Charles Brown, the English comedian now playing with "A Modern Eve" at the Garrick, lost a number of friends when the Titanic went down. He knew most of the officers on the ill-fated ship, and the purser, McElroy, had been a comrade of his for years. A recent letter from England brought to the actor the last words of McElroy--an au revoir to life which is notable for its calm, British courage.
The fourth officer, Marzials, who went down with the ship and was picked up by a boat, is the man who testifies to McElroy's behavior. A small group of the Titanic's staff were waiting for the final plunge. The water was lapping the deck at their very feet, and the end was merely a question of a few minutes. McElroy turned to his companions with a smile and shook hands with them, saying:
"Well, good-by, fellows. It looks like sand for breakfast to-morrow."
"That was typical of McElroy," says Brown. "He was one of the merriest, bravest men who ever lived. It was like him to have his little joke in the face of death."
Chicago Examiner, Sunday, June 12, 1912, pt. 5, p. 10, c. 2
Hugh Walter McElroy
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(1912) A TITANIC HEROChicago Examiner (ref: #11856, accessed 20th September 2014 02:59:15 PM)
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Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Friday 25th March 2011, last updated Saturday 20th September 2014.