Thursday, April 12, 2012

Titanic Week - A Who's Who of the Titanic Crew

Bridge Crew:

Photo Credit
Back Row: Herbert McElroy, Charles Lightoller, Herbert Pitman, Joseph Boxhall, Harold Lowe
Seated: James Moody, Henry Wilde, Captain Edward Smith, William Murdoch
Photo Credit
Captain Edward John Smith. Went down with the ship.

  • He was 62 at the time of the voyage.
  • The Titanic was to be Smith's last voyage. He had plans to retire after it was completed. Other sources say this was incorrect and he was planning to retire after the Britannica maiden voyage.
  • He also was the Captain of the Olympic where he survived 2 possible disasters.
  • He was last seen in the bridge area. There have been various stories surrounding his final moments.
  • His body was never found.


Photo Credit
Chief Officer Lieutenant Henry Tingle Wilde. Went down with the ship.

  • 39 at the time of the voyage.
  • Wilde was a last minute addition to the deck crew causing the officers to be rearranged. He was actually serving on the Olympic, but she was out of commission for the moment.
  • The last reported sighting of Wilde was him attempting to free Collapsibles A and B from the roof of the officers' quarters.
  • His body was never recovered.



Photo Credit
First Officer Lieutenant William McMaster Murdoch. Went down with the ship.
  • 39 years old at the time of the sinking.
  • He was originally to be the Chief Officer, but was moved down to 1st Officer because of the addition of Wilde to the crew.
  • Was on bridge duty when the iceberg was struck. It was him that gave the orders in an attempt to miss the iceberg.
  • He was in-charge of loading many of the life-boats. 
  • His body was never recovered.



Photo Credit
Second Officer Sub-Lieutenant Charles Herbert Lightoller. Survived.
  • 38 years old at the time of the sinking. Lived until 1952.
  • He was originally the first officer, but with Murdoch dropped down in rank, he moved down as well.
  • The original Second Officer was David Blair who wound up leaving entirely.
  • He had the watch before Murdoch's. He loaded many lifeboats and almost entirely held to the rule 'Women and Children' first.
  • Survived by climbing on top of the overturned Collapsible B.




Photo Credit
Third Officer Herbert Pitman. Survived.
  • 34 years old at the time of the sinking.
  • He lived until 1961.
  • Pitman was not on duty at the time of the collision.
  • He was in command of Lifeboat 5 and the passengers aboard it as well as a few other crew members.
  • After the sinking he continued to serve the White Star Line and other sea-faring companies until his retirement.




Photo Credit
Fourth Officer Sub-Lieutenant Joseph Groves Boxhall. Survived.
  • 28 years old at the time of the sinking. Died in 1967.
  • Boxhall was headed to the bridge at the time of the sinking and overheard Murdoch's orders.
  • Boxhall did the initial inspection of the ship, alerted the other officers, and worked out the ships position.
  • It was also him that spotted the 'mystery ship' that was close enough to be seen, but did not come to their aid.
  • He was in charge of Lifeboat 2 and set off green flares to alert other ships.



Photo Credit
Fifth Officer Sub-Lieutenant Harold Godfrey Lowe. Survived.
  • 29 years old at the time of the sinking. Died in 1944.
  • This was his first North Atlantic voyage.
  • He was not on duty at the time of the collision and only woke when he heard voices that alerted him that something was wrong.
  • He was in charge of lifeboat 14. It was this lifeboat that eventually went back to look for survivors, but by then there were very few left.
  • It was also reported that Lowe fired his weapon to discourage people from jumping aboard his boat as it was lowered.



Photo Credit
Sixth Officer James Paul Moody. Went down with the ship.

  • 24 years old at the time of the sinking.
  • He was on watch at the time of the collision. He answered the phone when lookout Frederick Fleet called to say there was an 'Iceberg right ahead'.
  • He could have left to command a lifeboat, but instead he remained behind to help load the boats.
  • He was last seen by Lightoller trying to launch the collapsible boats.
  • His body was never found.




