Mr William Burke

Mr William Burke, 30, gave his birthplace as "Qtown" (Queenstown, Ireland?).

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 57 Bridge Rd., (Southampton) (1). His last ship had been the Olympic. As a Steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.

William Burke

On the Titanic he served Isidor and Ida Straus, who, he remembers, came to dinner at 7:15 on the night of Sunday 14 April.

When the collision occurred he was in bed but not asleep. He said it felt like the ship had dropped a propeller. About 20 minutes later the order came down for everyone to put on life belts and get on deck. His assigned station was the lifeboat 1 on the starboard side, but he found it was already gone when he got there. He then assisted with lifeboats 8 and 10 on the port side. After the "Chief Officer" found there weren't enough men in 10, he ordered Burke into it, where the steward helped load women into the boat. The last woman slipped and fell between the boat and the ship but Burke caught her (along with Buley) by the feet. Someone on the ship also caught her shoulders and they pulled her back on the Titanic. Burke stated that he never saw her again.

Later, in the water, they took on passengers from boat 14 commanded by Lowe and later still 'made fast' with the overturned collapsible B. He remembered Fireman Rice and Gretchen Longley and Kornelia Andrews in boat 10.

Pat Cook, USA Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden Chris Dohany, USA

1. At the American inquiry he gave his address as 15 Dodge Street, Southampton.
References and Sources
United States Senate Hearings, 27th April, 1912, Testimony of William Burke United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
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