Charles Eugene Williams


Nov 14, 2005
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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.

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.

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.
Yes many versions of the saving the baby story invented by the press. But I hadn't heard of the Murdoch part until now.
 
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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'.)

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?

No. 14 had about 9 people (including 5th Officer Lowe) when it returned to the wreckage to search for survivors. Your 4 rowers does not proof nothing only bad research.
 
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Seumas

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No. 14 had about 9 people (including 5th Officer Lowe) when it returned to the wreckage to search for survivors. Your 4 rowers does not proof nothing only bad research.
Indeed.

On Mr Jacub's dreadful blog he claims that over twenty (yes, over twenty) people were shot dead on the Titanic and that Lowe basically executed someone at Boat No. 14.

It is up there with the late Robin Gardiner's stuff it is that bad.
 
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George Jacub

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But somehow he managed to find himself in a waterlogged lifeboat - the only one that was so 'up to the knees' was Collapsible A.

After Charles Williams boarded the Carpathia, doctors saw that his legs were purple and they recommended amputation. If he was in a lifeboat from the deck of the Titanic until he reached the rescue ship, how did he freeze his legs so badly? Nobody else in No. 14 suffered frozen legs.

First of all, no one could have survived in the icy water for 'over two hours'.

That would be news to the men around Collapsible B. Many clung to the side of the overturned boat waiting for a chance to climb on when someone else died and pushed off Self preservation is a powerful force and people throughout the ages have done the "impossible" to live.

The above sounds like something out of a Woody Allen satire.


Capt. Smith's effort to save a baby was seen by Charles Williams and confirmed by two other witnesses---fireman James McGann and stoker Harry Senior. That's two more than saw Charles Williams getting into Lifeboat No. 14 from the Titanic.
 

George Jacub

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Indeed.

On Mr Jacub's dreadful blog he claims that over twenty (yes, over twenty) people were shot dead on the Titanic and that Lowe basically executed someone at Boat No. 14.

It is up there with the late Robin Gardiner's stuff it is that bad.
The least you could have done is give the name of my blog. It's Titanic's Secrets Unfold. You can find the shootings stories at
The Shootings on the Titanic. The Definitive Story

More than 50 survivors were eyewitnesses to the shootings. Where have you ever seen that fact before?

I cross-referenced the survivors with lifeboats with accounts of shooting. That, Seumas, is research.

Easily half a dozen witnesses saw Murdoch shoot a man in the jaw. Berta Nilsson fiance was shot and killed as he sat beside her. She told of it in letters to her family. But it wasn't until the year 2000 that her living relatives found out about the letters and revealed the information. Read about it here: A Titanic secret

The invaluable book 'The Dream and Then the Nightmare, The Syrians who boarded the Titanic', by Leila Salloum Elias contains numerous accounts of men shot to death on the ship. These accounts were related to family members, but until the author Elias uncovered these stories they were unknown in the English speaking world. This book is a must-have for Titanic researchers.
 

Arun Vajpey

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I can see that this thread is disintegrating into the realms of the lunatic fringe.
After Charles Williams boarded the Carpathia, doctors saw that his legs were purple and they recommended amputation.
And actually placed him on the operating table before someone realized that he was wearing purple socks to keep his legs warm!
If he was in a lifeboat from the deck of the Titanic until he reached the rescue ship, how did he freeze his legs so badly?
That happened on the Carpathia. They ran out of space to accommodate survivors and Charles Williams found himself placed in the freezer room next to the galley. There was so little room that his legs stuck out into the freezer compartment.
More than 50 survivors were eyewitnesses to the shootings.
Some of whom were shot themselves, perhaps? They would even had the bullets to show for it.
That, Seumas, is research.
THAT, Mr Jacub is bullcrap.
Easily half a dozen witnesses saw Murdoch shoot a man in the jaw.
And saved him a dentist's bill?
 
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The least you could have done is give the name of my blog. It's Titanic's Secrets Unfold. You can find the shootings stories at
The Shootings on the Titanic. The Definitive Story

More than 50 survivors were eyewitnesses to the shootings. Where have you ever seen that fact before?

