Actual occupancy of Lifeboat 8

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David Bennell

With regards to Lifeboat 8, I am confused as to the actual occupancy in respect of crew members.
That the boat was in charge of Thomas Jones is not at issue but who were the other male occupants?
Tom, in evidence to the US enquiry states "In all I had thirty five ladies and three stewards, Crawford, Hart,and another".
Gladys Cherry, in a letter to Tom, states "but everyone forward and the three men"
Listed as being saved from Lifeboat 8 are 24 women, Tom Jones, Crawford and Charles Pascoe.
The descrepency in the number of women given by Tom (35) and those listed (24)is 11.
Are there 11 missing women in the lists of survivors?
Are these some of the 3rd class passengers Hart is porported to have brought from the lower decks?
The identity of the men is also in question.
If Tom is correct in stating he had 3 stewards in the boat and that they were Crawford, Hart and another, the lifeboat list gives the other as being Charles Pascoe.
No mention of Hart being in lifeboat 8 can be found elswhere and, I think, it is believed he escaped in lifeboat 15.
This would seem at odds with the Presentation of a silver watch to Hart by the Countess of Rothes,(She also presented one to Tom), as she would not have encountered Hart except in lifeboat 8.
It would appear that Hart was in Lifeboat 8.
Has any-one any theories or evidence of actual occupancy of Lifeboat 8?.
Jul 20, 2000
Hello David,

My understanding is that Hart himself said he was in boat 15.

Where please does the information on his being presented with a silver watch by the Countess of Rothes come from?

There is a paper on this web-site which seems to prove that Hart did not in fact take any 3rd Class ladies to boat 8, and as far as I am aware there is no evidence for any 3rd Class ladies being in boat 8. The British Inquiry total of 39 for the boat is wrong. The total as per Gracie of 28 is much more likely with about 24 being women.

As to the number of Crew. It may well have only been 3. My reading of what Jones said is:
"Mr. JONES. I had 35 ladies and one sailor besides myself, and two stewards?" - No specific mention of Hart that I can see. - Is there a sailor for whom there is no lifeboat assignment who could have been the 4th crew man in boat 8?

David Bennell

Hello Lester.

Tom was my partner's grand-dad and told his Daughter, Mary, that he distinctly remembered there being two crew whom he knew in his boat.
One was Crawford and the other, Hart.
He told Mary that there were FOUR men in his boat, including himself, and "some thirty odd women and kids".

When Tom's other daughter, Nellie, sold Tom's watch it was found to contain the workings of a watch purchased by the Countess but in a different case.
The cases had been switched. The serial numbers of the two watches were only 3 digits apart.
The second watch, also purchased by the Countess, was given to Hart.
A third watch, also purchased at the same time , by the Duchess, and the middle serial number of the three, has never been traced.

Hope this helps.
Any further information I develop will be posted.

Bob Godfrey

Nov 22, 2002
Very interesting, David - the plot thickens! A Benson silver watch identical to Tom Jones' gift from the Countess was recently offered for sale as the former property of steward Crawford and obtained in the same way from the Countess. But any sign of engraving has been ground away, allegedly by a jeweler who obtained it through deception. Allegedly also the serial numbers of the two watches were indeed three numbers apart, suggesting not only that the Crawford watch could be authentic but that there there might be two more to be found. The present Lord Rothes confirms that one of these was presented to a Mr Hart of Foundry Lane, Southampton. This has to be steward John Hart. But even if he was the second 'steward' in boat 8, there's no evidence that the Countess was impressed by the behaviour of any of the boat's crew other than Tom. And according to Crawford he was the only steward in the boat, the other three crewmen being the two sailors and a cook or kitchen hand.

David Bennell

Posted on Friday, 11 June, 2004 - 8:27 pm:

For a pic of Tom's watch, see here:


A similar Benson silver watch has been offered for sale as the former property of steward Crawford, and obtained in the same way from the Countess. There's no evidence that she was specially impressed by the behaviour of Crawford, and any sign of engraving has been ground away, allegedly by a jeweler who obtained it through deception, but the serial numbers of the two watches were said to be three numbers apart, suggesting not only that the Crawford watch is authentic but that there there are two more to be found. The present Lord Rothes believes that one of these was presented to a Mr Hart of Foundry Lane, Southampton. This has to be steward John Hart, who gained a heroic reputation for bringing groups of 3rd Class women and children to the boat deck but testified that he eventually boarded boat 15.

