Cabin number

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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I don't know why you think you might have offended anyone here, Ben. Certainly not me.

I have to say, though, that while everybody knew there'd be an Inquiry, nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition.

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Hey! We've got new emoticons.
 
May 27, 2007
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Neat New Emotions!
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Da, Da did you mean the... Spanish Inquitistion!!!Love the Monty Python refernce Bob! The Spanish Inquistion while somewhat brutal are effective! I recommend them, they do excellent work!

Although sometimes their all
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Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>they would still be able to tell the difference between leaving the Titanic 20 minutes before it sank versus 40 minutes before it sank.

Time, my friend, is relative. Without a watch, or something familiar upon which to focus and give indication of its passing, time can be VERY confusing. 45 minutes in a math lecture seems like...oh...18 days, if you dont have a watch and can't see the clock. 45 minutes, while enjoying yourself but waiting for the dreaded math lecture to BEGIN, fly by like 18 seconds.

Sitting in the dark, on a VERY cold night, in your night clothes, after having been separated from EVERYTHING familiar to you, would be quite uncomfortable... and grow progressively worse. Unless you had a radium coated glowing watch, you'd have nothing upon which to base your perception of how quickly, or slowly, time was passing, other than your mounting discomfort.

I bring this up only to warn you that time and distance estimates have to be taken with EXTREME grains of salt in this particular disaster.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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Jim wrote:
"I bring this up only to warn you that time and distance estimates have to be taken with EXTREME grains of salt in this particular disaster."

I would tend to agree to the extent that a person shouldn't take any one time estimate alone at face value.

However, if you start comparing multiple time estimates or specific times from multiple eyewitness accounts, and they tend to agree with each other or give the same general range, then we can have more confidence in what is being said. For some events in the timeline of the Titanic disaster it is possible to do this, and in others it isn't due to a lack of evidence.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Yes. The portion of the disaster in which the Titanic was visibly moving, from the lifeboats, that is to say the rapidly accelerating portion of the sinking, rendered trustworthy time estimates, because there was something to focus upon. And, of course, time estimates given by people regarding what they did on the ship are broadly trustworthy because, even if they didn't have a watch, there were present all the normal cues we use to estimate time.

Where the trouble begins, is in placing too much emphasis on time estimates given by people regarding the partial-sensory deprivation portions of the disaster.

Again. An easy experiment you can do. I've done it. Sit in an entirely darkened room, on a chair. Place something uncomfortable between your back and the chair back, so you can never actually relax. Allow NO other stimulous, other than the nagging pressure on the small of your back. Then, sit for what you think is an hour. Leave the room and check how much time has actually elapsed. This can more readily replicate the Titanic experience if, as I did, you perform it outdoors on a VERY cold night, with your eyes blacked over.

This is particularly useful in reconciling the time estimates given for how long the victims screamed in the water. Half hour? 45 minutes? Cold water survival charts give a time estimate of more like ten minutes. Lusitania passengers, in water of 50-55F, were either dead of shock (if not wearing lifebelts) or sinking into stupors where they could no longer maintain a grip on debris (if wearing lifebelts) after the passage of little more than an hour. In water at least twice as warm as that of April 15, 1912. Yet, every Titanic survivor who later spoke or wrote, gives corresponding, mutually supporting, accounts containing impossibly long time estimates. With virtually NO visual stimulous other than starlight, tactile stimulous reduced to a hard board seat and perhaps someone jammed up next to you, extreme cold, and the sound of people you knew and possibly were related to, dying extremely tortured deaths at fairly close range, time would have expanded.
 
