“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Titanic Memorial Garden

Titanic Memorial Garden Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., May 12, 2019
1. Titanic Memorial Garden Marker

Titanic Memorial Garden is a permanent tribute to over 1,500 passengers and crew who died after the ship struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic during its maiden voyage in April 1912.

When RMS Titanic departed Southampton on 10 April 1912, she was the largest and most luxurious ship ever built. She dropped anchor at Cherbourg in early evening to collect more passengers. Ninety minutes later, Titanic departed for Queenstown (Cobh) on the south coast of Ireland from where, at 1.30 pm on April 11, she set out for New York.

The ship had made over 1,500 miles when the first warning of icebergs, five miles to the south, was received on the evening of 14 April. At 11.39 pm an iceberg was spotted ahead but could not be avoided. At 11.40 pm, the iceberg scraped Titanic's hull below the waterline, buckling it in several places so that water flowed into the first six compartments. The ship was fatally damaged.

Though the watertight doors were quickly closed, the ship's designer, Thomas Andrews, calculated that Titanic could sink within two hours. Captain Smith ordered the lowering of the lifeboats. Soon after midnight,

Titanic Memorial Garden Unveiling Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., May 12, 2019
2. Titanic Memorial Garden Unveiling Marker
In pavement
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the first wireless messages for help were transmitted. By 12.25 am passengers were being guided to the lifeboats and 30 minutes later the first lifeboat was lowered into the freezing waters.

Distress rockets lit the air and the loading of the lifeboats became more hectic, with desperate efforts being made to get women and children aboard first. Around 2 am the band stopped playing. A survivor, William Murdoch, was quite certain that he heard the band play a final hymn, "Nearer My God To Thee" as the bow slipped below the water. By 2.20 am Titanic had sunk beneath the waves.

On the Sunday following the disaster, thousands attended commemorative services in the local churches. At St Anne's Cathedral, the hymn "Nearer My God To Thee" was sung while a collection was taken for widows and orphans of the tragedy. At the Unitarian Church in Comber, home town of the much respected Thomas Andrews, Harland & Wolff's chief designer who perished in the disaster, the Rev. Dunkerly took as his text 'Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends' (John 15:13).

The Ship
Why did the largest, most advanced ship of its time sink? Some claim that Captain Smith was at fault; that he ignored iceberg warnings from his crew and other ships. Others say her builders, Harland & Wolff, were to blame, claiming that rivets used in her construction were

"Titanic" Memorial image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr.
3. "Titanic" Memorial
Roll of Honored Dead
made from sub-standard iron. It is also speculated that Bruce Ismay, the Managing Director of the White Star Line, may have put pressure on Captain Smith to maintain the speed of the ship. Whatever the cause, she now lies over 12,000 ft down on the floor of the Atlantic, her debris strewn over a half mile across the sea floor, her bow and the stern nearly 2,000 ft apart.

Those Lost
Titanic's 20 lifeboats provided space for barely half the passengers and crew aboard. The ship also carried over 3500 lifebelts and 48 life rings but these were useless in the icy water. The majority of passengers that went into the sea did not drown, but froze to death, succumbing to hypothermia in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Among the dead were Thomas Andrews and Captain Smith as well as 691 crew. The number of first class passengers lost was 124, with 166 second class and a disproportionate 530 of third class passengers.

Titanic Memorial Statue
Overlooking the garden is the Belfast Titanic Memorial, a work by Sir Thomas Brock which was unveiled in June 1920. The statue is both a beautiful work of art and a stark reminder of the terrible loss of life. Nearby stands the Pirrie Memorial, erected initially on his grave in Belfast City Cemetery but restored and moved to its current position in 2006, in honour of William James Pirrie, (1847-1924). Pirrie was chairman

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of Harland & Wolff, the ship-builders who built Titanic. The Titanic Memorial Plaque bears the names of all those who died as a result of the tragedy.

The Survivors
Passengers lucky enough to get into a lifeboat were forced to listen to the dreadful cries of those in the water. Eventually, the cries died down as, one by one, they perished. Ships within a 200-mile area had received Titanic's distress signals, and some began heading towards the doomed ship's last coordinates at full speed. The Carpathia, the only ship to pick up survivors, sighted the first lifeboat at 4:10 am and by 8:30 am on 15 April, all the survivors had been brought aboard. Finally, on 18 April 1912, the surviving passengers and crew of the Titanic disembarked in New York.

The Titanic Memorial Garden was officially opened on 15 April 2012
by The Right Honourable, The Lord Mayor,
Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile
to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of RMS Titanic
and to remember all 1,512 people
who tragically lost their lives that fateful evening.

Erected 2012 by the City of Belfast.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work
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DisastersMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Unitarian Universalism (UUism) series list. A significant historical date for this entry is April 15, 2012.
Location. 54° 35.803′ N, 5° 55.753′ W. Marker is in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Marker is on Donegall Square East just south of Donegall Square North (Northern Ireland Route A1), on the right when traveling south. Garden is part of the Belfast City Hall grounds. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Donegall Square, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT1 5GS, United Kingdom. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William James Pirrie (here, next to this marker); "Titanic" Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Royal Irish Rifles South African War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); First U.S.A.E.F. Landed in This City 26 Jan 1942 (within shouting distance of this marker); Henry George "Harry" Ferguson (within shouting distance of this marker); James Joseph Magennis (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to the City Centre (within shouting distance of this marker); The Water Office (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Belfast.
Regarding Titanic Memorial Garden. From the Belfast City Hall website:

The Titanic Memorial Garden was officially opened on 15 April 2012 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic. The garden is set on two levels. The upper level contains a nine metre long plinth, inscribed with the names of those who died on RMS Titanic. The lower grassed terrace surrounds the existing Titanic monument.

The upper level displays bronze plaques listing all 1,512 victims of the disaster in alphabetical order - passengers and crew. It’s the first memorial anywhere in the world to record all of the names of the victims on one monument. It is believed that a complete list of names was already in existence when the plaques were being designed, however this was not the case.

Many existing lists documented the first class, second class and steerage, but did not necessarily include all the crew members, the Guarantee Group, the postal workers and the musicians.

This is the first time the names of everyone who perished have been recorded on one monument. The Belfast List, as it is now known, is a key feature of the memorial garden.

In the lower grassed terrace, the garden was built around the existing Titanic monument which was designed by Sir Thomas Brock. The garden is planted with springtime flowers whose colours were chosen to evoke images of water, ice and a sense of reflection.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 26, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 25, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 98 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on May 26, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   2, 3. submitted on May 25, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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May. 23, 2022