SOS from TITANIC 2012

                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 

 Montage Play

 

by

 

Fini Lokke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nyborg 2012

 

Characters:

 

Winston Churchill

 

Lord Pirrie, Chief Designer

 

Bruce  Ismay, Shipowner

 

H. G. Wells, author and journalist

 

David Watson, engineer

 

Captain Edward J. Smith

 

Chief Officer Murdoch

 

Second Officer Lightoller

 

Sixth Officer Moody

 

Deck Seaman

 

Chief Steward Hitchens

 

Steward Witter, Second Class Smoking Room

 

Pugh, Third Class Steward

 

Purser

 

Philips and Bride, Telegraph Operators

 

Rowe, Lookout Man

 

Steward Witter, 2. Class smoke room

 

Officer Webb

 

Shipyard Foremen

 

Jim Thompson, caulker

 

David Watson, engineer

 

Reporters

 

Roger Bricoux, cellist

 

Stewardess

 

Charlotte Collyer, passenger

 

Three young passengers

 

Roberta Josephine Watt, passenger, Second Class

 

Anna Kincaid, passenger, Third Class

 

Young Danish man and his girlfriend

 

Alfred Wicklund, Swedish passenger, Third Class

 

Edwina Trout, passenger, Third Class

 

Reverend Plumer Bryant

 

Experts John P. Eaton and Charles A. Haas, Titanic Historical Society

 

Behr and Beckwith and two others, tennis players

 

Anonymous boat passenger with a gun

 

Third Officer Pitman

 

Captain Edward Crosby, passenger

 

Dorothy Gibson, passenger, movie actress

 

Officer Lowe, at boat no. 5

 

Sailor at boat no. 5

 

Andrews, passenger

 

Ann Robinson, stewardess

 

J. F. Prindle, President the town Ismay, Montana, Commercial Club

 

WM. Alden Smith, Chairman Senate Subcommittee

 

Lucile Carter, in a letter to Ismay

 

Mrs. Dobbyn, employee with the Astor family

 

Laura Mabel Frankatelli, secretary with the couple Duff-Gordon

 

Helen E. Bell, psychic

 

Richard Henry Rouse, bricklayer, emigrant passenger

 

Charity Rouse, his wife

 

Mrs Bucknell, passenger, psychic

 

Molly Brown, passenger

 

Reverend Charles L. Tweedale, Anglican vicar, spiritualist proponent

 

Lilian Bentham, passenger with a whistle

 

Amy Stanley, daughter of American entrepreneur

 

Herbert Hill, Seaman

 

Captain Rostron, M/S Carpathia

 

Captain Lord, M/S Californian,

 

Captain Lardner, M/S Mackey-Bennett

 

Henry Adams, American politician

 

Walter Lord, author

 

Maxtone-Graham, marine historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The set consists of a large poster from the White Star Line

 

but the locations are only marked as they change.

 

Letter writers and reporters read their letters and newspapers;

 

 only the action itself requires memorizing lines,

 

 and even that may be omitted if the play is performed as a rehearsal.

 

Even if some of the reports and citations are long

 

They are meant to be that way  because they underline the importance

 

of the technical state of the vessel and its connection

 

 with present day shipyards and shipping.

 

                                                              Musical introduction:

 

Rule Britannia

 

Gustav Holst: The Planets (fragment from ‘Mercury, The Winged Messenger’)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Churchill at Manchester: “a Titanic world”

 

(The Times, 24 May 1909)

 

   I think it is not untrue to say that in these years we are passing through a decisive period in our history. The wonderful century, which followed the battle of Waterloo and the downfall of the Napoleonic domination, which secured to this small island so long and so resplendent a reign, has come to and end.

 

   We have arrived at a new time. Let us realize it. And with that new time strange methods, huge forces, larger combinations – a Titanic world – have sprung up around us. The foundations of our power are changing. To stand still would be to fall; to fall would be to perish. We must go forward. We will go forward (cheers).

 

   We will go forward into a way of life more earnestly viewed, more scientifically organized, more consciously national than any we have known. Thus alone shall we be able to sustain and renew through the generations which are to come the fame and the power of the British race (loud cheers).

 

 

 

Reporter (Freeman´s Journal 13 July 1909):

 

Messrs. Harland and Wolff of the Belfast shipbuilding works, are prepared to lay down ocean-going ‘leviathans’ of much greater dimensions than any yet attempted.

 

 

 

 

 

Lord Pirrie ( at a luncheon at the shipyard in Belfast  1 April 1911):

 

I want to express my thanks to the Harbour Board of Belfast. It should be very proud of the fact that they had anticipated the necessities and requirements of the port in building a dock which many people at the time the scheme was being discussed thought far ahead of the requirements of the port. I do feel that the dock was not only not too large, but that before long the requirements of shipbuilding would necessitate even greater provision.

 

Reporter  (from Leitrim Observer, Irish Newspaper 11 November 1911):

 

   Belfast shipyards offer just now the unique spectacle of the two biggest ships afloat lying in dock. The Titanic is not yet finished, and some two thousand men are still at work on her, while as many more are in Harland and Wolff´s workshops preparing the material for equipment of this Leviathan. Her sister ship, the Olympic, is meanwhile being repaired after the injuries she received in her recent collision with a British cruiser off the Isle of Wight. There must be fully five thousand men at work on these two vessels alone; but the other yards and docks are not idle, so that it is no wonder Belfast is comparatively prosperous with its thriving shipbuilding and other industries.

 

 

 

Secretary, US Senate board of inquiry (final report 1913):

 

   The Titanic was fitted with 16 sets of double-acting boat davits of modern type, capable of handling 2 or 3 boats per set of davits. The davits were thus capable of handling 48 boats, whereas the ship carried but 16 lifeboats and 4 collapsibles, fulfilling all the requirements of the British Board of Trade. The Titanic was provided with 14 lifeboats, of capacity for 65 persons each, or 910 persons; 2 emergency sea boats, of capacity for 35 persons each, or 70 persons; 4 collapsible boats, of capacity for 49 persons each, or 196 persons. Total lifeboat capacity, 1,176. There was ample lifebelt equipment for all.

 

 

 

 

 

Worker, 1911 (BBC  Titanic Archive):

 

   I was there and not only that but I had my eldest daughter there…Well, what you remember about it, the parts of the people that was there. All the highest nobility and they were there and it was a sight to see the dresses of male and female, and you would see what the comparison was between the rich and the poor.

 

 

 

Journalist, Cork Informer 1911:

 

   The vessel launched yesterday from the yard of Harland and Wolff deserves her name Titanic, for none other would more aptly apply. The day was observed as a holiday by all who could leave work, some of these people joining the many of the leisured class who travelled long distances in order to witness the launch. On the river were many craft from small to large, and these were full to over-flowing with sightseers. Five minutes before the appointed time there boomed out a double rocket, that being the signal that all was clear. Once more the whistle rang out, then the signal rockets boomed, the mountain of metal commenced to move, and there burst forth from the throats of the thousands of men, women and children that were assembled at the yard, from those that filled the boats on the river, and from the great human belt that fringed the opposite shore, a cheer that seemed like tumult – it was a wild roar.  (Cheers rising to roar)

 

 

 

 

 

Reporter (referring to W. A. Smith Senate Report of the wreck):

 

   Shipbuilding science seemed to have reached perfection and to have had the last word.

 

Finally you had learned to master the sea, and it seems that an exaggerated self confidence had  blunted the mental faculties that used to be present while the atmosphere literally was filled with warnings and telegraph reports registering the last messages from the outside world while at the same time the stokers in the engine room fed their furnaces with fresh fuel and registered the very topmost speed exactly at this dangerous spot.

 

 

 

Deck steward:

 

God himself would not be able to sink this ship.

 

 

 

Captain Edward J. Smith:

 

Mr. Murdock, what was that?

 

 

 

Murdock, First Officer:

 

An iceberg, sir. – I had ordered ‘Hard a port’ as I hoped to swing the ship clear of the berg, but it was too late and too close. I could do no more.

 

 

 

Captain Smith:

 

Close all the watertight doors.

 

 

 

Murdoch:

 

The doors are already closed.

 

 

 

Newspaper reader (citing Irish Independent 18 September 1908):

 

   It is estimated that at least £ 2,000,000 will be spent in wages in Belfast in connection with the building of the two mammoth White Star liners, Olympic and Titanic. Twelve thousand men are employed at Harland and Wolff´s yard, the wages bill reaching £18,000 a week. Apart from any other orders, the outlay on the two liners represents wages for two years. While all records will be beaten by the enormous tonnage of the new liners, Lord Pirrie believes there is no limit to the size of the ship that can be built except that imposed by accommodation in shipbuilding yards and docks.

 

 

 

Newspaper reader (citing a Belfast observer 1911):

 

   For months and months, in that monstrous iron enclosure there was nothing that had the faintest likeness of a ship, only something that might have been the iron scaffolding for the naves of half a dozen cathedrals laid end to end. At last a skeleton within the scaffolding began to take shape, a sight of which men held their breaths. It was the shape of a ship, a ship so monstrous and unthinkable that it towered over the buildings and dwarfed the very mountains by the water. A rudder as big as a giant elm tree. Bosses and bearings of propellers the size of windmills. Twenty tons of tallow were spread upon the ways, so that when the moment came, the water she was to conquer should trust her finally from the earth.

 

 

 

Report reader (from the British wreck commission´s report of the construction of the vessel with special consideration for the thickness of the steel used and the the watertightness of the superstructure):

 

   The vessel was built throughout of steel and a cellular double bottom of the usual type, with a floor at every frame. For about half of the length of the vessel this double extended up the ship´s side to a height of 7 feet above the keel.

 

Forward and aft of the machinery space the protection of the inner bottom extended to a less height above the keel. It was so divided that there were four separate watertight compartments in the breadth of the vessel. Before and aft of the machinery space there was a watertight division at the centre only, except in the foremost and aftermost tanks. Above the double bottom the vessel was structured on the usual transverse frame system, reinforced by web frames which extended to the highest decks. At the forward end the framing and plating was strengthened with a view to preventing panting, and damage when meeting harbor ice.

 

Beams were fitted on every frame at all decks, from the Boat deck downwards. An external bilge keel, about 300 feet long and 25 inches deep, was fitted along the bilge amidships.

 

The heavy ships´s plating was carried right up to the Boat deck, and between the C and B deck was doubled. The stringer or edge plate of the B deck was also doubled. This double plating was hydraulic riveted.

 

All decks were steel plated throughout.

 

The transverse strength of the ship was in part dependent on the 15 transverse watertight bulkheads, which were specially stiffened and strengthened to enable them to stand the necessary pressure in the event of accident, and they were connected by double angles to decks, inner bottom, and shell plating.

 

The two decks above the B deck were of comparatively light scantling, but strong enough to ensure their proving satisfactory in these positions in rough weather. The bulkheads and divisions should be so placed that the ship would remain afloat in the event of any two adjoining compartments being flooded, and that they should be so built and strengthened that the ship would remain afloat under this condition. The minimum freeboard that the vessel would have, in the event of any two compartments being flooded, was between 2 ft.6 in. and 3 ft. from the deck adjoining the top of the watertight bulkheads. With this object  in view 15 watertight bulkheads were arranged in the vessel.

 

The time it took for the 12 watertight doors to close was between 25 and 30 seconds. They were of Harland and Wolff´s latest type.

 

 

 

Jim Thompson, Harland and Wolff caulker (in an interview with Radio Ulster 1976):

 

   I was on the Titanic from when they laid the keel ‘til she left Belfast…Well, I loved it, and I loved my work and I loved the men, and I got on well with all…Oh, well, it was a great advantage, if you´d call it that, yet and the privilege of working on it…as a caulker that is, making the ship watertight. Wouldn´t you say that was a very important job?...If you had seen the process of extra work that went into the ship, you´d say it was impossible to sink her…Yes, it was a marvelous bit of work, yes, a marvelous bit of work…Well, I remember all the first-class compartments, the special rooms, which was a privilege to see. They were so nice that you couldn´t just describe them. You couldn´t. I bet you wouldn´t think it was a ship when you were inside. Of course everything was so highly decorated.

 

 

 

´David Watson, engineer (in his engineer´s notebook 1946):

 

D. Watson. Born 15th March 1875, started work as a catch boy on 2nd week of April 1889. I lost many days through carelessness but in my last days as an apprentice I hardly lost one hour, as things were not going too well with me at home…I was offered the job as leading hand & counter at the latter end of 1902. I accepted the job, I was put in charge of 22 old truck drilling machines scattered all over the different ships where there was work suitable for this class of drill. My greatest, worst, & most difficult experience was the drilling at shurstrakes of very large ships such as the Celtic, Cedric, Baltic, Adriatic, Titanic and Olympic  where all plates on these heavy shells & shurstrakes had to be drilled solid with the exception of the shell frames which were reamed but a size larger and with the crude tools then in use. The large & heavy electric drills used in the doing of this work then were hung over the side of the ships, suspended from the jib of a Bogie, placed on rails running with tons of pig iron & were shifted by a large hatcher.  Also it was a great worry keeping ahead of Hya Riveting machines, for if they were kept back at all there was sure to be trouble. As the late Mr. Thomas Andrews, who went down with the Titanic, the nephew of the late Lord Pirrie, hardly ever left his job until it was finished, in fact he would even come down in the middle of the night to see if there was any hold backs or any stuff gong on. He was a very earnest and determined man, but at the same time most fair and considerate where any difficulty or hitch occurred, so long as one told the truth, but God help any one he caught telling lies, a stickler for economy, and to quote one incident, on his coming up on the deck where one day there was a very big drilling job, he took exception to four old men employed on the truck drills. This was about the years 1908 or 09. I told Mr. Andrews that these four men were my most conscientious workers as they were doing more work than the younger men on the job. – With regard to Thomas Andrews there is no doubt that Lord Pirrie meant that he would eventually become the head Director of Harland and Wolff, which certainly would have happened had he lived. According to a little book on the life of Mr. Andrews, a Gentleman fellow traveler on the Titanic states that while in conversation with him during the trip he asked how he was feeling his reply was that the only thing that worried him a little was the fact of going farther and farther away from home. Little did he think of how far he would be going as it was understood that this ship, the Titanic was unsinkable. It was given out at the time the very passengers crying this out during the time she was going down underneath them.

 

One thing I remarked was the difference in the design of the bilge on these very large ships in comparison to the Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic etc., as the bilges of these ships were double heavy plated and strapped, being over 2in. to 3in. thick, wherein Titanic´s bilge was single plated, being only a good one inch in thickness and I am of the opinion that if the Titanic had been similarly bilged she would have kept afloat for a much longer period and probably would not have sunk at all…on the other White Star liners mentioned surely there would have been a greater resistance when striking the iceberg.

 

 

 

Roger Bricoux, cellist (to a steward):

 

   “Well, I and the pianist Brailey were on the Carpathia as you know but we were all for White Star Line and said to our steward: “Now we will get on a ship of a decent size and have us some real grub.” Hartley, our band leader, had been on the Mauretania, the violoncellist Fred Clark had never sailed before but was known from Scottish concert tours; our first violinist Jock Hume had not yet played at any concert but his instrument has a merry sound which pleases the audience. So everything was ok, eight musicians who knew exactly what to do. The rhythm will be quick, the music loud and cheerful.”          

 

 

 

 

 

Timetable (shown in big letters and numbers on a blackboard):

 

Wednesday 13 April: 12.15 Titanic´s whistle sounds thrice as signal to departure.

 

12.20 Nearly collision with one of the era´s finest liners New York but the tugboat finally managed to prevent it.

 

17.30 Titanic anchors out of Cherbourg.

 

 

 

Thursday 11 April:

 

Titanic leaves Queenstown to sail to New York.

 

 

 

Friday 12 April:

 

09.00 The lifeboat duties of the crew are posted. Most of them do not read them.

 

19.00 Titanic receives a message from the vessel about two thick icebergs ahead.

 

23.00  Titanic´s telegraph breaks down.

 

 

 

Saturday 13 April:

 

05.00 The telegraph is again in order.

 

1030 Captain Smith informs of the fact that the bunker fire in boiler room no. 6 has finally been put out.

 

12.00 Notice is given that a distance of 519 nautical miles has been covered since Friday. 

 

 

 

Stewardess ((to passenger Charlotte Collyer, pleasantly):

 

Do you know where we are? We are in what is called the Devil´s Hole.

 

Charlotte Collyer: What does that mean?

 

Stewardess: That is a dangerous part of the ocean. Many accidents have happened here. They say that icebergs drift down as far as this. It´s getting to be very cold on deck so perhaps there is ice around us now.

 

Charlotte Collyer: I am not frightened. But the crew obviously is alert, and that is a good thing. When I got on board I immediately thought that the Titanic was wonderful, far more splendid and huge than I had dreamed of. The other crafts in the harbor were like cockle shells beside her, and they, mind you, were the boats of the American and other liners that a few years ago were thought enormous. I remember a friend said to me: “ Aren´t you afraid to venture on the sea? But now it was I who was confident. ‘What, on this boat!’, I answered. ‘Even the worst storm could not harm her.’  I also remembered the accident before we left the harbor when the New York was  dragged from her moorings and swept against us in the Channel. It did not frighten anyone, as it only seemed to prove how powerful the Titanic was.

 

 

 

Roberta Josephine Watt, 2. Class passenger:

 

Like all the young ones I guess I covered every corner of the Titanic before too long. It was truly a lovely ship and at that time we felt very lucky to have been able to book passage on her. We had been booked to the New York and due to some strike, she was taken off the run ands so at the very last  we decided on the Titanic.  – A queer little incident happened that afternoon. I remember mother and some ladies having tea and as sometimes happened in those days one of them read the tea cups. Can´t remember this lady´s name but in one cup she said, ‘ I can´t see anything, it´s like there was just a blank wall and nothing beyond’, quite a good prediction for so many. Leaning the dock we had a spot of trouble also, another ship seemed to break a mooring and swung toward us, but somehow an actual collision was averted.

 

 

 

Timetable Sunday 14 April:

 

09.00:  A warning from the Caronia of bergs. Growlers and field ice in her track. This warning was passed on to Bruce Ismay by the captain and was not returned until the evening.

 

11.30: Scheduled boat drill is cancelled.

 

11.40: Noormadic sends another ice warning about the same location.

