Hartley's Violin

Hartley's Violin, once thought to be lost forever, is now found.

Hartley's Violin, once thought to be lost forever, is now found.


According to legend, he died with his instrument clutched to his chest. Wallace Hartley, the violinist and bandleader, was one of eight brave musicians who played as the great Titanic went down, a hundred and one years ago.

In 2006, an instrument that looked very much like it might be Hartley's, was discovered in the attic of a music teacher in England.

The key was a metal plate bearing an inscription from Wallace Hartley's fiance. She had marked the occasion of Titanic's maiden voyage, by giving him the instrument just before he embarked. But there was no clear proof. 

Now, after seven years of testing at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds, experts have delcared that the water-stained violin is the one played by Hartley on the night of the tragedy.

To mark the occasion of this remarkable news, we have decided to re-broadcast a documentary we first aired last year.. It's called  - appropriately enough - "Hartley's Violin".

On May 18, 1912, a funeral service was held in the small town of Colne, in Lancashire, England.  More than thirty thousand people came to honour and remember Wallace Hartley, violinist and Bandmaster of Titanic. The hymn, Nearer My God to Thee was played in his honour.

The violin and the small bag in which it was kept  - now proven to be authentic - are set to go on display at Belfast City Hall at the end of this month.

"Hartley's Violin", was produced by John Corcelli with the assistance of Dean Ples.

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