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Middy reports on the Titanic disaster

Middy front page

Middy front page

This year was the 100th anniversary of the Tiantic disaster.

On April 14, 1912, the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic where it still lays to this day.

The story was front-page news across the UK and was even on the Middy’s front page.

The front page of the Middy at the time mainly comprised adverts rather than large reports.

In the edition dated April 16, 1912, the headline on the story read ‘Liner Titanic sunk by iceberg, feared loss of many 
ives’.

At the time the details were obviously just coming through. It said that a wireless was sent to the New York office of the White Star Company by the captain of the Olympic saying that shortly after ten o’clock American time, 3.25am Monday morning UK time, the ship collided with an iceberg.

It said: “When she left Queenstown the Titanic has on board 2,358 passengers and crew, made up as follows – first-class, 350; second-class 305; steerage, 800; officers and crew 903. It is known that many lives have been lost, but the number has not been ascertained.

“Just as we were going to press at twelve o’clock today (Tuesday) we received a telegram stating that it is feared 1,500 lives have been lost.

“When the liner sank many lifeboats were swamped. Mr W. T. Stead, the noted journalist, is believed to be among the lost.”

In the weeks that followed the letters, note and comments sections of the paper were filled with letters from Mid Sussex people talking about their upset and dismay at the 
disaster.

One note said: “The hearts of Mid-Sussexians have been deeply stirred by the ‘Titanic’ disaster and on Sunday last Churchman, Roman Catholics, and many members of other denominations remembered the bereaved and those who have passed beyond the
 veil.”

It went on to say that several Sussex families had lost relatives or dear friends. Poems were even published by readers.

The Titanic set sail from Southampton on April 10, but called at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown, now Cobh, in Ireland, to take on more passengers.

She then began her maiden voyage across the Atlantic towards New York. Four days into her journey, on the night of April 14, Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and was so badly damaged that she survived for less than three hours before she sank.

Two-thirds of Titanic’s passengers and crew were lost because there were not enough lifeboats to rescue everyone on board.

Survivors were picked up from the lifeboats by the Carpathia and taken to New York. More than 1,500 people drowned.

 

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