Feb 23, 2007
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Well gentlemen as I have stated before all I can go by is 1)what he told me 2) what I have read in the newspaper clippings from his scrap book and 3) what I have heard recorded. From personal experience I know that newspaper stories are not the most accurate at times. I would, as I have stated before, be most grateful for any copies of information that anyone has that would be relevant to this. as far as the question of his mother and him seeing boat B being readied it was already gone, from my understanding, of when they were loaded. As far as boat A is concerned, it was on the deck when C was lowered because they could not get the sides up and it eventually was washed from the deck. The starboard side was in definate chaos at the time C was lowered and men were being allowed into the boats on the starboard side from the beginning. If my Greatgrandmother had described occupants of the boat she was in it is difficult to imagine that she would not have mentioned Ismay being in her boat. I know that I don't have all the answers but neither does anyone at this time. Again I ask only for copies of the evidence that would be helpful in this area because many have mentioned the articles and interviews but I have yet to find them myself. If there are links to these copies that would help. I take no offense to the discussion and hope not to offend anyone either like I said the quest for truth sometimes leads to uncomfortable positions.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Tom, if your great grandmother had mentioned Ismay among the occupants of her boat it would have been as a nameless man she'd never seen before and didn't recognise. A man likely to be quiet and subdued and unwilling to draw attention to himself. Few people on board knew him, and certainly 5th Officer Lowe, who famously had an argument with Ismay on the boat deck, thought he was just another anonymous passenger. There's an incident in the memoirs of Lawrence Beesley which should be noted. In boat 13, at some stage during the night he found himself to be sitting right next to a woman that he actually knew personally - and only then because he was close enough to recognise her voice in the darkness. So it's not at all surprising that your great grandmother didn't mention seeing a man on a dark night that she didn't know and had probably never heard of. On the contrary, it would be very surprising if she had mentioned him.
 
Feb 23, 2007
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Bob, You are probably correct in assuming that my Great-Grandmother would not have known Ismay while in the boat, however she and Grandfather would have known about him being their afterwards and probably before they did interviews. When rescued he made himself known to the crew and was escorted away. He spent his time on the Carpathia sequestered in privacy. At any rate Grandfather would have known about him later when he did interviews and most likely would have mentioned him due to it being pertinent to his story. As far as the lifeboat deck itself, the senior officers were loading the port side life boats and more junior officers were on the starboard side. In addition to this was the fact that lifeboat collapsible A was on the deck being franticly worked on because they could not get the sides up. It is also known that they were loading more men into boats on the starboard side and after collapsible C left some tried to rush to the port side which explains the part of their story of men trying to jump in front of my Great- Grandmother. Part of my point is that they would have seen A being worked on the deck but may not have been able to see b as it would most probably have been gone by the time they were loaded by their story. As with all things concerning the Titanic I was not there but they were and from all my research I have yet to find any thing putting them on the starboard side. This does not mean I am correct it just means that I need more than just statements made on here or elsewhere as to having proof to make me change my mind. I heard the story from my Grandfather at various times through the years, ( I was almost 19 when he died), and have recordings and newspaper interviews he has given dating into the 40's maybe even further back, all of which I base my position on. As I have said before send me copies or links to the copies of interviews or letters he has given or written so that I can examine them also. Until then my best guess, and after all that is all anyone can give because of the lack of records, is that he was correct in saying collapsible D. I hope everyone had a great 4th and look forward to more discussions.
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Boats A and B weren't being worked on the boat deck until boats C and D had left the Titanic. Also, you say more junior officers were on the starboard side; there is a strong possibility that Murdoch was there. Junior?! Hmm!
You seem to be overlooking the "scraping down the rivets" account. This could not be boat D as it hung away from the ships side.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Tom, the evidence you need is right there in the recollections of your great grandmother and grandfather. They mentioned the boat dragging down the side of the ship, and the Chinese men who were present in it. How would you explain these observations if they were not in boat C (which did scrape its way down due to the list to port, and had several Chinese) as opposed to boat D (which swung well free of the ship due to the list, and had no Chinese)? We also know that Murdoch, a senior officer, fired into the air at boat C. Your grandfather described such an incident. We have no evidence of anything similar happening alongside boat D. And as Paul points out, the other two collapsibles weren't being prepared for launch until C and D were down and away. They couldn't be - they used the same sets of davits. The Ismay business is going round in circles. Frank and his mother couldn't have known Ismay at the time, so his presence or absence from their boat is simply an assumption they might make later based on their own conception of which boat they'd been in, and provides no evidence either way.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Something else to consider, Tom, is why the Goldsmiths noted dramatic incidents associated with boat C but none of those associated with boat D. Like two men jumping into the boat as it was lowered, another man being rescued from the water, people being transferred into the boat while it was afloat, its subsequent sinking dangerously low in the water and being taken under tow by boat 14 under sail and pausing while their tow boat rescued the occupants of the waterlogged collapsible A. A lot of stuff there that would impress a schoolboy. Did Frank ever mention any of it?
 