Hello again Lester.
The above is a cut and paste from this very board.
When Tom's watch was auctioned the innards were found to belong to a watch case with a serial number two digits earlier in the series.
I have read the artical to which you refer and another one "Hart...Dubious Hero".
I Have found a referance to crew member "Andrew Simmons... Scullion" which states he may have been in lifeboat 8 or lifeboat 11.
Going on what Tom told Mary, I am of the opinion that there were four men in the boat and that they were Tom Jones, Crawford, Hart and Pascoe.
I stand to be corrected and would welcome any further information.

David Bennell

Hello Bob,
Thanks for your interest.
I am specifically targeting Lifeboat 8 as a project for my partner.
As you can see, I found the same referance to the watches, as yourself but if you have any further information, I would be glad to recive it via this board.

Bob Godfrey

Nov 22, 2002
Dave, we must have hit the button at the same time! I also made the original post that you quoted.

I don't know how well Hart's version of events was publicised back in 1912, but if it was well covered in the Media of the time it might have impressed the Countess sufficiently to merit a response with the gift. I wonder if Tom's recollection of names was not so much of the boat's crew but of fellow recipients of watches, and that as a result he assumed that Hart had been in the boat, especially if they did not meet later at any formal presentation. It's unlikely that any of his crew other than the seaman would have been known to him by sight or by name at the time they were in the boat.

Like the Countess, I've always been impressed by the actions of Tom Jones, and I'd be pleased to hear from you if you'd like to exchange any info or scans by email. Click on my name in the left-hand column to get my contact address.


David Bennell

If our presumptions are correct, and four watches were given as gifts by the Countess, try this for a theory.

The Four watches were presented to the four men in lifeboat 8.
Tom Jones, Crawford, Hart and an other.
The other could have been Pascoe or Simmons.

Just a shot in the dark but it seems reasonable that the Duchess would reward all four men so as not to show too much favour.

Shoot it down in flames, if you wish.
Cheers, Dave.

Dave Gittins

Mar 16, 2000
There's no way that Hart was in boat 8. His own evidence is perfectly clear. He merely left his first group of passengers near boat 8, which was already being lowered when he got there. He's quite clear on who the crewmembers in boat 15 were.

