Commemorating the 110th anniversary of the tragedy of the ill-fated Titanic ship, we remember Monaco’s forgotten hero, Roger Marie Léon Joseph Bricoux who was one of the legendary Titanic musicians, a brave cello player who never left the sinking ship.
The 20-year-old Monaco resident Roger Marie Léon Joseph Bricoux, was not just a cello player, but a hero. He was the son of a musician. The family moved to Monaco when he was a young boy.
Bricoux was born on 1 June 1891 in rue de Donzy, Cosne-sur-Loire, France.
He was educated in various Catholic institutions in Italy and he won first prize at the Conservatory of Bologna for his musical ability.
Bricoux and pianist Theodore Ronald Brailey had served together on the Cunard steamer RMS Carpathia before joining the White Star Line.
He always wanted to work as a musician; therefore, in 1912 he decided to apply for a job on the ship Titanic.
During his first trip, Bricoux became one of the legendary Titanic musicians, a cello player who never left the sinking ship and continuously played on his cello during the sinking of the Titanic.
Bricoux and his fellow band members played music to help keep the passengers calm as the crew loaded the lifeboats. Many of the survivors said that he and the band continued to play until the very end.
Bricoux was 20 years old when he died and his body if recovered, was never identified.
Interestingly Bricoux’s previous employer, the RMS Carpathia ship was the one which rescued the survivors of the Titanic disaster.
In 1913, after his apparent disappearance, he was declared a “deserter” by the French army.
It was not until 2000, that he was eventually officially registered as dead in France, mainly due to the efforts of the Association Française du Titanic (French Titanic Society). On 2 November 2000, the same association unveiled a memorial plaque to Bricoux in Cosne-sur-Loire.