s; 16 cents; coins.
BANDMASTER WALLACE H. HOTLEY