John Edward Hart: Dubious Hero

Was Hart really a hero?

Titanica!

1

In Walter Lord’'s seminal A Night to Remember (1955), and the host of other books and films on the Titanic that have followed in its wake, only a few figures have emerged as heroes who provided aid to women and children of the third class in gaining access to lifeboats. There is the anonymous crewman who gave up his life-belt to Minnie Coutts and directed her two young sons to safety (Lynch and Marshall, 1992; Butler, 1998: 104). There is also Jim Farrell, who is portrayed (in a fictionalized version) in the Broadway play, Titanic, who upon coming upon three women passengers (fellow countrymen from Ireland) being detained by a crewman at a gate leading up to the upper decks, forcefully intervened on their behalf; as Lord dramatically tells it, "‘Great God, man,’ he [Farrell] roared, ‘Open the gate and let the girls through!’ It was a superb demonstration of sheer voice-power. To the girls’ astonishment the sailor meekly complied" (Lord, 1955: 67).

However, when it comes both to the number of women and children purportedly saved, and the sustained effort to rescue women and children of the third class, the most heroic figure of these is Steward John Edward Hart. As Lord writes: "all in all, he [Hart] brought up some 55 women and children-nearly half the total number saved (1986: 86)." Lord (1955: 65-6) and Butler (1998: 104-5) rehearse Hart’'s heroism at some length in support of the larger contention that there was no policy to restrict third class access to the lifeboats on the part of the ship’s authorities, because, indeed, there was no concerted policy by the authorities of any kind toward the third class.[1] Butler writes, along these lines:

Hart’'s efforts underscored the fact that, despite later accusations to the contrary, there really was no deliberate policy of discrimination against [the] Third Class. What there was, and what may have been all the more insidious by being purely unintentional was that simply no policy of procedure for looking after the Third Class passengers existed. Instead they were left to shift for themselves, not because they were being purposely ignored, but rather because they had simply been overlooked (1998: 105).

Butler seems to be implying here that an heroic individual like Hart came forward to save women and children of the third class, because there was no organized effort to do so. In this way Hart is brought into the larger discussion of why more third class women and children weren’t rescued that night. But was Hart really a hero? Was he responsible for saving about one-half of the third class women and children who survived the Titanic?

2

John Edward Hart, by his own testimony to the Parliamentary Inquiry, was the only one of eight third class bedroom stewards to survive the accident. His testimony is among the most lengthy there is on the question of how third class passengers were dealt with by the crew in the aftermath of the accident. In many respects Hart’'s testimony is in accord with that of several other stewards who appeared before the Parliamentary Inquiry.[2] Each testified, at least in some part, that they received instructions to see that all passengers were out of their cabins with their lifebelts on and to direct passengers to the upper decks. There is basic agreement among the stewards that these instructions came during the interval between 12:00AM and 12:30AM.[3] In the case of second and third class stewards assigned to the quarters at the rear of the ship on the lower decks (D, E, and F Decks), the chief second steward, George Dodd and the chief third class steward James Kiernan are variously mentioned as ones from whom the instruction emanated. But where it originated from higher up in the hierarchy, if it did at all, remains largely unknown.[4] Neither Dodd nor Kiernan , nor Sidney Sedunary, an assistant chief third class steward who is mentioned by Hart (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 9909), survived the accident.

But there is one crucial respect in which Hart’'s testimony is unique among the stewards, and uncorroborated by any of them. Hart testified to having personally brought two large groups of passengers to the Boat Deck, and further, to have seen them loaded into two lifeboats, which he identified as Lifeboats 8 and 15.

The sequence of events, according to Hart’'s testimony--which then is recapitulated by Lord in A Night to Remember (1955: 65-6)--is as follows. Immediately after an order to "pass the women and children up," around 12:30AM, Hart organized a party of 30 third class passengers, mostly women and children, and from the quarters he was responsible for, located in the extreme rear of the ship. He led them along the length of C Deck to the first class quarters in the front of the ship, up to the Boat Deck, and delivered them to Lifeboat 8 just as it was being lowered (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 9954). That would have been roughly between 12:50 and 1:10AM (Appendix).[5] Hart testified that he then returned to the rear of the ship and brought together some 28 more passengers, again women and children--"[having] some little trouble in getting back owing to the males wanting to get to the Boat Deck" (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 9965)--and brought them to Lifeboat 15. After his passengers were loaded into the ship, First Officer Murdoch, who was in charge of the loading of lifeboats on that side of the Boat Deck, ordered Hart into Lifeboat 15 as well. The latter was launched around 1:35AM; one of the last boats to leave from the rear of the Boat Deck.

