Location: 67-75 Albert Rd, Colne, BB8 0BP, United Kingdom
Almost two weeks after the Titanic disaster, Wallace Hartley’s body was recovered from the icy North Atlantic, still wearing his bandsman’s uniform, and with his music box and violin case reputedly strapped to his body.
Wallace Hartley’s body arrived back in England at Liverpool on the 12th May, aboard the White Star liner Arabic. His coffin was loaded onto a horse-drawn hearse for the somber 60-mile journey back to Colne.
Over 30,000 people turned out to pay their last respects to Wallace Hartley at his funeral on 18th May, and a procession to the Bethel Independent Methodist Church, where Hartley once sang in the choir, was almost half a mile long.
As Wallace Hartley was laid to rest in the small cemetery on the edge of Colne, an orchestra played ‘Nearer, My God, To Thee’, and the music for the hymn, together with a violin, are carved into his ornate gravestone.
Wallace Hartley’s memorial is a small bust accompanied by a pair of angelic bodies, atop a marble pillar in his home town of Colne, with an accompanying information board telling of his heroics that night in April, 1912. Its position right next to the main road through the town, rather than tucked away out of sight like some Titanic memorials, serves as a daily reminder to the people of Colne of the hero their home town produced.
In the year 2000, as part of the Millennium celebrations throughout the UK, Colne designed a mural as a tribute to the town, its people, its industry and of course its history. This mural, on Parliament Street, features the town’s biggest hero, Wallace Hartley.