A challenge in command

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Pat Winship

Member
This thread is pretty well aimed at Erik Wood.

Ahem....

Captain, you once said in a private e-mail, that you would have been honored to be commanded by C.H. Lightoller. But I have wanted to ask you for some time is to consider some of the wild tales he told of his younger days in his autobiography-- and think of what it would have been like to command him. Whoa! He was undeniably a superb seaman, but there are moments when he sounds like the Junior Officer from Hell. Have you ever had to deal with anyone like that? Would you want to?

Pat W
 
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Erik Wood

Member
To be honest, there isn't a junior officer that isn't from hell.

Lightoller reminds me somewhat of me. He has some natural leadership skills and from what I have read was a excellent sailor. A Captains job is to mentor these young officers, sometimes by letting them make basic mistakes so they learn. I was known to be a bossy and sometimes hot headed, and usually in the thick of any action going on as JO. But by surviving those things has lead me to be able to command.

Lightoller, is a lot like several JO's I have met and it would have been an honor for me to command him and let him command me. Remeber that although the Captain is the boss he always learns from the newbies.

Erik
 
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
Pat - Have I shared with you any of those yarns that a certain high profile WSL master used to relate about what his juniors got up to? If not, remind me about it when I see you in NY this weekend!
 
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Pat Winship

Member
No, Ing, you haven't! I would love to hear them. I shall be there, with chocolate truffles.

Pat
 
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
G'day Pat -

Good to swap yarns and observations with you in NY (J-Lo Catsuit remains unpurchased!)

Just received my copy of the White Star Journal for June - amidst the usual wealth of excellent material, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article on Lightoller's 'One Gun Salute' in Fort Denison. Excellent piece! Reminded me of those long ago days when I had an office in Governor Macquarie Tower, and could look out over Sydney Harbour to the Fort, trying to visualise that October night.

~ Ing
 
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Pat Winship

Member
Thank you, Ing. Still haven't received my copy, but look forward to it. You remind me here that I must send a copy of the article to the folks at the Police Museum in Sydney. When it was being written, my husband wondered what happened to the Boer flag that Lights and his merry gang put up on Fort Denison that night. After dismissing the idea as not worth pursuing, I realized that the flag was evidence in a police investigation, and might possibly have been preserved. Sooooo... I contacted the Police Museum and asked if they knew anything about it. Alas, it didn't turn up, but they thought it sounded like a good story anyway.

Pat W.
 
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
I think you'll be pleased with it, Pat - the editing cuts still maintain your (and Lightoller's) strong narrative drive, although I suspect much of the corroborative material you collated as a background to the piece seems to have been cut. Looks like you could find another use for all that data you pulled together - I think people would be interested in sources like the Parliamentary question, the time frame for the events etc. that support Lightoller's recollection of the incident.

Meant to ask - have we ever discussed looking into the story of the apprentice who went on to enlist for the Boer War?

~ Ing
 
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Pat Winship

Member
Ing, we did discuss briefly that it would be nice to know young Watson's first name. However, since it would have involved requesting some extensive research from a busy person (guess who!), and was a minor detail, I let it slide. The other bit that would have been fun to know was the name of the Russian warship they wanted to plunk with a sandstone ball off Government House Garden Gate, had they been able to train the gun on it. Did the rest of y'all out there know that this practical joke was very nearly a serious international incident?

Pat W
 
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
Hmmm...okal doke. Add young Watson's name to the list of tangents to follow. I'll need to head out to the FRC soon and might be able to pick it up there...need to reread that passage in TAOS. And really need to get those early Medic agreements/official logs!

One thing I've always wondered about this early incident on Lightoller's second WSL voyage is how much William Murdoch knew about what was going on - presumably he wasn't in on the planning, but did he surmise or was he told much about it after the fact, particularly after Lightoller had 'come clean'?

~ Ing
 
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Pat Winship

Member
I never thought that William could have possibly known about it in the planning stage. However, Ilya believes that he did, and was talked out of participating by another officer. Despite the fact that he's much better attuned to his kinsman, I think that scenario lets too many people in on the secret from the git-go.

My favorite speculation on the subject is pretty well unknowable-- and that is "When and how did he 'fess up to Sylvia-- and her mother-- about it?" Both had probably been in Sydney at the time the gun went off!

Pat
 
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Patti Darby

Guest
To Pat Bowman
This is my first visit to this message board and already I'm hooked. Most intriguing was a reference to your article about Lightoller's "One Gun Salute". How can I get a copy of the article and what is the White Star Journal? Thanks for all the fascinating information.
 
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Pat Winship

Member
Patti, if you will e-mail me privately and give me an a-mail addy where I can send something fairly long, I'll send it to you. The White Star Journal is the research journal of the Irish Titanic Society

Pat Winship
 
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