BBC Radio Broadcast of Titanic survivors


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Inger Sheil

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Finally got the date - later than I thought, but it's the 22.10.1962 (as far as I can read my notes! That may be the 27th - the paper is faded). Although quite brief, you'll find he did expand on quite a few things, Paul - as ever, there's the usual necessary caveats about interviews given long after the actual event.
 

Paul Lee

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Hi Inger,
Please tell me more!
(by the way, have you tried the British Library for any other "lost" interviews? - they keep a selection of magazines as well, I think...)

Best wishes

Paul

 

Inger Sheil

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I haven't yet organised the major systematic trawl for Boxhall material, Paul - I've followed up a few leads and have gradually started chipping away at it, but I have a list of things I need to look up at the Newspaper Library in Colindale for him, for example, and I've only dabbled with his post WWI ships. He's earmarked as a future 'project', as his family have already given me so many excellent pointers.

I think you may get a bit out of the interview - he elaborates on his observations of the 'mystery ship'. From beginning to end it's not a terribly long piece, but it's immeasurably moving to hear it in his own words. You may have heard some of the excerpts that are occasionally incorporated into docos and be familiar with that slow, rather sad cadence to his discourse. Lightoller comes across as firmer and more sure in his recordings, as if they are the words of a born raconteur. There are moments in Boxhall's interview when he gives the impression that the story is being drawn slowly and painfully out of him.
 

Bob Godfrey

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There are at least two recordings of Boxhall's account. In one the background is 'clean', in the other his voice is accompanied by dramatic music and sound effects. In the latter, he sounds older and at times confused - he describes the stern as low in the water, and refers to the telegraph instrument as a telephone. There are several points of divergence from his earlier statements, notably that when he rowed to the aft gangway to pick up extra hands, he was unable to do so not because the door was closed but because there were a great many people waiting in the doorway and he feared if they jumped they would sink the boat. He also states that when he heard the three bells before impact with the berg he was in his cabin drinking tea. Inger, which is the recording that you have - with music or without?
 

Inger Sheil

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I can't recall any music, Bob - there were points of divergence from his 1912 testimony (e.g. the story about the gangway doors you mention). In this account, he was drinking tea in his cabin but was en route to the bridge when the collision occured - he makes a point that he didn't miss a stride. This one went from when he and Moody went on watch to after they boarded the Carpathia. It's possible that music was added later to the version that I heard - the recording came from the BBC and was on a vinyl LP with the date on the cover. Perhaps he was given a copy before they decided to dress it up? Do you know what dates there were for the two interviews you've heard?
 

David marbeck

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hi i know this is kind of late but i have a tape put out by the ABC (Im in australia) with alot of the interviews with the survivors compiled onto it from the years it seems. most sound like bbc interviews. it is a double sided tape which is very interesting. it also has some talk by some well known titanic historians put in there too! i cant remember all off the survivors (I havent listened to it in ages but this has made me remember!!) but i can recall Eva Hart, Boxhall, Lightholler, a quartermaster (hitchins?), and a lot by edith russell. there are many voices i cant put to survivors also. hope this helps someone and sorry im so late i only just found this thread,
David.
PS Why is it im always sooooo slow?????????????!!!!
 
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