9952. How many people of your lot did you take up the first time you went up this course to
the boat deck ? –Somewhere about 30.
9953, All women and children of the third class? –Yes, on that occasion, on the first occasion.
9954. And having got them to the boat deck, do you remember whereabouts on the boat deck
you took them to ? –Yes. I took them to boat No. 8, which was at that time being lowered.
9955. That is the fourth boat on the port side? –Yes.
9956. Practically opposite the second funnel, or a little more forward than the second funnel ?
– Yes.
9957. Did you leave them there ? –I left them there and went back again.
9958. And when you went back what happened then ? –But on the way of my getting back
other passengers were coming along, third-class passengers. They were also being shown the
way to the boats: Amongst them were females –the husbands and father's were with them.
9959. Who was showing them the way ? –One by the name of Cox.
9960. Is he a steward ? –Yes.
9961. One of your colleagues ? –One of the third– class stewards,
9962. Was Cox saved, do you know ? –No.
9963. Did they follow the same route to go to the boat deck ? –Well, by the way he was
taking them they must have done.
9964. You returned to your people ? –I returned to my own part of the ship.
9965. Did you bring up any more ? –Yes, about 25. I had some little trouble in getting back
owing to the males wanting to get to the boat deck.
9966. The men ? –Yes. After the word was passed round for women and children, I was
delayed a little time in getting a little band together that were willing to go to the boats
9967. A band of women and children ? –Yes.
9968. How many did you gather ? –Somewhere about 25.
9969. Were those all people from the rooms you were responsible for ? –No, also from other
9970. Were they all third class passengers ? –Yes.
9971. Did you guide them by the same route ? –Yes.
9972. Where did you take them to ? –I took them to the only boat that was left then, boat No.
9973. This is an important thing. You say the only boat that was left? –That I could see.
9974. Do you mean the only boat that was left on either side of the ship ? –I came along the
starboard side of the vessel and on that side of the vessel that was the only remaining boat.
9975. That is the aftermost boat on the starboard side ? –Yes, the last boat on the starboard
9976. That is the boat we have had some evidence about this morning. Can you tell me whether
at that time there were any boats on the port side ? –I cannot say, I did not go; the last boat I
saw on the port side launched was when I took my first lot of passengers to boat No. 8.
9977. At that time when you took your lot of passengers to boat No. 8 on the port side were
there any other boats left on the port side ? –It is like this. From boat No. 8 I believe there is a
big square right amidships. I did not look further.
9978. You mean there is a big empty space? – Yes.
9979. Of course boat No. 8 is one of the forward lot of boats ? –Yes.
9980. You would come up by the main companion way, and coming up by the main companion
way would come up almost opposite boat No. 8 ? –Yes.
9981. And so you went straight to it ? –Yes.
9982 You really cannot tell us whether at that time the after boats on the port side were still
there or not ? –I cannot tell you.
9983. And when you came up the second time you say you went to the starboard side ? –I
came up on the starboard side. It was on the starboard side that I came up. I went across in the
first place to the port, because at that time they were lowering away the port boats.
9984. You mean the first time you came on the boat deck ? –Yes, and on my return to the
deck the second time, I could see that there were no boats being lowered away from the port.
9985. You could ? –Yes, from the open space which is right opposite. I then took them to the
starboard side. There was on that side one remaining boat, No. 15.–
9986. I see that in order to get from the first-class companion up which you came to boat No.
15 you would come out on the boat deck, if you look at the model, just in front of the second
funnel, and you would have to walk right back to the aftermost boat, which we see there. That is
right is it not ? –Yes.
9987. And you could see, of course that there were no boats left until you got to No. 16 ? –On
the starboard side there were no boats left except that one.
9988. When you got with these people to No. 15 was there room for them in it? – Yes, they
were placed in it.
9989. Now this is on the boast deck ? –Yes.
9990. Not on A deck ? –No.
9991. Do you mean that these people were put into it from the boat deck ? –From the boat
deck. The boat was lowered right flush with the rail on the boat deck.
9992. From the davits ? –From the davits to the level of the rail to enable the people to get in
9993. I had better tell you why, because it helps us all. We have had other evidence, you see,
and it is not very clear from the other evidence where the people got in ? –Am I clear ?
9994. You are clear. Are you quite clear in your own mind that they got in from the boat deck
? –Yes.
9995. (The Commissioner.) 25 ? –There were more than 25, but I took up 25.
9996. Your 25 got into No. 15 boat from the boat deck ? –Yes,
