On April 15, the world will come together to pay tribute to those who perished on the Titanic, which sank 100 years ago after a fateful collision with an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean.
While the night has become the stuff of legend, Irish archaeology company Know Thy Place has committed extensive research hours towards mapping out the events prior to the tragedy, when the ship was moored, for the final time, in the Co. Cork town of Cobh.
“The story of the Titanic’s connections with Ireland begins with Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, where she was designed and built,” said Know Thy Place director Damian Shiels.
“We explain her building with the aid of a Belfast Docks map, showing the key sites associated with the White Star liner.”
One of the more intriguing aspects of the Know Thy Place map is its detailed research into the final moments of the estimated 129 Irish passengers and crew who boarded the doomed vessel at Cobh.
The investigation into their family history has culminated in a map which offers the story of many of those who died, while also marking their hometowns with individual crosses. This information now serves as a full representation of the human cost of the ship’s sinking to Irish townlands.
Looking over the map, it becomes clear that many areas in Ireland suffered disproportionately. Large numbers from individual parishes - including one group of 14 - were wiped out, with entire families lost in some instances.
Through their findings, researchers at Know Thy Place were able to piece together the deeply moving final moments of many Irish would-be emigrants.
“We discovered a remarkable memento for the family of passenger Jeremiah Burke, when a bottle holding his last message washed up on the Irish coast,” said Shiels.
“It read: ‘From Titanic. Good Bye all. Burke of Glanmire, Cork.’ It was through findings like this one that the story of Titanic really came to life for our team.”
The RMS Titanic Chart is available from Know Thy Place for $56.00 at www.knowthyplace.com, or by calling 353 (21) 2439234.