Charles Eugene Williams


Arun Vajpey

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I was looking at the handful of male passengers who survived on port side lifeboats and one of them is Second Class passenger Charles Eugene Williams who survived on Lifeboat #14. In fact Williams and Masabumi Hosono (#10) were the only two male adult Second Class passengers who survived on port side lifeboats.

I am interested in finding out how Williams made it into Lifeboat #14 where no men passengers were allowed to enter even though there was room. In his testimony at he American Inquiry, Fifth Officer Lowe claimed that he took on Williams to help with the rowing. Lowe even mentioned the fact that Williams was a racquet player (which he was) and his Harrow address in England.


Senator SMITH.
Who had charge of the loading of lifeboat No. 14?

Mr. LOWE.
I had.

Senator SMITH.
And how many people did you put into it?

Mr. LOWE.
Fifty-eight.

Senator SMITH.
How many women; do you know?

Mr. LOWE.
They were all women and children, bar one passenger, who was an Italian, and he sneaked in, and he was dressed like a woman. [Possibly Edward Ryan]

Senator SMITH.
Had woman's clothing on?

Mr. LOWE.
He had a shawl over his head, and everything else; and I only found out at the last moment. And there was another passenger that I took for rowing.

Senator SMITH.
Who was that?

Mr. LOWE.
That was a chap by the name of C. Williams.


Senator SMITH.
Where did he live?

Mr. LOWE.
I do not know where he lived.

Senator SMITH.
Have you ever seen him since?

Mr. LOWE.
Yes; I saw him since, on board the Carpathia.

Senator SMITH.
Was he one of the men whose names you have on that paper?

Mr. LOWE.
I have his name; that is, his home address, but not his New York address.

Senator SMITH.
I would like his home address.

Mr. LOWE.
I can give you that. Will you have it now?

Senator SMITH.
Yes; also the name of any other man or woman in the boat that you know, and their address.

Mr. LOWE. (referring to book)
"C. Williams, racket champion of the world," he has here, "No. 2 Drury Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, England."


Despite that testimony, the fact that Charles Williams was allowed to enter Lifeboat #14 by Lowe to help with the rowing is not mentioned in most leading Titanic works. In On A Sea Of Glass, he just is mentioned as one of that lifeboats occupants but not how he got on board. AFAIK, that part of Lowe's testimony is mentioned only in Paul Quinn's book Dusk to Dawn.

I wondered if this was because there was any doubt about the circumstances of Charles Williams' rescue. I ask because, he could have been confused with Charles Duane Williams (Richard Norris Williams' father) who died in the disaster, presumably one of those caught under Funnel No:1 when it toppled over late in the sinking. Or with another Second class male survivor Charles Whilems, also from the London area but rescued on Lifeboat #9.
 
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George Jacub

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Just by coincidence I was recently finishing a research project for my blog where I was confronted with the very question of how Charles Willaims got into Lifeboat No.14.

There are two options:

A, where Williams got off the Titanic in No. 14, then, when Lowe was transferring his passengers to other lifeboats before heading to find survivors, Williams offered to stay in the boat. Or...
B, where Williams got off the ship in one of the other lifeboats into which Lowe transferred his passengers---Collapsible D, LIfeboat No. 12, Lifeboat No. 4 and Lifeboat No. 10---and Williams volunteered to be one of the 7 or 8 men who went back with Lowe.

I believe that Option B is the correct one.

Lowe mentions Williams twice in his testimony. If you read it carefully, he seems to be making a point that Williams volunteered. He could have said he allowed Williams into No. 14 when it was still on the Titanic, and that Williams chose to stay with Lowe on his search and rescue mission.
He didn't. Lowe arrived at No. 14 when it was already almost fully loaded. According to witnesses, he was very aggressive in keeping men out of the boat, throwing them out physically if they snuck in and he saw them, and even convincing a desperate teenaged boy to get out of the boat on his own. That belies the idea that he would have put a passenger into the boat, even to help row. Of course it's vaguely possible that Chief Officer Wilde, who loaded No. 14, did just that before Lowe arrived. But I doubt it. When Lowe spoke of transferring his passengers, he said he was disgusted to find a man disguised as a woman and described how he roughly shoved the man into another lifeboat. He would have had the same visceral reaction to any male passenger he found trying to sneak off the sinking ship (if he didn't know the man had been authorized to go).