I cross-referenced the survivors with lifeboats with accounts of shooting. That, Seumas, is research.

Easily half a dozen witnesses saw Murdoch shoot a man in the jaw. Berta Nilsson fiance was shot and killed as he sat beside her. She told of it in letters to her family. But it wasn't until the year 2000 that her living relatives found out about the letters and revealed the information. Read about it here: A Titanic secret

The invaluable book 'The Dream and Then the Nightmare, The Syrians who boarded the Titanic', by Leila Salloum Elias contains numerous accounts of men shot to death on the ship. These accounts were related to family members, but until the author Elias uncovered these stories they were unknown in the English speaking world. This book is a must-have for Titanic researchers.
I read the links. I found it interesting. But I had looked into this years back and the conclusion I came to at that time and still believe today is that warning shots were fired at one point. But that was it. And I have stated that I thought J. Cameron made a mistake putting that Murdoch scene in his movie. Not enough iron clad proof to portray him in that manner. If that much lead was flying around there would have been hundreds of witnesses. A lot of those quotes from people sound like a script writer or dishonest reporter made them up. Especially some of the quotes attributed to Captain Smith. I've been involved in a few life and death situations. I've never heard people talk like that. Never heard any of those grand noble statements. No time to make speeches. It was always more like "lets get the F*^# out of here". But I enjoyed reading all the examples you gave and can tell you spent a lot time tracking them down. So thanks for that even though I have a different conclusion. Cheers.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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I have stated that I thought J. Cameron made a mistake putting that Murdoch scene in his movie. Not enough iron clad proof to portray him in that manner.
Absolutely. While I am the first to admit that a lot of "events during the sinking" of the Titanic are based on collation of one or more survivor witness accounts combined with educated reconstruction, I personally have researched into the alleged 'Officer Shooting Incident' from one angle - Titanic survivor scullion John Collins. That has been discussed in some detail elsewhere but suffice to say that Collins knew Murdoch by sight (NOT personally) and always maintained (according to his daughter Mary McKee among others) that the First Officer was knocked overboard with several others when the 'wave' caused by the ships sudden downward lurch washed over those around Collapsible A. Collins himself had a child in his arms (probably one of Alma Palsson's children) but it was torn out of his grasp. Collins himself went briefly under but soon surfaced and managed to reach the overturned Collapsible B to be hauled on board.

While there might have been a shooting incident on board, the statements by various survivors are highly variable; while some sound plausible, others seem highly unlikely. There is no specific reason to point the finger at Murdoch other than some people's conjecture that he must have felt 'guilty' for not being able to avoid collision etc. But as I said before, there are statements by Collins and others that suggest strongly that Murdoch was working (presumably with Moody and perhaps McElroy) on trying to get Collapsible A into the water when they were all overcome by the flooding.
 
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Absolutely. While I am the first to admit that a lot of "events during the sinking" of the Titanic are based on collation of one or more survivor witness accounts combined with educated reconstruction, I personally have researched into the alleged 'Officer Shooting Incident' from one angle - Titanic survivor scullion John Collins. That has been discussed in some detail elsewhere but suffice to say that Collins knew Murdoch by sight (NOT personally) and always maintained (according to his daughter Mary McKee among others) that the First Officer was knocked overboard with several others when the 'wave' caused by the ships sudden downward lurch washed over those around Collapsible A. Collins himself had a child in his arms (probably one of Alma Palsson's children) but it was torn out of his grasp. Collins himself went briefly under but soon surfaced and managed to reach the overturned Collapsible B to be hauled on board.

