Mr William Ward
Mr William Ward, of Oak Villa, 107 Millbrook Road, Southampton, had been a seaman for 20 years when he boarded the Titanic as a steward. His superior aboard the Titanic was second steward Dodd - Dodd being one of three second stewards.
At the time of the collision, Ward had just turned in - his room was located amidships, portside on E deck. After feeling a shock he went to a porthole and opened it. Seeing nothing he returned to his bunk, where "I lay there for about 20 minutes, and in the meantime the steerage passengers were coming from forward, coming aft, carrying lifebelts." He still remained in his bunk, until a waiter (Moss) told him to put on some clothing and get on deck. "With that, I think most everybody in the 'glory hole', as we call it, got dressed and went on deck." It was then he was ordered by Dodd to go to the saloon on D deck, order everyone there to go up on deck and bring lifebelts. Arriving there, he found no one but returned with 7 lifebelts, which he distributed to those who hadn't any. Putting one on himself, he noticed there was no excitement or confusion. "A lot of the ladies and gentlemen there that were just treating it as a kind of joke."
Ward then went to his assigned station, lifeboat 7 on the starboard side, where he saw First Officer Murdoch, Bruce Ismay and Purser McElroy.. After helping to load it he then went to 9. Haines, a boatswains mate, assisted in loading this boat. "One lady... absolutely refused to get into the boat. She went back to the companionway and forced her way in." After loading the passengers, the Purser (McElroy) ordered Ward into the boat and it was lowered into the water. The boat was pretty well packed, Ward would testify later, "We had not room to pull the oars - they (the passengers) had to move heir bodies with us when we were rowing." Then, a couple of hundred yards off, they laid on their oars. As the ship went down, they pulled further away to excape any suction, but there was very little. Until that time, Ward was "...of the opinion that she would float." They did not pull back to look for survivors as the boat was already full. Later, after the Carpathia arrived, he remembered they were the fourth or fifth boat to be picked up. He reported to the US Senate inquiry that there was no drinking that night by any of the crew.
References and Sources
Philip Hind (Editor)
Pat Cook, USA
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Name: Mr William Ward
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