Much of Hart’'s testimony is very detailed, and therefore superficially persuasive, particularly when it comes to the routes he claimed to have taken in both his putative trips to the Boat Deck, the number and composition of the passengers he took, and the lifeboats to which he brought them. Nonetheless, when examined closely there are serious evidentiary difficulties, indeed outright contradictions of fact in his account.

In the first place, there is clear evidence that no large group of third class passengers was delivered to Lifeboat 8 at the last minute (or at any time). As stated, Hart testified that he brought 30 passengers--most of them women and children--to this boat just as it was being lowered. But there weren’t any third class passengers loaded on Lifeboat 8 at all. And it would have been noteworthy if there had been, since over all of the 6 lifeboats launched from the front of the ship up in the first wave of boats to leave, of which Lifeboat 8 was only one, there were at most a handful of passengers loaded altogether that were not from the first class. There is virtually no disagreement about this. The two most credible listings of lifeboat occupants--that of Philip Hind’s Encyclopedia Titanica and of the researcher Michael Findlay (see Geller, 1998: 196-216), respectively-both indicate (Appendix) that Lifeboat 8 contained exclusively first class women, their female servants and their children; 23 or 24 passengers altogether. The remainder of the occupants were probably 4 crew members: Alfred Crawford, a first class bedroom steward, Thomas Jones, a seaman who was placed in charge of the boat, and two others, whose identity is not known with any certainty (Encyclopedia Titanica 1996-2001).

Steward Crawford provided detailed testimony to the Parliamentary Inquiry on the loading and launching of Lifeboat 8, and Jones testified at the Senate subcommittee hearings. Neither testified to a contingent of third class passengers being brought to or loaded into that lifeboat.[6] Crawford (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 1808) states explicitly that as far as he could tell ‘nearly all’ the passengers were women from the first class. More directly relevant to Hart’'s account is the following exchange between Crawford and WD Harbison (representing the third class passengers) of the Parliamentary Inquiry:

HARBISON: Did you get any instructions from Captain Smith or any of the officers as to what you do then [immediately after the accident]?
CRAWFORD: The order came down below to see the passengers out, and get the lifebelts on and put them on the boat deck.
…
HARBISON: Did you see any of the stewards of the second or third class carry out the order which had been given?
CRAWFORD: No (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 17980-2).

One can speculate, of course, that the 30 third class passengers brought up by Hart didn’t make it into Lifeboat 8 at all, perhaps unbeknownst to Hart, and that these passengers were never seen by those who launched that boat either. This is a stretch, but if it were so, it would mean about a one-half hour wait for these passengers before they were actually loaded onto any lifeboats. It probably wasn’t until 1:35AM that third class women and children were loaded into lifeboats in any significant number (Appendix: Tables 1-4).[7] In the interim, some 4 or 5 lifeboats were loaded and launched from the rear of the ship.

If we adopt the conventional Parliamentary Inquiry departure time-table, on the port side, where the women passengers presumably were left by Hart, Lifeboat 10 left the ship at 1:20AM, probably with a plurality of second class passengers and a significant proportion of first class as well, almost all women and children. At most there were only six third class passengers-this following the Encyclopedia Titanica (Appendix: Tables 1, 3)---and out of those six, four were males (Encyclopedia Titanica 1996-2001). Clearly these were not members of Hart'’s putative group.[8] The occupancy in Lifeboat 12 which left at 1:25AM and Lifeboat 14 which left at 1:30AM, according to both occupancy lists (Appendix: Tables 1, 2), contains almost no passengers from the third class either. As for the boats loaded on the starboard side during this same period, Lifeboat 9, which left at 1:20AM, and Lifeboat 11 which left at 1:25AM, were both primarily occupied by second class passengers, and again according to both occupancy lists contained very few third class passengers. Looking at the less conventional Quinn departure time-table (Appendix: Tables 3, 4), we reach a similar conclusion. It is true (see n. 7) that applying the Encyclopedia Titanica data set to Quinn’s schedule would indicate a significant number of third class passengers being loaded into Lifeboat 13 at 1:25AM, but that would still have been more than one half hour after Hart delivered them to the boat deck, since Quinn gives the departure time for Lifeboat 8 as 12:50AM, not 1:10AM.

It wasn’t until between 1:25AM and 1:35AM then that the occupancy by class in the lifeboats did indeed change. By any of the combinations of departure time-tables and occupancy lists, 80% or more of surviving third class passengers were loaded into 5 boats after 1:25AM, and more likely after 1:35AM (Appendix: Tables 1-4): Lifeboats 13, 15 and 16,[9] and Collapsibles Lifeboats C and D. If the original 30 women and children Hart testified to bringing to the Boat Deck some time between 12:50 and 1:10AM entered lifeboats it would have been into one or more of these 5 boats. One cannot completely rule this out perhaps, but it does seem to us a very forced and unsubstantiated reconciliation of Hart’'s testimony with the facts.

