TODAY is the centenary of a disaster Southampton can never forget.
Exactly 100 years ago, RMS Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg in a tragedy that will haunt the city forever.
More than 1,500 of her crew and passengers – who, days earlier, were awestruck to be on board the magnificent ship’s maiden voyage as she left our city – were swallowed up by the ice-cold Atlantic Ocean as the White Star liner slipped below the waves.
Nowhere else felt Titanic’s sorrow so deeply than Southampton – the place most of its crew called home.
A century ago the heart of our city was ripped out mourning the loss of more than 500 of our brothers, sons and fathers who died that fateful night.
This weekend, people from across the world are in Southampton attending a series of events to mark the centenary.
The British Titanic Society Annual Convention themed A Time to Remember took place at the De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel yesterday.
Hundreds of people have visited Andrews Park next to Guildhall Square where there is a full-scale outline of the Titanic including exact positions of its main features.
At Titanic – From Prow to Stern people can grasp the sheer scale of the ill-fated ship by walking its length and listen to voice recordings from the archive of the city’s oral history unit.
Last night, people there paused to remember those who witnessed the disastrous night a century ago. There was a spoken timeline of events and distress flares launched.
Meanwhile at those same key times, a Titanic memorial cruise, which is recreating her maiden voyage and set sail from Southampton five days ago, will reach the ship’s wreckage site for a poignant memorial service.
Hundreds of people have been discovering the graves and memorials related to Titanic as part of the Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery’s programme of guided walks.
Today, a 100th anniversary commemorative service will take place at St Mary’s Church, in Southampton, from 2pm with readings and music.