Photograph showing the Titanic Disaster Fund Collection in Southampton

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A black and white photograph showing the Titanic Disaster Fund Collection in Southampton 1912

This is a black and white photograph, taken in Southampton on the 28th of April 1912. It shows British Red Cross volunteers collecting donations for the Titanic Relief Fund in Southampton, fourteen days after the sinking of the Titanic.The photograph shows nine of the uniformed volunteers lined up in front of a public crowd, gathered to take donations to help the survivors and relatives of those lost in the Titanic disaster.

The nurses are placed at the front of the photograph, with their white uniforms contrasting against the dark clothes of the public in the background. Most of the nurses seem to hold collection boxes, encouraging donations as part of relief funds to help those who had suffered or had nothing left after the disaster.

I was interested in choosing and researching the role of the Red Cross in the midst of the Titanic sinking. This provides a specific example of how the British Red Cross was involved in fundraising to support those affected by a crisis over 100 years ago. It is also interesting as it shows female participation in aid and support in response to a large-scale disaster. One link which particularly struck my interest, from reading her personal diary, is of the role of a Titanic survivor, named Violet Constance Jessop who had served upon the ship as a stewardess and then later volunteered with the British Red Cross during the First World War.

Audio recording by Laura Ridgway (Volunteer), Birmingham.
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