 

12.00: Titanic has run 546 miles in the last 24 hours.

 

13.00: Captain Smith shows Second Officer Lightoller an ice warning from the Caronia and it is posted in the chartroom.

 

13.30: Second-class Purser Reginald Barker tells passenger Lawrence Beesley that the ship´s speed is a disappointment.

 

13.40:  Baltic message received:’Capt. Smith, Titanic. Have moderate variable winds and clear fine weather since leaving. Greek steamer Athenai reports passing icebergs and large quantities of field ice today in latitude 41.51 north, longitude 40.52 west. Last night we spoke with German oil tanker Deutschland, Stettin to Philadelphia, not under control; short of coal; latitude 40.42 north, longitude 55.11. Wishes to be reported to New York and other steamers. Wish you and Titanic all success.’ – The message is given to Captain Smith, who puts it into his pocket and heads for A deck, where he encounters Bruce Ismay talking to the Wideners on the promenade. Smith hands Ismay the message, which Ismay puts in his pocket.

 

17.00: Titanic reaches ‘the corner’, a location 42 degrees north latitude and 47 degrees west longitude, where in spring steamships normally headed due west on course for the Nantucket Lightship and took a more southerly route to avoid the ice found near the Grand Banks. However, the Captain orders a delay in changing course until 5.45 p.m., causing the ship to travel an additional sixteen miles south-west.

 

17.45: Titanic changes course but is approximately ten miles south of the normal shipping route for that time of the year. (Smith´s decision is possibly due to the number of ice warnings received so far).

 

18.00: Second Officer Lightoller comes on duty for a four-hour watch.

 

 

 

Lightoller: Moody, please tell me when we will reach ice calculated from the messages received from other ships.

 

 

 

James Moody, Sixth Officer (calculating):

 

We will reach the ice at about 11 p.m. (Lightoller leaves for dinner. Returns after dinner)

 

 

 

Lightoller: It has definitely gotten colder.

 

Murdock: Yes, the temperature has fallen five degrees in half an hour and is now at 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

 

 

Lightoller: We have to take care of the ship´s water supply. Quartermaster Hichens, please warn the carpenter and ask him to take precautions against the freezing of the fresh-water.

 

 

 

Captain Smith (enters the bridge): It has certainly become colder, and the sea is peculiarly calm.

 

 

 

Lightoller: Yes, it is a pity there is no breeze as it makes it more difficult for us to spot the ice.

 

 

 

Captain Smith: If the weather becomes in the slightest bit hazy we will have to slow down. (Leaves the bridge to attend to a dinner party) Lightoller, if in the slightest degree doubtful, let me know.

 

 

 

Lightoller: Moody, telephone the crow´s nest and ask the lookouts to keep a sharp watch for small ice and growlers, and ask them to tell the new watches.

 

Moody (speaks on the telephone)

 

 

 

Philips, Senior Marconi Operator: I have to see to all these passenger messages to Cape Race, they are waiting. Here is a message from the Mesaba,  “Ice warning 42 to 41.12 north and longitude 49 to 50.30 west, saw much heavy  pack ice and a great number of large icebergs, also field ice. Weather good, clear.” Well, it is not important enough to take to the bridge. I have to go on sending messages to Cape Race.

 

 

 

Murdock (enters to take over from Lightoller): Put out the lights in the public rooms on third class to make the passengers go to bed.

 

 

 

Philips: Message from the Californian, “Say, old man, we are stopped and surrounded by ice.”

 

Shut up! Shut up! I am busy working Cape Race.

 

 

 

Fred Fleet, lookout: The horizon has developed a slight haze. There is a dark  object right ahead. (Rings the crow´s nest bell and telephones the bridge) Warning right ahead!

 

 

 

Murdock: I can see the berg (the ship´s telegraph rings) Full speed astern (and to Quartermaster Hichens) Hard a starboard.

 

 

 

(A dull, grating sound as Titanic, traveling 22 knots, grazes the iceberg on her starboard side) Hard a port.

 

 

 

Captain Smith (reenters the bridge): What have we struck?

 

Moody: A berg.

 

 

 

Captain Smith (at the telegraph room): Call immediately for assistance.

 


Philips: Shall I use the usual signal CQD?

 

 

 

Captain Smith: Yes (leaves)

 

 

 

Philips (telegraphs CQD): What is our latitude and longitude?

 

 

 

Bride (gives him a note): Here. 41.46 north, 50.14 west. To Carpathia: Come at once. We have struck a berg.

 

 

 

Philips: Frankfurt answers.(He telegraphs latitude and longitude) Tell your captain to come to our help. We are on the ice. Frankfurt answers: OK, standby! Now  Carpathia answers too, she is coming to our rescue as soon as possible. It is almost impossible to hear anything with the noise from the boiler room, ask the captain if he can do something about it.

 

 

 

Bride (in the telephone): He will try to get it stopped.

 

 

 

Philips: Now Olympic answers too, says “Are you steering southerly to meet us. We answer: We are putting the women off in boats.  Message to Carpathia: Engine room full up to boilers. Life boats 2, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 have all left. Only five boats remain.

 

 

 

Captain Smith (appears for a moment): We are sinking quickly.

 

 

 

Bride: I have the Baltic here.

 

 

 

Philips: It is too far away. The front deck is already under water, and we must put on our life jackets. (They help each other putting them on)

 

 

 

Philips: I am calling CQD, and now I also try SOS, no answer . oh, yes, now they come, both Carpathia  and Frankfurt answer.

 

 

 

Captain Smith (enters): You can do no more , take lifeboat 4, you have done your full duty, from now on everyone is on his own.

 

 

 

Philips: What a fool – he says “What´s the matter, old man?”

 

 

 

Bride. Who?

 

 

 

Philips: Frankfurt.

 

 

 

Bride: He has not heard our first call or he must have misunderstood it.

 

 

 

Philips: Idiot – standby or stay away.

 

 

 

Bride (leaves)

 

 

 

A stoker and a coal heaver enter and try to take the life jacket from Philips. A figth results in the  victory of the telegraph operator, the stokers are locked into the telegraph room without lifejackets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2

 

Lookout Rowe:

 

   I was lookout at first watch till midnight 14 April 1912. The night was pitch dark, very calm and starry; around eleven o’clock I noticed that the weather grew colder and what we call whiskers appeared in the shape of tiny splinters of ice like myriads of coloured light. I was about to call the middle watch 11.45 but around 11.40 o’clock I was struck by a strange movement in the ship, as if sailing along a very solid dock wall. I looked ahead and saw what I thought was a sailing ship but as we passed it I saw it was an iceberg. As our own boat davits were 80 feet above the waterline I estimated that the height of the berg was about 100 feet. The engine pulled to starboard so I pulled in the lead line and saw that we were sailing around 21 knots. I did not consider the collision serious.

 

 

 

Quartermaster: Do you know where the distress rockets are?

 

 

 

Rowe: Yes, here are some of them.

 

 

 

Quartermaster: We have to get them up on the boat deck; they do not really know what to do.

 

 

 

Rowe (fires 3 rockets with distress signals)

 

Captain Smith: Fire all those you have, every five minutes. Can you morse?

 

 Rowe: Yes, a little.

 

 

 

Captain Smith: Then call that ship out there and tell them we are the Titanic and are sinking.

 

 

 

Rowe: No answer. But there is light in the starboard quarter, it is the Carpathia not far away.

 

 

 

Captain Smith: Very well, you take care of the boats then.

 

 

 

Rowe:  It is Mr. Ismay going into the boat there.

 

 

 

Ismay (cries from the boat):  Now you are in charge.

 

 

 

Rowe (much later in a letter to the author Walter Lord ): It was Mr. Ismay at one oar and Mr. Carter at the other and 4 men with an oar each, and I steered so there were 7 oars in all. We had rowed for about 10 minutes when we heard a huge rumble, like a big heap of gravel being tipped from a great height and then disappeared. We rowed on, and it seemed as if we did get nowhere; after a while it dawned, and we could see some boats and more ice. It must have been between 7 and 8 in the morning when we saw a ship, it was the Carpathia, there were more boats between us and the ship; we were taken aboard around 9 o’clock….did not see more of Mr. Ismay or Mr. Carter after they came up from the boat, and none of them said anything; but when I asked one of the ship´s officers how Mr. Ismay was doing he said he was indisposed and would not leave his cabin.

 

And now, Mr. Lord, I hope you will forgive my bad handwriting, and you just ask if you want to know more.

 

PS. Still one of the mysteries of the sea: after all our life boats had been emptied they were hauled on board Carpathia except the two Englehart rafts but they were cleansed for everything and then they were thrown out. Later the same day Oceania on almost the same course observed an object; a boat was put into the water, and it turned out to be one of our rafts with 3 dead, one passenger and two stokers on it. That means they had escaped the sinking ship but no one reached them in time.

 

 

 

 

 

Steward Witter, 2 class smoke room steward:

 

   I was clearing up the 2nd class smoke room 11.40, ready for closing at midnight. All was very quiet, the orchestra on that evening was playing the 1st class room. There were about 40 people in the room, many of them just talking, but there were about three tables of passengers playing cards. This was very unusual as it had been the rule of the White Star Line that there should be no card playing on Sundays, and that the smoke room should be closed at 11 o’clock. On that particular Sunday I had been instructed by the Chief Steward to allow them to play cards and to close the room at midnight. Then suddenly there was a jar, the ship shuddered slightly and then everything seemed normal, my first impressions were that we had shipped a heavy sea, but, knowing the condition of the weather at that time I immediately dismissed the idea. Several of the passengers enquired me the cause of the jar, and I explained that it may be due to the fact that she had dropped a blade (I had a similar experience in my previous ship). To enlighten them I said I would go below and find out the real cause of the trouble. I went below and returned some fifteen to twenty minutes later and informed the passengers that we had hit an iceberg. At that time there were still two groups of passengers playing cards, but on hearing my explanation they immediately got up and the smoke room without any sign of panic whatsoever. After they had all departed I locked up the smoke room and no one returned to it.

 

   I then proceeded to my quarters encountering several groups of people talking in the working alleyway, discussing the accident. As I was about to turn in to my cabin I met the carpenter, Mr. Hutchinson, who remarked ‘The bloody mail room is full.’ I knowing where the mail room was situated (Nearly f’ward) decided it was time to do something. Before I could proceed any further I encountered Steward Moss, who was going around the glory holes calling out the staff. He remarked, ‘It´s serious, Jim.’ Eventually I got to my cabin where there were about thirty-two men turned in, in their bunks, I told them all to get out as the situation was serious, but they all ridiculed me. Not taking any more notice of them I opened my trunk and filled my pockets with cigarettes, and also taking the cowl from my first child, which I always carried with me. As I left the men were beginning to scramble out of their bunks, I saw none of them again.

 

   On my way to the upper deck I met 2nd purser, who told me to clear the cabins of passengers and ensure that they all had lifebelt, this I did then carried on to the upper deck and stood by  No.  11 boat where I assisted the women and children to get on board. As the boat was about to be lowered a hysterical woman tried to clamber in to the boat, so I stood on the guard rail to assist her in, as she half fell in to the boat I went with her, the boat was being lowered.

 

   We were instructed to lay off but not to pull away. The boat was very full with 50  women, 9 babes in arms, 4 male passengers and the rest crew, a total of 71 persons, as we could be of no more assistance, and thought it unnecessary to sacrifice 71 more lives we did pull a short way from the ship.

 

   The boat was hushed except for the occasional whimper of one of the babes in arms, there was really very little sign that the people were witnessing one of  the greatest tragedies of the sea.

 

   It was about two o’clock in the morning when the Titanic finally sank, there were two terrific explosions and several loud screams as she went down bow first. As she sank the lights gradually faded as if someone was slowly turning off the current. There was deathly silence in the boat, and even then no one realized the great loss of life. We pulled away in silence.

 

   The morale of the people in the boat was excellent at all times, and was greatly assisted by the endeavours of a Mrs Brown, who sang and joked with everyone, she carried with her a little Toy Pig which played a little melody when its tail was turned, this amused the passengers immensely.

 

  We pulled around hopefully when, with a great feeling of elation we sighted a ship at about six o’clock, at first we all thought it was the Olympic, but when she finally closed on us we distinguished her as the Carpathia. With thanks to God we boarded her. We were saved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Kincaid, Third Class passenger:

 

   There is no one here to help us to come up to the boat deck but I reckon it is  because the ship is unsinkable.

 

 

 

Young Danish man: You haven´t put on your lifejacket, you have to do that, now I will show you where it is.

 

 

 

Anna Kincaid:

 

Thanks a lot but do you really think it is necessary to put it on?

 

 

 

His sweetheart: Yes, do come with us, the main staircase is closed but we know an emergency exit.

 

 

 

Anna Kincaid: They went upstairs but I stayed because I didn´t believe there could be any real danger, and I also felt too sick. Then I met my old schoolmate Alfred Wicklund from Sweden, and he helped me put the lifejacket on.

 

 

 

Wicklund: You stay here, I will go back to my cabin because I would rather die in my bed if there is nothing else to do about it.

 

Anna Kincaid: I never saw him again. But then I met a young Swedish girl who persuaded me to go up with her by the emergency staircase, and a short while later the main staircase was opened. Before that it had been difficult for the 3 Class passengers to come up to the life boats,  that is  true. Until then there was no help of any kind accorded to Third Class passengers. Only in the very last desperate moments Third Class passengers were given any chance to reach safety. – On the  Carpathia I saw the Danish boy´s sweetheart. He was the one I mentioned giving me a lifebelt. She was simply frantic and hysterical as she had become separated from her boy friend. She  later lost her mind and she was sent back to Denmark. – I saw a Swedish couple and their five children kiss each other goodbye, and then they all jumped overboard.

 

After we were in lifeboats, those who had papers or any article that could burn, lit these, thus making flares. In this way the lifeboats kept going in the same direction, and not getting scattered in various directions. In the morning we were sighted by the Carpathia, and were taken aboard her in the early hours, about 8.30 a.m. I might add that, though the ocean was quite calm, two lifeboats did overturn – at least that is all I saw capsize.

 

It seems strange to me now, but all I could think of while all this was happening was that I must get to America. After we were safe, and on the Carpathia, I was very upset, and no doubt, in case of shock, from the experience I had just come through.

 

 

 

Edwina Trout (then 27 years old):

 

  I was in Cabin E101 with Susan Webber of Devonshire and Nora Keane, an Irish lady from Limerick who was returning to her current home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where she and her brother had a store. Nearby was the musicians´cabin, and I enjoyed hearing them practice each day as I passed by.

 

   We three single women did not socialize much together on the ship, I was more gregarious than the other two. Susan spent most of the time talking over the gate between Second and Third Class to a fellow from her home town while Nora was too worried about sailing on the maiden voyage of a ship that may have been boasted unsinkable too many times to be much fun. I made friends elsewhere, and I often gathered a laughing crowd wherever I went. People confided in me, and I quickly learned the secrets of my fellow diners. Edgar Andrews, an 18-year-old from Buenos Aires, was secretly running away from his English boarding school to see his brother in New Jersey. Born of English parents he did everything to annoy them, including refusing to speak their language. Jacob Milling, a Dane, confided that his wife did not know that he was on this quick trip to America to check out the railroads, however, on my suggestion he wrote to her. Edgar perished; Jacob´s body was recovered and buried in Denmark.

 

My little group loved to play cards but on 14 April I retired early, thinking Sunday was not the proper night to indulge. As I prepared for bed I did not undress completely, telling myself that there was a chill in the air, later I had to admit that Nora´s pessimism might have coloured my thinking. Nora further disquieted me by telling me that Nellie Hocking from Cornwall had heard a cock crowing earlier that evening, it was an omen of bad things to come.

 

The crowing chicken were in fact an exotic French breed belonging to Ella Holmes White and Marie Grice Young of First Class who were bringing them to their New York country home. Each day Miss Young would descend to the cargo area to check on the poultry, and on one such visit she gave a crew member a gold coin for his care of the livestock. He thought it a lucky thing to receive gold on a maiden voyage. Mrs. White´s insurance claim was £1,900/$9,500 but I valued the chickens at £41 11 s4d/$207.87.

 

   When I felt the engines stop I who was in the bottom bunk was up and out in a flash to investigate. Returning with the urgency of the situation I found Susan fast asleep and poor Nora in a dither. Susan quickly dressed and went on deck but Nora insisted that she needed to don her corset before she could leave the sinking ship. In exasperation I grabbed the wretched thing and tossed it out of the door. Nora got the message, and we scurried to the deck.

 

Nora immediately entered a lifeboat but I stood calmly watching the evacuation, resigned to dying because I from an early age had believed that I would not live a full lie. How sad, I thought, that newlyweds were being separated. If I ruled the sea it would have  been married women and men first – then single women and men.

 

As lifeboat 16 was hanging in the davits, a man whom I later learned was Third Class Lebanese passenger Charles Thomas, pushed forward with a baby in his arms. He had become separated from his sister-in-law Thelma, the mother of the infant. Prevented from entering a lifeboat himself he begged anyone, anyone at all, to save his 3-months-old nephew, Assed. Shaken from my reverie by someone else´s needs I readily took on the job and entered the boat with a toothbrush, a prayer-book and the baby clutched to the unyielding cork of my lifebelt.

 

My life did an about-face that night. I later wrote in an article that I felt I was saved for something, so I vowed never to quarrel and always be kind to the sick and the elderly. I crossed the Atlantic by ship at least ten more times. On a stormy cruise to the Caribbean another passenger asked me if I was worried. My answer was:”I´ve seen worse.”

 

 

 

Uppsala University report on maritime disasters 2011  (recorded in a British newspaper):

 

   Academics at Uppsala University in Sweden have discovered that what happened on the Titanic was an exception to usual human behavior in disasters at sea. They analysed the survival rates of 18 such catastrophes over the past 300 years, 16 of which had never been studied before, and found that overall only 17,8% of the women survived versus 34,5% of the men – even though on at least five occasions men were ordered to let the women off first. Michael Elinder who led the research said:” The Titanic is very different to other maritime disasters. In almost every other incident women and children died to a much larger extent than the men, which implies that saving women and children first is a myth.

