Above and beyond the call of duty
When alarms first sounded, the eight musicians had already retired for the evening. Still, they put on overcoats and came out to play in the lounge. When most of the women and children of the First Class passengers had been put aboard the ship's 16 lifeboats, the band could have followed them to safety.
Instead, they moved to the deck and continued to play as Second and Third Class passengers took what few seats remained on the last lifeboats and on the four collapsible liferafts ... as the ship slowly sank.
Those who knew bandleader Hartley describe him as a man of faith, character and moral strength. At Sunday school and church, the importance of sacrifice and putting the needs of others first had been stressed throughout his life.
There are accounts of discussions he had with friends about what he would do in the face of death. They describe him as more prepared than most to meet his Maker.
His longtime friend John Carr told the New York Times:
"I don't suppose he waited to be sent for, but after finding how dangerous the situation was, he probably called his men together and began playing. I know that he often said that music was a bigger weapon for stopping disorder than anything on earth. He knew the value of the weapon he had, and I think he proved his point."