Equally problematic is Hart’'s account of his rescuing a second group of 28 passengers. He testified (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 9988-10000), that he loaded 22 women and 3 children into Lifeboat 15,[10] and that this group was the last of some seventy passengers and crew to be loaded into that boat (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 1035).[11] In the course of his testimony, Hart also testified that all but 18 of the 70 or so passengers and crew on Lifeboat 15 were women and children (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 10035-10040). [12] But the evidence does not appear to support this (Appendix).

First, gainsaying Hart’'s account of the second group of passengers, is the detailed testimony of the first class bathroom steward, Samuel Rule. Rule, who was instrumental in the loading of this boat, makes no mention in his testimony of any group of 25 women and children, having been led by a steward and loaded into the lifeboat. Indeed, Rule is questioned extensively on the very question of who was in this lifeboat, and asserts that the majority of passengers in this boat were male (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 6539-40). Very similar testimony to Rule’s is given by a trimmer, George Cavell (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 4306-18). It is also supported by the Encyclopedia Titanica data, which indicates there were 16 women and children from the third class in Lifeboat 15 out of 40 third class passengers altogether.[13]

To appreciate how Rule’s and Cavell’s testimony conflicts with Hart’'s consider the following exchanges before the Parliamentary Inquiry. Here is Hart’'s description of loading his passengers to Lifeboat 15:

SOLICITOR GENERAL: Did you bring up any more?
HART: Yes, about 25.
…
SOLICITOR GENERAL: A band of women and children
HART: Yes.
…
SOLICITOR GENERAL: Were those all people from the rooms you were responsible for?
HART: No, also from other sections.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: Were they all third class passengers?
HART: Yes.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: Did you guide them by the same route?
HART: Yes
SOLICITOR GENERAL: Where did you take them to?
HART: I took them to the only boat that was left then boat NO. 15.
…
SOLICITOR GENERAL: when you got with these people to No. 15 was there room for them in it?
HART: Yes, they were placed in it.
…
SOLICITOR GENERAL: …When you got to boat 15 with these 25 people, were there any people in boat No. 15 already?
HART: Yes.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: About how many, or who?
HART: Well, I can give you a rough estimate.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: Yes, of course?
HART: The last 25 were passed in from the boat deck.
SOLCITOR GENERAL: Your 25?
HART: Yes (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 9965-10000).
Contrast the above with the following testimony of Rule, responding to a question sounded throughout the inquiries: that of the paradoxical absence of third class women and children from the Boat Deck as certain of the last lifeboats, like Lifeboat 15, were ready to be launched.:
ATTORNEY GENERAL: It struck you as rather odd, did it not, that after the order that was given, ‘Women and children in the boats,’ that you should have so many men?
RULE: Well, they were pretty well all cleared off that deck.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Did you think when the vessel left that there were no more women on board?
RULE: No.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, you knew there were some women left?
RULE: Well, I should imagine so.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: But you knew that the order was that the women were to go into the boat first and this was the last boat?
RULE: Yes.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Why did not you go to look for them?
RULE: Well, because there were other people looking for them.
ATTRONEY GENERAL: But not at the time the men were being passed into the boat?
RULE: Yes, they were shouting out round the decks (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 6575-6583).
.

Rather than loading in some 25 third class women into lifeboat 15 as it was being lowered, as Hart testified, Rule’s testimony makes it plain that as the boat was about to be launched no women were to be found to put into what might well have been the last lifeboat at the rear of the Boat Deck to leave the ship.

In sum, Hart'’s account of his rescue of the second group of 28 passengers like his claim of rescuing the first group of 30, does not seem to have a real foundation.

3

The inevitable conclusion of the above is that Hart, for whatever his own reasons, fabricated events before the Parliamentary Inquiry, giving a detailed description of delivering third class passengers to lifeboats that most likely never took place. On the other hand, Hart’'s description of events immediately after the accident, including the instruction to ‘pass the women and children up’, is consistent with those of other stewards. The testimony to the Parliamentary Inquiry of the third-class pantryman Albert Pearcey perhaps sheds light as to what may actually have been Hart’'s role that night. Pearcey testified to a system involving, a small cadre of second and third class stewards, possibly initiated by one of the chief stewards, organized to direct third class passengers, primarily male, coming out of the forward quarters along an alley running much of the length of E Deck aka ‘Scotland Yard’). We quote here a section of Pearcey’s testimony-an exchange with the Attorney General---at some length:

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Then when you had done that [help passengers with lifebelts], where did you go?
PEARCEY: I passed all the passengers I could see forward to the Boat Deck.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: How did you pass them forward to the Boat Deck?
PEARCEY: Through the emergency door.
ATTRONEY-GENERAL: Where was that emergency door to which you are referring?
PEARCEY: The one right forward
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Where does it lead through?
PEARCEY: Right through the saloon companion.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: What saloon?
PEARCEY: The first class.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Right through the first class saloon companion?
PEARCEY: Yes.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: That would be on the next deck, would it not, on the upper deck?
PEARCEY: Yes.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Deck E?
PEARCEY: Yes.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Would that be leading into the alleyway?
PEARCEY: Yes.
ATTRONEY-GENERAL: As the people came along there you passed them through this door, did you?
PEARCEY: Yes.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Where did the people come from?
PEARCEY: They came from forward.
…
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Were they men or women?
PEARCEY: All men , Sir.
…
ATTORNEY GENERAL: You passed them up to that door; did you give them any directions?
PEARCEY: Yes, passed the directions right up. There were stewards besides me.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Right up the whole way?
PEARCEY: Right through the saloon to the companion-right through that door right up the saloon companion leading to the top deck.
…
ATTORNEY GENERAL: And you and others directed them?
PEARCEY: Yes.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: And you and others directed them?
PEARCEY: Yes.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Were there stewards posted at stations all along the way?
PEARCEY: Yes.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: From forward?
PEARCEY: Yes.
…
ATTORNEY GENERAL: You were carrying out what you were told by the steward---to assist them up to the Boat Deck?
PEARCEY: Yes
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Did a great number of passengers come along that alleyway?
PEARCEY: Yes.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Did you remain there until there were no more coming along the alleyway?
PEARCEY: As far as I could see.
…
ATTORNEY GENERAL: What did you do then?
PEARCEY: I went to the Boat Deck myself.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: What was the time then?
PEARCEY: Between one and half-past. It was nearly half-past one.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: You had nothing to do with the passengers who came from the afterpart of the ship?
PEARCY: No.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: When you found there were no more passengers coming along, you went up to the Boat Deck yourself?
PEARCEY: Yes. I went up to the Boat Deck myself.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Did the other stewards go with you?
PEARCEY; Yes.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: And those who had been stationed there and who had been assisting in the directions?
PEARCEY: Yes (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 10357-10388).

It is highly likely that Hart was one of the cadre of stewards Pearcey was talking about in this testimony; i.e., one of those who went up to the Boat Deck just before 1:30AM, having spent the previous time helping to those coming from the forward third class quarters toward the rear on E Deck. Lifeboat 15 not only contained a high proportion of male passengers, it also seems to have had in it one of the largest contingent of crew members, including stewards, amongst whom, of course, was Hart.[14] As already noted, Lifeboat 15 was launched at around 1:35AM. This is consistent with Pearcey’s assertion that the group of stewards he was with left for the Boat Deck just prior to that time.

More direct evidence that Hart was one of the cadre of stewards mentioned by Pearcey , is that Hart himself, in testimony that is more or less ignored by Lord and Butler in rehearsing Hart’'s account, explicitly states that he also directed passengers along the main alley on E deck. This would have been prior to his putative two trips to the Boat Deck. Paralleling Pearcey’s testimony, Hart testified as follows:[15]

HART: After that there was a large number of men coming from the forward part of the ship with their baggage, those that were berthed up forward-single men.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: Third class?
HART: Yes…
…
SOLICITOR GENERAL: This is also on deck E?
HART: Yes.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: That would be down that alleyway?
HART: Yes, down to the afterpart of the ship.
…
COMMISSIONER: These men coming from the forward part of the ship would come along the alleyway and then go down a companion ladder and get to the dining saloon?
HART: Yes.
COMMISSIONER: On the deck below?
HART: Yes.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: Where was it you saw them?
HART: I saw them where I was placed in my part of the ship, where my people were.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: That is K and M?
HART: Yes, on the main alleyway.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: I think the next thing you will be able to tell us will be the further instructions as to where these people were to go?
HART: I waited about there with my people…and waited for the chief third class steward, or some other Officer, or somebody in authority to give further orders. Mr. Kieran [third class Chief Steward] came back. He had been to sections S and Q, and R to see that those people also were provided with lifebelts.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: S and Q and R are all in the extreme afterpart of the ship are not they?
HART: That is correct.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: S is on Deck G, R is on deck F, and Q is on deck E, all in the extreme afterpart of the ship?
HART; Yes.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: He had been there to your knowledge?
HART: Yes, he had also his assistant with him, one by name, Sediginary [Sidney Sedunary] (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 9891-9908).