 

Disasters and the resulting fear of death trigger an overwhelming survival instinct that culminates in a sharply different maxim: every man for himself. “It is difficult to know exactly what is going on in the ship but the survival patterns are consistent with the idea that in a disaster it is each man for himself,” said Elinder. “On the Titanic there were reports that shots were fired at men who tried to climb into the lifeboats. On the Birkenhead the captain is said to have drawn his sword. This seems to be the reason for the exception in the survival rates. We found British men to be the least chivalrous. On average the survival rate of women on British ships is 13.9 to 15,3 percentage points lower than in disasters involving ships from other countries. We did not expect this at all. The women-and-children-first protocol has been associated with Britishness, so we thought that it would be the reverse. But the sad fact is that men let women flee the Titanic  first only under the captain´s orders and at gunpoint.”

 

 

 

 

 

Reverend Plumer Bryant, Chicago´s Church of the Covenant:

 

The women who are demanding political rights may well take care, lest they lose what is infinitely dearer. If men and women are to be rivals, can she expect such chivalrous protection as the women of the Titanic received? (page 31 Steven Biel)

 

 

 

Letter to the Baltimore Sun:

 

Let the suffragists remember this. When the Lord created woman and placed her under the protection of  man he had her well provided for. The Titanic disaster proves it very plainly. (page 30)

 

 

 

“Mere Man”, (staff poet for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch):

 

“Votes for women!”

 

Was the cry,

 

Reaching upward

 

To the sky.

 

Crashing glass,

 

And flashing eye –

 

“Votes for women!”

 

Was the cry.

 

 

 

“Boats for women!”

 

Was the cry.

 

When the brave

 

Were come to die.

 

When the end

 

Was drawing nigh –

 

“Boats for women!”

 

Was the cry.

 

 

 

Life has many

 

Little jests.

 

Insignificant

 

As tests.

 

Doubt and bitterness

 

Assail

 

But “Boats for women!”

 

Tells the tale.

 

 (page 31, Biel)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New York Times:

 

Amateur poets should be advised that to write about the Titanic a poem worth printing requires that the author should have something more than paper, pencil and a strong feeling that the disaster was a terrible one. Most of the poems received were worthless and intolerably bad, and the worst of all were those written on lined paper.

 

 

 

Current Literature:

 

We do not remember any other event in our history that has called forth such a rush of song in the columns of the daily press. While some of it was unutterably horrible and none was quite magically inspired, a surprising amount of Titanic verse was very creditable. (page 31 Biel)

 

 

 

HEADLINES:

 

NOTED MEN ON THE LOST TITANIC

 

UNTOLD RICHES REPRESENTED ON THE TITANIC

 

COL. ASTOR, MAJ.BUTT AND OTHER NOTABLES PROBABLY DROWNED

 

MEN FAMOUS IN FINANCIAL WORLD GO TO DEATH

 

KINGS OF FINANCE, CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY, WORLD FAMED MEN WHO WENT DOWN IN TITANIC

 

WHO´S WHO ON TITANIC

 

 

 

Washington Post:

 

While the lowly immigrants and their offspring were being borne to safety, Americans and Englishmen of fame and wealth – Archibald Butt, William T. Stead, Clarence Moore, John Jacob Astor, F. D. Millet, George D. and Harry Widener among them – from the deck of Titanic watched the last lifeboats disappear, and went to heroes´ graves marked by the depthless sea.

 

 

 

Figures of correction:

 

94 %  of the First Class women and children were saved, compared with 81 % in the Second Cabin and 47% in the steerage. Of the First Cabin men, 31 % survived, compared with 10% in Second Class and 14% in steerage. In all, 60 % of the First Cabin passengers lived, compared with 44% of the Second Class passengers and only 25% of the steerage passengers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expert analysis (by John P. Eaton and Charles A. Haas, Titanic Destination Disaster):

 

Chief officer Wilde assigned Second Officer Lightoller to see to the stripping of the boats´covers. Running forward to boat 4 on the port side, Lightoller began pulling off the cover himself. As two or three men arrived, they were put to work at the task and Lightoller then directed the deck hands coming on deck to other boats on port and starboard sides. He used hand signals; the din of escaping steam made verbal commands impossible.

 

The tale of port side lifeboat 4 is one of high drama. Assembled by their cabin stewards and directed by the ship´s officers, a small group of influential passengers gathered at around 12.30 am on A deck´s forward port side, beneath boat 4´s davits but behind the glassed-in deck enclosure.

 

Thayers, Wideners, Ryersons, Astors…Husbands, wives and families, some with maids and valets: men and women accustomed to giving orders, not taking them. Now, however, they waited patiently, almost humbly, for the lifeboat to be lowered from the deck above. The lifejackets and light clothing they had hurriedly donned gave scant protection from the chill air. As the minutes passed some of the ladies sent their maids back for warmer clothing, fur coats for the women, warm sweaters and jackets for the men. And still they waited.

 

After swinging boat number 4, Lightoller ordered it lowered to A. deck, intending to load passengers through the deck´s screen windows. But no-one from the deck crew could be diverted to open them. After about half an hour, shortly after 1 am, Second steward George Dodd directed the group to climb the steep staircase forward (its small brass plaque bearing the admonition “These stairs for use of crew only”) to the boat deck.

 

Since other boats were loaded from the boat deck, the crew might have thought that boat 4 would be hoisted back up and loaded in the same way. Again the passengers waited, now with the sound of the unseen ship´s orchestra coming to them across the deckhouse roofs from the starboard side, with the hiss, flare and booming explosions of the distress rockets proclaiming the situation´s urgency. Around them they could see people boarding other boats which then were lowered. But still they waited beside the davits whose falls held number 4 captive against the side of A deck, below.

 

Finding that passengers could be loaded and lowered conveniently from the boat deck, Lightoller finally realized that passengers for boat 4 were still awaiting loading. Once again the Thayers, Wideners, Astors, Ryersons and their entourages were herded back down to A deck. By now the window had been cranked open, but another problem became evident. Titanic´s port list created a gap between the ship´s side and the dangling boat. This condition was remedied by pulling the boat inwards with boat-hooks and temporarily securing it with a wire hawser normally used for coaling.

 

A makeshift step-ladder was rigged up. The women mounted the narrow treads and awkwardly climbed through the window, from the lighted deck to the outside darkness. Thirteen-year-old Jack Ryerson at first was prevented from accompanying his mother, but his father´s appeal overruled the loading officer´s objection.

 

Legend reports that John Jacob Astor, standing nearby, placed a woman hat on young Ryerson´s head, saying, ‘There, now you´re a girl and you can go.’ But the story was not repeated in Mrs Ryerson´s later affidavit.

 

Astor did assist his five-months pregnant wife into the lifeboat, then asked the officer in charge if he might accompany her. After being refused, Astor joined the other men on deck in assisting ladies into the boat. They assured their wives they would soon follow in other boats, that nearby liners were on their way, that the women were to obey the ship´s crewmen and not to worry. Astor stood on deck smiling, waving gently as finally, at 1.55 am, boat 4 was lowered to the sea. Astor´s final heroic act was to descend quickly to the dog kennels on F deck, next to the third class galley. (One wonders if he might have heard the roar of the onrushing water as it filled the nearest watertight compartment). There, he liberated his Airedale dog, Kitty. Madeleine Astor later reported that as she looked back, trying to glimpse her husband, she saw Kitty running about the deck as Titanic settled, bow down, lower and lower…

 

 

 

Alfred Pugh, Steward Third Class:

 

   When the ship hit the iceberg and I and some more of us were playing cards in our room naturally everybody said: “What´s  that?” . I said she had dropped a propeller, as that was what it felt like to me. We continued playing for quite a while until the order came to muster at the boats.

 

(The scene is now the boat deck, and another steward comes toward us with a large lump of ice in his hands)

 

 

 

Moody: Come and help me get the passengers in the lifeboats.

 

 

 

Pugh: We fill boat  no. 18 and then boat no. 16

 

 

 

Moody: I will go and see if I can help elsewhere.

 

 

 

Webb: You stay here; the crew is going to man the boat, do you think you can manage the oars?

 

 

 

Pugh: Yes, I know I am small but I have already done it at boat drill before leaving Southampton.

 

 

 

Webb: Well, jump in, and  I´ll take charge.

 

Pugh: There was no panic. We could not hear the orchestra playing but in the distance I could hear people sing “For Those in Peril on the Sea”. Mr. Webb got all the lifeboats to keep together as he said there was a better chance to be seen. We transferred our 58 passengers to the other boats, and then started to search for  any survivors after the ship had disappeared. Before she sank we could see her well down at the Fore port and her stern well out of the water. Some lights were still showing and continued to do so till she took the final plunge. – It was day break when we saw the Carpathia and were taken on board. It was some days before I could realize what had happened, especially as I found that my brother had gone down with the ship.   

 

    

 

Group of 4 tennis players (Wimbledon 1907)

 

Behr: It is the captain coming down the stairs. I don´t think he´s going to speak to us but why was there water on the squash court?

 

Beckwith: It´s also strange that there was ice in the port-holes on starboard side when we heard that sound before the engines stopped.

 

(Another group enters talking leisurely as if everything was quite normal)

 

Ismay (in plain clothes, goes to the new group):

 

You must go into the boats now.

 

(goes on to the tennis players): Now you have to go into the other boat.

 

 

 

The tennis group (discussing between them):

 

We are not very interested in that, it can´t be that dangerous, and there are 80 feet down to the water and in darkness.

 

 

 

Ismay (leaves a while – stands alone looking at them, then returns):

 

I must insist that you follow the instructions, do hurry up; can´t you see you are the last passengers on the boat deck?

 

Behr: I think we should do as Mr. Ismay says.

 

Mrs. Beckwith: Yes, but come with me then. Mr. Ismay, are we all to go into that boat?

 

Ismay; Yes, naturally, Madam, every one of  them.

 

Behr: Now we stand here in the boat, and we are suspended there for about five minutes. Ismay obviously  is waiting for more.

 

 

 

Officer: There are no more passengers on the boat deck.

 

 

 

Ismay: Then you are in charge, and you there come along (4 sailors go into the boat) Lower away! (Ismay leaves)

 

Behr: As the life boats were lowered to A deck the passengers could only get into the boats through the square windows; that is why the boat only got half full; the same with the other boats. The crew had not had time enough to learn to know the entire ship.

 

 

 

Boat passenger (to Behr): Do you see this revolver? You are welcome to use it if the worst should happen, to shoot your wife, after my wife and I myself have used it.

 

 

 

Behr: He said it as the most natural thing in the world, quite without panic.

 

 

 

Ismay (to Third Officer Pitman at boat no. 5): There is no time to waste, hurry up, men!

 

 

 

Pitman: Mind your own business; we have other things to do.

 

 

 

Ismay: You don´t seem to know who I am; I am Ismay. Fill the boat up with women and children.

 

 

 

Pitman (angrily): I await the captain´s orders. (aside) Ismay, I must ask the captain what to do about that. (Walks, speaks with the captain) The captain told me to go on (returns to boat no. 5)

 

 

 

Ismay: Please, ladies, go into the boat!

 

 

 

Captain Edward Crosby (shipowner from Milwaukee and old skipper from the Great Lakes, to two ladies, Catherine Crosby and her daughter Harriet): You go into the boat now; do as I say or you will drown with the ship.(more women and children go into the boat, and then some single men)

 

 

 

Officer Murdoch at boat no. 7: Who are you?

 

 

 

Dorothy Gibson: I am Dorothy Gibson and I am a movie actress, this is my mother, and you can come too (to bridge players Willam Sloper and Fred Seward).

 

 

 

Murdoch: There are 19 or 20 in the boat now, and we can´t wait any longer. Pitman, you take no. 5 and stay close to no. 7. Goodbye and good luck!

 

 

 

Ismay (no. 5 is going down slowly, hysterically, waving his arms in a circle): Let go! Let go! Let go!

 

 

 

5. Officer Lowe: Piss off. I am in charge of this, so don´t intervene, understand. Do you want me to let go? Do you realize that I might get the whole bunch drowned?

 

 

 

Ismay (wordless, turns around and leaves).

 

 

 

Sailor: Scold the president, he must be crazy. He will learn what it costs when we get to New York!

 

 

 

Haye, passenger: Pencher, this ship will certainly stay afloat for still eight hours. I just heard that from one of the competent skippers, Mr. Crosby from Milwaukee.

 

 

 

Andrews, passenger (to stewardess Annie Robinson): Didn´t I tell you to put on your lifebelt?

 

 

 

Annie Robinson: Yes, but I thought it looked so common to walk around with it on.

 

 

 

Andrews:  Nonsense. Put it on and walk with it; don´t mind the other passengers, just let them see you.

 

 

 

Annie Robinson: It looks so vulgar.

 

 

 

Andrews: No, put it on…listen to me if you value your life, put it on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H.G. Wells (in Daily Mail):

 

In the unfolding record of behavior it is the stewardesses and bandsmen and engineers – persons of the trade union class – who shine as brightly as any. And by the supreme artistry of Chance it fell to the lot of that tragic and unhappy gentleman, Mr Bruce Ismay, to be aboard and to be caught by the urgent vacancy in the boat and the snare of the moment. No untried man dare say that he would have behaved better in his place. But for capitalism and for our existing social system his escape – with five and  fifty third-class children waiting below to drown – was the abandonment of every noble pretension. It is not the man I would criticize, but manifest absence of any such sense of the supreme dignity of his position as would have sustained him in that crisis. He was a rich man and a ruling man, but in the test he was not a proud man. In the common man´s realization that such is indeed the case with most of those who dominate the world lies the true cause and danger of our social indiscipline. As the remedy in the first place lies not in the conscience of the wealthy. Heroism and a general devotion to the common good are the only effective answer to distrust.

 

 

 

J. E. Prindle, President, The Ismay Commercial Club, Ismay, Montana:

 

May 5th 12. Mr Bruce Ismay, London, England

 

Dear Sir:

 

Since the Titanic disaster the national dailies have heaped a lot of abuse and notoriety upon you and have dragged the name of Ismay Montana into the noise and suggested that we change the name of the town because it happens to be same as yours. We are not only going to retain the same name, but have sent copies of a reply to all the prominent daily papers stating the facts as we see them and out attitude toward you and the whole affair. We hope in a way to exonerate you and keep up the good name of the town of Ismay as well if they will give the article publication. Yours very truly Earl. E. Gaines

 

 

 

WM. Alden Smith, Chairman Senate Subcommittee Investigating Titanic Disaster, :

 

Washington, D. C., April 25 1912

 

Mr. J. Bruce Ismay

 

Willard Hotel, Washington, D. C.

 

Sir: Replying to your letter of this date, just received, permit me to say that I am not unmindful of the fact that you are being detained in this country against your will, and, probably, at no little inconvenience to yourself and your family. I can readily see that your absence from England at a time so momentous in the affairs of your company would be most embarrassing, but the horror of the Titanic catastrophe and its importance to the people of the world call for scrupulous investigation into the causes leading up to the disaster, that future losses of similar character may, if possible, be avoided. To this end, we have been charged by the Senate of the United States with the duty of making this official enquiry, and, so far I am concerned, nothing will be left undone which may in any matter contribute to this end. As I said to you in New York on Friday evening last, when you asked to be permitted to return home, and again on Saturday night, when you made the same request, I shall not consent to your leaving this country until the fullest enquiry has been made into the circumstances surrounding the accident. This information can be fully detailed by yourself and other officers of your country and the officers and crew of your ship. I am working night and day to achieve this result, and you should continue to help me instead of annoying me and delaying my work by your personal importunities.

 

Trusting that you will receive this letter in the spirit in which it is written, I am,

 

Very respectfully WM. Alden Smith

 

 

 

 

 

Lucile Carter, in a letter to Ismay May 24 1912:

 

I want to write  you how glad I am that you have come home safely, and also how pleased we were to read of the great ovation you had in England when you landed for no one realized more than Billy and I did, how much you must have been through, and how wonderful you were through it all. The notoriety we all got, and the dreadful things our press is allowed to say in this country is certainly revolting, and makes us sometimes ashamed that we live here, but fortunately when they go to extremes, it is quickly over, and now it has completely died out, and no one even mentions it, and they are now criticizing something else. We are all quite well, and send you many kind wishes, and hope to see you next winter when we go back to Melton to hunt. (Lost Voices page 280)

 

 

 

Mrs Dobbyn (employee of the Astors about Madeleine Astor and John Jacob Astor):

 

Mrs Astor has since told me the story of that terrible night. She had not been feeling well that afternoon and had retired early. She was awakened by the shock, rather slight, of the Titanic striking and by the engines stopping. She spoke to the Colonel who said it was nothing, and that the engines would soon start again. They did but stopped. He then looked out the window, or port hole, and said there was ice about. The air was bitterly cold. He dressed immediately and hurried up to the bridge to see the Captain, who told him it was serious. He then took Mrs Astor to the deck, where I believe they got some warmer clothing, and he secured a chair for her. He put on a life belt, which she helped fasten, and afterward he got some man to tie it tighter about him. He was perfectly cool and collected, his only thought being for her comfort. When, at last, an officer ordered her to a boat, she did not want to go without him, and the officer took her arm and made her go, the Colonel reassuring her that he would go with her. (He did, I am sure, only to get her go). She got in the boat, thinking he would follow for there were a number of vacant places, and the deck about them deserted. He asked the officer if he might go with her, and was refused. She was terribly frightened when she found herself alone, and the boat being lowered. She remembers his calling to her if she was alright or if she was comfortable, and that he asked to officer the number of the boat, and he said something she could not hear. Her boat had gone but a little way when the Titanic sank. She thought she heard him calling, and she stood up and cried that they were coming, but the people in the boat made her stop, and apparently they made no effort to go back toward those cries for help. There was no light in her boat, and anyone in the water, only a few feet away, could not see them. You would be trrible sorry for her if you could see her and hear her tell the awful tragedy. She is so young and she cared so much for him.