Feb 23, 2007
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Paul, In reference to your post about collapsibles A and B, A was being worked on during the launch of C because it was supposed to be loaded at the forward daffit and should have left before C. As far as B is concerned the same is true it was loaded on the forward daffit after the regular lifeboats had left and was launched before D. I have never heard anything to the contrary about the launching order. It is well known that chaos was the order of the night on the starboard side due to various factors and they never mentioned any chaos in fact just to the contrary. I think that you and Bob are always going to be in disagreement with me which is fine until some definitive proof is given either way. The interview you mention my Great- Grandmother giving is one I have never seen that is why I have asked for some kind of reference so that I may see it myself. I cannot say that everything my Grandfather has said is the way it really happened but then neither can either of you because none of us were there. I try to look for consistencies in his story through the years to base my beliefs. I also try to look at it from different angles. You both seem ready to believe one part of his story to discount the rest, I cannot do that. For instance I have a recording of him saying one thing about his experience that he never mentioned before or after so to me, this is an anomoly. When I take out the anomolies I am left with the consistencies which is where I draw my conclusions. As I have stated I am not afraid of being wrong but I would like evidence that is backed up by reference material as I am sure everyone that is serious about any study does. Bob you mention alot of stuff in your last post about events after the sinking that wouild have impressed my Grandfather, perhaps so if he had been awake. My Grandfather stated that he fell asleep soon after the sinking and remembered waking up looking through what he thought was a port hole but in reality was an eyelet in the canvas side of the collapsible. Everything is subjective. please be assured that I hold nothing against anyone who is looking for the truth because I am also, we may never have a definitive answer to this question. One thing is for sure collapsible C and D were the last two lifeboats launched off the ship from all accounts.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Tom, much of what Frank included in his presentations in later life was derived from his mother's recollections because, as you say, he was asleep for a lot of his time in the boat. So was she also asleep to miss all the notable events that I've mentioned?

I'm mystified by your references to boats A and B leaving the ship before C and D. I can only suggest that you check out the Inquiry testimonies and read witness accounts of the locations of the collapsible boats and how they were launched (or, in the case of A and B, not launched). You can find these accounts here:
http://www.titanicinquiry.org/

As for definitive evidence, I suggest again that you have it in your grandfather and great grandmother's own recollections of events that did happen in boat C and could not have happened in boat D - eg the boat scraping against the rivets in the ship's hull due to the sinking Titanic's list to port. Has to be a starboard boat, not port. There's nothing subjective about that.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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Thomas,
Hello, how are you? With regards to Collapsible A and B, they were not being prepared at the same time as Collapsibles C and D, so you grandfather would not have seen them being prepared on the deck no matter which boat he was in. The set of davits used to lower C and D were previously used to lower Boat No. 1 and No. 2 on the starboard and port side respectively. Those davits then had to be cranked back in to receive C and D, which were stored on the deck inboard of No. 1 and No. 2. Once C and D left, the same davits had to be cranked in again to receive Collapsible A and B, which were stored on the roof of the Officer's Quarters.

On the port side, Lightoller and the other officers did not even begin removing Collapsible B from the roof of the Officer's Quarters until after Collapsible D had lowered away. See Lightoller and Hemmings' inquiry testimony for just some examples illustrating this.

On the starboard side, the situation was similar. Collapsible C was lowered, and only then was Collapsible A attended to. It wasn't on the deck at the same time as Collapsible C, it was on the roof of the Officer's Quarters. See the inquiry testimony of Hemming and Edward Brown for examples of this.

After Collapsible C and D lowered away, Murdoch and Moody and a group of men tried to slide Collapsible A down from the roof of the Officer's Quarters. They managed to get it down, hook up the falls, and were trying to push it uphill against the port list when the deck submerged, and they had to rush to cut it free. They never did get the sides up. One of the davits they were attempting to use to launch it still stands in the cranked-in position on the wrecksite, and this is one of the set previously used on No. 1, then Collapsible C.

Lightoller and a group of men pushed Collapsible B off the roof of the Officer's Quarters after Collapsible D left. It landed upside down on the deck, where water had already reached due to the port list, and any further efforts to open it up or turn it over were abandoned.

As far as only junior officers being involved on the starboard side, that is not an accurate statement. Murdoch oversaw the loading of the starboard boats, and based on eyewitness statements, both Murdoch and Wilde were involved in the launching of Collapsible C, although they may not have been there at the same time.

Yes, men were allowed in on the starboard side, but it was not a free-for-all. Men were only allowed in to crew the boats, or after all women and children in the area were let in. There are numerous examples where Murdoch and the other crewmembers on the starboard side prevented men from entering until after women nearby were given a spot.

As stated in my previous post, the port list causing Collapsible C to catch on the rivets and the side of the ship is described exactly in your great-grandmother and grandfather's accounts. This condition did not exist at Collapsible D, which swung several feet away from the ship's side as it lowered.

