Encyclopedia Titanica

Mr. and Mrs. Bishop Give First Authentic Interview Concerning Titantic [sic] Disaster

Dowagiac Daily News

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"Ladies and Grooms First" Was Order They Obeyed and Both Left the Ship Together


German Baron Would Not Assist With the Rowing and a French Aviator Never Dropped the Monocle From His Eye Throughout the Trying Hours


Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Bishop have today received telegraphic advices from Mr. and Mrs. D. H. Bishop in New York stating that they have decided to carry out their original intentions and motor home from New York in their Lozier car.

They will not, however, make the trip until next week. On landing from the steamship Carpathia they found themselves almost destitute of everything, all their personal belongings having gone down with the Titanic, and they will remain in New York City long enough to provide themselves with new wardrobes before starting west.

At first reports they had abandoned their motor trip and decided to come by rail, but on second consideration they will do as originally planned. Their chauffeur, Earl Patterson, is now in New York City with their Lozier car ready to make the drive through to Michigan.

Many supposed interviews with Mr. and Mrs. Bishop have been published since the Carpathia landed, but the only authentic one, according to Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Bishop, of this city, is the following one:

Mrs. Bishop's Narrative

"We had been in Europe since January," says Mrs. Bishop, "and had visited Egypt, Italy, France and Algiers. We sailed on the Titanic on the tenth and had had a most enjoyable voyage until the night of the disaster."

"I had retired when our ship struck the iceberg, but Mr. Bishop was sitting in our stateroom, reading. I didn't hear the shock, and it was several minutes before someone came to our door and told us to come on deck. I got up and dressed, then we went above. Officers told us we might as well go below and retire; that there was no danger. We did not do so for some time, however. Finally we did, and soon afterward we were again summoned. We dressed quietly and had plenty of time."

"The girl who occupied a stateroom across from us refused to get up and the stewards pulled her out of bed, she got back in and sank with the ship."

"When we got on deck there were few people there, but were tons of (unreadable) on the fore part of the ship. We were in the first lifeboat to be lowered over the side. Someone said, 'Put in the brides and grooms first.'

"There were three newly married couples who went in that boat. Altogether, there were 28 in our boat. There might as well have been 40 or so, but the half hundred men on deck refused to leave, even though there was room for them."

Astor at Foot Ladder

"John Jacob Astor was standing at the foot of the stairway as I started to go back the second time. He told us to get on our life belts and we did. Before our boat was lowered into the water, Mr. and Mrs. Astor were on the deck. She didn't want to go, saying that she thought we were all silly, that the Titanic couldn't sink. Because the Astor's stateroom was close to ours, we had had considerable to do with them on the voyage and I disliked to leave them on deck. As a matter of fact I believed much of as they did that there was little chance of being picked up in the lifeboats."

"The water was like glass. There wasn't even the ripple usually found on a small lake. By the time we had pulled 100 yards the lower row of portholes had disappeared. When we were a mile away the second row had gone, but there was still no confusion. Indeed everything seemed to be quiet on the ship until her stern was raised out of the water by the list forward. Then a veritable wave of humanity surged up out of the steerage and shut the lights from our view. We were too far away to see the passengers individually, but we could see the black masses of human forms and hear their death cries and groans."

Look Like Huge Whale

"For a moment the ship seemed to be pointing straight down, looking like a gigantic whale submerging itself, head-first."

"One dining room steward, who was in our boat, was thoughtful enough to bring green lights – the kind you burn on the Fourth of July. They cast a ghastly light over the boat, but you know we had no light of any kind. I think all lifeboats ought to be equipped with lights, crackers and water and compasses. Whenever we would light one of these diminutive torches we would hear cries from the people perishing aboard. They thought it was help coming."

"We were afloat in the life boat from about 12:30 Sunday night until 5 o'clock Monday morning. Although we were the first boat to leave the Titanic, we were about the fourth picked up by the Carpathia . The scenes on that little craft adrift in mid-ocean with little hope of rescue were most heart-rending. Still the characteristics of the individuals appealed to me."