 

The Colonel´s funeral was in the village church in Rhinebeck. It is late and I must close, but not before saying that the more I learn of this fearful disaster, the more I admire the Colonel´s quiet bravery, and his gentle care of his wife, in the face of what he knew was death. I am glad that the last few months of his life were so happy…

 

 

 

Laura Mabel Francatelli (secretary for Lady Duff-Gordon in a letter to Mary Ann Taylor sent from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York):

 

Oh, darling, you cannot know, what I have passed through, not bodily, as I am strong, but mind & nerves, it is a wonder we are not all grey-headed – it is impossible for to describe the horrors of it all, it was about ¼ to twelve, when the crash came. I was just getting into bed. Madame & Sir Cosmo had been in bed sometime, they were up on A deck the top, and I on E, the bottom deck for saloon passengers, it was a marvelous boat, like a floating huge hotel, in fact I have not seen a hotel so grand. The collision shook me, as well as everything else in my room. I immediately slipped on my dressing gown and opened my door, saw several people come out of their rooms in night attire, two gentlemen came up and spoke to me, and told me not to be frightened, but go back to bed, we had run into an iceberg, but we were quite safe, however the engines were making a terrific noise. I stood still there quite 20 minutes, or more, saw all the officers come down to inspect the damage, and then starting screwing down the iron doors outside my bedroom, presently a man came rushing up, saying all the Hold and Luggage and Mail had gone, so I thought I shall fly on a few things, and go to tell Madame.

 

When I left my room the water was on my deck, coming along the corridor. We were 20 feet above the water level, so we had already sunk 20 feet, but of course we did not realize this till afterwards. Everybody I passed assured me I was safe but to my terrible surprise I found all the people running up and down the stairs.

 

When I reached Madame´s room she was already out of bed and put two dressing gowns on for warmth. Sir Cosmo was dressing. The next minute a man came along and said ‘Captain´s orders’, all to put life preservers on, and the next instant they were putting one on Madame and I, Oh, Marion, that was a sickening moment, I felt myself go like Marble but Madame and I prayed together, for God to look after us and keep us safe if it was his will. Sir Cosmo then took us up on top deck. Crowds were up there, and they were already lowering the lifeboat filled with women and children, I looked over the side of the boat and tried to penetrate the blackness, and noticed that the water was not such a long distance away from us, as we had already remarked what a height it was. I said to Sr Cosmo, I believe we are sinking; he said, Nonsense come away. We then walked more to the bow of the boat, near the bridge several lifeboats had been lowered, they were preparing the last two on that side of the ship, the starboard side. They cried out ‘Any more women’, saw us and came to try and drag Madame and I away from Sir Cosmo, but Madame clung to Sir Cosmo and begged him not to let them take her, or separate her, she said, ‘I will go down with you’, and I clung to Madame; I would not leave them, it would have been too awful to be alone.

 

After all the lifeboats had gone, everybody seemed to rush to the other side of the boat and leave ours vacant but we still stood there, as Sir Cosmo said,’We must wait for orders’, presently an officer started to swing off a little boat called the ‘Emergency’ boat, quite an ordinary little rowing boat and started to man it, he saw us and ordered us in, they were then firing the rockets beside us, we had to be nearly thrown up into this boat, two other American gentlemen jumped in, and seven stokers, they started to lower us. We had not gone a few yards when out little boat got caught up by a wire rope on my side, and in a few minutes we should all have been hurled into the sea, had it not been for that brave officer still up on deck. He shouted ‘Cut it with a knife’ but nobody had one, and we were all in black darkness, hanging in midair, he shouted ‘ Mind your heads’ and threw a piece of heavy iron which shook our boat and so set it free, we then went rapidly down to the water.

 

The dear officer gave orders to row away from the sinking boat at least 200 yards, he afterwards, poor dear brave fellow shot himself. We saw the whole thing, and watched that tremendous thing quickly sink, there was then terrible, terrible explosions, and all darkness, then followed the awful cries and screams of the 1600 dear souls fighting for their lives in the water.Oh never shall I  forget that awful night, floating about the ocean in this little boat, freezing cold and listening to this terrible suffering, we all prayed all night long that help may come to us all and how I thought of all my darlings and all those dear to me. I knew you were all safe and none of you knew what we were going though. It is marvelous how brave one can be when facing the greatest danger. God gives us strength to bear these things. We floated about all that long night, were terribly cold, and the men rowing got so cold they began to drop oars and lay at the bottom of the boat. I sat on one man´s feet to try to make them a little warm and tried to rub another one´s hand but I was so cold myself I had not much power to rub.

 

Oh at daybreak when we saw the lights of that ship, about 4 miles away, we rowed like mad and passed icebergs like mountains, at last about 6.30 the dear Carpathia picked us up, our little boat was like a speck against that giant. Then came my weakest moment, they lowered a rope swing which was awkward to sit on with my life preserver round me. Then they hauled me up, by the side of the boat. Can you imagine, swinging in the air over the sea, I just shut my eyes and clung tight saying ‘Am I safe’, at last I felt a strong arm pulling me onto the boat. I was so chattering that I could say nothing, it was all too terrible the scenes and sadness we lived in for the next four days and nights on the darling Carpathia. Oh but they were so kind to us, everybody lent us everything and their beds, but of course, all had to sleep on tables, floors, or anywhere.

 

Since being safe on land, I am afraid I am a coward, my nerves had gone, but I do not show it as I am constantly battling with it, the poor Madame gets worse every day since we have been here, but she was so brave and calm all through it.

 

Sir Cosmo is trying to fix up all the business quickly. He had to defend himself against accusations that he bribed the crewmen not to return to help the drowning, stating that the money was indeed paid but only in gratitude and to compensate the crew members in the boat for their loss of pay since the ship had gone down.

 

 

 

Daily Telegraph, 14 April 2012:

 

TITANIC SURVIVORS VINDICATED

 

Exclusive A recently discovered cache of letters seen by the Telegraph absolves Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff/Gordon of bribery and cowardice, says Elizabeth Grice.

 

The documents have been in a cardboard box in a solicitor´s room for the past 100 years and only came to light when two summer vacation students at the London office of Veale Wasbrough Vizards, the firm that merged with Tweedies, who represented the Duff Gordons, were asked to work through old papers that might be returned to the families of their original clients.

 

The historical significance of the find is that it contains fresh detail that could finally restore the good name of the Duff Gordons, who were accused or urging, or even bribing, the crew of their boat to row away from the sinking ship and not to pick up survivors, even though the boat wasn´ t full. Though they were cleared of all blame by the Board of Trade inquiry in May 1912 they were savagely cross-examined and remained tainted by suspicion that the had acted selfishly. The box simply marked Titanic surprising Sir Andrew Duff Gordon,  Cosmo´s great-nephew, is a time-capsule of enthralling witness. The idea of going back for possible survivors, he discloses, was not mooted. They were too far away from the wreck, in intense darkness, and it would have been a dangerous and futile gesture because no one could have survived the icy sea in more than 15 minutes. “Cosmo was in no position to give orders,” says Sir Andrew. “He was not in charge of the boat”.

 

 

 

The article in Daily Telegraph mentions another angle of the story; Lucy Duff Gordon who was sister to the romantic novelist Elinor Glyn, reveals in a letter to her daughter Esme four days after the sinking, a somewhat voyeuristic fascination in watching the ship go down and her annoyance at being so seasick that she missed things. “Well, my beloveds,” she writes to her family,” You know how I always said I longed for experiences and adventures and sensations, well, I´ve had it this time and no mistake.”

 

 

 

Premonitions:

 

Helen E. Bell (with a newspaper): As I read, a picture suddenly forms between myself and the paper, showing a night scene with what I take to be jagged and pointed rocks, with the hull of a boat standing out of the water. With the picture comes a voice, clear and distinct, which says, “This will be on its first voyage”. I ask, ”Why. What is the matter with the boat?” “Nothing, that is all right, but it will be on its first voyage.”

 

I feel a thrill of dismay and ask for more information, but no other answer came. The picture appears to be about five by four inches in size and resembles in its gradations of light and shade an old steel engraving. I should have called it a gem if I had seen it on  exhibition (she puts the paper aside)

 

After the Titanic went down my friends asked me why I had not sent this experience to the newspapers before the disaster? I could only say, “Where is the paper that would have printed it?”

 

 

 

Richard Henry Rouse, bricklayer from Sittingbourne, England:

 

We  had decided to emigrate to America but I thought it best to sail alone and establish myself before sending for my wife and daughter. 4 April 1912 I took Charity, my wife, to Southampton by train to see the ship. As we looked at the mammoth liner lying at her dock, Charity said, “Dick, that ship is too big, I have a bad feeling that it will never reach America. Please don´t go! Please don´t go on the boat!. I answered her, “Charity, don´t worry. It´s a brand new ship, and besides, they say it´s unsinkable.”

 

Charity Rouse:

 

When he had left to board the ship I told my neighbor, “Dick´s gone, and I won´t feel right ´til I get a wire from New York saying he´s safe. Two days later I received a postcard from Dick, “Don´t worry – everything is fine. It´s a wonderful ship. I´ll wire you as soon as we reach New York.” The postcard was posted at either Cherbourg or Queenstown.

 

A few days later I took Gladys down to a little corner store to pick up our weekly paper. After the purchase the salesgirl asked me if I would like to see the latest edition about Titanic sinking?

 

“What?” I said blankly.

 

“Oh, it hit an iceberg and sank.”

 

I fainted while Gladys started to cry, sobbing, “My Daddy´s on board that ship.”

 

I never heard from anyone who might have seen my husband on board the doomed ship.

 

 

 

Mrs Bucknell, First Class passenger:

 

I felt nervous when we boarded at Cherbourg and I still feel that way. I don´t know what it is, but ever I got on this ship I´ve felt premonitions of disaster.

 

 

 

Molly Brown:

 

Well, I´m not going to lose any sleep over your premonitions. In fact, that´s where I´m going very soon – to sleep. It´s too cold to do anything else. (Rumble from the collision is heard).

 

Mrs Bucknell: “We can´t stay in our cabin after that rumbling, and we must put on our lifejackets. Didn´t I tell you? I knew it!”

 

Molly Brown (later known as ‘the unsinkable Molly Brown):
I revealed the story of my friend´s premonition to the press; Mrs Bucknell never commented publiscly on her own experience. It seems clear, though, that her fear was directly associated with the Titanic, and after that Mrs Bucknell felt certain that the ship was doomed and revealed this fear to me before the disaster. Afterwards it is much easier to make people and the press listen!

 

 

 

Reverend Charles L. Tweedale, Anglican vicar and a proponent of spitualism, in a letter to the spiritualist publication Light which was published on 4 May 1912:

 

In possible connection with this terrible tragedy, I made brief extracts from two consecutive extracts in my diary:

 

“Tuesday, April 9th. The servants report this morning that last night about 11.30 pm, they both heard loud wailing, moaning and sobbing proceeding from the passage on the third floor outside their bedroom door. It was very loud and continued for from five to ten minutes.

 

“Children asleep, self and wife in our room on the second floor. One of the maids has only just come, and knows nothing of our psychical experiences. We heard nothing ourselves, and nothing was seen.

 

“Monday, April 15th. During our temporary absence from the house in the evening of 14 April, the servants and children reported on our return that they had heard loud knocks, and also the sound of very heavy footsteps walking about upstairs and tramping loudly overhead in the sewing room over the kitchen. All were downstairs during the time this tramping continued. About 11.30 pm my wife rushed into my study in alarm, saying that she had just seen the figure of a man with bushy eyebrows and grey beard pass through the kitchen door to her. The children and the servants were upstairs

 

“Tuesday, April 16th. Just heard of dreadful disaster to the Titanic and feared loss of nearly 2000 lives. Mr. Stead is reported lost. I sincerely hope this is not the case as I have arranged to be at his house with Mrs. Wriedt at the end of May. Later I showed the photographs of Stead to his wife. My wife then told me that the apparition she saw bore a strong resemblance to him. The problem is that it is extremely unlikely that the apparition she saw was the spirit of Stead who was still alive at the time or that the wailing she heard was connected with the victims of the Titanic disaster which had not yet occurred. I first thought that the time difference between the location of Titanic and my home at Weston was three hours and fifteen minutes. Titanic sank at 2.20 am, 15 April (ship´s time), and I calculated that this would have been 11.05 pm 14 April at my home. My wife saw the apparition and heard the wailing at about 11.30 pm 14 April, or, so I thought, about 25 minutes after Titanic sank. But, when calculating the time difference, I shifted the time difference in the wrong direction! Titanic was west of England which meant that the ship´s time was three hours earlier than the English time zone, not later.

 

Thus, when my wife saw her apparition at 11.30 pm, it was only 8.30 pm on the Titanic, and the collision with the iceberg would not occur for another three hours. So it seems extremely unlikely that the apparition she saw was the spirit of W. T. Stead who was still alive at the time, or that the wailing she heard was connected with the victims of the Titanic disaster which had not yet occurred.

 

 

 

Lilian Bentham (later Mrs John Black, USA):

 

There were eleven  in my party returning from England and only three of us saved. We were in life-boat twelve and it has quite a record. We saved several men who were on an upturned boat – I had the privilege of helping to pull the men in our boat. If you recall it was a whistle that saved the lives of men and I have the honour of being the proud possessor of the whistle, also five pieces of silver taken from the pocket of a man who died (given to me by a steward).

 

 

 

Amy Stanley (employee with the Dann family in New Haven, industrialists with a patent for an improved method of bending wood which was used in curvilinear furniture. They also made the sled used by Commodore Peary (and Matt Henson) in his 1909 trek to the North Pole, an achievement that figured prominently in their advertising):

 

Dear Father and Mother: I have had a terrible experience, one that I shall never forget as long as I live…It was about 11.30 pm I got out of bed and put my coat on and went out on deck and asked a steward what was the matter. He told me that it was only the engines stopped and ordered all the women back to bed. But I did not go! I got in collapsible C  and rowed for several hours and we were then taken up by the Carpathia. The sight on board was awful, with raving women – barely six women were saved who could say they had not lost a relative. I attended to a woman who was picked up on a raft. She had lost two sons on the Titanic. Their cabin was next to mine. Don´t you think I have been lucky throughout?

 

 

 

Captain Rostron, the Carpathia:

 

At 2.30, I saw a flare, about half a point on the port bow, and immediately took it for granted that it was the Titanic itself, and I remarked that she must still be afloat, as I knew we were along way off, and it seemed so high. However, soon after seeing the flare I made out an iceberg about a point on the port bow, to which I had to port to keep well clear of. Knowing that the Titanic had struck ice, of course I had to take extra care and every precaution to keep clear of anything that might look like ice. Between 2:45 and 4 o´clock. The time I stopped my engines, we were passing icebergs on every side and making them ahead and having to alter course several times to clear the bergs…

 

It was in the night time. I can confess this much, that if I had known at the time there was so much ice about, I should not have run under a full head of steam; but I was right in it then. I could see the ice. I knew I was perfectly clear. There was one other consideration: Although I was running a risk with my own ship and my own passengers, I also had to consider what I was going for…I had to consider the lives of others…Of course it was a chance, but at the same time I knew what I was doing.

 

 

 

Captain Lord, the Californian that was accused of going away instead of trying to save passengers on the Titanic:

 

Even if I had known of Titanic´s sinking, I would have been unable to reach the disaster site in time to save any lives. In daylight it would have taken from 6 am to 8:30 am to reach the spot where Carpathia was taking aboard the last survivors. If I had known of the disaster and tried to traverse the extensive ice-field at night, I would have joined the Titanic on the bottom.

 

 

 

Captain Rostron, the Carpathia:

 

At 4 o´clock I stopped. At 4:10 I got the first boat alongside. Previous to getting the first boat alongside, however, I saw an iceberg close to me, right ahead, and I had to starboard to get out of the way. And I picked him up on the weather side of the ship. I had to clear this ice…

 

We picked up the first boat, and the boat was in charge of an officer. I saw that he was not in full control of this boat, and the officer sung out to me that only had one seaman in the boat, so I had to maneuver the ship to get as close to the boat as possible, as I knew well it could be difficult to do the pulling. However, they got alongside, and they got them up all right.

 

By the time we had the first boat´s people it was breaking day, and then I could see the remaining boats within an area of about 4 miles. I also saw icebergs all around me. There were about 20 icerbergs that would be anywhere from about 150 to 200 feet high and numerous smaller bergs; also numerous what we call ‘growlers’. You could not call them bergs. They were anywhere from 10 to 12 feet high and 10 to 15 feet long above the water. We got all the boats alongside and all the people up aboard by 8:30. I was then very close to where the Titanic must have gone down, as there was a lot of hardly wreckage but small pieces of broken-up stuff nothing in the way of anything large.

 

At 8 o´clock the Leyland Line steamer Californian hove up, and we exchanged messages. I gave them the notes by semaphore about the Titanic  going down, and that I had got all the passengers from the boats; but we were not  quite sure whether we could account for all the boats. I told them: ‘Think one boat still unaccounted for.’ He then asked me if he should search around, and I said, ‘Yes, please.’ It was then 10:50.

 

I want to go back again, a little bit. At 8:30 all the people were on board. I asked for the purser, and I told him that I wanted to hold a service, a short prayer of thankfulness for those rescued and a short burial service for those who were lost. I consulted with Mr. Ismay. I ran down for a moment and told them that I wished to do this, and Mr. Ismay left everything in my hands. I then got an Episcopal clergyman, one of our passengers, and asked him if he would do this for me, which he did, willingly.

 

While they were holding the service, I was on the bridge, of course, and I maneuvred around the scene of the wreckage. We saw nothing except one body…with a life preserver on. This is the only body I saw. He was about 100 yards from the ship. We could see him quite distinctly, and saw that he was absolutely dead. He was lying on his side like this (indicating) and his headwas awash. Of course he could not possibly have been alive and remain in that position. I did not take him aboard. Fo one reason, the Titanic´s passengers were then knocking about the deck and I did not want to cause any unnecessary excitement or any more hysteria among them, so I steamed past, trying to get them not to see it.

 

I must say that all the people in the boats behaved magnificently. They were quiet and orderly, and each person came up the ladder, or was pulled up, in turn as they were told off. There was no confusion whatever among the passengers. The behaved magnificently – every one of them.

 

I got seven of Titanic´s lifeboats up in my davits and six by the fore crane, a total of 13 lifeboats; that was what was left of the Titanic. I decided to go directly to New York as it would have been too hard on the rescued to sail through ice-filled seas to Halifax, and then after that by train to New York.

 


Passengers (as the Carpathia  steamed into New York Harbour  they ignored the rain and fog to line the railings calling each other): ‘Get ready to see the lady.’