It is striking, that by his own account here, Hart was not himself situated during the time shortly after the accident, at the far extreme rear of the ship, where the third class passengers in his care were quartered. Rather, by his own testimony he was farther forward, nearer to his own quarters in fact.[16] There is a disconnect between this testimony of Hart’'s and his story of rescuing third class women and children, since the latter journeys presumably issued from the extreme rear of the ship. This lacuna is visible in various exchanges in the Parliamentary Inquiry (e.g., Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 10200-10208). Whenever Hart is pressed about details of what it was like and who was in the far rear of the ship, how many passengers there were, who were the stewards working there and so on, he is uncharacteristically vague.

It is not unreasonable to infer, in the end, that Hart never went back to where the third class women and children were congregated. Having done some directing of traffic on Scotland Yard on E Deck, Hart most likely left with a small group of other stewards to the Boat Deck to join an even larger contingent of stewards being loaded into Lifeboat 15. Like most us, Hart was neither a hero nor a villain, or perhaps one might say he was a little of both. Given Pearcey’s testimony, Hart probably did help direct third class passengers after the accident, although probably not too many women and children, and, by his own testimony, he did not direct them to the Boat Decks, but rather to the stern.[17] When the chance came to save himself he took it. And when the opportunity came to testify, he fashioned a tale which was uncritically repeated by Walter Lord. The rest, one might say is history.


Appendix | Tables | References | Endnotes


Appendix

Below are Tables that encapsulate basic data on: 1) the occupancy of passengers in lifeboats launched from the Titanic (not including those who died in boats); and 2) the times of departure of lifeboats from the ship. These Tables are referred to in the text.

Occupancy data is notoriously questionable (Encyclopedia Titanica expressly warns against their use). This is especially true when it comes to identifying the lifeboats of individual passengers in the second and third classes; the kind of microscopic research that marks much of the research on the Titanic. Our concern in this piece is, however, with more macrocosmic questions of class and gender about which reasonable conclusions, perhaps, can be drawn, despite the limitations on a micro level. As a hedge, we employ two separate data sets, the sources being, respectively, Encyclopedia Titanica and Michael A. Findlay’s Appendix 2 to Titanic: Women and Children First by Judith Geller (1998).

It is useful, as a hedge, that the two sources take disparate approaches to the data. The Encyclopedia Titanica is highly speculative, identifying virtually each of almost five hundred surviving passengers with a boat, (adding in the case of only a tiny proportion of passengers some qualification, to indicate uncertainty). Findlay on the other hand only identifies a passenger with a lifeboat when there is a high degree certainty. Thus he provides observations of about 95% of surviving first class passengers, 53% of second class survivors, and 40% of third class survivors.

Findlay’s data is presented (Tables 2 and 4) both in raw and adjusted forms. The latter provides a convenient means of comparing the two data sets, and also points up where Findlay’s observations might be distorted. The adjustment is the following. The quantity of passengers, in a given class, not identified by Findlay with any lifeboat, are simply allocated to lifeboats, in the proportion of the known identifications. These quantities are then added to the known identifications for each class in each lifeboat. Thus, for instance, 191 first class passengers are each identified with one or another of the lifeboats by Findlay, out of 202 first class passengers placed in boats by the Encyclopedia Titanica. The basic adjustment we make, then, is to allocate (quantitatively) the 11 passengers not identified in the raw data to lifeboats according to the proportions that lifeboats are occupied by the other 191, and to add this to the raw data. This gives us adjusted figures, using Findlay’s data, for the total first class passengers occupying each lifeboat, and adding together the three classes we arrive at adjusted figures for total passengers occupying each lifeboat as well.

Anomalies can arise from this method of adjustment to the extent that there is either a disproportionate dearth of information, or a surfeit of it, in relation to particular lifeboats. One sees this in Findlay’s data on three of the boats: Findlay identifies only 3 passengers in Lifeboat 12 (the adjusted figure is 6) and 0 in Lifeboat 16. On the other end, the raw data for Collapsible C is 27 third class passengers, which when adjusted becomes 70 (almost 80 occupants for the whole boat when 2 first class passengers-one of them very famous indeed-are included, as well as about 6 crew members). The capacity of Collapsible C is 49 (Encyclopedia Titanica 1996-2001). These anomalies are touched upon in the text of the piece.