If Williams was in one of the other boats, which one? Ask youself, which boat needed a rower? The answer is No. 12. It left with two crewmen Poingdestre and Clench, one of whom, Poingdestre, would man the tiller, leaving only one seaman to row. No. 12 was loaded by Second Officer Lightoller who had next to nothing to say about his time at the rear port boats. I believe that Charles Williams was allowed to enter No. 12 to help row, then, when Lowe took crewmen out of the other lifeboats to go back and find survivors, Williams voluteered to go with them.
 

Seumas

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Lowe arrived at No. 14 when it was already almost fully loaded.

There was still room for over twenty. Hardly "almost fully loaded".

Bill Wormstedt and Tad Fitch have proved that Boat No. 14 had forty occupants when it was lowered.


Your reasons for Williams being in Boat 12 are based more on wild opinion rather than facts. Opinions don't count for anything.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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It is a bit confusing but I did read Lowe's testimony at the American Inquiry carefully.

In copying and pasting that excerpt from Lowe's testimony, I did not edit anything out. If we read the sequence of Senator Smith's questioning, it takes Lowe from the time he loaded the lifeboat, finding of the "Italian" male passenger dressed like a woman etc and then says that he took on another male passenger - Charles Williams - to help with the rowing. To my mind, that sounds like that was just as Lifeboat #14 was being launched and not later.

There is a supporting statement to that conjecture.

Although On A Sea Of Glass does not say how Charles Williams got on board Lifeboat #14, it does say on p 244 (towards the bottom of the second column) that after Lowe transferred several passengers from #14 to other boats around 03:20 am, took on additional crew members like Buley, Evans, Scarrott etc and decided to go back to look for more survivors from the sea, Williams chose to remain on board Lifeboat #14 and help with the rowing. That would mean that Williams was already on #14 and chose to remain.

Therefore George, I believe your' Option A' is the right one. :)
 

George Jacub

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It is a bit confusing but I did read Lowe's testimony at the American Inquiry carefully.

In copying and pasting that excerpt from Lowe's testimony, I did not edit anything out. If we read the sequence of Senator Smith's questioning, it takes Lowe from the time he loaded the lifeboat, finding of the "Italian" male passenger dressed like a woman etc and then says that he took on another male passenger - Charles Williams - to help with the rowing. To my mind, that sounds like that was just as Lifeboat #14 was being launched and not later.

There is a supporting statement to that conjecture.

Although On A Sea Of Glass does not say how Charles Williams got on board Lifeboat #14, it does say on p 244 (towards the bottom of the second column) that after Lowe transferred several passengers from #14 to other boats around 03:20 am, took on additional crew members like Buley, Evans, Scarrott etc and decided to go back to look for more survivors from the sea, Williams chose to remain on board Lifeboat #14 and help with the rowing. That would mean that Williams was already on #14 and chose to remain.

Therefore George, I believe your' Option A' is the right one. :)

Do I understand correctly? The authors of the book say Williams chose to remain in No. 14? Based on what evidence?
 

Arun Vajpey

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Do I understand correctly? The authors of the book say Williams chose to remain in No. 14? Based on what evidence?
In a situation like the Titanic disaster, we rely heavily on eyewitness accounts and to provide direct "evidence" would be impossible except in some cases. I accept that survivor accounts can be widely different in terms of reliability and so we have to use our own judgement. In this particular case, one assumes that Tad Fitch et al, authors of On A Sea Of Glass, checked their information sources as thoroughly as possible. They go to painstaking lengths to verify their information and provide source material wherever possible.