 

 

 

Henry Adams (74 years old in 1912)

 

The Titanic was going to leave New York on April 20 after its maiden voyage from England, and I thought I should take rooms on it, by way of venture. I had hoped a trip to Paris would take my mind off the dismal state of politics and society after Roosevelt´s victory in the Pennsylvania primary but now I hear the news that the Titanic is wrecked; so is Taft, so is the Republican party, all in one brief hour. We all foundered and disappeared. By my blessed Virgin, it is awful! This Titanic blow shatters one´s nerves. We can´t grapple it. Taft, Titanic! Titanic – Taft! The sum and triumph of our civilization, guaranteed to be safe and perfect, our greatest achievement, sinks at a touch, and drowns us, while nature jeers at our folly.

 

 

 

Captain Lardner, the Mackey-Bennett:

 

We arrived on the scene at 8 pm on Saturday 20 April and recovery operations began the following morning. The cable ship´s boats were lowered, and 51 bodies were recovered despite heavy seas. All details were recorded, hoping they would permit identification of the bodies. In one spot we saw the drowned lying spread across the surface; from a distance they looked like a crowd of sea gulls…with the white ends of their life belt fluttering up and down with the waves.

 

By 23 April 80 bodies had been recovered. Still eighty-seven additional victims were recovered. Aware that I and my ship might be overwhelmed through sheer numbers, I contacted White Star´s New York office, and on 21 April Halifax agents chartered Minia, a cable ship owned by the Anglo-American Telegraph Company Ltd., and when it arrived at the scene, fourteen more bodies were found, and these were placed on the Mackey-Bennett. Her crew had found 306 bodies, of these, 116 had been buried at sea. Minia continued the search. Bad weather persisted, and after recovering seventeen more victims, Captain DeCarteret advised the White Star Line that the gales had swept the remaining bodies into the Gulf Stream. As Minia left the scene, a third recovery vessel, the Canadian Ministry of Marine and Fisheries  was dispatched from Sorel, Quebec.

 

 

 

Walter Lord (in ‘A Night To Remember’):

 

The night was a magnificent confirmation of ‘women and children first’, yet somehow the loss rate was higher for Third Class children than First Class men. It was a contrast which would never get by the social consciousness or news sense of today´s press.

 

Nor did Congress care what happened to Third Class. Senator Smith´s Titanic investigation covered everything under the sun, including what an iceberg was made of (‘Ice’, explained Fifth Officer Lowe) but the steerage received little attention. Only three of the witnesses were Third Class passengers. Two of them said they were kept from going to the boat deck, but the legislators did not follow up. Again, the testimony doesn´t suggest any deliberate hush-up – it was just that no one was interested.

 

The British Court of Inquiry was even more cavalier. Mr. W. D. Harbinson, who officially represented the Third Class interests, said he could find no trace of discrimination, and Lord Mersey´s report gave a clean bill of health – yet not a single Third Class passenger testified, and the only surviving steward in steerage freely conceded that the men were kept below decks as late as 1.15 am.

 

Even the Third Class passengers weren´t bothered. They expected class distinction as part of the game. Olaus Abelseth, at least, regarded access to the Boat Deck as a privilege that went with First and Second Class passage…even when the ship was sinking. He was satisfied as long as they let him stay above decks. A new age was dawning, and never since that night have Third Class passengers been so philosophical.

 

 

 

Final statistics:

 

Of Third Class children 54 of the 84 under 13 years old  drowned. On First Class 97% of the women and 83% of the children were saved. On Second Class 87% of the women and 36% of the children survived. That indicates that on Third Class half the women and two thirds of the children drowned beside the many men who went down with the ship, even if they succeeded in getting up when the stairway was opened, and although many of the boats were not filled.

 

 

 

Daily Sketch, England 20 May 1912: 

 

30.000 MOURNERS AT BURIAL OF TITANIC BANDMASTER.

 

Bandmaster Wallace Hartley´s body was found clutching his violin case, and he was buried at his home town Colne, Lancashire, England.

 

 

 

 

 

John Maxtone-Graham, marine historian:

 

Patently destructible in life the Titanic has proved indestructible in memory.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                               THE END

 

 

 

 

 

Book Sources:

 

Nick Barratt “Lost Voices from the Titanic.The Definitive Oral History”, Arrow Books, London 2009 (paperback 331 pages)

 

John P. Eaton and Charles A. Haas “Titanic. Destination Disaster. The Legends and the Reality” Patrick Stevens Limited, Haynes Publishing, Somerset, England 1987 (paperback,160 pages)

 

Walter Lord “A Night To Remember”, Longmans, Green and Co, London 1957 (hardback 143 pages)

 

Judith P. Geller “Titanic. Women and Children First, Patrick Stevens ltd, Haynes, Somerset, England 1998 (hardback, 224 pages)

 

Steven Biel “Down With The Old Canoe. A Cultural History of the Titanic Disaster, Norton, New York, 1996, 2012 (paperback, 300 pages)

 

George Behe “Titanic. Psychic Forewarnings of a Tragedy”, Foreword by Edward S. Kamuda, Founder and Secretary of the Titanic Historical Society, Patrick Stevens Ltd., Thorsons, Northamptonshire, England 1988 (hardback, 176 pages)

 

Newspapers: see the lines in the script

 

Havamal: Eet jeg ved, som aldrig dør/Mindet om hver en død (One I know that never dies/The Memory of everyone dead)

 

Eller I en anden oversættelse:

 

Fæ dør/Frænder dør/selv man dør til sidst./Eet jeg ved/som aldrig dør:/Dom over hver en død. (77.vers)

 

75. vers lyder: Ej ved den/der intet ved,/at mangen er en andens abe./En mand er rig,/ en anden fattig,/ men derfor bør han ej dadles. (Not does he know/who knows nothing,/ that many a man is another man´s ape./ One man is rich,/ another poor,/ but he should not be blamed for that.)

 

“Mindet vender nu tilbage/det var årsag til min klage” Adam Oehlenschläger: ‘Underlige aftenlufte’, 1806 (The memory now returns/this is the cause of my lament)

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SOS

The rest is a repetition which will be removed in stages

t reader (from the British wreck commission´s report of the construction of the vessel with special consideration for the thickness of the steel used and the the watertightness of the superstructure):

   The vessel was built throughout of steel and a cellular double bottom of the usual type, with a floor at every frame. For about half of the length of the vessel this double extended up the ship´s side to a height of 7 feet above the keel.

Forward and aft of the machinery space the protection of the inner bottom extended to a less height above the keel. It was so divided that there were four separate watertight compartments in the breadth of the vessel. Before and aft of the machinery space there was a watertight division at the centre only, except in the foremost and aftermost tanks. Above the double bottom the vessel was structured on the usual transverse frame system, reinforced by web frames which extended to the highest decks. At the forward end the framing and plating was strengthened with a view to preventing panting, and damage when meeting harbor ice.

Beams were fitted on every frame at all decks, from the Boat deck downwards. An external bilge keel, about 300 feet long and 25 inches deep, was fitted along the bilge amidships.

The heavy ships´s plating was carried right up to the Boat deck, and between the C and B deck was doubled. The stringer or edge plate of the B deck was also doubled. This double plating was hydraulic riveted.

All decks were steel plated throughout.

The transverse strength of the ship was in part dependent on the 15 transverse watertight bulkheads, which were specially stiffened and strengthened to enable them to stand the necessary pressure in the event of accident, and they were connected by double angles to decks, inner bottom, and shell plating.

The two decks above the B deck were of comparatively light scantling, but strong enough to ensure their proving satisfactory in these positions in rough weather. The bulkheads and divisions should be so placed that the ship would remain afloat in the event of any two adjoining compartments being flooded, and that they should be so built and strengthened that the ship would remain afloat under this condition. The minimum freeboard that the vessel would have, in the event of any two compartments being flooded, was between 2 ft.6 in. and 3 ft. from the deck adjoining the top of the watertight bulkheads. With this object  in view 15 watertight bulkheads were arranged in the vessel.

The time it took for the 12 watertight doors to close was between 25 and 30 seconds. They were of Harland and Wolff´s latest type.

 

Jim Thompson, Harland and Wolff caulker (in an interview with Radio Ulster 1976):

   I was on the Titanic from when they laid the keel ‘til she left Belfast…Well, I loved it, and I loved my work and I loved the men, and I got on well with all…Oh, well, it was a great advantage, if you´d call it that, yet and the privilege of working on it…as a caulker that is, making the ship watertight. Wouldn´t you say that was a very important job?...If you had seen the process of extra work that went into the ship, you´d say it was impossible to sink her…Yes, it was a marvelous bit of work, yes, a marvelous bit of work…Well, I remember all the first-class compartments, the special rooms, which was a privilege to see. They were so nice that you couldn´t just describe them. You couldn´t. I bet you wouldn´t think it was a ship when you were inside. Of course everything was so highly decorated.

 

´David Watson, engineer (in his engineer´s notebook 1946):

D. Watson. Born 15th March 1875, started work as a catch boy on 2nd week of April 1889. I lost many days through carelessness but in my last days as an apprentice I hardly lost one hour, as things were not going too well with me at home…I was offered the job as leading hand & counter at the latter end of 1902. I accepted the job, I was put in charge of 22 old truck drilling machines scattered all over the different ships where there was work suitable for this class of drill. My greatest, worst, & most difficult experience was the drilling at shurstrakes of very large ships such as the Celtic, Cedric, Baltic, Adriatic, Titanic and Olympic  where all plates on these heavy shells & shurstrakes had to be drilled solid with the exception of the shell frames which were reamed but a size larger and with the crude tools then in use. The large & heavy electric drills used in the doing of this work then were hung over the side of the ships, suspended from the jib of a Bogie, placed on rails running with tons of pig iron & were shifted by a large hatcher.  Also it was a great worry keeping ahead of Hya Riveting machines, for if they were kept back at all there was sure to be trouble. As the late Mr. Thomas Andrews, who went down with the Titanic, the nephew of the late Lord Pirrie, hardly ever left his job until it was finished, in fact he would even come down in the middle of the night to see if there was any hold backs or any stuff gong on. He was a very earnest and determined man, but at the same time most fair and considerate where any difficulty or hitch occurred, so long as one told the truth, but God help any one he caught telling lies, a stickler for economy, and to quote one incident, on his coming up on the deck where one day there was a very big drilling job, he took exception to four old men employed on the truck drills. This was about the years 1908 or 09. I told Mr. Andrews that these four men were my most conscientious workers as they were doing more work than the younger men on the job. – With regard to Thomas Andrews there is no doubt that Lord Pirrie meant that he would eventually become the head Director of Harland and Wolff, which certainly would have happened had he lived. According to a little book on the life of Mr. Andrews, a Gentleman fellow traveler on the Titanic states that while in conversation with him during the trip he asked how he was feeling his reply was that the only thing that worried him a little was the fact of going farther and farther away from home. Little did he think of how far he would be going as it was understood that this ship, the Titanic was unsinkable. It was given out at the time the very passengers crying this out during the time she was going down underneath them.

One thing I remarked was the difference in the design of the bilge on these very large ships in comparison to the Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic etc., as the bilges of these ships were double heavy plated and strapped, being over 2in. to 3in. thick, wherein Titanic´s bilge was single plated, being only a good one inch in thickness and I am of the opinion that if the Titanic had been similarly bilged she would have kept afloat for a much longer period and probably would not have sunk at all…on the other White Star liners mentioned surely there would have been a greater resistance when striking the iceberg.

 

Roger Bricoux, cellist (to a steward):

   “Well, I and the pianist Brailey were on the Carpathia as you know but we were all for White Star Line and said to our steward: “Now we will get on a ship of a decent size and have us some real grub.” Hartley, our band leader, had been on the Mauretania, the violoncellist Fred Clark had never sailed before but was known from Scottish concert tours; our first violinist Jock Hume had not yet played at any concert but his instrument has a merry sound which pleases the audience. So everything was ok, eight musicians who knew exactly what to do. The rhythm will be quick, the music loud and cheerful.”          

 

 

Timetable (shown in big letters and numbers on a blackboard):

Wednesday 13 April: 12.15 Titanic´s whistle sounds thrice as signal to departure.

12.20 Nearly collision with one of the era´s finest liners New York but the tugboat finally managed to prevent it.

17.30 Titanic anchors out of Cherbourg.

 

Thursday 11 April:

Titanic leaves Queenstown to sail to New York.

 

Friday 12 April:

09.00 The lifeboat duties of the crew are posted. Most of them do not read them.

19.00 Titanic receives a message from the vessel about two thick icebergs ahead.

23.00  Titanic´s telegraph breaks down.

 

Saturday 13 April:

05.00 The telegraph is again in order.

1030 Captain Smith informs of the fact that the bunker fire in boiler room no. 6 has finally been put out.

12.00 Notice is given that a distance of 519 nautical miles has been covered since Friday. 

 

Stewardess ((to passenger Charlotte Collyer, pleasantly):

Do you know where we are? We are in what is called the Devil´s Hole.

Charlotte Collyer: What does that mean?

Stewardess: That is a dangerous part of the ocean. Many accidents have happened here. They say that icebergs drift down as far as this. It´s getting to be very cold on deck so perhaps there is ice around us now.

Charlotte Collyer: I am not frightened. But the crew obviously is alert, and that is a good thing. When I got on board I immediately thought that the Titanic was wonderful, far more splendid and huge than I had dreamed of. The other crafts in the harbor were like cockle shells beside her, and they, mind you, were the boats of the American and other liners that a few years ago were thought enormous. I remember a friend said to me: “ Aren´t you afraid to venture on the sea? But now it was I who was confident. ‘What, on this boat!’, I answered. ‘Even the worst storm could not harm her.’  I also remembered the accident before we left the harbor when the New York was  dragged from her moorings and swept against us in the Channel. It did not frighten anyone, as it only seemed to prove how powerful the Titanic was.

 

Roberta Josephine Watt, 2. Class passenger:

Like all the young ones I guess I covered every corner of the Titanic before too long. It was truly a lovely ship and at that time we felt very lucky to have been able to book passage on her. We had been booked to the New York and due to some strike, she was taken off the run ands so at the very last  we decided on the Titanic.  – A queer little incident happened that afternoon. I remember mother and some ladies having tea and as sometimes happened in those days one of them read the tea cups. Can´t remember this lady´s name but in one cup she said, ‘ I can´t see anything, it´s like there was just a blank wall and nothing beyond’, quite a good prediction for so many. Leaning the dock we had a spot of trouble also, another ship seemed to break a mooring and swung toward us, but somehow an actual collision was averted.

 

Timetable Sunday 14 April:

09.00:  A warning from the Caronia of bergs. Growlers and field ice in her track. This warning was passed on to Bruce Ismay by the captain and was not returned until the evening.

11.30: Scheduled boat drill is cancelled.

11.40: Noormadic sends another ice warning about the same location.

12.00: Titanic has run 546 miles in the last 24 hours.

13.00: Captain Smith shows Second Officer Lightoller an ice warning from the Caronia and it is posted in the chartroom.

13.30: Second-class Purser Reginald Barker tells passenger Lawrence Beesley that the ship´s speed is a disappointment.

13.40:  Baltic message received:’Capt. Smith, Titanic. Have moderate variable winds and clear fine weather since leaving. Greek steamer Athenai reports passing icebergs and large quantities of field ice today in latitude 41.51 north, longitude 40.52 west. Last night we spoke with German oil tanker Deutschland, Stettin to Philadelphia, not under control; short of coal; latitude 40.42 north, longitude 55.11. Wishes to be reported to New York and other steamers. Wish you and Titanic all success.’ – The message is given to Captain Smith, who puts it into his pocket and heads for A deck, where he encounters Bruce Ismay talking to the Wideners on the promenade. Smith hands Ismay the message, which Ismay puts in his pocket.

17.00: Titanic reaches ‘the corner’, a location 42 degrees north latitude and 47 degrees west longitude, where in spring steamships normally headed due west on course for the Nantucket Lightship and took a more southerly route to avoid the ice found near the Grand Banks. However, the Captain orders a delay in changing course until 5.45 p.m., causing the ship to travel an additional sixteen miles south-west.

17.45: Titanic changes course but is approximately ten miles south of the normal shipping route for that time of the year. (Smith´s decision is possibly due to the number of ice warnings received so far).

18.00: Second Officer Lightoller comes on duty for a four-hour watch.

 

Lightoller: Moody, please tell me when we will reach ice calculated from the messages received from other ships.

 

James Moody, Sixth Officer (calculating):

We will reach the ice at about 11 p.m. (Lightoller leaves for dinner. Returns after dinner)

 

Lightoller: It has definitely gotten colder.

Murdock: Yes, the temperature has fallen five degrees in half an hour and is now at 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Lightoller: We have to take care of the ship´s water supply. Quartermaster Hichens, please warn the carpenter and ask him to take precautions against the freezing of the fresh-water.

 

Captain Smith (enters the bridge): It has certainly become colder, and the sea is peculiarly calm.

 

Lightoller: Yes, it is a pity there is no breeze as it makes it more difficult for us to spot the ice.

 

Captain Smith: If the weather becomes in the slightest bit hazy we will have to slow down. (Leaves the bridge to attend to a dinner party) Lightoller, if in the slightest degree doubtful, let me know.

 

Lightoller: Moody, telephone the crow´s nest and ask the lookouts to keep a sharp watch for small ice and growlers, and ask them to tell the new watches.

Moody (speaks on the telephone)

 

Philips, Senior Marconi Operator: I have to see to all these passenger messages to Cape Race, they are waiting. Here is a message from the Mesaba,  “Ice warning 42 to 41.12 north and longitude 49 to 50.30 west, saw much heavy  pack ice and a great number of large icebergs, also field ice. Weather good, clear.” Well, it is not important enough to take to the bridge. I have to go on sending messages to Cape Race.

 

Murdock (enters to take over from Lightoller): Put out the lights in the public rooms on third class to make the passengers go to bed.

 

Philips: Message from the Californian, “Say, old man, we are stopped and surrounded by ice.”

Shut up! Shut up! I am busy working Cape Race.

 

Fred Fleet, lookout: The horizon has developed a slight haze. There is a dark  object right ahead. (Rings the crow´s nest bell and telephones the bridge) Warning right ahead!

 

Murdock: I can see the berg (the ship´s telegraph rings) Full speed astern (and to Quartermaster Hichens) Hard a starboard.

 

(A dull, grating sound as Titanic, traveling 22 knots, grazes the iceberg on her starboard side) Hard a port.

 

Captain Smith (reenters the bridge): What have we struck?

Moody: A berg.