In two minor instances, where there is information that is certain, it would be a distortion to adjust Findlay’s raw data, so we don’t. The relevant figures involved are in bold-face in Tables 2 and 4. The first instance is the 24 first class passengers in Lifeboat 4, each of which--following Gracie (1913, in Winocour, 1960: 202)--are listed identically by the Encyclopedia Titanica and Findlay. The second is the 14 passengers in Lifeboat 2, 8 from the first class and 6 from the third. Here again the Encyclopedia Titanica and Findlay lists are identical. The allocation of quantities of unidentified passengers to the various lifeboats within each class, does not therefore include 32 first class passengers and 6 from the third class. Thus, in reference to the example we offered above, we did not use a universe of 191 known observations and 202 first class survivors altogether to adjust Findlay’s data on first class passengers occupancy, but excluded the (24 + 8) = 32 survivors known to have occupied Lifeboats 4 and 2. Thus we employed (191 - 32) = 159 known identifications out of (202 - 32) = 170 first class survivors in total. Along the same lines the known identifications of third class survivors used was (71 - 6) = 65 out of (176 - 6) = 170 third class survivors in total.

The second dimension of the Tables below constitutes the times at which the various lifeboats were launched. We connect the Encyclopedia Titanica and Findlay data, respectively, to each of two time-tables of the departures of the lifeboats. One is the conventional, and still widely accepted time-table put forward by the Parliamentary Inquiry (Report, 1990: 38). The other is articulated by Paul Quinn in his Dusk to Dawn (1999). It can be seen that Quinn parts from the conventional view when it comes to the order of several boats launched from the port side of the ship.[18] In the front, the launchings of Lifeboats 6 and 8 are reversed from that of the Parliamentary Inquiry, and in the rear, the launching of Lifeboat 10 is placed after that of Lifeboats 12, 14 and 16 rather than before. Lastly, Quinn argues (1997: 26) that Collapsible C did not leave the ship at 1:40AM as stated by the Parliamentary Inquiry, but rather at 2:00AM.


Table 1

Parliamentary Inquiry Departure Times/ Encyclopedia Titanica Lifeboat Occupancy Data

Time

Boat #

Location

Passengers

1st Class

2nd Class

3rd Class

Female

Male

12:45

7

F/Star

25

24

1

0

12

13

12:55

5

F/Star

28

28

0

0

15

13

12:55

6

F/Port

21

20

0

1

19

2

1:00

3

F/Star

27

27

0

0

15

12

1:10

8

F/Port

23

23

0

0

23

0

1:10

1

F/Star

5

5

0

0

2

3

1:20

9

R/Star

26

6

17

3

17

9

1:20

10

R/Port

30

9

15

6

28

2

1:25

11

R/Star

26

6

15

5

22

4

1:25

12

R/Port

18

0

16

2

17

1

1:30

14

R/Port

34

4

24

6

30

4

1:35

16

R/Port

25

0

3

22

23

2

1:35

13

R/Star

40

1

12

27

23

17

1:35

15

R/Star

40

1

1

38

17

23

1:40

C

F/Star

42

2

0

40

33

9

1:45

2

F/Port

14

8

0

6

13

1

1:55

4

F/Port

31

24

7

0

31

0

2:05

D

F/Port

19

8

2

9

15

4

2:20

B

F/Port

10

3

1

6

0

10

2:20

A

F/Star

8

3

0

5

1

7

                 
   

Total

492

202

114

176

356

136

                 

Table 2

Parliamentary Inquiry Departure Times/Findlay Lifeboat Occupancy Data

Time

Boat #

Location

Pass. adj.

1st Class raw

1st Class adj.

2nd Class raw

2nd Class adj.

3rd Class raw

3rd Class adj.

12:45

7

F/Star

24

22

24

0

0

0

0

12:55

5

F/Star

29

27

29

0

0

0

0

12:55

6

F/Port

18

17

18

0

0

0

0

1:00

3

F/Star

25

23

25

0

0

0

0

1:10

8

F/Port

24

22

24

0

0

0

0

1:10

1

F/Star

5

5

5

0

0

0

0

1:20

9

R/Star

23

6

6

9

17

0

0

1:20

10

R/Port

17

9

10

2

4

1

3

1:25

11

R/Star

32

6

6

12

23

1

3

1:25

12

R/Port

6

0

0

3

6

0

0

1:30

14

R/Port

47

4

4

21

40

1

3

1:35

16

R/Port

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1:35

13

R/Star

47

1

1

8

15

12

31

1:35

15

R/Star

14

1

1

0

0

5

13

1:40

C

F/Star

72

2

2

0

0

27

70

1:45

2

F/Port

14

8

8

0

0

6

6

1:55

4

F/Port

36

24

24

2

4

3

8

2:05

D

F/Port

22

8

9

2

3

4

10

2:20

B

F/Port

16

3

3

1

2

4

10

2:20

A

F/Star

21

3

3

0

0

7

19

                   
   