9997. (The Solicitor General.) I daresay you can tell us a bit further about it. When you got to
boat 15 with these 25 people, were there any people in boat No. 15 already ? –Yes.
9998. About how many, or who ? –Well, I can give you a rough estimate.
9999. Yes, of course ? – The last 25 were passed in from the boat deck.
10000. Your 25 ? –Yes.
10001. (The Commissioner.) Were they mixed, women and children, or were they women ?
–There were three children with them, my Lord.
10002. Twenty-two women and three children ? – The boat was then lowered to A deck. We
there took in about five women, three children, and one man. He had a baby in his arms.
10003. Five women, three children and a man with a baby from A deck ? –Yes; the boat was
then lowered away.
10004 Into the water ? –Yes.
10005. You were in her, as I understand ? –Yes.
10006. Did you get in her from the boat deck? – Yes.
10007. At the time when your second contingent got in ? –After, yes.
10008. How many people do you think were in boat No. 15 after she got into the water, and
when she was saved ? –I would not like to vouch for its accuracy, but I can give you an
10009. What is your estimate ? –I should say somewhere about 70 after we left A deck.
10010. Another witness has told us he thinks 68? –Well, it is a rough estimate; it is pretty near
10011. Now let us see if you can help us as to how many members of the crew there were in
boat No. 15. Where is yourself, of course ? –Yes.
10012. Can you tell us how many other members of the crew there were in boat No. 15? –I
should say about 13 or 14 all told of the crew.
10013. There is a man named Cavell, a little short man, who is a trimmer ? –Yes.
10014. Do you know him ? – Yes.
10015. He was in the boat ? –Yes.
10016. Do you know a bath room steward named Rule ? –Yes, I know him.
10017. He was in the boat ? –I saw him get out of the boat.
10018. That will prove it. Then a man named Diamond we have heard of; he was a fireman?
– Yes.
10019. Was he in the boat ? –Yes.
10020. Who was in charge of her ? –This Diamond–at least, he had all the say, and so I take
it he was in charge.
10021. I suppose so. Then I think there is only one other name I have heard, that is Lewis.
Was there a man named Lewis, said to be a third class steward? Do you know about that ? –I
no doubt know them by sight, but we had nearly 60 third class stewards, and it is rather difficult
to know their names.
10022. Then we have heard something about somebody called Jack Stewart, Is that somebody
else ? –Well, I know the name, but I would not like to vouch for him being in the boat, as I did
not see him.
10023. I want to be sure we do justice to you. You got your second contingent 20 or 25, into
the boat. They got in before you did ? –Yes.
10024. Now, were any directions given about your getting into the boat ? –Yes, I was ordered
to get into the boat.
10025. Please, tell us about it ? –After I saw my people in, the officer who had charge of the
lowering away of that boat––
10026. That was Mr. Murdoch, was it not ? –Yes, Mr. Murdoch. It was rather dark on the
deck. He said, “What are you ?” I said, “One of the crew. I have just brought these people up.”
He said, “Go ahead; get into the boat with them.”
10027. And that is how you came to get in? – Yes.
10028. Let us take your estimate–13. or 14. of the crew out of some 70? –Yes.
10029. That will leave us something like 55 others ? –Yes, or 57.
10030. You have told us of that 55 or 56, some 25 were your contingent, your women and
children that you brought up ? –Yes.
10031. That is 25 out of the 55; that leaves about another 30 ? –Yes.
10032. And you have told us that, besides, there were taken in from the A deck five women,
three children, and a man with a baby ? –Yes.
10033. That knocks off 10 more ? –Yes.
10034. That leaves 15 more people. Now, can you give us any idea whether those 15 remaining
people were men, women, or children, or what ? – Yes.
10035. Will you tell us ? –There were about three male passengers and the rest were women.
10036. (The Commissioner.) Do the three that you talk about include the man who came on
board with a baby in his arms ? –No.
10037. Then there were four men ? –There were four men.
10038. Four men and 13 or 14 of the crew ? –Yes.
10039. Then out of the whole boatload of 70 there were about 18 men ? –Yes.
10040. (The Solicitor-General.) And it follows that if that is right there would be about 50
women and children ? –Yes.
10041. Your people that you were responsible for were third-class people ? –Yes.
10042. Can you tell us about the people that were taken in from the A deck, the five women
and three children and the man with the baby; do you know at all what class they belonged to ?
10043. What were they ? –They were also third class.
10044. And those people who were on the boat before your contingent got into it, what class
did they belong to as far as you know ? –I should imagine they were either first class or
10045. Then it comes to this, that as far as you can tell us, it was either first or second class people who were in that boat before you got there. Then your people got in and some more
people got in from A deck, and those people you think were third class people ? –Yes.
Jul 20, 2000
Hello David,