To me, Lowe's testimony strongly suggests that Charles Williams was taken on to help with the rowing (yes, he might have volunteered) Lifeboat #14 before its launch. Later, when Lowe transferred the passengers to other lifeboats and took on crewmen like Evans, Buley, Scarrott etc, Willaims asked to remain on Lifeboat #14 to help with rowing as they went in search of more survivors. Once again, one assumes that Lowe himself and those other seamen mentioned Williams privately thereafter. For Lowe to note down the man's name, profession, home address etc, Williams must have made quite an impression.

There is another consideration. Lowe was a Welshman and Charles Williams, although born and living in the London suburbs, had strong Welsh roots. If Lowe had been familiar with Williams' Welsh connections, it might have played a part in the latter being picked out to help with the rowing just before #14 was launched.
 
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Seumas

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In a situation like the Titanic disaster, we rely heavily on eyewitness accounts and to provide direct "evidence" would be impossible except in some cases. I accept that survivor accounts can be widely different in terms of reliability and so we have to use our own judgement. In this particular case, one assumes that Tad Fitch et al, authors of On A Sea Of Glass, checked their information sources as thoroughly as possible. They go to painstaking lengths to verify their information and provide source material wherever possible.

To me, Lowe's testimony strongly suggests that Charles Williams was taken on to help with the rowing (yes, he might have volunteered) Lifeboat #14 before its launch. Later, when Lowe transferred the passengers to other lifeboats and took on crewmen like Evans, Buley, Scarrott etc, Willaims asked to remain on Lifeboat #14 to help with rowing as they went in search of more survivors. Once again, one assumes that Lowe himself and those other seamen mentioned Williams privately thereafter. For Lowe to note down the man's name, profession, home address etc, Williams must have made quite an impression.

There is another consideration. Lowe was a Welshman and Charles Williams, although born and living in the London suburbs, had strong Welsh roots. If Lowe had been familiar with Williams' Welsh connections, it might have played a part in the latter being picked out to help with the rowing just before #14 was launched.
I fully agree with you on Williams. The man was in Boat No. 14 as an oarsman.

Just one wee thing though.

Although Harold Lowe was born and raised in Wales, he did not regard himself as a Welshman.

According to Inger Sheil (who knows everything there is to know about Lowe's life) Lowe's parents were English and he was brought up strongly identifying as English rather than Welsh, he also spoke with an English accent.
 
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George Jacub

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In a situation like the Titanic disaster, we rely heavily on eyewitness accounts and to provide direct "evidence" would be impossible except in some cases. I accept that survivor accounts can be widely different in terms of reliability and so we have to use our own judgement. In this particular case, one assumes that Tad Fitch et al, authors of On A Sea Of Glass, checked their information sources as thoroughly as possible. They go to painstaking lengths to verify their information and provide source material wherever possible.

To me, Lowe's testimony strongly suggests that Charles Williams was taken on to help with the rowing (yes, he might have volunteered) Lifeboat #14 before its launch. Later, when Lowe transferred the passengers to other lifeboats and took on crewmen like Evans, Buley, Scarrott etc, Willaims asked to remain on Lifeboat #14 to help with rowing as they went in search of more survivors. Once again, one assumes that Lowe himself and those other seamen mentioned Williams privately thereafter. For Lowe to note down the man's name, profession, home address etc, Williams must have made quite an impression.
.
In other words, Arun, the authors have exactly zero evidence to support their contention that Charles Williams left the Titanic in No. 14. They took a statement by Fourth Officer Lowe, invented their own sequence of events based on their interpretation of what he said, and then published their invented "reality" as if it was a known fact.
What's worse, they knew Charles Williams contradicted their conclusion. One day after the Carpathia reached New York, a friend of Williams spoke to reporters to tell them Williams' account of how he was saved. Williams said he jumped off the ship and was saved on a "small boat." He told the friend he had seen Capt. Smith swim to a boat with a child in his arms, rebuff attempts to pull him to safety, and swim back go down with his ship. This account was published in the New York Times and New York World on April 20, 1912, I believe.
They wrote in A Sea of Glass that "Williams was not in contact with the water and would not have been in a position to see the events his friend described." Their proof? None, because none exists. They took their opinion and turned it into a flat statement of "fact."
I had forgotten that Williams gave his own account and only spotted it when I reviewed the evidence regarding Charles Williams last night. With that new evidence it appears he was saved on a boat close to Collapsible A, the one that the Capt. swam to. Collapsible D is the most likely.
 

