Titanic forum and community
Results 1 to 4 of 4

News from 1924/1941: Retirement/Death of Commodore Hayes

This discussion on "News from 1924/1941: Retirement/Death of Commodore Hayes" is in the White Star Officials Officers etc section; [MAB Notes: 1. Although many postwar news stories, like this one, say that Olympic sank ...

  1. #1
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000

    News from 1924/1941: Retirement/Death of Commodore Hayes

    [MAB Notes: 1. Although many postwar news stories, like this one, say that Olympic sank two U-boats, she in fact sank only one. 2. The original name of Majestic was Bismarck, not Fuerst Bismarck.]

    The News York Times, 16 December 1924

    Sir Bertram Now to Quit Sea After 25 Years in Command of White Star
    Knighted for Sinking Two U-Boats That Imperiled Olympic and 3,500 U. S.
    Sir Bertram Hayes, D. S. O., Commodore in the British Royal Naval
    Reserve and master of the White Star liner Majestic, brought his ship in
    yesterday on his final voyage, as he retires from active sea service
    when he arrives in Southampton, England, on Tuesday, Dec. 23.

    Knighthood and the Distinguished Service Order were conferred on Sir
    Bertram by King George because the officer, while in command of the
    Olympic, sank two German submarines off the Isle of Wight on May 12,
    1918, and was thereby able to land 3,500 American soldiers then on their
    way to France. It was not known until two months later, when the Olympic
    was dry docked, that one of the submarines had fired a torpedo which
    struck the liner amidships on the starboard side, but fortunately did
    not explode.

    During the war the Olympic carried 300,000 soldiers and sailors safely
    across the Atlantic. Sir Bertram said yesterday that he never had had an
    accident during his twenty-five years in command of White Star liners.

    "One of the happiest thoughts I have as I go into retirement," he added,
    "is that I have had the confidence of those who employed me, of the men
    who sailed with me and under me and of the traveling public."

    He has been in sea service forty-five years. His most disagreeable task,
    he said, was taking the Fuerst Bismarck from Hamburg to Southampton.
    where the big liner was renamed Majestic.

    The captain is overwhelmed with the manifestations of affection shown to
    him by his crew and the presentations to be made to him. "I feel that it
    is I who ought to make the presentations to them," he said, "but I
    cannot do that for more than a thousand officers and men." He will bid
    them good-bye at the Palace Theatre in Southampton.

    The captain is 60 years old and a bachelor. He is very popular here. He
    will make his home at Fairfield, near Liverpool. Captain George R.
    Metcalfe, R. N. R., will succeed him. The new master came over as a
    passenger on this voyage to get a few hints in the handling of the


  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    [MAB Note: This is a bit late. Sorry.]

    The New York Times, 18 December 1924

    Sir Bertram Receives Gift From Pilots in the Majestic's Wheelhouse
    Senior Master of the White Star Line Tells What He Has Put in a Book
    Sir Bertram Hayes, D. S. O., Commodore in the Royal Naval Reserve, and
    retiring senior master of the White Star line, stood on the bridge of
    the Majestic yesterday forenoon in command of the ship for the last time
    leaving New York harbor. For two hours previously he had been receiving
    officials of the International Mercantile Marine Company, beginning with
    the President, P. A. S. Franklin, and Vice President Frederick Topping.

    Three gray-haired members of the New York and New Jersey Pilots'
    Association presented to him in the wheelhouse a handsome silver-headed
    ebony cane as a token of their appreciation of his courtesy during his
    quarter of a century in command of White Star steamships in the New York
    trade. The Commodore's table was heaped with telegrams and letters from
    friends and old travelers from all parts of the country, wishing him
    good luck and long years to enjoy his well-earned rest.

    The officers of the Majestic presented a traveling trunk of the latest
    style to him to take on his future trip around the world.

    Sir Bertram was visibly affected as he shook hands with the long line of
    friends and members of the staff in the alleyway outside the door of his
    suite just aft the bridge.

    "I am leaving the sea," he said, "but you will see me again as I am
    going to remain with the White Star Line in an advisory capacity.
    Visiting various ports and investigating trade conditions for new routes
    will be a part of my new duties, so that while I may be retiring I'm
    still to be heard from."

    The veteran shipmaster said that navigation was much simpler and much
    safer than when he first entered the North Atlantic trade. Then the
    navigator had to steer by dead reckoning in thick weather and use his
    lead to get soundings after which he had to beat about in the fog until
    he could hear a bell or a fog horn. Today the master of a steamship gets
    a cross-bearing by radio which gives the position of his vessel and
    enables him to creep alone safely and get one station after another
    until he makes the entrance to New York harbor.

