The Titanic Memorial Garden, Belfast City Hall





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Published on Apr 28, 2012

© DeadlyTeaParty Property

I was at the The Titanic Memorial Garden in Belfast at the City Hall yesterday (Friday 27th April 2012)

A new Titanic Memorial Garden has been opened in the grounds of Belfast City Hall, on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship with the loss of 1,514 people. A remembrance service was held beforehand and relatives of many victims attended.

The Memorial Plinth contains the names of the 1,512 passengers and crew who lost their lives in the disaster.

The Titanic Memorial in Belfast was erected to commemorate the lives lost in the sinking of the RMS Titanic on 15 April 1912. It was funded by contributions from the public, shipyard workers and victims' families, and was dedicated in June 1920. It is located on Donegall Square in central Belfast in the grounds of Belfast City Hall.

The memorial presents an allegorical representation of the disaster in the form of a female personification of Death or Fate holding a laurel wreath over the head of a drowned sailor raised above the waves by a pair of mermaids. It has been used as the site of annual commemorations of the Titanic disaster. For a while it was obscured by the Belfast Wheel that was removed in April 2010. It is now the centrepiece of a small Titanic memorial garden that was opened on 15 April 2012, the centenary of the disaster. Together with the garden, it is the only memorial in the world to commemorate all of the victims of the Titanic, passengers and crew alike.

Within days of the Titanic disaster, suggestions were put forward in Belfast that the local victims should be commemorated with a memorial. Belfast City Council passed a resolution on 1 May 1912 stating that "the City of Belfast recognises with unbounded pride that in the hour of trial the fortitude of her sons failed not; and while she mourns for her dead, she rejoices in having given to the world men who could so nobly die."

A proposal was formally put forward on 3 May 1912 in a meeting at Belfast City Hall chaired by Julia McMordie, the wife of Lord Mayor of Belfast Robert James McMordie, both of whom had attended the launching of Titanic the previous June. It passed a resolution authorising the building of an appropriate public Memorial, to be erected on the most prominent site available, so that it may keep green the memory [of those lost] and serve to tell succeeding generations of their heroism and devotion to duty; also that the question as to its particular character be referred to a sub-committee for consideration and report.

By the end of May 1912 the sum of £1,035.0s.4d had been raised. About a third of the money came from members of the public. Of the rest, employees of Harland and Wolff -- who had built Titanic -- provided £231.5s.11d, the family of Titanic's designer Thomas Andrews -- who was lost in the disaster -- contributed £360, and the White Star Line, Titanic's owners, gave £105.

On 30 July 1912, McMordie asked the council's Improvement Committee to provide a site in Donegall Square North or Castle Junction. The city surveyor reported on 6 August that the Donegall Square site was suitable and the memorial committee turned its attention to choosing a sculptor. Sir Thomas Brock RA, a distinguished English sculptor who had already contributed statues of Queen Victoria and Sir Edward Harland to Belfast and the Victoria Memorial in London, was commissioned to produce the Titanic Memorial.[2] He began work following a final vote of confirmation by the City Council on 2 January 1913.

The outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 caused a long delay in completing and erecting the memorial. On 26 June 1920 the dedication ceremony was held. It was unveiled on a hot sunny Saturday by Field Marshal Viscount French, the last Lord Lieutenant of Ireland


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