Titanic: The Aftermath


The repeat of inside the Titanic

Wednesday, 3 pm and Saturday, 11 am, Discovery Channel

A tiny pair of boots belonging to a three year old boy whose life was claimed by the Titanic on the fateful night of April 15, 1913 lay unidentified as his body was put to rest in the cemetery with 100 others. And that's the lasting image that sticks with you long after the credits have rolled off Titanic: The Aftermath, a documentary that was part of a two-part series aired recently on Discovery Channel to commemorate the 100 years of one of the greatest human tragedies. Your heart also goes out to the 18 year old widow of John Jacob Astor, the richest man aboard the ship, whose son detested her and the baby in her womb. The boy baby came into the world long after his rich father was swallowed by the Atlantic Ocean but could never bridge the aristocratic gap between him and his older-by-a-generation half brother.Then there was Mary Costin, the fiancee of John Lock Hume, the 21 year old violinist of the band that continued to play as the ship's inhabitants clung to a hope of returning alive! Hume's body was later found as Body No. 193, though unidentified for a long time, by his disciplinarian father. Mary went on to fight for the rights of her baby girl born seven months after her father sank.

These and many more stories unfold in this 90 minute documentary based on Chris-topher Ward's book And The Band Played On. It's a drama-tic, emotional recreation of the events that took place after the Titanic sank told through the stories of Hume by his grandson, Christopher Ward; John Barnstead, the descendant of the registrar at the Halifax, also called John Barnstead, who invented a new exhaustive methodology in Forensic Science, that of identification, numbering and effects...Interestingly, Barnstead who had no modern technology or any other scientific crutches to resort to, put together a system that is still used during mass disasters including 9/11. He would painstakingly record everything about the deceased right from the clothes they wore to the minutest of personal details. He also introduced the system of photographing dead bodies for families which couldn't afford to come down to identify their loved ones. These pictures would then be sent along with other details to their families. His sole purpose was "closure for the families. Their loved ones deserved that respect".

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.