Apr 27 2012 Ayrshire Post (main ed)
JOCK Hume was just 21 when he picked up his violin and joined bandmates on the deck of the stricken Titanic.
They famously continued to play as the great ship succumbed to the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
One hundred years later and the legend of Titanic continues to be a major part Jock’s family.
For his grandson Christopher Ward’s book, And the Band Played On, has helped ensure that the tragic loss of 1500 souls will never be forgotten.
Just 21-years-old when he died, Jock left behind a pregnant fiancee, whose child was the author’s mother.
And next month Christopher will travel to Ayrshire to read from his tragic true tale of love, loss and betrayal at the Boswell Book Festival.
The book has been described by Julian Fellowes, writer of ITV’s Titanic and Downton Abbey, as: “A heartbreaking story, wonderfully told.”
No doubt Christopher, of Dumfries, will have a rapt audience when he appears on the second day of the festival – Saturday, May 12 – at 6.30pm.
This year is not only the centenary of Titanic’s sinking but also marks a happier occasion, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
It is 60 years since Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne and Boswell Book Festival is celebrating with the help of historian Sarah Bradford.
She has penned several books on the Royal family, her latest being Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in our Times.
After the event at midday on Saturday, the audience is invited to toast Elizabeth, Queen of Scots, with a nip of Girvan-based William Grant and Sons’ whisky.
As well as marking Titanic and the Jubilee, the festival will put a spotlight on the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war.
Tony Banks, a former member of the Parachute Regiment, recounts his own experience of the conflict in Storming the Falklands: My War and After.
He is now an entrepreneur and has featured on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire.
Tony’s philanthropy extends to the military charity Combat Stress and he is a great supporter of its Scottish treatment centre at Hollybush House, near Ayr, which provides care for ex-servicemen with mental health problems. Tony takes to the stage at 5pm on day two.
The Boswell Book Festival is the world’s only literary festival dedicated to biography and memoir.
It takes place in the fantastic setting of Auchinleck House from Friday to Sunday, May 11 to 13.
You can find out more about the authors and festival programme at www.boswellbookfestival.co.uk and book tickets by calling the box office hotline at the Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock on 01563 554900.