Photo Credit
Left to Right: Will Murdoch, Charles Alfred Bartlett, Henry Wilde, Capt Edward Smith
Look-Outs:

Mr. Alfred Frank Evans. Survived.
  • 24 years old at the time of the sinking. Died in 1974.
  • Off-duty when the iceberg hit, but was on duty for about 20 mins starting at midnight before abandoning his post.
  • He was rescued in lifeboat 15.






Mr. Frederick Fleet. Survivor.
  • 24 years old at the time of the sinking. He died in 1965.
  • He was on watch with Reginald Lee when they spotted a black mass ahead. It was him that called the bridge to report it. They didn't know at first how bad things were.
  • He was rescued on lifeboat 6, the first boat launched from the port side.





Photo Credit
Mr. George Alfred Hogg. Survivor.
  • 29 years old at the time of the sinking. He died in 1946.
  • Went on watch for 20 mins with Evans before they gave up their post, but was off-duty at the time of the impact.
  • He was rescued in lifeboat 7.







Photo Credit
Mr. Archie Jewell. Survivor.
  • 23 years old at the time of the sinking.
  • He had just got off his shift prior to the watch when the iceberg hit and was all ready sleeping.
  • He was rescued in lifeboat 7.
  • In an interesting aside, Jewell is reported to have gone on to live through the Britannic sinking, but went on to die in 1917 when the Donegal sank.





Photo Credit
Mr. Reginald Robinson Lee. Survivor.

  • 41 years old at the time. Died in 1913.
  • He was on the lookout with Fleet when the iceberg was sighted.
  • He was rescued in lifeboat 13.








Photo Credit
Mr. George Thomas McDonald. Survivor
  • 24 years old at the time of the sinking. 
  • He would have just gotten off duty the shift before the iceberg struck.
  • He was in charge of lifeboat 1.








Wireless Operators:

Mr. Harold Sydney Bride. Survivor.
  • 22 years old at the time of the sinking. Died in 1956.
  • He was the assistant sharing with John Phillips.
  • It is recorded that after the iceberg struck Phillips worked the wireless, while Bride relayed the messages they received to the captain.
  • Even after they were told they could abandon their post, they stuck around, but eventually had to leave because of the water flowing in.
  • He managed to climb on top of the overturned collapsible B, but suffered from frostbite in his feet.
  • He continued to send messages while aboard the Carpathia.

Mr. John George Phillips. Went down with the ship.
  • 25 years old at the time of the sinking.
  • Phillips manned the wireless after the collision sending out the SOS messages.
  • The wireless operators left at the same time, but went to different places. Somehow, though, they ended up both on the overturned collapsible B. 
  • Phillips sadly did not make it, though. He was exhausted after a long day sending messages and repairing equipment and conditions were harsh on the boat.
  • His body was not recovered.


Stewardess:

Violet Constance Jessop. Survivor.
  • 24 years old when the Titanic sailed. Died in 1971.
  • She is worthy of a mention because she was aboard the Olympic when it struck the Hawke, survived the sinking of the Titanic, and then went on to live through the mining and eventual sinking of the Britannic.
  • On the Titanic she was rescued on lifeboat 16.










And the Band Played on...

It is widely known that the Titanic band played on until the last possible minute. It is widely debated what the last song was that they played, but they kept people calm.

Their ages ranged from 20 to 33. Only 3 of the bodies were recovered.

This is just a small percentage of the crew. If you are interested in learning more you should visit websites like Encyclopedia Titanica. All crew birth dates and deaths were taken from that site; as well as some random facts here and there and whether or not the bodies were recovered. The rest come from me being a bit obsessed with the Titanic for years and having a good memory.

5 comments:

  1. This was fascinating reading! Thanks so much.

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  2. These are such fascinating posts Kelly. Thank you for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I have always enjoyed the history, so they were fun to write-up.

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    2. i loved reading this history

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