Also, as I summarized in my previous post, there were 8 oriental passengers on the ship - two perished, one was rescued from the water in No. 14, and one escaped in another boat. The remaining for escaped in Collapsible C, and exactly that number were described as being in Collapsible C by Ismay, Rowe, and the same number were described by your great-grandmother as being in her boat. This clinches it as Collapsible C and not D. Also, there is no real evidence of gunfire at Collapsible D.

Thomas, please do not misunderstand me. I am saying all of this with the utmost respect, but your grandfather was simply mistaken about having been in Collapsible D. He certainly believed that he was later on, but had also stated to more than one person that he had been rescued from the starboard side, so I suspect he was unsure of this himself, and later made the determination after reading or talking to other people.

I certainly praise your efforts to find out the truth and more about your grandfather's story and experience. I wish everyone was interested in their own family's history like you are.

All my best,
Tad
 
Feb 23, 2007
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Gentlemen, as I have said before I take no offense to this discussion because the truth or the best we can get to it is what I believe everyone is after. As far as the boat launching sequence goes, after looking at the link Bob included I must have been wrong according to Edward Brown's testimony on page 9 of the British Inquiry,(reference #'s 10518-10533). He clearly states that C left before they began to bring down A. The most interesting part of this sequence of testimony is his mention of Ismay helping to load boat C while in it and his testimony of boat C being loaded and already launched before the Titanic listed to port. He clearly states that they were halfway through the process of getting A to the davit when the boat listed to port,(reference # 10530). If this is so then C would not have been lowered during the list. By the way I didn't mean "junior" officers in the way I think it is being applied. I meant more Junior than the once on the port side, this may still cause some confusion to some because I sometimes have problems with explaining what exactly I mean. Tad, as you state the reasons for men being allowed into the boats you left out at least one that I remember reading about and that is to get the women into the boats.I also remember reading about the struggles the men presented to the crew on that side of the ship. As I get more time I will be doing more research into this and other issues. As far as my Great-Grandmother's recollections given in interviews, I simply have not seen them I cannot find them in my research so would greatly appreciate any help in locating a copy or at least a reference to the newspaper that recorded them. This is what I meant when I stated earlier that I wanted a copy or a reference that I could pursue. My Grandfathers interviews and recordings that I have along with the stories he told me directly do not mention his mother telling him about events that took place, they were his recollections. This doesn't mean that he wasn't influenced by her because I cannot say for sure as I did'nt know her. From my understanding, his three children were not told the story until she mentioned to him to tell them, but even this may not be the case. My father and his brothers would be better qualified to answer some of this question. In addition to this I had been told by them that he never spoke of it when they were younger. My Grandmother told of him getting quiet every year around the 15th of April but she just assumed it was because of tax time. As I get time I will try to explore more of the possibilities for what really occurred. Thanks Bob for the link to the inquiries I look forward to digging deeper.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Tom, regarding the list to port, here are a couple of testimonies from the US Inquiry:

QM George Rowe (in command of boat C):

Did she at any time list over to starboard or port?
- She did not list, so far as I know, until the time when my boat was lowered. Then she listed to port. She listed about 5 or 6 degrees.

To port?
- Yes, sir.

What side was your boat on?
- The starboard side, sir. All the time my boat was being lowered the rubbing strake kept on catching on the rivets down the ship's side, and it was as much as we could do to keep her off.

Chief 2nd Class Steward John Hardy (crewing boat D):

We lowered away and got to the water, and the ship was then at a heavy list to port by the time we commenced to lower away.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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Thanks for the references Bob. Bruce Ismay had the following to say about the port list when Collapsible C was lowering:

"The ship had quite a list to port. Consequently this canvas boat, this collapsible boat, was getting hung up on the outside of the ship, and she had to rub right along her, and we had to try to shove her out, and we had to get the women to help to shove to get her clear of the ship. The ship had listed over that way."

Hugh Woolner supports Hardy in his testimony quoted in the above post, when he describes how far out from the side of the ship Collapsible D was when Bjornstrom-Steffansson and he jumped into it as it lowered past A Deck. The latter's account also mention this detail.

This is entirely consistent with the condition of the collapsible that Frank and his mother were in, based on their own accounts. Collapsible C hung up against the ship's side, while D swung away from it. Mrs. Goldsmith even describes how they had to keep pushing their boat off the side of the ship so it could lower.