The Titanic centenary offers a unique opportunity for the story to be passed on. And no better place to do so, than in the Comber school which was named after the liner's chief architect.
Thomas Andrews was the nephew of William James Pirrie, the Chairman of Harland and Wolff.
The idea of the Olympic-class liners was born during an after-dinner chat between Joseph Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie to rival Cunard in a battle for the high seas.
When design work for the 'almost unsinkable' ship began in the Drawing Offices, Andrews was Harland & Wolff’s chief designer.
He also headed Harland and Wolff’s ‘Guarantee Group’, a group of engineering specialists who accompanied each vessel on its maiden voyage to see that all went well.
It was in this capacity that the Comber man boarded Titanic on 10 April 1912, as she set sail from Southampton on her ill-fated journey.
After Titanic struck an iceberg four days later, Andrews conducted a rapid tour of the ship to assess the damage.
Six of the watertight compartments at the front of the ship's hull had been breached below the waterline in the collision. Titanic was designed to stay afloat with four compartments flooded.
Andrews informed Captain Smith the ship was doomed.
Witnesses said he then wandered the decks encouraging passengers to wear their lifebelts and to make their way to the lifeboats.
As Titanic sank, he was last seen in the First Class Lounge, staring off into space by the painting, his lifebelt discarded. He went down with her.