Mr Herbert James Haddock
Captain Herbert James Haddock was, in fact, the first Captain of the Titanic. He commanded her in Belfast before her delivery to the White Star Line.
He then took command of the Olympic from Captain Edward John Smith on April 1 1912. He was at sea in that vessel when the Titanic went down. Captain Haddock testified to the American inquiry and later also attended the British Board of Trade inquiry.
Shortly after the Olympic arrived back in England and was refitted with additional lifeboats Haddock was confronted by a strike by some of his crewmen. The men refused to sail on the Olympic owing to inadequate life saving facilities. Non-union firemen were brought into fill the gap but this led to a mutiny by seamen, 53 men were arrested and the case eventually went to trial in Portsmouth.
The White Star Line nearly suffered another disaster seven weeks after the Titanic went down when Haddock, though faulty navigation, narrowly avoided running the Olympic onto rocks near Lands End. For the next few voyages he was closely monitored by a White Star Line official.
Haddock was in command of the Olympic during her failed effort to rescue HMS Audacious in October 1914. Olympic was then laid up prior to conversion to a troopship, and the Admiralty placed Haddock in charge of a dummy fleet of merchant ships, stationed at Belfast. According to Mills' HMHS Britannic: The Last Titan, Harold Sanderson tried to have Haddock re-assigned in 1915, to command the Britannic when she entered service as a hospital ship, but could not succeed in convincing the Admiralty to release Haddock from his Belfast duties.
Haddock is thought not to have rejoined White Star after the war. He died in 1946.
References and Sources
Philip Hind (Editor)
Mark Baber, USA
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