While there might have been a shooting incident on board, the statements by various survivors are highly variable; while some sound plausible, others seem highly unlikely. There is no specific reason to point the finger at Murdoch other than some people's conjecture that he must have felt 'guilty' for not being able to avoid collision etc. But as I said before, there are statements by Collins and others that suggest strongly that Murdoch was working (presumably with Moody and perhaps McElroy) on trying to get Collapsible A into the water when they were all overcome by the flooding.
Yes. It's hard to tell what really happened when there are so many conflicting testimonies. Some testimonies you know are just wrong either through the passage of time simply people mis-remembering and some just made up. I know a lot of people here have watched video of some of the survivors interviews. Some of those are almost cringe worthy to watch. You can tell they are just repeating myths they've come to believe themselves. As for Murdoch everything I have read about the man just doesn't jive with me that he would swallow lead. He comes off as a no nonsense guy to me. He just got dealt a bad hand by being on watch when was. I don't think anyone could have done better with what he found himself with. Some Titanic historians say if he just went hard over at full speed he would have missed the berg. Others say different. So Mr. Murdoch has generated a lot of controversy over the years. And as you have pointed out he was busy that night working the decks/boats. I don't think he even had time to stop and get depressed enough to off himself. Of course that's no proof of anything. Just my belief on it. As the youngsters say nowadays.."show me the video or it didn't happen". In other words there's no way to prove it. One of the many things about Titanic that will remain a mystery until somebody invents a time machine.
P.S...What you wrote about John Collins. His testimony pretty much coincides with what Lightoller wrote to his widow. Although I know that in itself has generated controversy but what hasn't other than Titanic sits on the ocean floor. Cheers.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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As for Murdoch everything I have read about the man just doesn't jive with me that he would swallow lead. He comes off as a no nonsense guy to me. He just got dealt a bad hand by being on watch when was. I don't think anyone could have done better with what he found himself with.
Absolutely agree. Murdoch comes across as the most level-headed,logical and competent officer of them all. It was just his misfortune that he was on duty on the bridge at that time. No one would or could have done any better. It was just that by the time the iceberg was recognized for what it was, it was already too late to avoid collision completely. But we know that from hindsight and careful calculations; Murdoch had seconds to decide and to his credit, almost pulled off a miracle.
Some Titanic historians say if he just went hard over at full speed he would have missed the berg. Others say different.
As said above, things like this are always easy to comment or criticize with hindsight; but the reality of "right there and then" is very different. IF Murdoch had tried to dodge the iceberg at full speed, there would have been perhaps different kind of damage and different numbers of deaths but then today's know-alls would have said that he should have stopped the engines. Likewise, if he had stopped/reversed engines but maintained a head-on course (like some have suggested), again posterity would have blamed him for not trying to dodge the berg. Murdoch was put by fate into a no-win situation and did the best he could under those circumstances.

Sorry for deviating from the OP. Getting back to Charles Eugene Williams, I believe that

  • Just like he testified at the American Inquiry, Lowe instructed Williams to get into Lifeboat #14 to help with rowing just before the boat was lowered off the Titanic. As to why Lowe specifically chose Williams, only the Fifth Officer knew the answer but I suspect that it was most likely momentary instinct, which all of us get from time to time.
  • Lowe likely fired his pistol once or twice along the side of the ship to ward off a potential rush by other male passengers in the area. He did not hit anyone.
  • Lowe most certainly did not 'execute' anyone on board Lifeboat #14 or anywhere else. I do NOT believe in the theatrical and cockeyed story about a 'letter' that cropped up 88 years after the disaster, 24 years after Berta Nilsson's death and perhaps most importantly, just 3 years after James Cameron's film. No one on any lifeboat mentioned someone shot dead in the boat and pushed over the side; the letter claims that Nilsson was rescued on Lifeboat 'D' and an officer on board shot her fiance Edvard Larsson-Rondberg. There was, of course, no officer on board Collapsible D.
  • After Lowe distributed the passengers on board Lifeboat #14 and took on additional crew with the intention of searching for more survivors in the water, I believe Charles Williams genuinely offered to remain behind and help with the rowing. Admittedly, there might have been an element of gratitude in Williams' mind towards Lowe for giving him a chance to save himself. That would be natural.
  • I do NOT believe that Charles Eugene Williams gave any newspaper those silly stories about jumping into the water and swimming for 2 hours before reaching a waterlogged lifeboat etc. Depending on which paper one read, the reporters either widely embellished his story or more likely got him mixed up with Richard Norris Williams who was rescued on Collapsible A (he played tennis while Charles Williams was a racquets champion).
The conspiracy thickens.
Something is 'Thick' all right but it ain't any conspiracy.
 
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Absolutely agree. Murdoch comes across as the most level-headed,logical and competent officer of them all. It was just his misfortune that he was on duty on the bridge at that time. No one would or could have done any better. It was just that by the time the iceberg was recognized for what it was, it was already too late to avoid collision completely. But we know that from hindsight and careful calculations; Murdoch had seconds to decide and to his credit, almost pulled off a miracle.

As said above, things like this are always easy to comment or criticize with hindsight; but the reality of "right there and then" is very different. IF Murdoch had tried to dodge the iceberg at full speed, there would have been perhaps different kind of damage and different numbers of deaths but then today's know-alls would have said that he should have stopped the engines. Likewise, if he had stopped/reversed engines but maintained a head-on course (like some have suggested), again posterity would have blamed him for not trying to dodge the berg. Murdoch was put by fate into a no-win situation and did the best he could under those circumstances.

Sorry for deviating from the OP. Getting back to Charles Eugene Williams, I believe that

  • Just like he testified at the American Inquiry, Lowe instructed Williams to get into Lifeboat #14 to help with rowing just before the boat was lowered off the Titanic. As to why Lowe specifically chose Williams, only the Fifth Officer knew the answer but I suspect that it was most likely momentary instinct, which all of us get from time to time.
  • Lowe likely fired his pistol once or twice along the side of the ship to ward off a potential rush by other male passengers in the area. He did not hit anyone.
  • Lowe most certainly did not 'execute' anyone on board Lifeboat #14 or anywhere else. I do NOT believe in the theatrical and cockeyed story about a 'letter' that cropped up 88 years after the disaster, 24 years after Berta Nilsson's death and perhaps most importantly, just 3 years after James Cameron's film. No one on any lifeboat mentioned someone shot dead in the boat and pushed over the side; the letter claims that Nilsson was rescued on Lifeboat 'D' and an officer on board shot her fiance Edvard Larsson-Rondberg. There was, of course, no officer on board Collapsible D.
  • After Lowe distributed the passengers on board Lifeboat #14 and took on additional crew with the intention of searching for more survivors in the water, I believe Charles Williams genuinely offered to remain behind and help with the rowing. Admittedly, there might have been an element of gratitude in Williams' mind towards Lowe for giving him a chance to save himself. That would be natural.
  • I do NOT believe that Charles Eugene Williams gave any newspaper those silly stories about jumping into the water and swimming for 2 hours before reaching a waterlogged lifeboat etc. Depending on which paper one read, the reporters either widely embellished his story or more likely got him mixed up with Richard Norris Williams who was rescued on Collapsible A (he played tennis while Charles Williams was a racquets champion).

Something is 'Thick' all right but it ain't any conspiracy.
Yes I tried to come up with a reason as to why Lowe would lie about putting him in the boat and couldn't see how that would benefit him. No reason to lie about it. As to Murdoch somebody here made a pretty convincing argument to me at least a few years back that in effect going hard over was pretty much all he did anyway. The time speed distance didn't allow him to do much different. As in even if he did all the other things it wouldn't have much effect on the ship over the short distance.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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I tried to come up with a reason as to why Lowe would lie about putting him in the boat and couldn't see how that would benefit him. No reason to lie about it.
Precisely. Until the moment that Lowe asked him to get into Lifeboat #14, Charles Eugene Williams was just another passenger in the crowd and no more. I believe what perhaps happened was that just as #14 was ready to be lowered, Lowe decided that one more rower would help and other than those handling the actual lowering of the boat, there was no crew member immediately handy. So Lowe must have instinctively picked a man from the group in the vicinity and that happened to be Williams. All of us make such instinctive decisions occasionally and this was just one of them.

But I have wondered about one possible effect of Lowe's action; I stress that it is just a thought and NOT based on any evidence. Lifeboats #16 and #14 were ready to be lowered simultaneously and Moody lowered #16 at 01:20 without incident. But there are statements that suggest that there was a slight delay in lowering #14, followed by an attempt to rush the boat by a few male passengers from the crowd which was what prompted Lowe to fire his gun along the side of the ship. The initial delay might have been to allow Williams to board but I wonder whether the fact that Lower had just allowed a male passenger into #14 prompted other men in the vicinity to try to get places for themselves?

One of the reasons that I had that thought was because Lifeboat #14 was finally lowered to the sea at about 01:24 am, almost an hour before the Titanic sank. Somewhat early, I thought for such a commotion to arise among the male passengers that required Lowe to fire that shot - unless there was a reason.
 

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I did some quick research based on all that stuff that George Jacub has been posting indiscriminately, as though newspaper reports about the disaster were gospel. Following are a few things which show that not only was Charles Eugene Williams a volunteer to return to find more survivors but also my own earlier conjecture that newspapers got mixed-up between two surviving young men with similar sounding names and hobbies - 23-year-old Charles Eugene Williams who was a racquets player (Lifeboat #14) and Richard Norris Williams, the 21-year-old tennis player (Collapsible A).

First, an excerpt from the testimony on Steward George Crowe, who was rescued on #14 with Lowe and Charles Williams and also was one of the crew members to return with them to find more survivors. This is from the Titanic Inquiry Project.


Senator BOURNE.
You were assigned to boat No. 14?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
Officer Lowe, you say, was in charge of your boat?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir; I am certain of it.

Senator BOURNE.
The fifth officer?

Mr. CROWE.
The fifth officer, Mr. Lowe.

Senator BOURNE.
And that was his boat?

Mr. CROWE.
That was his boat; yes, sir. After getting the women and children in, we lowered down within 4 or 5 feet of the water and found the block and tackle had gotten twisted in some way, causing us to have to cut the ropes to allow the boat to get into the water.

Senator BOURNE.
Who called to you to do that?

Mr. CROWE.
The fifth officer, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
How many occupants were in there in boat No. 14?

Mr. CROWE.
Fifty-seven women and children and about 6 men, including 1 officer, and I may have been 7; I am not quite sure about that.

Senator BOURNE.
How did you come to know there were 57 women and children?

Mr. CROWE.
When we got out a distance the officer asked me how many people we had in the boat, thinking the other boats had not got their number, and it was his idea to put our people into their boats and return back.

Senator BOURNE.
You were in boat No. 14 when it was lowered?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
Was there any shooting that occurred at the time the boat was lowered?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
Explain to the committee what knowledge or information you have relative to that?

Mr. CROWE.
There were various men passengers, probably Italians or some foreign nationality other than English or American, who attempted to rush the boats. The officers threatened to shoot any man who put his foot into the boat. He fired the revolver, but either downward or upward, not shooting at any of the passengers at all and not injuring anybody. He fired perfectly clear, upward or downward.

Senator BOURNE.
Did that stop the rush?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
There was no disorder after that?

Mr. CROWE.
No disorder. Well, one woman was crying, but that was all; no panic or anything in the boat.

Senator BOURNE.
Did you and boat No. 14, with those that were with you manning the boat, return to the wreck as soon as your passengers were shifted into the other boat?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir; almost immediately. There might have been a lapse of 5 or 10 minutes, perhaps.

Senator BOURNE.
Did Officer Lowe call for volunteers to return to the wreck?

Mr. CROWE.
No, sir; he impressed upon us that we must go back to the wreck.

Senator BOURNE.
Was there any protest?

Mr. CROWE.
None whatever, sir. A second class passenger named Williams [Richard N. Williams], the champion racket player of England, returned with us.

Senator BOURNE.
He volunteered his service?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
He was not requested by Officer Lowe?

Mr. CROWE.
Not at all, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
He did so of his own volition?


Mr. CROWE.
Yes.