Arun Vajpey

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They took a statement by Fourth Officer Lowe, invented their own sequence of events based on their interpretation of what he said, and then published their invented "reality" as if it was a known fact.
I am sorry but I don't buy that at all. I have great respect for contributors of On A Sea Of Glass and believe that they went further than anyone else to gather as much information as possible and presented it very well. The did not invent their own events at any stage.

I don't believe that Charles Williams told any reporter that he jumped into the sea and was pulled into a boat; if anyone was doing any inventing, it would have been those reporters themselves who embellished, misinterpreted, exaggerated and lied outright to print what they thought their readers would buy.

By the way, Lowe was the Fifth Officer of the Titanic. :)
 
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Tad G. Fitch

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Interesting that the testimony of Lowe is being downplayed, and my co-authors and I are being accused of making things up. If you believe a press article that claims Captain Smith rescued a baby, and then pushed away from the lifeboat, essentially giving up on surviving after being told that Murdoch shot himself, preferring that version to actual inquiry testimony, then there truly is no point to this discussion. Another quote attributed to Williams has him claiming that he spent the night in a lifeboat with water up to his knees, which fits only Collapsible A. Again, not credible given what Lowe testified to. There is zero evidence connecting Williams with #12 or Collapsible D, no matter what mental gymnastics you go through.

For those interested, here is what Lowe actually says about Williams, and clearly indicates that he let him aboard #14 to help row:

Senator SMITH.
Who had charge of the loading of lifeboat No. 14?

Mr. LOWE.
I had.

Senator SMITH.
And how many people did you put into it?

Mr. LOWE.
Fifty-eight.

Senator SMITH.
How many women; do you know?

Mr. LOWE.
They were all women and children, bar one passenger, who was an Italian, and he sneaked in, and he was dressed like a woman.

Senator SMITH.
Had woman's clothing on?

Mr. LOWE.
He had a shawl over his head, and everything else; and I only found out at the last moment. And there was another passenger that I took for rowing.

Senator SMITH.
Who was that?

Mr. LOWE.
That was a chap by the name of C. Williams.

Senator SMITH.
Where did he live?

Mr. LOWE.
I do not know where he lived.

Senator SMITH.
Have you ever seen him since?

Mr. LOWE.
Yes; I saw him since, on board the Carpathia.

Senator SMITH.
Was he one of the men whose names you have on that paper?

Mr. LOWE.
I have his name; that is, his home address, but not his New York address.

Senator SMITH.
I would like his home address.

Mr. LOWE.
I can give you that. Will you have it now?

Senator SMITH.
Yes; also the name of any other man or woman in the boat that you know, and their address.

Mr. LOWE. (referring to book)
"C. Williams, racket champion of the world," he has here, "No. 2 Drury Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, England."

Senator SMITH.
Give all the others?

Mr. LOWE.
You want them in my own boat, sir?

Senator SMITH.
Yes; you said you had the names of all in the boat.

Mr. LOWE.
You see, I was in charge of five boats.

Senator SMITH.
But this in of the boat you were in yourself, No. 14?

Mr. LOWE.
Yes. I will give them to you.

Senator SMITH.
This is the one you loaded?

Mr. LOWE.
You want those in the boat from the davits, not what I picked up?

Senator SMITH.
No, I am going to ask you that later.

Mr. LOWE.
The next were Mrs. A.T. Compton, and Miss S.H. Compton, Laurel House, Lakewood, N. J.

Senator SMITH.
Go ahead a little faster, if you can.

Mr. LOWE.
That is all.

Senator SMITH.
Those are the only names you took down?

Mr. LOWE.
Out of my own particular boat.

