1245 A Time to Go by Senan Molony


Given that you posted your article YEARS after we published ours, we see no great need in rushing the posting of our revisions. And our revisions will be part of our article, not posted piece-meal here at ET. As Tad mentioned, events on this board (including your insulting commments) have made this not the time or place for productive discussion.

I haven't offered you any insulting comments and I wish you - and Tad (Patrick, no?) - a very happy St Patrick's Day.

Bill, talking about 'YEARS after,' George wrote this in 1991:

"Quartermaster Rowe undoubtedly adjusted his own watch.." (p. 3, Titanic Tidbits, No. 1)

Undoubtedly? This claim was published 28 years after Rowe had denied doing so in 1963.

A denial of which the theory-maker was obviously unaware. That isn't insulting. It is a fact.

Rowe was attempted to be adjusted (in other words the theory was invented) in order to offset Pitman, who testified clearly that boat 5 was in the water at 12.30 and boat 7 had preceded his by two or three minutes.

Senator Smith: When were the ship's clocks set; do you know?
Pitman - They are set at midnight every night.
…And were they set at midnight Sunday night? - No; we had something else to think of.

The 1991 revisionist paper does not mention Pitman at all.

Its purpose seems to be to "correct" Rowe in order to have him agree with the British Inquiry finding that boat 7 was the first to go, at 12.45, although this idea of the time is nowhere in the evidence of its own inquiry! Instead it was borrowed from a single, heavily contradicted, remark made at the American Inquiry.

Now, when Rowe makes clear that he did not adjust his watch, he corroborates Pitman as to early boats. In truth it is just a matter of leaving Rowe's 1912 evidence alone.

Both men are further corroborated by the 40 or so testimonies cited in the article here.

Why should we imagine that Pitman or Rowe, or any of them (Beesley, Cunningham, etc) are mistaken?
No evidence is offered for us to disbelieve Pitman in particular.

By the way, the same paper makes reference to McGough as if he were a Rosetta stone. You should see what McGough himself actually says.

All the testimony relating to the first boat departure time is in the article here - including the dawning realisation by at least the Attorney General that they had made a mistake.

Their refusal to abandon the mistake in the light of the weight of evidence is its own simple indictment.

"Turn out you fellows, you haven't half an hour to live. That is from Mr Andrews..."
Very interesting points that you raise. Not to be vague, but some of the points you raised regarding the timing of events are things that we will be addressing in the near future, particularly the timing of when the boats began to be prepared for loading, in comparison to the soonest they would have been able to be lowered, all based on eyewitness statements in relation to other events that we know happened, when, and where.

The timeline of the lifeboat lowering (and also the rockets) becomes much more firm once the evidence as a whole is examined, and further reinforces a later launch time. One must examine more than a latter-day statement made by Rowe in the 1960s or selectively used segments of inquiry testimony, and the information we will be sharing is composed of compelling evidence in favor of a later time from a multitude of contemporary eyewitness accounts.

We will let you guys know when the additions are available.

Happy St. Patrick's Day,
Hi all,

Very interesting discussion.

It might be worthwhile to discuss some of the other passengers of boat #7 not mentioned in Senan's article. Many of them were male passengers who were in the smoking room when the collision took place. Many of the others were those passengers who had not fully retired for the evening in their cabins who were in a position to reach the boat deck fairly quickly.

I seem to recall that John P. Snyder and his wife had fairly detailed accounts of their experiences as did Elmer Taylor. Taylor was especially detailed in his private memoir but my copy of his book is packed away somewhere. Mrs. Crosby's affidavit at the American Inquiry should also be considered since she gave a rather lengthy account.


Mike Findlay
Thanks Michael for that insight.

The thing is that on the face of it that would suggest those men in the smoking saloon were well positioned to get on the boat-deck fairly quickly once they became aware that activity such as clearing the boats was going on. Same with the passengers who had not yet retired for the night.

Yet, I still wonder - were all those male smokers free and unattached, or would they still have families they would have to go below and collect together ? Same with the non-retirees.

It cannot be denied, there is testimony that throws doubt onto 12.45 as being the time of the first boat pulling away. The problem is that there isn't conclusive testimony to suggest an earlier time that can be fixed as far as I can see - lots of approximations but annoyingly no-one who said " I looked at my watch and it was 12.25 when we started rowing ".

Warmest regards

I think Mrs. Flegenheimer was also surprised at how quickly boat 7 was lowered. According to her friends, she was going to go below for warmer clothing, when the officer said she must get in 'at once.' Her lengthy account, which appears in the new issue of Voyage, it appears she didn't seem to waste time, other than waiting a few minutes at the purser's desk which she found to be fruitless. When reading her first hand account, it certainly doesn't seem like the boat was lowered a full hour after the ship struck and iceberg.
I'm not into vitriol lads! so I've probably skipped over some important bits above. I probably have missed someone else suggesting my idea about the timing on the 'Sparks' watch.

Taking Californian time first:
The time on the ship as reported by the personnel was as it was - regardless.
The second officer relieved the third 'late' which suggests the ship's clocks were not adjusted at midnight - perhaps because she was stopped and not making any westerly longitude?
It is most unlikely that a late relief would not have been noted or remarked on - it being one of watch-keeper's cardinal sins. More likely, the 2/O retarded his watch 10 minutes before turning in expecting a clock change while he slept. He only found out they were stopped when he went on watch. Probably thought he was on time.

On Titanic - if I remember correctly: Bride promised to relieve his chief early because of the heavy workload. He was supposed to relieve him on adjusted ships time i.e. with the clock retarded 24 minutes at midnight 14th. time. perhaps -just perhaps - he agreed to work his boss's extra 24 minutes for him or in other words the whole clock retardation of 47 minutes?
If he did agree to that, then he would not set his watch back the first 24 minutes before retiring so as to arrive in the wireless room just before midnight ship's old time. Incidentally, for those who never went to sea: it was customary for the watch below (if they had them) to set their watches for when they were due to go on duty. This way they would be less likely to commit the cardinal sin I've referred to.
If Bride's 'just before midnight - five to' was by his watch it would in fact be 19 minutes past midnight 14th. April time on the unadjusted wheelhouse clock. At that time, Bride had no idea there had been an accident.
This would work well with the timing of captain Smith's actions. It would also work well with the fact that at that time,Lightholler and co were just coming awake awake. 0005 hrs was their 'one bell' in planned adjusted clock time (which never took place).
It would also explain Boxhall's actions re Lowe i.e. calling or not calling him
I think a re-creation of Titanic's Scrap Log Book entries might help to sort things out. If no one has already done it, I'll do so, based on Enquiry evidence and create a 'skeleton' that can then be fleshed-out.

What do you think?

Hi Senan, I'm writing on behalf of Tim Maltin, who's publishing a ebook about the Titanic (his second book) Tim would like to use the photoof George Symons that you published on this site. I cannot find any toher way to contact you,so I needed to comment here. Would you please kindly give us a feedback urgently? It would be very appreciated.