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Front cover

White Star Line Waltz

Date: 1908
Overall: 350 x 260 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00028932
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    The sheet music for the 'White Star Line Waltz' composed and published by J.C. H. Beaumont.
    Dr John Beaumont served with White Star Line as a surgeon for 31 years. Prior to that was with the Atlantic Transport Line and in the Australian, China and Indian steamship services. Dr Beaumont crossed the Atlantic 1,002 times, served aboard troopships and hospital ships in WWI, including the BALTIC, BRITANNIC and the OLYMPIC at Gallipoli.

    SignificanceThis sheet music, written for the great cruise ship company White Star Line, was composed by the ship surgeon Dr J.C.H. Beaumont who served with the Line for 31 years including through times of war and the sinking of the TITANIC.
    HistoryJohn Beaumont was born in Calcutta and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He served as a ship surgeon for the White Star Line for 31 years and became known as man of 'wide sympathies and liberal tastes'.
    He became well known throughout the company and kept a diary of some of the interesting people he met which he later published in a book 'Ships and People' in 1926. Some of the characters included the Barnum and Bailey circus performers and animals (including an elephant) and politicians such as President Roosevelt.

    Dr Beaumont chose to continue to serve as a ship surgeon throughout WWI and wads involved in the rescuing of crew from the sunken AUDACIOUS. He also recorded an account of time spent on the OLYMPIC at Gallipoli:

    Toward the close of 1915 I went back to the Olympic, which was now a trooper, and we sailed for Gallipoli with 5,500 of all ranks. From her interior it was not easy to recognize the floating palace hotel of peace days, her fine dining salon and the Ritz restaurant being changed into long rows of tables, the lounge into an armoury, the reception rooms into
    dress rooms, the swimming pool and racquet courts into blanket stores, everything painted black and grim instead of bright coloured and gay.
    During the voyage ease, soon after rescuing three boatloads of Frenchmen, whose ship had been sunk, we fired thrice at a submarine and swerved off to dodge it. For me, as indeed for anyone else, one visit to Gallipoli would have been enough. The harbor was interesting enough, for it was crammed with all manner of craft from battleships to tiny
    motor launches, among which the Olympic stood out like a giant among manikins. But the island and the mainland were bleak and forbidding, masses of barren rock, sand and mud on every side, no vegetation, lizards creeping around everywhere, few houses, but miles of tents and hospitals full of every fever flesh is heir to.
    At night, twenty miles off, we could see the reflection in the sky of big gun flashes from the Turkish lines."

    Dr Beaumont also became an avid theatre and music lover and counted the legendry piano player Vladimir Pachmann amongst his friends.
    Although Dr Beaumont served with White Star Lines for 31 years, it his account of a discussion prior to the TITANIC's departure that is most often quoted. Beaumont was serving aboard the OLYMPIC when her sister ship sank and later recalled of his friend Dr William Francis Norman O'Loughlin:

    'Whether he had any premonitions about the TITANIC (I think it is known that (purser) McElroy had) I cannot say, but I do know that during a talk with him in the South Western Hotel he did tell me that he was tired at this time of life to be changing from one ship to another. When he mentioned this to Captain Smith the latter chided him for being lazy and told him to pack up and come with him. So fate decreed that 'Billy' should go on the TITANIC and I to the OLYMPIC'

    [Dr J.C.H. Beaumont in Hyslop et al (1997) Titanic Voices]

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