Lowe was listing the names of those who were in #14, not other boats. And we're to disregard him clearly stating that he took Williams aboard 14, in the context of a discussion about who loaded the boat and who was aboard it?

In any event, I would refrain from falsely accusing others of making things up to try to bolster an argument. It's intellectually dishonest.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Basically, a lot of things with the Titanic have to be considered based only on collective analysis of various survivor accounts and drawing the most likely conclusion. There is simply no other way.

That is precisely what writers of On A Sea Of Glass have done, going to painstaking lengths to consider every point, getting all possibilities together and then try to analyse the most likely outcome. The best example for this is the so-called "Officer Shooting Incident" where survivor accounts are divided according to whether they are primary or secondary and them each one analyzed depending upon where that witness could have been when the alleged incident took place. Despite all that, there is no definitive answer to the puzzle and the authors honestly admitted that. Certain things simply cannot be proven either way.

With the Titanic, only very few things can there be concrete evidence. For example, there is definite evidence about the site of the wreck and the fact that the ship broke-up before sinking. Only such things can be proven and many others have to remain as educated conjecture.

As far as Charles Eugene Williams is concerned, I would any day believe what Fifth Officer Lowe testified under oath in an official inquiry a few days after the disaster than what some reporter claimed that a survivor told him.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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One day after the Carpathia reached New York, a friend of Williams spoke to reporters to tell them Williams' account of how he was saved. Williams said he jumped off the ship and was saved on a "small boat." He told the friend he had seen Capt. Smith swim to a boat with a child in his arms, rebuff attempts to pull him to safety, and swim back go down with his ship. This account was published in the New York Times and New York World on April 20, 1912, I believe.
If THAT above is supposed to be the truth as opposed to what Fifth officer Lowe said under oath to an official Inquiry, I am lost for words. Nevertheless, I'll try to explain my thinking.
  • A 'friend' of Charles Williams allegedly spoke to reporters telling them how the latter escaped from the Titanic. Since you are so keen on 'hard evidence' did Williams himself ever name this 'friend' or at least corroborate his statement?
  • The same 'friend' told the reporters about the old story of Captain Smith swimming to a boat with a child in his arms etc. Sounds heroic, but that has already been discredited as somebody's fertile imagination, just like the story where Captain Smith's last words were supposed to be "Be British!" (If that were true, an American passenger struggling in the water in his life-vest might be excused for asking 'How?')
  • Several papers, the prestigious New York Times, included, published their own versions of the disaster in the immediate aftermath of Carpathia's arrival, depending on which survivor they spoke to or the best story they could sensationalize. More often than not, the stories did not tally.

Now looking at what Lowe testified:

Senator SMITH.
Who had charge of the loading of lifeboat No. 14?

Mr. LOWE.
I had.

Senator SMITH.
And how many people did you put into it?

Mr. LOWE.
Fifty-eight.

Senator SMITH.
How many women; do you know?

Mr. LOWE.
They were all women and children, bar one passenger, who was an Italian, and he sneaked in, and he was dressed like a woman. [Possibly Edward Ryan]

Senator SMITH.
Had woman's clothing on?

Mr. LOWE.
He had a shawl over his head, and everything else; and I only found out at the last moment. And there was another passenger that I took for rowing.

Senator SMITH.
Who was that?

Mr. LOWE.

That was a chap by the name of C. Williams.

That indicates as clearly as anything that Senator Smith was asking about the loading of Lifeboat #14 while it was still on board the Titanic and Lowe was answering likewise. In other words, Lowe testified that he instructed Williams to get into the lifeboat before it was launched to help the crew to row.
 
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George Jacub

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In other words, Lowe testified that he instructed Williams to get into the lifeboat before it was launched to help the crew to row.
So much to address. Let's start.

Let's look closely at Lowe's testimony before the Senate Inquiry.

Lowe testified he was in charge of loading No. 14.

He wasn't.

Senator SMITH.

Who had charge of the loading of lifeboat No. 14?

Mr. LOWE.

I had.