    Sir Bertram said that in his book, which is to be published early in
    1925, he had dwelt on the superiority of the radio service given to ship
    masters along the coast of North America, compared with that from the
    stations in Great Britain, and had also criticized the transport methods
    of the British Navy during the recent World War.

    Captain George R. Metcalfe, R. N. R., who will take over command of the
    Majestic in Southampton, stood on the bridge with the retiring Commodore
    as the ship moved out into the river. Sir Betram [sic] was 60 years old
    last April.

    The Majestic is due to reach Cherbourg early on Dec. 23 and Southampton
    in the afternoon so that her passengers will be in ample time to spend
    their Christmas ashore.


  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    [MAB Note: This item concludes this series of articles.]

    The New York Times, 28 December 1924

    Sidelights on Interesting People
    By L. H. R.
    Sir Bertram Hayes has retired from the sea, ending his maritime career
    with the home-bound voyage of the White Star liner Majestic last week.
    He has never married. "A man," says he, "should not ask a woman to
    share the uncertainties that go with the life of a sailor." Ah, well,
    Sir Bertram is a young man yet---scarcely 60---and no end handsome. Now
    that he has settled down to the certainties of life ashore, who knows
    what may happen?



  4. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    The New York Times, 16 May 1941

    Former Commodore of the White Star Line Dies in His Home in Liverpool at
    Rammed U-Boat, Sinking It and Sunk Another by Gunfire---Aided Titanic
    Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES
    LONDON, May 15---Sir Bertram Fox Hayes, former commodore of the White
    Star Line, died today in his home, Crosby, Liverpool, at the age of 77.
    He joined the White Star Line in 1889 and in ten years rose to be a
    commander. Sir Bertram commanded the Olympic and during the last war
    while in charge of the ship sank a U-boat. For this action he received
    the Distinguished Service Order.

    He was retired In 1924. In 1931 he was appointed deputy lieutenant of
    Lancashire. During his career he received many honors, including
    decorations for rescues at sea and was the first active member of the
    mercantile marine to be knighted.
    Well Known In New York

    Sir Bertram was born April 26, 1864, at Birkenhead, England. As a young
    man he signed on a sailing ship and, after nine years on such
    windjammers as Laomene, Falls of Afton, Loch Cree and Falls of Dee, he
    received his certificate. He entered the employ of the White Star Line
    in 1889. His first service was on the Australian run, then two years
    later he went into the Atlantic service. Except for two years during the
    World War, when he commanded the Olympic under a Royal Naval Reserve
    Commission, he remained with the company until his retirement in 1924.

    His first White Star command was the Britannic. Other ships he served on
    were the Coptic, Teutonic, Germanic, Suevic, the Arabic, which was later
    torpedoed, the Laurentic, in which he inaugurated the company's
    Canadian service, the Adriatic, and later the Majestic, which was the
    former German ship Bismarck.

    During the Boer War his ship, Britannic, was a troop ship and carried
    37,000 troops to Africa in three years. King Edward VII decorated
    Captain Hayes with the Transport Medal.

    As commander of the Carpathia in April, 1912, Sir Bertram saved hundreds
    of survivors of the Titanic, which sank after hitting an iceberg.

    Carried 300,000 Troops

    His World War record on the Olympic was impressive. His steamship
    carried 300,000 troops, most of them Americans, without an accident. He
    sank one submarine by gunfire and another by ramming it. The Olympic
    was loaded with American soldiers at the time. For this exploit he
    received the Distinguished Service Order.

    The French Government presented to him the Medaille de Sauvetage in 1918
    for his rescue of a French crew that had been torpedoed by a submarine.

    One of the best liked skippers of the International Mercantile Marine,
    after his retirement he was promoted to the rank of Commodore on the
    retired list of the Royal Naval Reserve, the first time that honor was
    ever granted to any mercantile officer.

    Sir Bertram was a bachelor and made his shore home with his mother until
    her death in 1921 at the age of 91. Then he lived with his sisters in
    Liverpool, where he wrote his autobiography: "Hull Down: Reminiscences
    of Windjammers, Troops and Travelers," a frank account of his life at
    sea, replete with mildly caustic portraits of some of the famous persons
    who had traveled on his boat.

    Sir Bertram commanded the Majestic on her first trip from Southampton in
    the Spring of 1922 and for thirty-nine other trips. After his retirement
    he became a White Star Line director.



    The New York Times, 17 May 1941

    A Correction
    In the obituary of Sir Bertram Fox Hayes, former commodore of the White
    Star Line, which appeared in yesterday's NEW YORK TIMES, it was stated
    erroneously that he was captain of the Carpathia, which saved passengers
    of the Titanic when that ship sank in April, 1912. The Carpathia of the
    Cunard Line was under the command of Captain Arthur Henry Rostron, who
    later was knighted for his work at that time.




Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts