Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Little Titanic Story - A Guest Post by Nicola from Back to Books

I don’t know when I first heard of the Titanic but I must have been quite young. I grew up in a household where old classic B/W movies and BBC miniseries were the normal fare on TV and I was a voracious reader at a young age. However, I became fascinated with the Titanic when I was fairly young, probably 8 or 9. Later on, we lived on a hill and behind our place was a large field leading down to our small town's major cemetery. My friends and I used to play there all the time and I got my love of cemeteries from that. We were respectful. We would sit under trees and read or just talk in the peaceful atmosphere. But we'd always walk around the old part of the cemetery reading headstones and family plots/memorials. Many famous men from the town's history were buried there, the founder, the man whom the hospital was named after, etc.

My best friend at this age, her mother took gravestone rubbings, so occasionally we took rubbings with charcoal and mostly she would take them home with her. But one day, during said time period of age 8 or 9, we ran across the most fascinating name on a large family plot marble memorial for the "Beattie"s, one of the town's popular families, and written on the memorial, along with the names of those buried there, was reference to "Thomson Beattie" who was “buried at sea” "TITANIC DISASTER". Suddenly I felt connected to the Titanic, a bit of its history was in my backyard! I've visited there many times in my life; sometimes as a kid I’d go running in and visit him first, other times I’d head towards him visiting others as I went or as I got older, I’d visit the cemetery but not leave until I’d paid that last visit to Thomson’s memorial.

Somewhere around age 10 I read Walter Lord's "A Night to Remember" for the first time and found Thomson Beattie’s name in the appendix at the back which lists all the passengers. It was a strange feeling looking for his name, I was almost afraid I wouldn’t find it, but my heart leapt a little bit and then I felt a sort of sadness when I finally saw his name in print there. I felt like I actually *knew* someone who had perished on the Titanic! and it became a lifelong interest.

That’s why this year, after book blogging since 2007, I was finally coaxed out of my challenge hosting shell and decided to host my very first challenge commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. The challenge runs all year long, so come and join us here and post links to books you’ve read this year here.

Nicola Mansfield


  1. wow, fantastic post! I would also feel a connection. I love Titanic stories.

  2. What a great post. Thanks for sharing your Titanic story! May Thomson rest in peace.

  3. How cool! I love going through the oldest sections of cemeteries to read the gravestones. Sometimes they have the most interesting inscriptions. I found/sought out one near my boyfriend's parents house that was part of the great Hartford Circus fire. I also have a American Revolutionary War soldier buried in one near my parents house.