From Seaman Joseph Scarrott's appearance before the British Inquiry:

383. - Directly I got to my boat I jumped in, saw the plug in, and saw my dropping ladder was ready to be worked at a moment's notice; and then Mr. Wilde, the Chief Officer, came along and said, "All right; take the women and children," and we started taking the women and children. There would be 20 women got into the boat, I should say, when some men tried to rush the boats, foreigners they were, because they could not understand the order which I gave them, and I had to use a bit of persuasion. The only thing I could use was the boat's tiller.

385. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) Did the Fifth Officer assist you in this persuasion?


- He was not there then.

387. Did you succeed in getting all the women and children that were about into your boat?

- Yes, when Mr. Lowe came and took charge he asked me how many were in the boat; I told him as far as I could count there were 54 women and four children,...

393. Was Mr. Lowe, the Fifth Officer, also in the boat?


- We were practically full up. I was taking the women in when Mr. Lowe came.

Turkish Bath Attendant Frank Morris testified to the same point at the British Inquiry:

5312. Was there an Officer in charge of No. 14?

- Well, there was in the last part, when the boat was pretty well full, Officer Lowe came along.


So Lowe exaggerated his role in loading No.14. Perhaps being hailed a hero inflated his ego.

Senator SMITH.

And how many people did you put into it?

Mr. LOWE.

Fifty-eight.

Senator SMITH.

How many women; do you know?

Mr. LOWE.

They were all women and children, bar one passenger, who was an Italian, and he sneaked in, and he was dressed like a woman. He had a shawl over his head, and everything else; and I only found out at the last moment.

And there was another passenger that I took for rowing.


Let's pause here to look at more evidence.

Scarrott, Brtitish Inquiry

400. How many were rowing?
- Four.

401. Do you know who they were - were they seamen?
- I can only account for two as regards their rating. I was pulling the after-oar on the port side of the boat, and on my left was a fireman; but as regards the other two that were further forward on the boat, I cannot say what they were as regards their rating.

403. Am I right in supposing that in your boat, No. 14, there were yourself, two firemen, three or four stewards, and Lowe?
- There is a correction there, my Lord. There was one man in that boat that we had been under the impression - when I say "we," I mean the watch of sailors - that he was a sailorman. That man was not a sailor at all, though acting in the capacity of sailor. That was another man that was in the boat.

404. What was he?
- A window-cleaner; he was supposed to be in the ship as a window-cleaner.


Four men rowed. Scarrott, a fireman (one of two in the boat, probably Thomas Thelfall because he was in the boat when it returned to search for survivors), and two others.

Steward George Crowe testified in America: "I assisted in handing the women and children into the boat, and was asked if I could take an oar, and I said "Yes." and was told to man the boat." He, too, was in No.14 when it went back for survivors, indicating he was telling the truth about being a rower.

Steward Alfred Pugh wrote a letter to Walter Lord in 1955 saying: "Mr. Webb (sic, Lowe) then detailed the crew to man the boat and asked me if I could manage the oars (being large and me very small) I said yes, as I had already done so at Boat Drill before leaving Southampton. Right he said jump in, and he followed taking charge."

That's your four rowers. No Charles Williams. (See, Seumas, this is what's called 'research'.)

But Lowe said... And there was another passenger that I took for rowing.

But things don't look as black and white if you read the rest of Lowe's appearance. Suddenly, he's acting rather evasive.

Senator SMITH.

Who was that?

Mr. LOWE.

That was a chap by the name of C. Williams.

Senator SMITH.

Where did he live?

Mr. LOWE.

I do not know where he lived.


NB. He doesn't know where Williams lives.

Senator SMITH.

Was he one of the men whose names you have on that paper?

Mr. LOWE.

I have his name; that is, his home address, but not his New York address.

Senator SMITH.

I would like his home address.

Mr. LOWE.

I can give you that. Will you have it now?

Senator SMITH.

Yes; also the name of any other man or woman in the boat that you know, and their address.

Mr. LOWE. (referring to book)

"C. Williams, racket champion of the world," he has here, "No. 2 Drury Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, England."