There are quite a few points of interest here. As mentioned earlier, Lowe himself had already testified that he instructed Charles Williams to enter Lifeboat #14 to help with the rowing. Here in Crowe's testimony, the steward confirms that:
  • Some men tried to rush #14 just as it was about to be lowered. My guess is that they tried to do so because only one of their number - Charles Williams, was allowed in.
  • Lowe fired a shot into the air to deter them but did not hit anyone.
  • There was a slight delay in lowering the lifeboat due to it becoming entangled in the falls. (Could this have happened due to the commotion mentioned above?)
  • There were approximately 57 women and children plus about 7 men (all inclusive) on board when Lifeboat #14 reached the water.
  • Later, Lowe got 4 other lifeboats together (#4.#10, #12 and Collapsible D) and distributed passengers from his own #14 to them.
  • He then took on board 6 crew members into #14 with the intention of going back to look for survivors. Lowe himself and Crowe remained on the lifeboat and Charles Williams volunteered to help, making it 9 in all (like Ioannis G said).

    BUT, look at what TIP added in error:
  • Mr. CROWE - A second class passenger named Williams [Richard N. Williams], the champion racket player of England, returned with us.
Of course, the man who volunteered to return on #14, the "Champion racket player of England" was NOT Richard N Williams but Charles E Williams. Both men were sportsmen in their early 20s but Richard Norris Williams was rescued on Collapsible A (which was NOT one of first Lowe's group but he got to it later - see below), a tennis player, was a First Class passenger and most importantly Swiss-American (non-British) by nationality. That error was made by someone else (probably of Titanic Inquiry Project) and not Crowe.

Finally, look at Richard Norris Williams' bio on ET and a few things become apparent.

Richard Williams (and not Charles Eugene Williams) jumped into the ocean (with his father Charles Duane Williams, who sadly died when the the first funnel toppled), was washed towards Collapsible A, hung on and was hauled on board (note that he too never said anything about swimming for a couple of hours, a favorite story of newspapers and their protege Mr Jacub). It was Richard Williams' legs that were frozen and discoloured for which a doctor apparently recommended amputation. Fortunately, that was not needed and he recovered.

Somewhere along the line, a cane marked "C Williams" was found and although it belonged to Richard Williams' father Charles, he did not know himself how the cane got into a lifeboat. Richard felt that the press erroneously published that Charles Duane Williams had died on a lifeboat which was not true. But that was only one of several mistakes the press made.

So, it looks like the similarity in thee two survivors' surnames, age group (both in their early twenties), hobbies (racquets and tennis), Lowe's involvement (he was on #14 and much later found #A) and the fact that Richard's father was named Charles resulted in a lot of their stories getting mixed-up by the newspapers, who were more eager to publish what they saw as a good story rather than look for accuracy.
 
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I did some quick research based on all that stuff that George Jacub has been posting indiscriminately, as though newspaper reports about the disaster were gospel. Following are a few things which show that not only was Charles Eugene Williams a volunteer to return to find more survivors but also my own earlier conjecture that newspapers got mixed-up between two surviving young men with similar sounding names and hobbies - 23-year-old Charles Eugene Williams who was a racquets player (Lifeboat #14) and Richard Norris Williams, the 21-year-old tennis player (Collapsible A).

First, an excerpt from the testimony on Steward George Crowe, who was rescued on #14 with Lowe and Charles Williams and also was one of the crew members to return with them to find more survivors. This is from the Titanic Inquiry Project.


Senator BOURNE.
You were assigned to boat No. 14?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
Officer Lowe, you say, was in charge of your boat?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir; I am certain of it.

Senator BOURNE.
The fifth officer?

Mr. CROWE.
The fifth officer, Mr. Lowe.

Senator BOURNE.
And that was his boat?

Mr. CROWE.
That was his boat; yes, sir. After getting the women and children in, we lowered down within 4 or 5 feet of the water and found the block and tackle had gotten twisted in some way, causing us to have to cut the ropes to allow the boat to get into the water.

Senator BOURNE.
Who called to you to do that?