In your opening post you said: "Tom, in evidence to the US enquiry states "In all I had thirty five ladies and three stewards, Crawford, Hart,and another".

When I looked all I found was: "Mr. JONES. I had 35 ladies and one sailor besides myself, and two stewards?" - No names.

Bob Godfrey

Nov 22, 2002
We know for sure that Jones and Crawford were in the boat, and there's not much doubt there was another seaman and a fourth man who was either a steward or a kitchen hand. If that fourth man was Hart, this implies: First, that Hart lied under oath at the British Inquiry in claiming to have left the ship in entirely different circumstances. Second, that Crawford, himself a steward, would mis-identify a crewman wearing a uniform like his own as some kind of kitchen hand. And thirdly, that the Countess would see fit to make a presentation to Tom, a man whose character and actions she greatly admired, and then make the same presentation to all of the others, including the man who responded to Tom's much-admired efforts with the now famous "There'll be one less in this boat if you don't shut that hole in your face".

The Countess was very concerned that it should be known that only a few in the boat, herself and Tom Jones included, wished to go back to search for survivors while the majority of the women and the other crewmen objected - to the extent that she made this point in a written statement which was in the hands of the Attorney General at the British Inquiry.

The version of Jones' testimony that Dave B quoted (and which Lester mentions above) appears in that form right here on ET as part of TJ's biography. It seems to be a mixture of real testimony and 'additional dialogue'. Webmaster please note.

David Bennell

Dave G, Hello.
It's a confusing story at best but I can only refer you to the following.

Thomas Jones from Anglesey, Wales was put in command of lifeboat 8.

The captain asked me if the plug was in the boat and I answered "Yes, Sir" "All right," he said "any more ladies?" He shouted twice again, "any more ladies?" I pulled for the light, but I found that I could not get to it; so I stood by for a while. I wanted to return to the ship, but the ladies were frightened. In all I had thirty-five ladies and three stewards, Crawford, Hart and another. There were no men who offered to get in the boat. I did not see any children, and very few women when we left the ship. There was one old lady there and an old gentleman, her husband. She wanted him to enter the boat with her but he backed away(1). She never said anything; if she did, we could not hear it, because the steam was blowing so and making such a noise.
Senator Newlands: Can you give the names of any passengers on this boat?
Witness: One lady–she had a lot to say and I put her to steering the boat.
Senator Newlands: What was her name?
Witness: Lady Rothes; she was a countess or something.

American Inquiry, p.570

Taken from Tom's biography on this site.

I am new to this site and I respect all the previous contributors for their dedication and efforts but may I point out that I have read, on this site, many contradictions and ask you to have a look at "Hart...A dubious Hero", also on this site.

I did ask for my theory to be shot down in flames and you are doing a good job.

Jul 20, 2000
Hello David,

As Bob noted the extract [I was not even aware of it] that you looked at under Jones' Biography is not taken exactly from his testimony. I can see why we had two different readings. You can read the full testimony on this web-site. On the opening page along the top go to Resources, Titanic Inquiries ........

Bob Godfrey

Nov 22, 2002
It's quite understandable that Dave B (or anybody else who reads it) should find that biography entry confusing. But the important point that Dave has raised is that Hart's name cropped up in Jones' own recollections passed down through the family. Am I reading you right on that point, Dave? That, and the business of the watches, is what needs to be reconciled with evidence from other sources. I made one suggestion in my post at 12.09. Any others?

David Bennell

Hello to you all.
I have now read both "transcripts" and, they cause confusion.
I talked to Mary, Tom's daughter, for a number of years before she died and I am passing on comments made by Tom to Mary.
I am trying to verify each comment by searching the various Titanic boards, (this one is by far the best), but hearsay is always a fallable source of evidence.
Some of the letters sent to Tom, by the Countess,
have been sold, some have been destroyed, some lost and others passed on to other family members.
I am endevoring to track down any remaining letters in the possesion of the family.
Mary and Nell, Tom's daughters speak with affection of their father and I am slowly building up a biography which I will post on this board.
In the matter of the watches, I posed a theory which seemed to fit the various pieces of information gleaned from Tom's daughters and from posted items.
Suppestions and conjecture are a valuable way of diagnosing the true facts as elimination of the impossible and improbable will help to establish what did happen.
As I delve deeper into Tom's past and actions I am sure to uncover more annomalies. Such is the way of discovery.
I have found this board to be stimulating and will be tossing in a few more tit-bits as and when I can.
Dec 13, 1998
Dear everybody, I am fairly certain that the other sailor in boat 8 referred to by AB Jones was AB Pascoe - he said he was in a boat that could have held about 40 more people, indicating that he had left in one of the early boats with few people in it. Perhaps someone in his family would know whether he was presented a watch too? Steward Hart was absolutely in boat 15 and I don't know where the idea came from that he was in No 8.
Best regards,
Mar 18, 2000

But Gracie also listed Hart as in No. 15, too. And also lists some of Hart's testimony there too.

I think we have to assume that Gracie made a mistake, and accidentally listed Hart in No. 5.
Jul 20, 2000
Hello Bill,

Yes I agree a mistake on Gracie's part, but I think it is where the "Hart in Boat 8 idea" stems from.

Dec 13, 1998
Hello Lester, I am sure you are right - Gracie didn't have time to proof-read his book, if memory serves me correctly, so this is probably the source for Harts being in No 8 (as well as No 15).
Best regards,
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