"Referring to book". What book? Obviously a book with Charles Williams' address in it, an address that Lowe doesn't know until he reads it from the book.

Senator SMITH.

Give all the others?

Mr. LOWE.

You want them in my own boat, sir?

Senator SMITH.

Yes; you said you had the names of all in the boat.

Mr. LOWE.

You see, I was in charge of five boats.


A simple question met with an evasive answer. Who was in your boat? Well, I was in charge of a lot of boats.

Senator SMITH.

But this in of the boat you were in yourself, No. 14?

Mr. LOWE.

Yes. I will give them to you.

Senator SMITH.

This is the one you loaded?

Mr. LOWE.

You want those in the boat from the davits, not what I picked up?


Why is he still ducking the question? It's a simple question. Who was in your boat when you left the Titanic ?

Mr. LOWE.

The next were Mrs. A.T. Compton, and Miss S.H. Compton, Laurel House, Lakewood, N. J.

Senator SMITH.

Go ahead a little faster, if you can.

Mr. LOWE.

That is all.

Senator SMITH.

Those are the only names you took down?

Mr. LOWE.

Out of my own particular boat.


What's this all about? He "took down" three names? In a book? What book? Are these the only three people he personally put into No. 14? Or is there another reason why he has their names?

Senator SMITH.
I thought you had a card there that they had signed with their autographs.

Mr. LOWE.
Who?


Still evading.

Senator SMITH.
These passengers who were in your own boat, No. 14.

Mr. LOWE.
No, sir; I am no autograph hunter.

Senator SMITH.
I understand; but I thought you told me you had a card of that kind.

Mr. LOWE.
No, sir.


Who? This is the third time he feigns ignorance to what the question is. Then he says he didn't collect the signatures in "the book" or a card of some kind. Where's this questioning coming from? Obviously from the pre-interview with Lowe, which he's now disavowing.

The Senator abandons that line of questioning.

Senator SMITH.
You say there were how many people in your boat?

Mr. LOWE.
Fifty-eight, sir


Adding," So I transferred all my passengers - somewhere about 53 passengers - from my boat, and I equally distributed them between my other four boats."

So 53 of the 58 people in lifeboat No. 14 were transferred to other boats, presumably including the window washer and steward who didn't row, leaving five people. One was Lowe. That leaves four. We've named the four rowers. Where is Charles Williams?
 

George Jacub

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I am sorry but I don't buy that at all. I have great respect for contributors of On A Sea Of Glass and believe that they went further than anyone else to gather as much information as possible and presented it very well. The did not invent their own events at any stage.

I don't believe that Charles Williams told any reporter that he jumped into the sea and was pulled into a boat; if anyone was doing any inventing, it would have been those reporters themselves who embellished, misinterpreted, exaggerated and lied outright to print what they thought their readers would buy.

By the way, Lowe was the Fifth Officer of the Titanic. :)
LEAPS FROM THE SHIP

Home Titanic Survivors Charles Eugene Williams LEAPS FROM THE SHIP

Chicago Daily Journal

Friday 19th April 1912

Charles Williams, the racquet coach at Harrow, England, who is the professional champion of the world , was coming to New York to defend his title, said he was in the smoking room when the boat struck. He rushed out, saw the iceberg, which seemed to loom above the deck over 100 feet. It broke up amidships and floated away. He jumped from the boat deck on the starboard side as far away from the steamer as possible. He was nine hours in the small boat, standing in water to his knees. He said the sailors conducted themselves admirably.

Chicago Daily Journal, Friday, April 19, 1912, p. 2, c. 7

Note that this story ran the day after the Carpathia arrived in New York, meaning Williams was interviewed the day the ship docked.

