Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
On board in all directions there was the sound of running feet. It was clear there was something wrong. Before hearing anything, however, one had somehow sensed it. Some indiscernible threat had impacted and was quickly making its presence felt throughout the ship. At that moment a priest with breviary in hand was praying Night Office as he walked on the upper deck; nevertheless, as the alarms sounded he knew something had gone seriously wrong. The priest in question was Fr. Thomas Byles, and the ship’s name was Titanic.

Relatives in America had bought his ticket. Towards the end of 1911, Fr. Byles had been invited to officiate at the marriage of his brother, William, to Miss Isabel Katherine Russell of 119 Pacific Street, Brooklyn. The ceremony was due to take place at St Augustine’s Catholic Church, Sixth Avenue, Brooklyn, on April 21st, 1912. His initial booking had been with the White Star Line but due to industrial action he was unable to sail so at the last minute his ticket was transferred and an alternate berth secured upon a new ship, Titanic.When she set sail on her maiden voyage in 1912,Titanic was the largest vessel in the world, with a passenger capacity of 2,435; it was also claimed that she was unsinkable. In any event, no one considered such a possibility, as the ship left England before calling at Ireland and thereafter steaming out into the Atlantic. Fr. Byles had boarded at Southampton, having left his Essex rectory early on the morning of Wednesday April 10th. Dressed in clerical black and with a single case he caught the train to London before the boat train on to the English port.  The glamour of the occasion was not lost

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