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MEMOIR MARCH: The Band That Played On by Steve Turner

I just saw this one on NetGalley, not specifically a Memoir, but it looks like a  fascinating story of the eight men who played while the Titanic was sinking.


When Titanic collided with an iceberg at 23:40 on April 14th, the eight members of the band had already retired for the evening. Still, they put on overcoats and mufflers came out to play in the lounge. When most of the First Class passengers had taken to their lifeboats, the musicians simply moved to the deck and continued to play, calming the passengers as the ship sank. One second class passenger said: "Many brave things were done that night, but none were more brave than those done by men playing minute after minute as the ship settled quietly lower and lower in the sea. The music they played served alike as their own immortal requiem and their right to be recalled on the scrolls of undying fame." Survivors' accounts differ about whether their final tune was "L'Automme" or "Nearer My God To Thee." What has never been disputed is the courage of these musicians who deliberately sacrificed the possibility of escape in order to produce a mood of tranquillity at a time of extreme anxiety. But who were they? What journeys brought them to this deck on this icy ocean? Had any of them previously displayed signs of great courage? Who did they leave behind? Historian and biographer Steve Turner delves into the lives of these brave men, revealing eight unique portraits of bravery.


  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781595552198
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595552198


  1. I don't know if I could die instead of saving my own skin. That's some devotion.

    Thanks for the great review and putting this book on my radar screen.

  2. I just requested this on NetGalley. I'm looking forward to reading it. Watching the scenes (in the various films) where they are playing is heart-breaking. I'm interested to know how they lived, not just how they died.

  3. I agree with what Kathy said about learning how they lived, and also who they were and how they happened to be there (how and why they wanted and got the job).

  4. I remember when I was in middle school I loved reading about the Titanic. Then the film came out and I just couldn't stomach the topic anymore because it was all over the media. This book sounds really great though.

    I know it says that you're an awards free blog, and you don't have to accept this one, but I did award you the Stylish Blogger award. You were one of the first blogs I started following and I really love reading your reviews, even if they're for books that I have no interest in. Here's the link:

  5. Thanks Gabrielle
    I just can't get around to reposting the awards, so in fairness, I thought I shouldn't accept them.
    @Kathy - I didn't order it because I am so far behind in reading.
    @Man of la Book & Carla- I am amazed at this story. I always heard about the band, but never really thought about it. I don't think I could do something like that either, but maybe playing calmed them down as well.


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