Total

492

191

202

60

114

71

176

                   

Table 3

Quinn Departure Times/ Encyclopedia Titanica Lifeboat Occupancy Data

Time

Boat #

Location

Passengers

1st Class

2nd Class

3rd Class

Female

Male

12:25

7

F/Star

25

24

1

0

12

13

12:35

5

F/Star

28

28

0

0

15

13

12:50

3

F/Star

27

27

0

0

15

12

12:50

8

F/Port

23

23

0

0

23

0

1:00

6

F/Port

21

20

0

1

19

2

1:15

1

F/Star

5

5

0

0

2

3

1:20

9

R/Star

26

6

17

3

17

9

1:25

11

R/Star

26

6

15

5

22

4

1:25

12

R/Port

18

0

16

2

17

1

1:25

13

R/Star

40

1

12

27

27

13

1:30

15

R/Star

40

1

1

38

13

27

1:35

14

R/Port

34

4

24

6

30

4

1:40

16

R/Port

25

0

3

22

23

2

1:45

2

F/Port

14

8

0

6

13

1

1:45

10

R/Port

30

9

15

6

28

2

1:55

4

F/Port

31

24

7

0

31

0

2:00

C

F/Star

42

2

0

40

33

9

2:05

D

F/Port

19

8

2

9

15

4

2:20

B

F/Port

10

3

1

6

0

10

2:20

A

F/Star

8

3

0

5

1

7

                 
   

Total

492

202

114

176

356

136

                 

Table 4

Quinn Departure Times/Findlay Lifeboat Occupancy Data

Time

Boat #

Location

Pass. adj.

1st Class raw

1st Class adj.

2nd Class raw

2nd Class adj.

3rd Class raw

3rd Class adj.

12:25

7

F/Star

24

22

24

0

0

0

0

12:35

5

F/Star

29

27

29

0

0

0

0

12:50

3

F/Star

25

23

25

0

0

0

0

12:50

8

F/Port

24

22

24

0

0

0

0

1:00

6

F/Port

18

17

18

0

0

0

0

1:15

1

F/Star

5

5

5

0

0

0

0

1:20

9

R/Star

23

6

6

9

17

0

0

1:25

11

R/Star

32

6

6

12

23

1

3

1:25

12

R/Port

6

0

0

3

6

0

0

1:25

13

R/Star

47

1

1

8

15

12

31

1:30

15

R/Star

14

1

1

0

0

5

13

1:35

14

R/Port

47

4

4

21

40

1

3

1:40

16

R/Port

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1:45

2

F/Port

14

8

8

0

0

6

6

1:45

10

R/Port

17

9

10

2

4

1

3

1:55

4

F/Port

36

24

24

2

4

3

8

2:00

C

F/Star

72

2

2

0

0

27

70

2:05

D

F/Port

22

8

9

2

3

4

10

2:20

B

F/Port

15

3

3

1

2

4

10

2:20

A

F/Star

22

3

3

0

0

7

19

                   
   

Total

492

191

202

60

114

71

176

                   

References

Beesley, Lawrence 1912 in Winocour, Jack, ed., 1960. The Story of the Titanic as Told by Its

Survivors, Dover Books.

Butler, Daniel, 1998. Unsinkable, Stackpole Books.

Geller, Judith, 1998. Titanic: Women and Children First, WW Norton.

Gracie, Archibald, 1913, in Winocour, Jack, ed., 1960. The Story of the Titanic as Told by Its

Survivors, Dover Books.

Hind, Philip, ed., 1996-2001, Encyclopedia Titanica. www.encyclopedia-titanica.org

Kuntz, Tom, ed., 1998. The Titanic Disaster Hearings: The Official Transcripts of the 1912 Senate Investigation. Pocket Books.

Lord, Walter, 1955. A Night to Remember, Bantam Books.

__________, 1986. The Night Lives On, Avon Books.

Lynch, Donald and Marshall, Kenneth, 1992.

Marcus, Geoffrey, 1969. The Maiden Voyage, Viking Press.

Quinn, Paul J., 1997. Titanic at Two, Fantail.

__________, 1999. Dusk to Dawn: Survivor Accounts of the Last Night on the Titanic, Faintail.

Report on the Loss of the S.S. Titanic: The Official Government Inquiry, 1912. Sutton Publishing,

(1990)


Endnotes

[1] Marcus (1969: 147) also cites Hart, but more as an exception to the rule that third class passengers were denied access to the lifeboats. Geller (1998: 153-54) cites Hart in relation to a brief second hand account of a third class woman, Elin Hakkarainen.