Strange Acts Of Rescued

"For instance, there was a German baron aboard who smoked an obnoxious pipe incessantly and refused to pull an oar. The men were worn out with the work, and I rowed for considerable time myself. There was a little French aviator in our boat, Pierre Marschal, a partner of Paulhan, who never took his monocle from his eye all the time we were on the water, but he did assist in the rowing."

"It broke my heart to leave my little dog 'Freu Freu' in my stateroom. I had purchased her in Florence, Italy, and she was the pet of the ship. The steward wouldn't let me take her to the butcher. He said she was too pretty, and she was the only one allowed to stay in the cabin. I made a little den for her in our room behind two of my suitcases, but when I started to leave her she tore my dress to bits, tugging at it. I realized, however, that there would be little sympathy for a woman carrying a dog in her arms when there were lives of women and children to be saved."

"Whenever a light, however small, was flashed in a lifeboat those in the other drifting crafts were given false hopes of rescue. After we had been afloat for several hours without food or water and everyone suffering from the cold, I felt certain we should all perish. I took off my stockings and gave them to a little girl who hadn't as much time to dress as I had."

"When the day broke and the Carpathia was sighted, there were indescribable scenes of joy. After we had pulled alongside of the rescue ship, many of the women were lifted aboard in chairs, tied to a rope. I was sufficiently composed to climb the ladder alongside to the deck. When the last of the survivors were taken on, the recounting of the experience began."

Gracie Proves A Swimmer

"Yes," said Mr. Bishop, "I think the story told us by Col. Archibald Gracie, of Washington D. C., was the most remarkable of any we heard. He remained on deck and clung to the rail until he struck the water. He must have been sucked under 50 or 60 feet, Col. Gracie told us. When he came to the surface he said he found himself among a mass of wreckage, but he is an excellent swimmer and finally succeeded in reaching a small collapsible which had a few passengers aboard. Imagine a man as old as Col. Gracie scrambling with 1,700 people in water two miles deep. It is remarkable that he succeeded."

"Col. Gracie was peevish, though," reminded Mrs. Bishop. "He did not want to tell of his experiences."

"Those on board the Carpathia did everything in their power for our comfort. They shared everything with us and the captain of that boat was not like Capt. Smith of the Titanic. You didn't see him at fashionable dinners. He was always on duty."

"Mr. Lucien Smith of Huntington, W. Va., a dear little woman, who lost her husband in the disaster, said that before they parted on the deck he told her he had seen Capt. Smith at a dinner at 11 p.m. that night. When he left the dining room, the captain was still there, although he may have gone to the bridge before the collision, it doesn't seem likely. For some reason, for which we will probably never know, the bulkhead doors refused to work. I watched the men for several minutes endeavoring to turn the screws that would lower them and make the compartments water tight, but they were unsuccessful. It may be that the impact so wrenched them as to throw them out of line."

Waltons To Motor Home

Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Walton, of Sturgis, parents of Mrs. Bishop, will motor home with Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. They have been in Florida during the winter, but came to New York about ten days ago to meet their daughter and her husband.

They became almost frantic when they learned of the Titanic disaster, but it was only a few hours after the first news of the disaster that intelligence came that Mr. and Mrs. Bishop were saved. With this assurance they went to the theatre that night and there heard later news.

"I suppose," said Mrs. Walton, "that we bought one thousand newspapers in our anxiety to get assurance that our children were among the ones rescued."

As soon as they landed, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop hastened to the Waldorf-Astoria where Mr. and Mrs. Walton have been stopping, and there they are now established.

Mr. and Mrs. D. H. Bishop were married four months ago and they were returning from their honeymoon trip. The time of their arrival home is not definite, but it will be sometime the latter part of next week, so their Dowagiac relatives expect.

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2003) Mr. and Mrs. Bishop Give First Authentic Interview Concerning Titantic [sic] Disaster (Dowagiac Daily News, Saturday 20th April 1912, ref: #1792, published 21 November 2003, generated 20th January 2022 03:57:32 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/bishop-interview-concerning-titanic-disaster.html