 

Captain Smith (at the telegraph room): Call immediately for assistance.


Philips: Shall I use the usual signal CQD?

 

Captain Smith: Yes (leaves)

 

Philips (telegraphs CQD): What is our latitude and longitude?

 

Bride (gives him a note): Here. 41.46 north, 50.14 west. To Carpathia: Come at once. We have struck a berg.

 

Philips: Frankfurt answers.(He telegraphs latitude and longitude) Tell your captain to come to our help. We are on the ice. Frankfurt answers: OK, standby! Now  Carpathia answers too, she is coming to our rescue as soon as possible. It is almost impossible to hear anything with the noise from the boiler room, ask the captain if he can do something about it.

 

Bride (in the telephone): He will try to get it stopped.

 

Philips: Now Olympic answers too, says “Are you steering southerly to meet us. We answer: We are putting the women off in boats.  Message to Carpathia: Engine room full up to boilers. Life boats 2, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 have all left. Only five boats remain.

 

Captain Smith (appears for a moment): We are sinking quickly.

 

Bride: I have the Baltic here.

 

Philips: It is too far away. The front deck is already under water, and we must put on our life jackets. (They help each other putting them on)

 

Philips: I am calling CQD, and now I also try SOS, no answer . oh, yes, now they come, both Carpathia  and Frankfurt answer.

 

Captain Smith (enters): You can do no more , take lifeboat 4, you have done your full duty, from now on everyone is on his own.

 

Philips: What a fool – he says “What´s the matter, old man?”

 

Bride. Who?

 

Philips: Frankfurt.

 

Bride: He has not heard our first call or he must have misunderstood it.

 

Philips: Idiot – standby or stay away.

 

Bride (leaves)

 

A stoker and a coal heaver enter and try to take the life jacket from Philips. A figth results in the  victory of the telegraph operator, the stokers are locked into the telegraph room without lifejackets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2

Lookout Rowe:

   I was lookout at first watch till midnight 14 April 1912. The night was pitch dark, very calm and starry; around eleven o’clock I noticed that the weather grew colder and what we call whiskers appeared in the shape of tiny splinters of ice like myriads of coloured light. I was about to call the middle watch 11.45 but around 11.40 o’clock I was struck by a strange movement in the ship, as if sailing along a very solid dock wall. I looked ahead and saw what I thought was a sailing ship but as we passed it I saw it was an iceberg. As our own boat davits were 80 feet above the waterline I estimated that the height of the berg was about 100 feet. The engine pulled to starboard so I pulled in the lead line and saw that we were sailing around 21 knots. I did not consider the collision serious.

 

Quartermaster: Do you know where the distress rockets are?

 

Rowe: Yes, here are some of them.

 

Quartermaster: We have to get them up on the boat deck; they do not really know what to do.

 

Rowe (fires 3 rockets with distress signals)

Captain Smith: Fire all those you have, every five minutes. Can you morse?

 Rowe: Yes, a little.

 

Captain Smith: Then call that ship out there and tell them we are the Titanic and are sinking.

 

Rowe: No answer. But there is light in the starboard quarter, it is the Carpathia not far away.

 

Captain Smith: Very well, you take care of the boats then.

 

Rowe:  It is Mr. Ismay going into the boat there.

 

Ismay (cries from the boat):  Now you are in charge.

 

Rowe (much later in a letter to the author Walter Lord ): It was Mr. Ismay at one oar and Mr. Carter at the other and 4 men with an oar each, and I steered so there were 7 oars in all. We had rowed for about 10 minutes when we heard a huge rumble, like a big heap of gravel being tipped from a great height and then disappeared. We rowed on, and it seemed as if we did get nowhere; after a while it dawned, and we could see some boats and more ice. It must have been between 7 and 8 in the morning when we saw a ship, it was the Carpathia, there were more boats between us and the ship; we were taken aboard around 9 o’clock….did not see more of Mr. Ismay or Mr. Carter after they came up from the boat, and none of them said anything; but when I asked one of the ship´s officers how Mr. Ismay was doing he said he was indisposed and would not leave his cabin.

And now, Mr. Lord, I hope you will forgive my bad handwriting, and you just ask if you want to know more.

PS. Still one of the mysteries of the sea: after all our life boats had been emptied they were hauled on board Carpathia except the two Englehart rafts but they were cleansed for everything and then they were thrown out. Later the same day Oceania on almost the same course observed an object; a boat was put into the water, and it turned out to be one of our rafts with 3 dead, one passenger and two stokers on it. That means they had escaped the sinking ship but no one reached them in time.

 

 

Steward Witter, 2 class smoke room steward:

   I was clearing up the 2nd class smoke room 11.40, ready for closing at midnight. All was very quiet, the orchestra on that evening was playing the 1st class room. There were about 40 people in the room, many of them just talking, but there were about three tables of passengers playing cards. This was very unusual as it had been the rule of the White Star Line that there should be no card playing on Sundays, and that the smoke room should be closed at 11 o’clock. On that particular Sunday I had been instructed by the Chief Steward to allow them to play cards and to close the room at midnight. Then suddenly there was a jar, the ship shuddered slightly and then everything seemed normal, my first impressions were that we had shipped a heavy sea, but, knowing the condition of the weather at that time I immediately dismissed the idea. Several of the passengers enquired me the cause of the jar, and I explained that it may be due to the fact that she had dropped a blade (I had a similar experience in my previous ship). To enlighten them I said I would go below and find out the real cause of the trouble. I went below and returned some fifteen to twenty minutes later and informed the passengers that we had hit an iceberg. At that time there were still two groups of passengers playing cards, but on hearing my explanation they immediately got up and the smoke room without any sign of panic whatsoever. After they had all departed I locked up the smoke room and no one returned to it.

   I then proceeded to my quarters encountering several groups of people talking in the working alleyway, discussing the accident. As I was about to turn in to my cabin I met the carpenter, Mr. Hutchinson, who remarked ‘The bloody mail room is full.’ I knowing where the mail room was situated (Nearly f’ward) decided it was time to do something. Before I could proceed any further I encountered Steward Moss, who was going around the glory holes calling out the staff. He remarked, ‘It´s serious, Jim.’ Eventually I got to my cabin where there were about thirty-two men turned in, in their bunks, I told them all to get out as the situation was serious, but they all ridiculed me. Not taking any more notice of them I opened my trunk and filled my pockets with cigarettes, and also taking the cowl from my first child, which I always carried with me. As I left the men were beginning to scramble out of their bunks, I saw none of them again.

   On my way to the upper deck I met 2nd purser, who told me to clear the cabins of passengers and ensure that they all had lifebelt, this I did then carried on to the upper deck and stood by  No.  11 boat where I assisted the women and children to get on board. As the boat was about to be lowered a hysterical woman tried to clamber in to the boat, so I stood on the guard rail to assist her in, as she half fell in to the boat I went with her, the boat was being lowered.

   We were instructed to lay off but not to pull away. The boat was very full with 50  women, 9 babes in arms, 4 male passengers and the rest crew, a total of 71 persons, as we could be of no more assistance, and thought it unnecessary to sacrifice 71 more lives we did pull a short way from the ship.

   The boat was hushed except for the occasional whimper of one of the babes in arms, there was really very little sign that the people were witnessing one of  the greatest tragedies of the sea.

   It was about two o’clock in the morning when the Titanic finally sank, there were two terrific explosions and several loud screams as she went down bow first. As she sank the lights gradually faded as if someone was slowly turning off the current. There was deathly silence in the boat, and even then no one realized the great loss of life. We pulled away in silence.

   The morale of the people in the boat was excellent at all times, and was greatly assisted by the endeavours of a Mrs Brown, who sang and joked with everyone, she carried with her a little Toy Pig which played a little melody when its tail was turned, this amused the passengers immensely.

  We pulled around hopefully when, with a great feeling of elation we sighted a ship at about six o’clock, at first we all thought it was the Olympic, but when she finally closed on us we distinguished her as the Carpathia. With thanks to God we boarded her. We were saved.

 

 

 

Anna Kincaid, Third Class passenger:

   There is no one here to help us to come up to the boat deck but I reckon it is  because the ship is unsinkable.

 

Young Danish man: You haven´t put on your lifejacket, you have to do that, now I will show you where it is.

 

Anna Kincaid:

Thanks a lot but do you really think it is necessary to put it on?

 

His sweetheart: Yes, do come with us, the main staircase is closed but we know an emergency exit.

 

Anna Kincaid: They went upstairs but I stayed because I didn´t believe there could be any real danger, and I also felt too sick. Then I met my old schoolmate Alfred Wicklund from Sweden, and he helped me put the lifejacket on.

 

Wicklund: You stay here, I will go back to my cabin because I would rather die in my bed if there is nothing else to do about it.

Anna Kincaid: I never saw him again. But then I met a young Swedish girl who persuaded me to go up with her by the emergency staircase, and a short while later the main staircase was opened. Before that it had been difficult for the 3 Class passengers to come up to the life boats,  that is  true. Until then there was no help of any kind accorded to Third Class passengers. Only in the very last desperate moments Third Class passengers were given any chance to reach safety. – On the  Carpathia I saw the Danish boy´s sweetheart. He was the one I mentioned giving me a lifebelt. She was simply frantic and hysterical as she had become separated from her boy friend. She  later lost her mind and she was sent back to Denmark. – I saw a Swedish couple and their five children kiss each other goodbye, and then they all jumped overboard.

After we were in lifeboats, those who had papers or any article that could burn, lit these, thus making flares. In this way the lifeboats kept going in the same direction, and not getting scattered in various directions. In the morning we were sighted by the Carpathia, and were taken aboard her in the early hours, about 8.30 a.m. I might add that, though the ocean was quite calm, two lifeboats did overturn – at least that is all I saw capsize.

It seems strange to me now, but all I could think of while all this was happening was that I must get to America. After we were safe, and on the Carpathia, I was very upset, and no doubt, in case of shock, from the experience I had just come through.

 

Edwina Trout (then 27 years old):

  I was in Cabin E101 with Susan Webber of Devonshire and Nora Keane, an Irish lady from Limerick who was returning to her current home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where she and her brother had a store. Nearby was the musicians´cabin, and I enjoyed hearing them practice each day as I passed by.

   We three single women did not socialize much together on the ship, I was more gregarious than the other two. Susan spent most of the time talking over the gate between Second and Third Class to a fellow from her home town while Nora was too worried about sailing on the maiden voyage of a ship that may have been boasted unsinkable too many times to be much fun. I made friends elsewhere, and I often gathered a laughing crowd wherever I went. People confided in me, and I quickly learned the secrets of my fellow diners. Edgar Andrews, an 18-year-old from Buenos Aires, was secretly running away from his English boarding school to see his brother in New Jersey. Born of English parents he did everything to annoy them, including refusing to speak their language. Jacob Milling, a Dane, confided that his wife did not know that he was on this quick trip to America to check out the railroads, however, on my suggestion he wrote to her. Edgar perished; Jacob´s body was recovered and buried in Denmark.

My little group loved to play cards but on 14 April I retired early, thinking Sunday was not the proper night to indulge. As I prepared for bed I did not undress completely, telling myself that there was a chill in the air, later I had to admit that Nora´s pessimism might have coloured my thinking. Nora further disquieted me by telling me that Nellie Hocking from Cornwall had heard a cock crowing earlier that evening, it was an omen of bad things to come.

The crowing chicken were in fact an exotic French breed belonging to Ella Holmes White and Marie Grice Young of First Class who were bringing them to their New York country home. Each day Miss Young would descend to the cargo area to check on the poultry, and on one such visit she gave a crew member a gold coin for his care of the livestock. He thought it a lucky thing to receive gold on a maiden voyage. Mrs. White´s insurance claim was £1,900/$9,500 but I valued the chickens at £41 11 s4d/$207.87.

   When I felt the engines stop I who was in the bottom bunk was up and out in a flash to investigate. Returning with the urgency of the situation I found Susan fast asleep and poor Nora in a dither. Susan quickly dressed and went on deck but Nora insisted that she needed to don her corset before she could leave the sinking ship. In exasperation I grabbed the wretched thing and tossed it out of the door. Nora got the message, and we scurried to the deck.

Nora immediately entered a lifeboat but I stood calmly watching the evacuation, resigned to dying because I from an early age had believed that I would not live a full lie. How sad, I thought, that newlyweds were being separated. If I ruled the sea it would have  been married women and men first – then single women and men.

As lifeboat 16 was hanging in the davits, a man whom I later learned was Third Class Lebanese passenger Charles Thomas, pushed forward with a baby in his arms. He had become separated from his sister-in-law Thelma, the mother of the infant. Prevented from entering a lifeboat himself he begged anyone, anyone at all, to save his 3-months-old nephew, Assed. Shaken from my reverie by someone else´s needs I readily took on the job and entered the boat with a toothbrush, a prayer-book and the baby clutched to the unyielding cork of my lifebelt.

My life did an about-face that night. I later wrote in an article that I felt I was saved for something, so I vowed never to quarrel and always be kind to the sick and the elderly. I crossed the Atlantic by ship at least ten more times. On a stormy cruise to the Caribbean another passenger asked me if I was worried. My answer was:”I´ve seen worse.”

 

Uppsala University report on maritime disasters 2011  (recorded in a British newspaper):

   Academics at Uppsala University in Sweden have discovered that what happened on the Titanic was an exception to usual human behavior in disasters at sea. They analysed the survival rates of 18 such catastrophes over the past 300 years, 16 of which had never been studied before, and found that overall only 17,8% of the women survived versus 34,5% of the men – even though on at least five occasions men were ordered to let the women off first. Michael Elinder who led the research said:” The Titanic is very different to other maritime disasters. In almost every other incident women and children died to a much larger extent than the men, which implies that saving women and children first is a myth.

Disasters and the resulting fear of death trigger an overwhelming survival instinct that culminates in a sharply different maxim: every man for himself. “It is difficult to know exactly what is going on in the ship but the survival patterns are consistent with the idea that in a disaster it is each man for himself,” said Elinder. “On the Titanic there were reports that shots were fired at men who tried to climb into the lifeboats. On the Birkenhead the captain is said to have drawn his sword. This seems to be the reason for the exception in the survival rates. We found British men to be the least chivalrous. On average the survival rate of women on British ships is 13.9 to 15,3 percentage points lower than in disasters involving ships from other countries. We did not expect this at all. The women-and-children-first protocol has been associated with Britishness, so we thought that it would be the reverse. But the sad fact is that men let women flee the Titanic  first only under the captain´s orders and at gunpoint.”

 

 

Reverend Plumer Bryant, Chicago´s Church of the Covenant:

The women who are demanding political rights may well take care, lest they lose what is infinitely dearer. If men and women are to be rivals, can she expect such chivalrous protection as the women of the Titanic received? (page 31 Steven Biel)

 

Letter to the Baltimore Sun:

Let the suffragists remember this. When the Lord created woman and placed her under the protection of  man he had her well provided for. The Titanic disaster proves it very plainly. (page 30)

 

“Mere Man”, (staff poet for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch):

“Votes for women!”

Was the cry,

Reaching upward

To the sky.

Crashing glass,

And flashing eye –

“Votes for women!”

Was the cry.

 

“Boats for women!”

Was the cry.

When the brave

Were come to die.

When the end

Was drawing nigh –

“Boats for women!”

Was the cry.

 

Life has many

Little jests.

Insignificant

As tests.

Doubt and bitterness

Assail

But “Boats for women!”

Tells the tale.

 (page 31, Biel)

 

 

 

The New York Times:

Amateur poets should be advised that to write about the Titanic a poem worth printing requires that the author should have something more than paper, pencil and a strong feeling that the disaster was a terrible one. Most of the poems received were worthless and intolerably bad, and the worst of all were those written on lined paper.

 

Current Literature:

We do not remember any other event in our history that has called forth such a rush of song in the columns of the daily press. While some of it was unutterably horrible and none was quite magically inspired, a surprising amount of Titanic verse was very creditable. (page 31 Biel)

 

HEADLINES:

NOTED MEN ON THE LOST TITANIC

UNTOLD RICHES REPRESENTED ON THE TITANIC

COL. ASTOR, MAJ.BUTT AND OTHER NOTABLES PROBABLY DROWNED

MEN FAMOUS IN FINANCIAL WORLD GO TO DEATH

KINGS OF FINANCE, CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY, WORLD FAMED MEN WHO WENT DOWN IN TITANIC

WHO´S WHO ON TITANIC

 

Washington Post:

While the lowly immigrants and their offspring were being borne to safety, Americans and Englishmen of fame and wealth – Archibald Butt, William T. Stead, Clarence Moore, John Jacob Astor, F. D. Millet, George D. and Harry Widener among them – from the deck of Titanic watched the last lifeboats disappear, and went to heroes´ graves marked by the depthless sea.

 

Figures of correction:

94 %  of the First Class women and children were saved, compared with 81 % in the Second Cabin and 47% in the steerage. Of the First Cabin men, 31 % survived, compared with 10% in Second Class and 14% in steerage. In all, 60 % of the First Cabin passengers lived, compared with 44% of the Second Class passengers and only 25% of the steerage passengers.

 

 

 

 

 

Expert analysis (by John P. Eaton and Charles A. Haas, Titanic Destination Disaster):

Chief officer Wilde assigned Second Officer Lightoller to see to the stripping of the boats´covers. Running forward to boat 4 on the port side, Lightoller began pulling off the cover himself. As two or three men arrived, they were put to work at the task and Lightoller then directed the deck hands coming on deck to other boats on port and starboard sides. He used hand signals; the din of escaping steam made verbal commands impossible.

The tale of port side lifeboat 4 is one of high drama. Assembled by their cabin stewards and directed by the ship´s officers, a small group of influential passengers gathered at around 12.30 am on A deck´s forward port side, beneath boat 4´s davits but behind the glassed-in deck enclosure.

Thayers, Wideners, Ryersons, Astors…Husbands, wives and families, some with maids and valets: men and women accustomed to giving orders, not taking them. Now, however, they waited patiently, almost humbly, for the lifeboat to be lowered from the deck above. The lifejackets and light clothing they had hurriedly donned gave scant protection from the chill air. As the minutes passed some of the ladies sent their maids back for warmer clothing, fur coats for the women, warm sweaters and jackets for the men. And still they waited.