[2] James Johnson, a first class saloon steward (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 3618), James Rule, a first class pantry steward, (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 6412), Albert Pearcey, a third class pantry steward (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 10349-50), Charles Mackay, a second class bathroom steward (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 10699-10701), Wilfrid Seward, a second-class pantry steward (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 17819), and Alfred Crawford, a first class bedroom steward (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 17980). At the Senate subcommittee investigation there is also relevant testimony by the chief second steward John Hardy (Titanic Project, 1999: Amer. Inq.).

[3] Lord, however, in The Night Lives On (1986: 85) puts the time at ‘[s]hortly before 1AM’’. On the other hand, in the earlier A Night to Remember (1955: 65) he takes the more conventional view of the time as being around 12:30AM.

[4] There is a reference to a purser, Barker, by the chief second steward, John Hardy, who testified that Barker "advised me or told me to get the people on deck with their life belts on as a precaution" (Titanic Project, 1999: Amer. Inq.).

[5] It is 12:50AM according to Quinn’s departures time-table and 1:10 according to the Parliamentary Inquiry’s (Appendix)..

[6] There is one fact, that in an odd way points perhaps to some brush with the truth in Hart’'s account. Gracie in his listing of the crew who were loaded onto Lifeboat 8, lists Hart (incorrectly it would seem) along with Crawford and Jones (Gracie, in Winocour, 1960: 184). He also lists Hart in Lifeboat 15 (Gracie, in Winocour, 1960: 257). This mistake is intriguing, but what it suggests is not clear.

[7] If one applies Hind’s occupancy data to Quinn’s departure time-table the third class begins to be loaded in significant numbers at 1:25AM, but Quinn’s time-table also has Lifeboat 8 departing at 12:50AM, not 1:10AM.

[8] Findlay’s raw data (Appendix: Table 2) shows 1 ‘certain’ third class passenger in Lifeboat 10, a 23 year man, Neshan Krekorian (Geller, 1998: 214). The adjusted figure is 3 third class passengers in this boat.

[9] There is no raw data in Findlay’s occupancy list for Lifeboat 16 (no passengers of any class are identified as being in it), which distorts the adjusted figures. It seems likely that a large portion of the third class passengers allocated to Collapsible C (the adjusted figure for which is 72) should properly be assigned to Lifeboat 16 (Appendix: Tables 2, 4).

[10] Elsewhere he includes 3 men that he brought among those loaded, yielding the figure of 28. This is also why Lord refers to Hart saving 55 women and children. This is out of 58 passengers altogether.

[11] There can be no doubt that Hart’'s testimony here is that these passengers definitely did get into Lifeboat 15, because he himself was loaded into the same boat as them. This point is made clear in the following exchange between the Solicitor-General and Hart:

SOLICITOR-GENERAL: Do you know how many of your own lot of people you were able to save?

HART: I would not like to say ‘able to save,’ but I saw in the same boat as myself those that I took to the boat-in the boat I got away in, No. 15 (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 10085).

[12] In his testimony Hart does not specifically name any of the passengers he rescued himself. He claims that he saw passengers of his (some 20 or so) on the Carpathia afterward, but does not identify them (and is not asked to), and then seems to qualify his answer by saying they were passengers "whom I recognized as being in my rooms" (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 10088-10090).

[13] The Findlay data only indicates 14 passengers on Lifeboat 15 altogether. This could be another anomaly, due to a disproportionate lack of information about this boat (Appendix), in which case the best we can do is defer to the encyclopedia titanica data. That there might have been only 15 passengers or so on Lifeboat 15 is not out of the question, however, because there is much evidence that there were many crewman on this boat, including many stewards, like Hart himself.

[14] Pearcey himself testified that he ended up in Collapsible C (Titanic Project, Brit. Inq., 1999: 10390-91).

[15] Of the 35 stewards on these two lifeboats, about two-thirds were from the first class (Hind, 1996-2001).

[16] The quarters of the third class stewards were located one deck below, on Deck F, further toward the front of the ship.

[17] This is one matter upon which Pearcey and Hart are not in agreement. Pearcey testified to leading passengers up the emergency ladder from E deck to the first class dining saloon on D deck. Hart testified the passengers were being directing down from E deck to the third class dining saloon on F deck.

[18] Wormstedt and Behe have expressed a similar view to this.


© David Gleicher, USA

Related Biographies:

John Edward Hart

Relates to Ship:

Carpathia

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David Gleicher

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