T. Threlfall, leading fireman

T. Threlfall, leading fireman

Bridgwater Mercury

T. Threlfall, leading fireman, told a stirring tale of how his watch went down to their duty in the stokeholds after the ship had struck, how on an order from the bridge they were sent up on deck at 1.20 am by the engineers, who themselves stayed to die at their posts, and how Mr. Lowe, the fifth officer, ''a gentleman and a Britisher,'' as Threlfall called him in a burst of genuine feeling, kept the boats of survivors together under his command. ''My watch was asleep,'' Threlfall said, ''when we were awakened by a shout 'Get up; we've run into something.' I got up and saw the tarpaulin over a hatch bulging out with the pressure of water underneath. The water was pouring down the passage from our room into the stokehold. The ship had torn herself right open from No. 6 section to the forehatch. We waded along the passage with our clothes to the mess deck. Then the boatswain piped ''all hands,'' and the second engineer told me to take my watch below. We went down to the stokehold to draw the fires. At about 1.20 Mr. Hesketh, the second engineer, said 'We've done all we can men, Get out now.' We went up again and got into Number 14 boat

It was the last but one on the port side to go. Mr. Lowe was in command, and as we put off he took a revolver from his pocket and said: ''We want no dirty work here. I'll shoot two at a time.'' Then he called to several other boats close by, 'Throw out your painters,' and we linked them all up. Mr. Lowe passed about fifty women and children from his boat, and said, 'We will go for the wreckage', to which other people were clinging. From the wreckage we picked up four men. Then Mr. Lowe called out, 'There's a boat over there and she's sinking.' Although we were then towing a collapsible boat with about eighty people in her we reached the sinking boat just as the water was up to her gunwale and took twenty-six men and one woman, a Mrs. Abbott, off her. I held the woman in my arms till we reached the Carpathia.

Every survivor agrees that no one on board realised the danger of the ship's condition. ''Just go for a spin round,'' was the phrase often used to persuade women to get into the boats.

Related Biographies:
Rhoda Mary 'Rosa' Abbott
Harold Godfrey Lowe
Thomas Threlfall

Contributor
Brian J. Ticehurst
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    Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Friday 8th July 2005, last updated .