After swinging boat number 4, Lightoller ordered it lowered to A. deck, intending to load passengers through the deck´s screen windows. But no-one from the deck crew could be diverted to open them. After about half an hour, shortly after 1 am, Second steward George Dodd directed the group to climb the steep staircase forward (its small brass plaque bearing the admonition “These stairs for use of crew only”) to the boat deck.

Since other boats were loaded from the boat deck, the crew might have thought that boat 4 would be hoisted back up and loaded in the same way. Again the passengers waited, now with the sound of the unseen ship´s orchestra coming to them across the deckhouse roofs from the starboard side, with the hiss, flare and booming explosions of the distress rockets proclaiming the situation´s urgency. Around them they could see people boarding other boats which then were lowered. But still they waited beside the davits whose falls held number 4 captive against the side of A deck, below.

Finding that passengers could be loaded and lowered conveniently from the boat deck, Lightoller finally realized that passengers for boat 4 were still awaiting loading. Once again the Thayers, Wideners, Astors, Ryersons and their entourages were herded back down to A deck. By now the window had been cranked open, but another problem became evident. Titanic´s port list created a gap between the ship´s side and the dangling boat. This condition was remedied by pulling the boat inwards with boat-hooks and temporarily securing it with a wire hawser normally used for coaling.

A makeshift step-ladder was rigged up. The women mounted the narrow treads and awkwardly climbed through the window, from the lighted deck to the outside darkness. Thirteen-year-old Jack Ryerson at first was prevented from accompanying his mother, but his father´s appeal overruled the loading officer´s objection.

Legend reports that John Jacob Astor, standing nearby, placed a woman hat on young Ryerson´s head, saying, ‘There, now you´re a girl and you can go.’ But the story was not repeated in Mrs Ryerson´s later affidavit.

Astor did assist his five-months pregnant wife into the lifeboat, then asked the officer in charge if he might accompany her. After being refused, Astor joined the other men on deck in assisting ladies into the boat. They assured their wives they would soon follow in other boats, that nearby liners were on their way, that the women were to obey the ship´s crewmen and not to worry. Astor stood on deck smiling, waving gently as finally, at 1.55 am, boat 4 was lowered to the sea. Astor´s final heroic act was to descend quickly to the dog kennels on F deck, next to the third class galley. (One wonders if he might have heard the roar of the onrushing water as it filled the nearest watertight compartment). There, he liberated his Airedale dog, Kitty. Madeleine Astor later reported that as she looked back, trying to glimpse her husband, she saw Kitty running about the deck as Titanic settled, bow down, lower and lower…

 

Alfred Pugh, Steward Third Class:

   When the ship hit the iceberg and I and some more of us were playing cards in our room naturally everybody said: “What´s  that?” . I said she had dropped a propeller, as that was what it felt like to me. We continued playing for quite a while until the order came to muster at the boats.

(The scene is now the boat deck, and another steward comes toward us with a large lump of ice in his hands)

 

Moody: Come and help me get the passengers in the lifeboats.

 

Pugh: We fill boat  no. 18 and then boat no. 16

 

Moody: I will go and see if I can help elsewhere.

 

Webb: You stay here; the crew is going to man the boat, do you think you can manage the oars?

 

Pugh: Yes, I know I am small but I have already done it at boat drill before leaving Southampton.

 

Webb: Well, jump in, and  I´ll take charge.

Pugh: There was no panic. We could not hear the orchestra playing but in the distance I could hear people sing “For Those in Peril on the Sea”. Mr. Webb got all the lifeboats to keep together as he said there was a better chance to be seen. We transferred our 58 passengers to the other boats, and then started to search for  any survivors after the ship had disappeared. Before she sank we could see her well down at the Fore port and her stern well out of the water. Some lights were still showing and continued to do so till she took the final plunge. – It was day break when we saw the Carpathia and were taken on board. It was some days before I could realize what had happened, especially as I found that my brother had gone down with the ship.   

    

Group of 4 tennis players (Wimbledon 1907)

Behr: It is the captain coming down the stairs. I don´t think he´s going to speak to us but why was there water on the squash court?

Beckwith: It´s also strange that there was ice in the port-holes on starboard side when we heard that sound before the engines stopped.

(Another group enters talking leisurely as if everything was quite normal)

Ismay (in plain clothes, goes to the new group):

You must go into the boats now.

(goes on to the tennis players): Now you have to go into the other boat.

 

The tennis group (discussing between them):

We are not very interested in that, it can´t be that dangerous, and there are 80 feet down to the water and in darkness.

 

Ismay (leaves a while – stands alone looking at them, then returns):

I must insist that you follow the instructions, do hurry up; can´t you see you are the last passengers on the boat deck?

Behr: I think we should do as Mr. Ismay says.

Mrs. Beckwith: Yes, but come with me then. Mr. Ismay, are we all to go into that boat?

Ismay; Yes, naturally, Madam, every one of  them.

Behr: Now we stand here in the boat, and we are suspended there for about five minutes. Ismay obviously  is waiting for more.

 

Officer: There are no more passengers on the boat deck.

 

Ismay: Then you are in charge, and you there come along (4 sailors go into the boat) Lower away! (Ismay leaves)

Behr: As the life boats were lowered to A deck the passengers could only get into the boats through the square windows; that is why the boat only got half full; the same with the other boats. The crew had not had time enough to learn to know the entire ship.

 

Boat passenger (to Behr): Do you see this revolver? You are welcome to use it if the worst should happen, to shoot your wife, after my wife and I myself have used it.

 

Behr: He said it as the most natural thing in the world, quite without panic.

 

Ismay (to Third Officer Pitman at boat no. 5): There is no time to waste, hurry up, men!

 

Pitman: Mind your own business; we have other things to do.

 

Ismay: You don´t seem to know who I am; I am Ismay. Fill the boat up with women and children.

 

Pitman (angrily): I await the captain´s orders. (aside) Ismay, I must ask the captain what to do about that. (Walks, speaks with the captain) The captain told me to go on (returns to boat no. 5)

 

Ismay: Please, ladies, go into the boat!

 

Captain Edward Crosby (shipowner from Milwaukee and old skipper from the Great Lakes, to two ladies, Catherine Crosby and her daughter Harriet): You go into the boat now; do as I say or you will drown with the ship.(more women and children go into the boat, and then some single men)

 

Officer Murdoch at boat no. 7: Who are you?

 

Dorothy Gibson: I am Dorothy Gibson and I am a movie actress, this is my mother, and you can come too (to bridge players Willam Sloper and Fred Seward).

 

Murdoch: There are 19 or 20 in the boat now, and we can´t wait any longer. Pitman, you take no. 5 and stay close to no. 7. Goodbye and good luck!

 

Ismay (no. 5 is going down slowly, hysterically, waving his arms in a circle): Let go! Let go! Let go!

 

5. Officer Lowe: Piss off. I am in charge of this, so don´t intervene, understand. Do you want me to let go? Do you realize that I might get the whole bunch drowned?

 

Ismay (wordless, turns around and leaves).

 

Sailor: Scold the president, he must be crazy. He will learn what it costs when we get to New York!

 

Haye, passenger: Pencher, this ship will certainly stay afloat for still eight hours. I just heard that from one of the competent skippers, Mr. Crosby from Milwaukee.

 

Andrews, passenger (to stewardess Annie Robinson): Didn´t I tell you to put on your lifebelt?

 

Annie Robinson: Yes, but I thought it looked so common to walk around with it on.

 

Andrews:  Nonsense. Put it on and walk with it; don´t mind the other passengers, just let them see you.

 

Annie Robinson: It looks so vulgar.

 

Andrews: No, put it on…listen to me if you value your life, put it on.

 

 

 

 

H.G. Wells (in Daily Mail):

In the unfolding record of behavior it is the stewardesses and bandsmen and engineers – persons of the trade union class – who shine as brightly as any. And by the supreme artistry of Chance it fell to the lot of that tragic and unhappy gentleman, Mr Bruce Ismay, to be aboard and to be caught by the urgent vacancy in the boat and the snare of the moment. No untried man dare say that he would have behaved better in his place. But for capitalism and for our existing social system his escape – with five and  fifty third-class children waiting below to drown – was the abandonment of every noble pretension. It is not the man I would criticize, but manifest absence of any such sense of the supreme dignity of his position as would have sustained him in that crisis. He was a rich man and a ruling man, but in the test he was not a proud man. In the common man´s realization that such is indeed the case with most of those who dominate the world lies the true cause and danger of our social indiscipline. As the remedy in the first place lies not in the conscience of the wealthy. Heroism and a general devotion to the common good are the only effective answer to distrust.

 

J. E. Prindle, President, The Ismay Commercial Club, Ismay, Montana:

May 5th 12. Mr Bruce Ismay, London, England

Dear Sir:

Since the Titanic disaster the national dailies have heaped a lot of abuse and notoriety upon you and have dragged the name of Ismay Montana into the noise and suggested that we change the name of the town because it happens to be same as yours. We are not only going to retain the same name, but have sent copies of a reply to all the prominent daily papers stating the facts as we see them and out attitude toward you and the whole affair. We hope in a way to exonerate you and keep up the good name of the town of Ismay as well if they will give the article publication. Yours very truly Earl. E. Gaines

 

WM. Alden Smith, Chairman Senate Subcommittee Investigating Titanic Disaster, :

Washington, D. C., April 25 1912

Mr. J. Bruce Ismay

Willard Hotel, Washington, D. C.

Sir: Replying to your letter of this date, just received, permit me to say that I am not unmindful of the fact that you are being detained in this country against your will, and, probably, at no little inconvenience to yourself and your family. I can readily see that your absence from England at a time so momentous in the affairs of your company would be most embarrassing, but the horror of the Titanic catastrophe and its importance to the people of the world call for scrupulous investigation into the causes leading up to the disaster, that future losses of similar character may, if possible, be avoided. To this end, we have been charged by the Senate of the United States with the duty of making this official enquiry, and, so far I am concerned, nothing will be left undone which may in any matter contribute to this end. As I said to you in New York on Friday evening last, when you asked to be permitted to return home, and again on Saturday night, when you made the same request, I shall not consent to your leaving this country until the fullest enquiry has been made into the circumstances surrounding the accident. This information can be fully detailed by yourself and other officers of your country and the officers and crew of your ship. I am working night and day to achieve this result, and you should continue to help me instead of annoying me and delaying my work by your personal importunities.

Trusting that you will receive this letter in the spirit in which it is written, I am,

Very respectfully WM. Alden Smith

 

 

Lucile Carter, in a letter to Ismay May 24 1912:

I want to write  you how glad I am that you have come home safely, and also how pleased we were to read of the great ovation you had in England when you landed for no one realized more than Billy and I did, how much you must have been through, and how wonderful you were through it all. The notoriety we all got, and the dreadful things our press is allowed to say in this country is certainly revolting, and makes us sometimes ashamed that we live here, but fortunately when they go to extremes, it is quickly over, and now it has completely died out, and no one even mentions it, and they are now criticizing something else. We are all quite well, and send you many kind wishes, and hope to see you next winter when we go back to Melton to hunt. (Lost Voices page 280)

 

Mrs Dobbyn (employee of the Astors about Madeleine Astor and John Jacob Astor):

Mrs Astor has since told me the story of that terrible night. She had not been feeling well that afternoon and had retired early. She was awakened by the shock, rather slight, of the Titanic striking and by the engines stopping. She spoke to the Colonel who said it was nothing, and that the engines would soon start again. They did but stopped. He then looked out the window, or port hole, and said there was ice about. The air was bitterly cold. He dressed immediately and hurried up to the bridge to see the Captain, who told him it was serious. He then took Mrs Astor to the deck, where I believe they got some warmer clothing, and he secured a chair for her. He put on a life belt, which she helped fasten, and afterward he got some man to tie it tighter about him. He was perfectly cool and collected, his only thought being for her comfort. When, at last, an officer ordered her to a boat, she did not want to go without him, and the officer took her arm and made her go, the Colonel reassuring her that he would go with her. (He did, I am sure, only to get her go). She got in the boat, thinking he would follow for there were a number of vacant places, and the deck about them deserted. He asked the officer if he might go with her, and was refused. She was terribly frightened when she found herself alone, and the boat being lowered. She remembers his calling to her if she was alright or if she was comfortable, and that he asked to officer the number of the boat, and he said something she could not hear. Her boat had gone but a little way when the Titanic sank. She thought she heard him calling, and she stood up and cried that they were coming, but the people in the boat made her stop, and apparently they made no effort to go back toward those cries for help. There was no light in her boat, and anyone in the water, only a few feet away, could not see them. You would be trrible sorry for her if you could see her and hear her tell the awful tragedy. She is so young and she cared so much for him.

The Colonel´s funeral was in the village church in Rhinebeck. It is late and I must close, but not before saying that the more I learn of this fearful disaster, the more I admire the Colonel´s quiet bravery, and his gentle care of his wife, in the face of what he knew was death. I am glad that the last few months of his life were so happy…

 

Laura Mabel Francatelli (secretary for Lady Duff-Gordon in a letter to Mary Ann Taylor sent from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York):

Oh, darling, you cannot know, what I have passed through, not bodily, as I am strong, but mind & nerves, it is a wonder we are not all grey-headed – it is impossible for to describe the horrors of it all, it was about ¼ to twelve, when the crash came. I was just getting into bed. Madame & Sir Cosmo had been in bed sometime, they were up on A deck the top, and I on E, the bottom deck for saloon passengers, it was a marvelous boat, like a floating huge hotel, in fact I have not seen a hotel so grand. The collision shook me, as well as everything else in my room. I immediately slipped on my dressing gown and opened my door, saw several people come out of their rooms in night attire, two gentlemen came up and spoke to me, and told me not to be frightened, but go back to bed, we had run into an iceberg, but we were quite safe, however the engines were making a terrific noise. I stood still there quite 20 minutes, or more, saw all the officers come down to inspect the damage, and then starting screwing down the iron doors outside my bedroom, presently a man came rushing up, saying all the Hold and Luggage and Mail had gone, so I thought I shall fly on a few things, and go to tell Madame.

When I left my room the water was on my deck, coming along the corridor. We were 20 feet above the water level, so we had already sunk 20 feet, but of course we did not realize this till afterwards. Everybody I passed assured me I was safe but to my terrible surprise I found all the people running up and down the stairs.

When I reached Madame´s room she was already out of bed and put two dressing gowns on for warmth. Sir Cosmo was dressing. The next minute a man came along and said ‘Captain´s orders’, all to put life preservers on, and the next instant they were putting one on Madame and I, Oh, Marion, that was a sickening moment, I felt myself go like Marble but Madame and I prayed together, for God to look after us and keep us safe if it was his will. Sir Cosmo then took us up on top deck. Crowds were up there, and they were already lowering the lifeboat filled with women and children, I looked over the side of the boat and tried to penetrate the blackness, and noticed that the water was not such a long distance away from us, as we had already remarked what a height it was. I said to Sr Cosmo, I believe we are sinking; he said, Nonsense come away. We then walked more to the bow of the boat, near the bridge several lifeboats had been lowered, they were preparing the last two on that side of the ship, the starboard side. They cried out ‘Any more women’, saw us and came to try and drag Madame and I away from Sir Cosmo, but Madame clung to Sir Cosmo and begged him not to let them take her, or separate her, she said, ‘I will go down with you’, and I clung to Madame; I would not leave them, it would have been too awful to be alone.

After all the lifeboats had gone, everybody seemed to rush to the other side of the boat and leave ours vacant but we still stood there, as Sir Cosmo said,’We must wait for orders’, presently an officer started to swing off a little boat called the ‘Emergency’ boat, quite an ordinary little rowing boat and started to man it, he saw us and ordered us in, they were then firing the rockets beside us, we had to be nearly thrown up into this boat, two other American gentlemen jumped in, and seven stokers, they started to lower us. We had not gone a few yards when out little boat got caught up by a wire rope on my side, and in a few minutes we should all have been hurled into the sea, had it not been for that brave officer still up on deck. He shouted ‘Cut it with a knife’ but nobody had one, and we were all in black darkness, hanging in midair, he shouted ‘ Mind your heads’ and threw a piece of heavy iron which shook our boat and so set it free, we then went rapidly down to the water.

The dear officer gave orders to row away from the sinking boat at least 200 yards, he afterwards, poor dear brave fellow shot himself. We saw the whole thing, and watched that tremendous thing quickly sink, there was then terrible, terrible explosions, and all darkness, then followed the awful cries and screams of the 1600 dear souls fighting for their lives in the water.Oh never shall I  forget that awful night, floating about the ocean in this little boat, freezing cold and listening to this terrible suffering, we all prayed all night long that help may come to us all and how I thought of all my darlings and all those dear to me. I knew you were all safe and none of you knew what we were going though. It is marvelous how brave one can be when facing the greatest danger. God gives us strength to bear these things. We floated about all that long night, were terribly cold, and the men rowing got so cold they began to drop oars and lay at the bottom of the boat. I sat on one man´s feet to try to make them a little warm and tried to rub another one´s hand but I was so cold myself I had not much power to rub.

Oh at daybreak when we saw the lights of that ship, about 4 miles away, we rowed like mad and passed icebergs like mountains, at last about 6.30 the dear Carpathia picked us up, our little boat was like a speck against that giant. Then came my weakest moment, they lowered a rope swing which was awkward to sit on with my life preserver round me. Then they hauled me up, by the side of the boat. Can you imagine, swinging in the air over the sea, I just shut my eyes and clung tight saying ‘Am I safe’, at last I felt a strong arm pulling me onto the boat. I was so chattering that I could say nothing, it was all too terrible the scenes and sadness we lived in for the next four days and nights on the darling Carpathia. Oh but they were so kind to us, everybody lent us everything and their beds, but of course, all had to sleep on tables, floors, or anywhere.

Since being safe on land, I am afraid I am a coward, my nerves had gone, but I do not show it as I am constantly battling with it, the poor Madame gets worse every day since we have been here, but she was so brave and calm all through it.

Sir Cosmo is trying to fix up all the business quickly. He had to defend himself against accusations that he bribed the crewmen not to return to help the drowning, stating that the money was indeed paid but only in gratitude and to compensate the crew members in the boat for their loss of pay since the ship had gone down.

 

Daily Telegraph, 14 April 2012:

TITANIC SURVIVORS VINDICATED

Exclusive A recently discovered cache of letters seen by the Telegraph absolves Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff/Gordon of bribery and cowardice, says Elizabeth Grice.