The (New York) Sun., April 20, 1912, Page 4
English Survivor Says Skipper Saved A Baby Before Dying
Charles Williams, coach of the Racquet Club of the Harrow School of England, who was one of those rescued when the Titanic sank, was a guest last night at the home of George E. Standing, the racquet player, at 84 Waller avenue, White Plains. Mr. Standing to-day told how Mr. Williams was rescued by one of the boat crews.
He said Williams remained on board the Titanic as long as possible and then went overboard with a life belt around him. He is a good swimmer and believed that he would be able to swim about until he could be picked up. He remained in the icy water for over two hours before he was hauled aboard one of the boats. While in this boat and waiting to be picked up by the Carpathia Williams says he witnessed the death of Capt. Smith of the Titanic.
When he first saw the Captain the latter was swimming about in the icy water with a life belt about him and clutching an infant in his arms. The small boat went to his aid and the captain handed the child to those in the lifeboat but he refused to get into the boat himself. He asked what had become of First Officer Murdock and when told that he had blown out his brains with a revolver, Capt. Smith pushed himself away from the lifeboat and loosening the life belt, sank out of sight. The crew of the lifeboat remained close for some time, but Capt. Smith did not come to the surface again.
Later on the boat was picked up by the Carpathia.

Two days. Two newspaper interviews. The conspiracy thickens.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Anyone curious is invited to contact me privately and I will supply the details.
I can tell you here and now that I am DEFINITELY NOT CURIOUS.

And no matter which newspaper you quote, I do not believe them. I have read enough about media of the day and the levels to which they stooped to get a story.
 
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Seumas

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I can tell you here and now that I am DEFINITELY NOT CURIOUS.

And no matter which newspaper you quote, I do not believe them. I have read enough about media of the day and the levels to which they stooped to get a story.
Quite right Arun.

To rely almost entirely upon the newspapers of 1912 to find out what happened is a mugs game.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Charles Williams, the racquet coach at Harrow, England, who is the professional champion of the world , was coming to New York to defend his title, said he was in the smoking room when the boat struck. He rushed out, saw the iceberg, which seemed to loom above the deck over 100 feet. It broke up amidships and floated away. He jumped from the boat deck on the starboard side as far away from the steamer as possible. He was nine hours in the small boat, standing in water to his knees. He said the sailors conducted themselves admirably.
This sounds like Williams jumped into the sea soon after seeing the iceberg that "loomed over 100 feet from the deck and broke amidships before floating away". But somehow he managed to find himself in a waterlogged lifeboat - the only one that was so 'up to the knees' was Collapsible A. There was a Williams on it all right - Richard Norris Williams but in their rush to publish something, Chicago Daily Journal probably thought not many people would notice the difference, especially the difference between a tennis player and a racquets player. Looks like some haven't, to this day.
He said Williams remained on board the Titanic as long as possible and then went overboard with a life belt around him. He is a good swimmer and believed that he would be able to swim about until he could be picked up. He remained in the icy water for over two hours before he was hauled aboard one of the boats. While in this boat and waiting to be picked up by the Carpathia Williams says he witnessed the death of Capt. Smith of the Titanic.
First of all, no one could have survived in the icy water for 'over two hours'. Of course, that did not stop some from claiming that they did, or newspapers deciding that it would look more sensational if they tweaked a survivor's statement a bit. Also, all those who were pulled on board the waterlogged lifeboat Collapsible A (Rhoda Abbott, Peter Daly etc) were rescued in the first few minutes after the Titanic sank; no one 2 hours later.
When he first saw the Captain the latter was swimming about in the icy water with a life belt about him and clutching an infant in his arms. The small boat went to his aid and the captain handed the child to those in the lifeboat but he refused to get into the boat himself. He asked what had become of First Officer Murdock and when told that he had blown out his brains with a revolver, Capt. Smith pushed himself away from the lifeboat and loosening the life belt, sank out of sight. The crew of the lifeboat remained close for some time, but Capt. Smith did not come to the surface again.
The above sounds like something out of a Woody Allen satire. Captain Smith handing over the baby, being told that Murdoch had "blown his brains out" and upon hearing that Smith loosening his life vest and sinking out of sight. :D :D :D :D :D

All 3 quotes are ridiculously nonsensical apart from being completely improbable. I am certain that poor Charles Eugene Williams had no part in any of it.
 
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