Mr. CROWE.
The fifth officer, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
How many occupants were in there in boat No. 14?

Mr. CROWE.
Fifty-seven women and children and about 6 men, including 1 officer, and I may have been 7; I am not quite sure about that.

Senator BOURNE.
How did you come to know there were 57 women and children?

Mr. CROWE.
When we got out a distance the officer asked me how many people we had in the boat, thinking the other boats had not got their number, and it was his idea to put our people into their boats and return back.

Senator BOURNE.
You were in boat No. 14 when it was lowered?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
Was there any shooting that occurred at the time the boat was lowered?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
Explain to the committee what knowledge or information you have relative to that?

Mr. CROWE.
There were various men passengers, probably Italians or some foreign nationality other than English or American, who attempted to rush the boats. The officers threatened to shoot any man who put his foot into the boat. He fired the revolver, but either downward or upward, not shooting at any of the passengers at all and not injuring anybody. He fired perfectly clear, upward or downward.

Senator BOURNE.
Did that stop the rush?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
There was no disorder after that?

Mr. CROWE.
No disorder. Well, one woman was crying, but that was all; no panic or anything in the boat.

Senator BOURNE.
Did you and boat No. 14, with those that were with you manning the boat, return to the wreck as soon as your passengers were shifted into the other boat?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir; almost immediately. There might have been a lapse of 5 or 10 minutes, perhaps.

Senator BOURNE.
Did Officer Lowe call for volunteers to return to the wreck?

Mr. CROWE.
No, sir; he impressed upon us that we must go back to the wreck.

Senator BOURNE.
Was there any protest?

Mr. CROWE.
None whatever, sir. A second class passenger named Williams [Richard N. Williams], the champion racket player of England, returned with us.

Senator BOURNE.
He volunteered his service?

Mr. CROWE.
Yes, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
He was not requested by Officer Lowe?

Mr. CROWE.
Not at all, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
He did so of his own volition?


Mr. CROWE.
Yes.


There are quite a few points of interest here. As mentioned earlier, Lowe himself had already testified that he instructed Charles Williams to enter Lifeboat #14 to help with the rowing. Here in Crowe's testimony, the steward confirms that:
  • Some men tried to rush #14 just as it was about to be lowered. My guess is that they tried to do so because only one of their number - Charles Williams, was allowed in.
  • Lowe fired a shot into the air to deter them but did not hit anyone.
  • There was a slight delay in lowering the lifeboat due to it becoming entangled in the falls. (Could this have happened due to the commotion mentioned above?)
  • There were approximately 57 women and children plus about 7 men (all inclusive) on board when Lifeboat #14 reached the water.
  • Later, Lowe got 4 other lifeboats together (#4.#10, #12 and Collapsible D) and distributed passengers from his own #14 to them.
  • He then took on board 6 crew members into #14 with the intention of going back to look for survivors. Lowe himself and Crowe remained on the lifeboat and Charles Williams volunteered to help, making it 9 in all (like Ioannis G said).

    BUT, look at what TIP added in error:
  • Mr. CROWE - A second class passenger named Williams [Richard N. Williams], the champion racket player of England, returned with us.
Of course, the man who volunteered to return on #14, the "Champion racket player of England" was NOT Richard N Williams but Charles E Williams. Both men were sportsmen in their early 20s but Richard Norris Williams was rescued on Collapsible A (which was NOT one of first Lowe's group but he got to it later - see below), a tennis player, was a First Class passenger and most importantly Swiss-American (non-British) by nationality. That error was made by someone else (probably of Titanic Inquiry Project) and not Crowe.

Finally, look at Richard Norris Williams' bio on ET and a few things become apparent.

Richard Williams (and not Charles Eugene Williams) jumped into the ocean (with his father Charles Duane Williams, who sadly died when the the first funnel toppled), was washed towards Collapsible A, hung on and was hauled on board (note that he too never said anything about swimming for a couple of hours, a favorite story of newspapers and their protege Mr Jacub). It was Richard Williams' legs that were frozen and discoloured for which a doctor apparently recommended amputation. Fortunately, that was not needed and he recovered.

