The story of the Titanic has been well documented over the past 100 years. Deemed to be "almost unsinkable",though this was not from the builder,Harland & Wolff in Belfast,but rather from a trade journal. The Titanic was the middle of three sister ships, Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic, two of the three,Titanic and Britannic had short lives.
Britannic,the third of the sisters was launched in Feb 1914 and was requisitioned into military service as a hospital ship for WW I in 1915. Having completed five successful voyages to the Middle Eastern Theatre and back to the United Kingdom transporting the sick and wounded soldiers,Britannic struck a mine off the Greek island of Kea November 21 1916, and sank with the loss of 30 lives.
Olympic,the first of the three,was launched in Oct 1910,and was not without incident in its lifetime,which exceeded both sister ships combined. The first incident was Sept 20 1911, when she collided with a British warship, HMS Hawke off the Isle of Wight. Although the incident resulted in the flooding of two of her compartments and a twisted propeller shaft, Olympic was able to return to Southampton under her own power. In Sept 1915,Olympic was requisitioned by the Admiralty to be used as a fast troop transport and stripped of her peacetime fittings, and armed with 12-pounders and 4.7-inch guns, the newly-designated HMT (His Majesty's Transport) 2810 left Liverpool on 24 September 1915, carrying soldiers to Mudros, Greece. On Oct 1 lifeboats from the French ship Provincia which had been sunk by a U-boat that morning were spotted off Cape Matapan and Olympic picked up 34 survivors.From 1916 to 1917, Olympic was chartered by the Canadian Government to transport troops from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Britain. In Aug 1919 Olympic returned to Belfast for restoration to civilian service,with its interior modernized and boilers converted to burn oil rather than coal. In 1934,at the instigation of the British government,White Star Line merged with the Cunard Line. This merger allowed funds to be granted for the completion of the future RMS Queen Mary. Cunard White Star then started retiring its surplus tonnage, which included the majority of the old White Star liners,sending them to the "breakers". Olympic was withdrawn from service in 1935 and sold to be partially demolished and its final demolition taking place in 1937.Though the majestic Titanic sank on its maiden voyage,and became the greatest maritime disaster in history,with over 1500 deaths,it is a story that will never cease being told.
In the April 15 1912 edition of the Fort William Times Journal, the reports suggested
all onboard were safe and be transported to shore.
But the next day,the news couldn't
have been worse!
A display of books on the Titanic disaster at the Brodie St library,marking the
100th anniversary of the disaster
For some incredible pictures of the Titanic on the bottom of the Atlantic,check out