On 14th April 1912 the Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sank. Fifteen hundred passengers and crew lost their lives. As the order to abandon ship was given, the orchestra took their instruments on deck and continued to play. They were still playing when the ship went down.
The violinist, 21 year-old Jock Hume, knew that his fiancée, Mary, was expecting their first child, the author's mother.
One hundred years later, Christopher Ward reveals a dramatic story of love, loss and betrayal, and the catastrophic impact of Jock's death on two very different Scottish families. He paints a vivid portrait of an age in which class determined the way you lived - and died.
An outstanding piece of historical detective work, AND THE BAND PLAYED ON is also a moving account of how the author's quest to learn more about his grandfather revealed the shocking truth about a family he thought he knew, a truth that had been hidden for nearly a hundred years.
Christopher Ward is the grandson of Jock Hume, at 21 the youngest member of the Titanic's orchestra. Christopher joined the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle-upon-Tyne aged 17, and moved to Merseyside to become the Daily Mirror's Liverpool correspondent at the height of Beatlemania. In his early twenties, he moved to London, writing a column in the Mirror for more than ten years. At 38 he became Fleet Street's then youngest editor when he was appointed editor of the Daily Express. He left, aged 42, to co-found Redwood, Europe's first customer magazine agency, of which he is Chairman today. He lives in the Scottish Borders, seventy miles from Jock Hume's birth place in Dumfries.
Tragedy has a long reach, and heroism is a great burden...Their story plainly told, is intended as a parallel to the events of 9/11 and the consequences for so many lives thereafter. — The Times
'This extraordinary book was bourne out of that research, revealing the enduring shadow that a tragedy like Titanic - and the ensuing corporate cover-up - casts over future generations of those involved'. — Woman's Weekly
Christopher Ward's book about his 21-year-old grandfather...has produced a fascinating tale. This is the moving story of Jock Hume, a member of the Titanic's band, which played on for as long as possible. Everyone of them died. — Press Association
A gripping and moving account not just of the sinking of the Titanic, and the wretched class system which bedevilled the aftermath, but of the long-term impact on survivors and dependants. What started out as a story for the author's children and grandchildren has turned into a terrific read for everyone. — Alastair Campbell
'A moving homage to all of the men, women and children who heard the last music played onboard the SS Titanic, and to the people they left behind'. — Scotsman
'Christopher Ward's clever and touching account of his grandfather's death'. — Scotsman
Gripping and in places deeply disturbing human stories of the Titanic disaster and its diverse sequels. A major contribution to family and to social history by the grandson of the young violinist playing in the Titanic as the ship sank. — Professor Asa Briggs, author of A Social History of England
'As Christopher Ward delved into his past he unearthed a story of true love, which turned to hate with the sinking of the Titanic'. — Sunday Express
A heartbreaking story, wonderfully told. — Julian Fellowes, author of Gosford Park
'A poignant memorial'. — Spectator
'As the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic moves closer, a significant number of publications focusing on the tragedy are appearing. However, Christopher Ward's new book on the disaster sets a high benchmark for the competition to follow... This is an interesting piece of genealogical research, as well as a gripping individual story from the tragedy'. — Family History Monthly
'Ward bring together both personal stories from his own family... with the wider history of the famous ship and its passengers... He excels in researching the period after the tragedy, and the way in which those who lost their lives were treated according to class'. — Your Family Tree
'A moving account of author Christopher Ward's quest to learn about his grandfather, a Scottish-born musician who played on board the Titanic'. — History Scotland
'Written by his grandson it tells a story of love, loss and the terrible impact Hume's death had on two families. A moving human story from the ship's disaster.' 5 stars — Daily Express
An outstanding piece of historical detective work by Christopher Ward about his family. An utterly absorbing read as the 100th anniversary approaches. — The Weekly
The devastating impact of Jock's death and the ensuing saga of family friction and duplicity that emerges add depth to the Titanic story. — The Good Book Guide