Mr James Johnston, 41, he first joined the Titanic in Belfast and gave his birthplace as Liverpool. When he signed on again in Southampton he gave his birthplace as Hampshire and his address as the Seamens' Home, Southampton. He had transferred from the Olympic.
Johnston had finished work and was relaxing with three colleagues in the now deserted First Class dining room on D Deck. Their conversation was interrupted by a strange grinding jar, Johnston felt sure he knew what that meant, the ship had dropped a propeller blade, this would certainly mean ''Another Belfast trip!'.
Soon after the collision he met Thomas Andrews touring the ship with Captain Smith. At this point Andrews assured him that everything would be all right, although by now Andrews already suspected the ship was doomed. Perhaps not entirely convinced and anticipating a long night Johnston cautiously stuffed four Oranges into his clothes.
Johnston later recalled how he also saw Signor Gatti and the staff of the à la carte restaurant huddled in their quarters on E deck. Almost the entire staff were lost, their chance of rescue limited by the language barrier and their inferior status as neither crew nor passengers.
Johnston was finally able to join Lifeboat 2; as he prepared to cast off at 1:45 he called up to the boat deck for a blade to cut the falls.
After the Titanic sank, Johnston called to Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall to return to pick up swimmers but others in the boat protested and so boat 2 which was only 60% full drifted while people died in the freezing water.
References and Sources
Walter Lord (1976) A Night to Remember. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 14 004757 3
Wreck Commissioners' Court, Proceedings before the Right Hon. Lord Mersey on a Formal Investigation Ordered by the Board of Trade into the Loss of the S.S. Titanic
Chris Dohany, USA
Articles and Stories
Worcester Evening Gazette (1912)