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Authors: Archibald Gracie

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There was also a ring found in the boat whose owner we eventually traced in Sweden and restored the property to her. We cannot account for its being in the boat, but we know that her husband was a passenger on the
Titanic
– Edward P. Lindell, a third-class passenger. The widow’s address is, care of Nels Persson, Helsingborg, Sweden.

Rescue of the occupants of boat ‘A’ at daylight Monday morning is recorded in the testimony of Officer Lowe and members of the crew of his boat No. 14 and the other boats 12, 10, 1 and ‘D’ which were tied together. No. 14 we recall was emptied of passengers and a crew taken from all the boats referred to went back to the wreck. The substance of the testimony of all of them agrees and I need only cite that of Quartermaster Bright, in charge of boat ‘D,’ as follows:

A. Bright, Q.M. (in charge) (Am. Inq., 834):

Just at daylight witness saw from his place in boat ‘D’ one of the other collapsible boats, ‘A,’ that was awash just flush with the water. Officer Lowe came and towed witness’s boat to the other collapsible one that was just awash and took from it thirteen men and one woman who were in the water up to their ankles. They had been singing out in the dark. As soon as daylight came they could be seen. They were rescued and the boat turned adrift with two dead bodies in it, covered with a lifebelt over their faces.

Admiral Mahan on Ismay’s duty:

Rear Admiral A.T. Mahan, retired, in a letter which the
Evening Post
publishes, has this to say of J. Bruce Ismay’s duty:

In the
Evening Post
of April 24 Admiral Chadwick passes a distinct approval upon the conduct of Mr. Ismay in the wreck of the
Titanic
by characterizing the criticisms passed upon it as the ‘acme of emotionalism.’
Both censure and approval had best wait upon the results of the investigations being made in Great Britain. Tongues will wag, but if men like Admiral Chadwick see fit to publish anticipatory opinions those opinions must receive anticipatory comment.
Certain facts are so notorious that they need no inquiry to ascertain. These are (1) that before the collision the captain of the
Titanic
was solely responsible for the management of the ship; (2) after the collision there were not boats enough to embark more than one-third of those on board, and, (3) for that circumstance the White Star Company is solely responsible, not legally, for the legal requirements were met, but morally. Of this company, Mr. Ismay is a prominent if not the most prominent member.
For all the loss of life the company is responsible, individually and collectively: Mr. Ismay personally, not only as one of the members. He believed the
Titanic
unsinkable; the belief relieves of moral guilt, but not of responsibility. Men bear the consequences of their mistakes as well as of their faults. He – and Admiral Chadwick – justify his leaving over fifteen hundred persons, the death of each one of whom lay on the company, on the ground that it was the last boat half filled; and Mr. Ismay has said, no one else to be seen.
No one to be seen; but was there none to be reached? Mr. Ismay knew there must be many, because he knew the boats could take only a third. The
Titanic
was 882 feet long; 92 broad; say, from Thirty-fourth street to a little north of Thirty-seventh. Within this space were congregated over 1,500 souls, on several decks. True, to find any one person at such a moment in the intricacies of a vessel were a vain hope; but to encounter some stragglers would not seem to be. Read in the
Sun
and
Times
of April 25 Col. Gracie’s account of the ‘mass of humanity, men and women’ that suddenly appeared before him after the boats were launched.
In an interview reported in the
New York Times
April 25 Admiral Sir Cyprian Bridge, a very distinguished officer, holds that Mr. Ismay was but a passenger, as other passengers. True, up to a certain point. He is in no sense responsible for the collision; but when the collision had occurred he confronted a wholly new condition for which he was responsible and not the captain, viz., a sinking vessel without adequate provision for saving life. Did no obligation to particularity of conduct rest upon him under such a condition?
I hold that under the conditions, so long as there was a soul that could be saved, the obligation lay upon Mr. Ismay that that one person and not he should have been in the boat. More than 1,500 perished. Circumstances yet to be developed may justify Mr. Ismay’s actions completely, but such justification is imperatively required. If this be ‘the acme of emotionalism’ I must be content to bear the imputation.
Admiral Chadwick urges the ‘preserving of life so valuable to the great organization to which Mr. Ismay belongs.’ This bestows upon Mr. Ismay’s escape a kind of halo of self-sacrifice. No man is indispensable. There are surely brains enough and business capacity enough in the White Star company to run without him. The reports say that of the rescued women thirty-seven were widowed by the accident and the lack of boats. Their husbands were quite as indispensable to them as Mr. Ismay to the company. His duty to the ship’s company was clear and primary; that to the White Star Company so secondary as to be at the moment inoperative.
We should be careful not to pervert standards. Witness the talk that the result is due to the system. What is a system, except that which individuals have made it and keep it? Whatever thus weakens the sense of individual responsibility is harmful, and so likewise is all condonation of failure of the individual to meet his responsibility.
1
First to leave ship starboard side at 12.45 [Br. Rpt., p. 38.]
2
Second boat lowered on the starboard side at 12.55 [Br. Rpt., p. 38]
3
Dr H.W. Frauenthal.
4
Third boat lowered on starboard side 1.00 (Br. Rpt., p. 39).
5
British Report (p. 38) says 15 crew, 10 men passengers, 25 women and children. Total 50.
6
‘All boats were new and none transferred from another ship,’ President Ismay’s testimony.
7
Seaman Lee testifies to this odor.
8
One of the Navratil children whose pathetic story has been fully related in the newspapers.
9
This was the fourth boat to leave the starboard side.
10
Italics are mine. – Author.
11
The fifth boat lowered on starboard side, 1.20 (Br. Rpt., p. 38).
12
Brice, A.B. (Am. Inq., p. 648) and Wheate, Ass’t. 2nd Steward (Br. Inq.), say No. 9 was filled from A Deck with women and children only.
13
Sixth boat lowered on starboard side, 1.25 (Br. Rpt., p. 38).
14
Seventh boat lowered on starboard side, 1.25 (Br. Rpt., p. 38).
15
Br. Rpt., p. 38, places this next to last lowered on starboard side at 1.35.
16
Br. Rpt., p. 38, makes this last boat lowered on starboard side at 1.40.
17
Body found in boat by
Oceanic
.
18
Died in boat.
19
Pulled into boat out of sea.
20
Italics are mine. – Author.
21
Italics are mine. – Author.
22
Italics are mine. – Author.
23
Italics are mine. – Author.

Copyright

This book was first published in 1913 under the title

The Truth About Titanic

First published in 1985

This new edition first published in 2008

The History Press

The Mill, Brimscombe Port

Stroud, Gloucestershire,
GL5 2QG

www.thehistorypress.co.uk

This ebook edition first published in 2011

All rights reserved

© The History Press 2011

This ebook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author’s and publisher’s rights, and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

EPUB ISBN
978 0 7524 6759 7

MOBI ISBN
978 0 7524 6760 3

Ebook compilation by RefineCatch Limited, Bungay, Suffolk

Table of Contents

Title Page

Epigraph

1 The Last Day Aboard Ship

2 Struck by an Iceberg

3 The Foundering of the Titanic

4 Struggling in the Water for Life

5 All Night on Bottom of Half-submerged Upturned Boat

6 The Port Side: Women and Children First

7 Starboard Side: Women First, But Men When There Were No Women

Copyright

BOOK: Titanic: A Survivor's Story
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