The documents have been in a cardboard box in a solicitor´s room for the past 100 years and only came to light when two summer vacation students at the London office of Veale Wasbrough Vizards, the firm that merged with Tweedies, who represented the Duff Gordons, were asked to work through old papers that might be returned to the families of their original clients.

The historical significance of the find is that it contains fresh detail that could finally restore the good name of the Duff Gordons, who were accused or urging, or even bribing, the crew of their boat to row away from the sinking ship and not to pick up survivors, even though the boat wasn´ t full. Though they were cleared of all blame by the Board of Trade inquiry in May 1912 they were savagely cross-examined and remained tainted by suspicion that the had acted selfishly. The box simply marked Titanic surprising Sir Andrew Duff Gordon,  Cosmo´s great-nephew, is a time-capsule of enthralling witness. The idea of going back for possible survivors, he discloses, was not mooted. They were too far away from the wreck, in intense darkness, and it would have been a dangerous and futile gesture because no one could have survived the icy sea in more than 15 minutes. “Cosmo was in no position to give orders,” says Sir Andrew. “He was not in charge of the boat”.

 

The article in Daily Telegraph mentions another angle of the story; Lucy Duff Gordon who was sister to the romantic novelist Elinor Glyn, reveals in a letter to her daughter Esme four days after the sinking, a somewhat voyeuristic fascination in watching the ship go down and her annoyance at being so seasick that she missed things. “Well, my beloveds,” she writes to her family,” You know how I always said I longed for experiences and adventures and sensations, well, I´ve had it this time and no mistake.”

 

Premonitions:

Helen E. Bell (with a newspaper): As I read, a picture suddenly forms between myself and the paper, showing a night scene with what I take to be jagged and pointed rocks, with the hull of a boat standing out of the water. With the picture comes a voice, clear and distinct, which says, “This will be on its first voyage”. I ask, ”Why. What is the matter with the boat?” “Nothing, that is all right, but it will be on its first voyage.”

I feel a thrill of dismay and ask for more information, but no other answer came. The picture appears to be about five by four inches in size and resembles in its gradations of light and shade an old steel engraving. I should have called it a gem if I had seen it on  exhibition (she puts the paper aside)

After the Titanic went down my friends asked me why I had not sent this experience to the newspapers before the disaster? I could only say, “Where is the paper that would have printed it?”

 

Richard Henry Rouse, bricklayer from Sittingbourne, England:

We  had decided to emigrate to America but I thought it best to sail alone and establish myself before sending for my wife and daughter. 4 April 1912 I took Charity, my wife, to Southampton by train to see the ship. As we looked at the mammoth liner lying at her dock, Charity said, “Dick, that ship is too big, I have a bad feeling that it will never reach America. Please don´t go! Please don´t go on the boat!. I answered her, “Charity, don´t worry. It´s a brand new ship, and besides, they say it´s unsinkable.”

Charity Rouse:

When he had left to board the ship I told my neighbor, “Dick´s gone, and I won´t feel right ´til I get a wire from New York saying he´s safe. Two days later I received a postcard from Dick, “Don´t worry – everything is fine. It´s a wonderful ship. I´ll wire you as soon as we reach New York.” The postcard was posted at either Cherbourg or Queenstown.

A few days later I took Gladys down to a little corner store to pick up our weekly paper. After the purchase the salesgirl asked me if I would like to see the latest edition about Titanic sinking?

“What?” I said blankly.

“Oh, it hit an iceberg and sank.”

I fainted while Gladys started to cry, sobbing, “My Daddy´s on board that ship.”

I never heard from anyone who might have seen my husband on board the doomed ship.

 

Mrs Bucknell, First Class passenger:

I felt nervous when we boarded at Cherbourg and I still feel that way. I don´t know what it is, but ever I got on this ship I´ve felt premonitions of disaster.

 

Molly Brown:

Well, I´m not going to lose any sleep over your premonitions. In fact, that´s where I´m going very soon – to sleep. It´s too cold to do anything else. (Rumble from the collision is heard).

Mrs Bucknell: “We can´t stay in our cabin after that rumbling, and we must put on our lifejackets. Didn´t I tell you? I knew it!”

Molly Brown (later known as ‘the unsinkable Molly Brown):
I revealed the story of my friend´s premonition to the press; Mrs Bucknell never commented publiscly on her own experience. It seems clear, though, that her fear was directly associated with the Titanic, and after that Mrs Bucknell felt certain that the ship was doomed and revealed this fear to me before the disaster. Afterwards it is much easier to make people and the press listen!

 

Reverend Charles L. Tweedale, Anglican vicar and a proponent of spitualism, in a letter to the spiritualist publication Light which was published on 4 May 1912:

In possible connection with this terrible tragedy, I made brief extracts from two consecutive extracts in my diary:

“Tuesday, April 9th. The servants report this morning that last night about 11.30 pm, they both heard loud wailing, moaning and sobbing proceeding from the passage on the third floor outside their bedroom door. It was very loud and continued for from five to ten minutes.

“Children asleep, self and wife in our room on the second floor. One of the maids has only just come, and knows nothing of our psychical experiences. We heard nothing ourselves, and nothing was seen.

“Monday, April 15th. During our temporary absence from the house in the evening of 14 April, the servants and children reported on our return that they had heard loud knocks, and also the sound of very heavy footsteps walking about upstairs and tramping loudly overhead in the sewing room over the kitchen. All were downstairs during the time this tramping continued. About 11.30 pm my wife rushed into my study in alarm, saying that she had just seen the figure of a man with bushy eyebrows and grey beard pass through the kitchen door to her. The children and the servants were upstairs

“Tuesday, April 16th. Just heard of dreadful disaster to the Titanic and feared loss of nearly 2000 lives. Mr. Stead is reported lost. I sincerely hope this is not the case as I have arranged to be at his house with Mrs. Wriedt at the end of May. Later I showed the photographs of Stead to his wife. My wife then told me that the apparition she saw bore a strong resemblance to him. The problem is that it is extremely unlikely that the apparition she saw was the spirit of Stead who was still alive at the time or that the wailing she heard was connected with the victims of the Titanic disaster which had not yet occurred. I first thought that the time difference between the location of Titanic and my home at Weston was three hours and fifteen minutes. Titanic sank at 2.20 am, 15 April (ship´s time), and I calculated that this would have been 11.05 pm 14 April at my home. My wife saw the apparition and heard the wailing at about 11.30 pm 14 April, or, so I thought, about 25 minutes after Titanic sank. But, when calculating the time difference, I shifted the time difference in the wrong direction! Titanic was west of England which meant that the ship´s time was three hours earlier than the English time zone, not later.

Thus, when my wife saw her apparition at 11.30 pm, it was only 8.30 pm on the Titanic, and the collision with the iceberg would not occur for another three hours. So it seems extremely unlikely that the apparition she saw was the spirit of W. T. Stead who was still alive at the time, or that the wailing she heard was connected with the victims of the Titanic disaster which had not yet occurred.

 

Lilian Bentham (later Mrs John Black, USA):

There were eleven  in my party returning from England and only three of us saved. We were in life-boat twelve and it has quite a record. We saved several men who were on an upturned boat – I had the privilege of helping to pull the men in our boat. If you recall it was a whistle that saved the lives of men and I have the honour of being the proud possessor of the whistle, also five pieces of silver taken from the pocket of a man who died (given to me by a steward).

 

Amy Stanley (employee with the Dann family in New Haven, industrialists with a patent for an improved method of bending wood which was used in curvilinear furniture. They also made the sled used by Commodore Peary (and Matt Henson) in his 1909 trek to the North Pole, an achievement that figured prominently in their advertising):

Dear Father and Mother: I have had a terrible experience, one that I shall never forget as long as I live…It was about 11.30 pm I got out of bed and put my coat on and went out on deck and asked a steward what was the matter. He told me that it was only the engines stopped and ordered all the women back to bed. But I did not go! I got in collapsible C  and rowed for several hours and we were then taken up by the Carpathia. The sight on board was awful, with raving women – barely six women were saved who could say they had not lost a relative. I attended to a woman who was picked up on a raft. She had lost two sons on the Titanic. Their cabin was next to mine. Don´t you think I have been lucky throughout?

 

Captain Rostron, the Carpathia:

At 2.30, I saw a flare, about half a point on the port bow, and immediately took it for granted that it was the Titanic itself, and I remarked that she must still be afloat, as I knew we were along way off, and it seemed so high. However, soon after seeing the flare I made out an iceberg about a point on the port bow, to which I had to port to keep well clear of. Knowing that the Titanic had struck ice, of course I had to take extra care and every precaution to keep clear of anything that might look like ice. Between 2:45 and 4 o´clock. The time I stopped my engines, we were passing icebergs on every side and making them ahead and having to alter course several times to clear the bergs…

It was in the night time. I can confess this much, that if I had known at the time there was so much ice about, I should not have run under a full head of steam; but I was right in it then. I could see the ice. I knew I was perfectly clear. There was one other consideration: Although I was running a risk with my own ship and my own passengers, I also had to consider what I was going for…I had to consider the lives of others…Of course it was a chance, but at the same time I knew what I was doing.

 

Captain Lord, the Californian that was accused of going away instead of trying to save passengers on the Titanic:

Even if I had known of Titanic´s sinking, I would have been unable to reach the disaster site in time to save any lives. In daylight it would have taken from 6 am to 8:30 am to reach the spot where Carpathia was taking aboard the last survivors. If I had known of the disaster and tried to traverse the extensive ice-field at night, I would have joined the Titanic on the bottom.

 

Captain Rostron, the Carpathia:

At 4 o´clock I stopped. At 4:10 I got the first boat alongside. Previous to getting the first boat alongside, however, I saw an iceberg close to me, right ahead, and I had to starboard to get out of the way. And I picked him up on the weather side of the ship. I had to clear this ice…

We picked up the first boat, and the boat was in charge of an officer. I saw that he was not in full control of this boat, and the officer sung out to me that only had one seaman in the boat, so I had to maneuver the ship to get as close to the boat as possible, as I knew well it could be difficult to do the pulling. However, they got alongside, and they got them up all right.

By the time we had the first boat´s people it was breaking day, and then I could see the remaining boats within an area of about 4 miles. I also saw icebergs all around me. There were about 20 icerbergs that would be anywhere from about 150 to 200 feet high and numerous smaller bergs; also numerous what we call ‘growlers’. You could not call them bergs. They were anywhere from 10 to 12 feet high and 10 to 15 feet long above the water. We got all the boats alongside and all the people up aboard by 8:30. I was then very close to where the Titanic must have gone down, as there was a lot of hardly wreckage but small pieces of broken-up stuff nothing in the way of anything large.

At 8 o´clock the Leyland Line steamer Californian hove up, and we exchanged messages. I gave them the notes by semaphore about the Titanic  going down, and that I had got all the passengers from the boats; but we were not  quite sure whether we could account for all the boats. I told them: ‘Think one boat still unaccounted for.’ He then asked me if he should search around, and I said, ‘Yes, please.’ It was then 10:50.

I want to go back again, a little bit. At 8:30 all the people were on board. I asked for the purser, and I told him that I wanted to hold a service, a short prayer of thankfulness for those rescued and a short burial service for those who were lost. I consulted with Mr. Ismay. I ran down for a moment and told them that I wished to do this, and Mr. Ismay left everything in my hands. I then got an Episcopal clergyman, one of our passengers, and asked him if he would do this for me, which he did, willingly.

While they were holding the service, I was on the bridge, of course, and I maneuvred around the scene of the wreckage. We saw nothing except one body…with a life preserver on. This is the only body I saw. He was about 100 yards from the ship. We could see him quite distinctly, and saw that he was absolutely dead. He was lying on his side like this (indicating) and his headwas awash. Of course he could not possibly have been alive and remain in that position. I did not take him aboard. Fo one reason, the Titanic´s passengers were then knocking about the deck and I did not want to cause any unnecessary excitement or any more hysteria among them, so I steamed past, trying to get them not to see it.

I must say that all the people in the boats behaved magnificently. They were quiet and orderly, and each person came up the ladder, or was pulled up, in turn as they were told off. There was no confusion whatever among the passengers. The behaved magnificently – every one of them.

I got seven of Titanic´s lifeboats up in my davits and six by the fore crane, a total of 13 lifeboats; that was what was left of the Titanic. I decided to go directly to New York as it would have been too hard on the rescued to sail through ice-filled seas to Halifax, and then after that by train to New York.


Passengers (as the Carpathia  steamed into New York Harbour  they ignored the rain and fog to line the railings calling each other): ‘Get ready to see the lady.’

 

Henry Adams (74 years old in 1912)

The Titanic was going to leave New York on April 20 after its maiden voyage from England, and I thought I should take rooms on it, by way of venture. I had hoped a trip to Paris would take my mind off the dismal state of politics and society after Roosevelt´s victory in the Pennsylvania primary but now I hear the news that the Titanic is wrecked; so is Taft, so is the Republican party, all in one brief hour. We all foundered and disappeared. By my blessed Virgin, it is awful! This Titanic blow shatters one´s nerves. We can´t grapple it. Taft, Titanic! Titanic – Taft! The sum and triumph of our civilization, guaranteed to be safe and perfect, our greatest achievement, sinks at a touch, and drowns us, while nature jeers at our folly.

 

Captain Lardner, the Mackey-Bennett:

We arrived on the scene at 8 pm on Saturday 20 April and recovery operations began the following morning. The cable ship´s boats were lowered, and 51 bodies were recovered despite heavy seas. All details were recorded, hoping they would permit identification of the bodies. In one spot we saw the drowned lying spread across the surface; from a distance they looked like a crowd of sea gulls…with the white ends of their life belt fluttering up and down with the waves.

By 23 April 80 bodies had been recovered. Still eighty-seven additional victims were recovered. Aware that I and my ship might be overwhelmed through sheer numbers, I contacted White Star´s New York office, and on 21 April Halifax agents chartered Minia, a cable ship owned by the Anglo-American Telegraph Company Ltd., and when it arrived at the scene, fourteen more bodies were found, and these were placed on the Mackey-Bennett. Her crew had found 306 bodies, of these, 116 had been buried at sea. Minia continued the search. Bad weather persisted, and after recovering seventeen more victims, Captain DeCarteret advised the White Star Line that the gales had swept the remaining bodies into the Gulf Stream. As Minia left the scene, a third recovery vessel, the Canadian Ministry of Marine and Fisheries  was dispatched from Sorel, Quebec.

 

Walter Lord (in ‘A Night To Remember’):

The night was a magnificent confirmation of ‘women and children first’, yet somehow the loss rate was higher for Third Class children than First Class men. It was a contrast which would never get by the social consciousness or news sense of today´s press.

Nor did Congress care what happened to Third Class. Senator Smith´s Titanic investigation covered everything under the sun, including what an iceberg was made of (‘Ice’, explained Fifth Officer Lowe) but the steerage received little attention. Only three of the witnesses were Third Class passengers. Two of them said they were kept from going to the boat deck, but the legislators did not follow up. Again, the testimony doesn´t suggest any deliberate hush-up – it was just that no one was interested.

The British Court of Inquiry was even more cavalier. Mr. W. D. Harbinson, who officially represented the Third Class interests, said he could find no trace of discrimination, and Lord Mersey´s report gave a clean bill of health – yet not a single Third Class passenger testified, and the only surviving steward in steerage freely conceded that the men were kept below decks as late as 1.15 am.

Even the Third Class passengers weren´t bothered. They expected class distinction as part of the game. Olaus Abelseth, at least, regarded access to the Boat Deck as a privilege that went with First and Second Class passage…even when the ship was sinking. He was satisfied as long as they let him stay above decks. A new age was dawning, and never since that night have Third Class passengers been so philosophical.

 

Final statistics:

Of Third Class children 54 of the 84 under 13 years old  drowned. On First Class 97% of the women and 83% of the children were saved. On Second Class 87% of the women and 36% of the children survived. That indicates that on Third Class half the women and two thirds of the children drowned beside the many men who went down with the ship, even if they succeeded in getting up when the stairway was opened, and although many of the boats were not filled.

 

Daily Sketch, England 20 May 1912: 

30.000 MOURNERS AT BURIAL OF TITANIC BANDMASTER.

Bandmaster Wallace Hartley´s body was found clutching his violin case, and he was buried at his home town Colne, Lancashire, England.

 

 

John Maxtone-Graham, marine historian:

Patently destructible in life the Titanic has proved indestructible in memory.

 

 

                                                               THE END

 

 

Book Sources:

Nick Barratt “Lost Voices from the Titanic.The Definitive Oral History”, Arrow Books, London 2009 (paperback 331 pages)

John P. Eaton and Charles A. Haas “Titanic. Destination Disaster. The Legends and the Reality” Patrick Stevens Limited, Haynes Publishing, Somerset, England 1987 (paperback,160 pages)

Walter Lord “A Night To Remember”, Longmans, Green and Co, London 1957 (hardback 143 pages)

Judith P. Geller “Titanic. Women and Children First, Patrick Stevens ltd, Haynes, Somerset, England 1998 (hardback, 224 pages)

Steven Biel “Down With The Old Canoe. A Cultural History of the Titanic Disaster, Norton, New York, 1996, 2012 (paperback, 300 pages)

George Behe “Titanic. Psychic Forewarnings of a Tragedy”, Foreword by Edward S. Kamuda, Founder and Secretary of the Titanic Historical Society, Patrick Stevens Ltd., Thorsons, Northamptonshire, England 1988 (hardback, 176 pages)

Newspapers: see the lines in the script

Havamal: Eet jeg ved, som aldrig dør/Mindet om hver en død (One I know that never dies/The Memory of everyone dead)

Eller I en anden oversættelse:

Fæ dør/Frænder dør/selv man dør til sidst./Eet jeg ved/som aldrig dør:/Dom over hver en død. (77.vers)

75. vers lyder: Ej ved den/der intet ved,/at mangen er en andens abe./En mand er rig,/ en anden fattig,/ men derfor bør han ej dadles. (Not does he know/who knows nothing,/ that many a man is another man´s ape./ One man is rich,/ another poor,/ but he should not be blamed for that.)

“Mindet vender nu tilbage/det var årsag til min klage” Adam Oehlenschläger: ‘Underlige aftenlufte’, 1806 (The memory now returns/this is the cause of my lament)

 

 

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