MRS. CANDEE TELLS OF TRAGIC SCENES AS STEAMER SANK

Washington Times

Washington Woman Says Officers Demanded That Women Go First
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By GORDON MACKAY, Staff Correspondent
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NEW YORK, April 19---From the feeble, trembling lips of an aged woman comes the story that tears away the veil of mystery that has enveloped the worst disaster in the maritime history of the world. It is a story that portrays in the simple language of honest recital the sacrifice that greed for achievement, a desire to climax and exceed all transatlantic records that sent 1,600 persons to a death beneath the waters of midocean, when the Titanic crushed and broken beneath the blow of a monster iceberg yielded and surrendered.

Woven into the tale, too, in a story of heroism that places on a pinnacle for posterity men of wealth, of fame, of finance, and of plain history. It gives to the death of Major Butt and Colonel Astor the wreath of heroes, and to the frenzied foreigners an indictment of cowardice.

It places the White Star line officials in the seat of blame, and proves beyond cavil that the huundreds [sic] whose lifeless bodies rest on the floor of the ocean were a wanton sacrifice to the desire for glory and an overconfidence that was a ruthless disregard of all sense of maritime prudence.

Woman's Tragic Story

Mrs. Churchill Candee, of Washington, D. C., herself a survivor, bent with the weight of more than seventy winters, told the story in her own simple language---the tale that sheds the last vestige of blamenessness [sic] from the steamship officials.

Mrs. Candee was in the last boat that left the sinking ship, and she waited until the last call before she took her place with those who braved the perils of the ocean in the lifeboat. Lulled into a false sense of security by the words of the officers, it was not until she saw that the last shred of hope had been blasted that Mrs. Candee took her place.

"As our boat was lowered into the water we were told that we would be [illegible] to go back on the Titanic again. As we pushed away from the ship the terrible scenes began. They had opened the steerage doors, and on the deck piled the foreigners in the steerage. Finns, Italians and others rushed on deck, and trampled down the women while on the air we heard the echoes of at least fifty shots. I saw four men fall, killed by the shots from the guns. But who fired the deadly bullets I do not know.

"Men frantic in their desire to escape, leaped into the water. Some sank immediately, while others floated around until they were so chilled that they could no longer keep afloat, and gave up the fight.

Became Panic-Stricken

"Women, too, some of them with children in their arms, became panic-stricken, and, disregarding all orders, jumped into the water and drowned before our eyes. As we pushed away from the ship we ran across a raft which had seventeen aboard. They were taken into our lifeboat, and one of the passengers, a man, was dead when taken into our boat.

"A few moments later we heard the crash of two explosions, and then the Titanic sank while the crew who manned our boat pulled away from the suction which the sinking ship made, as we were in danger every minute of being drawn into the whirlpools. We floated around for six hours, all of us clad only in light garments and some with nothing on but their night clothes. We were picked up by the Carpathia and saved."

Related Biographies:

Helen Churchill Candee

Acknowledgements

Mark Baber

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    Citation

    Copyright © 1996-2018 Encyclopedia Titanica (www.encyclopedia-titanica.org) and third parties (ref: #3992, published 19 October 2004, generated 14th December 2018 03:04:44 AM)
    URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/candee-claims.html