Somewhere along the line, a cane marked "C Williams" was found and although it belonged to Richard Williams' father Charles, he did not know himself how the cane got into a lifeboat. Richard felt that the press erroneously published that Charles Duane Williams had died on a lifeboat which was not true. But that was only one of several mistakes the press made.

So, it looks like the similarity in thee two survivors' surnames, age group (both in their early twenties), hobbies (racquets and tennis), Lowe's involvement (he was on #14 and much later found #A) and the fact that Richard's father was named Charles resulted in a lot of their stories getting mixed-up by the newspapers, who were more eager to publish what they saw as a good story rather than look for accuracy.
Good post. And it kind of confirms what I believe but can't prove. Which is that there were warning shots fired but that was it. Lowe did the right thing in my opinion.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Update: Earlier today I sent an e-mail to the Titanic Inquiry Project pointing out their error in the transcript George Crowe's testimony at the American Inquiry. When Crowe alluded to passenger "Williams", TIP had originally said that it was with reference to Richard Norris Williams, while it should really have been Charles Eugene Williams. I have received a response from Robert Ottemars of the TIP informing me that the error has now been rectified.
 
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George Jacub

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. As to why Lowe specifically chose Williams, only the Fifth Officer knew the answer
I'm currently working on two projects, with Charles Williams playing a peripheral role in one and a larger though still minor part in the other. I've come across more information relevant to this thread.
An affidavit from passenger Daisy Minahan was presented to the Senate Inquiry. In it she declared: "When the lifeboat was filled there were no seamen to man it. The officer in command of No.14 called for volunteers in the crowd who could row. Six men offered to go."

Some confirmation of that was given by Steward George Crowe at the Inquiry when he said there were "about 6 men, including 1 officer, and I may have been 7; I am not quite sure about that." His memory was that they were "two firemen, two sailors, and I think there were two more stewards besides myself." No mention of male passengers.

When Fifth Officer Lowe detached No. 14 from the davits, it fell at least five feet before slamming into the water, dislodging the boat's plug. Water began seeping into the boat.

"I might state in between there the boat had sprung a leak and taken in water, probably 8 inches of water. That is, when the boat was released and fell, I think she must have sprung a leak." said Crowe.

Mrs. Esther Hart was assigned the job of baling the water out of the boat.

"The duty that the officer allotted to me was to bale the water out of the boat. While sitting there I had the impression that there was somebody near me who ought not to be there. So, when I could get my elbows free I put my hand down under the seat and touched a human form. It was a poor wretch of a man who had smuggled himself into the boat, and had sat there during all that awful time, under the seat in about six inches of water. When we got him out he was so stiff he could scarcely move." she's quoted telling a reporter for the Ilford Graphic
( May 10, 1912).

No. 14 had its official complement of four oars but only four men rowed at two oars. That's probably because with an estimated 53 women and children there wasn't room for more rowers to work.

Faced with a boatload of weeping women, Lowe tried to console them in his own fashion. Mrs. Hart recalled his saying,“Don’t cry,-please don’t cry. You’ll have something else to do than cry; some of you will have to handle the oars. For God’s sake stop crying...”

As the lifeboat pulled away from the Titanic, steward Frank Morris counted the people in the boat. There was this exchange at the British Inquiry:

5325. Were there any men passengers?
- Yes.

5326. How many?
- I think I counted two, but I could not swear, not to be correct.

5327. Do you know whether they were first, second, or third class?
- One was a second class passenger.

5329. (Mr. Raymond Asquith.) You cannot say about the other?
- No.

Charles Williams was travelling second class. I think Mrs. Hart found the other one.

Morris described how No. 14 met with four other lifeboats and transferred passengers to them.

5338. (The Commissioner.) Did you pick up any passengers from any other lifeboat?
- No.

5339. Did you put any of your passengers into any other lifeboat?
- We put all our passengers in.

5340. Then did it leave your boat empty?
- Yes.

If Williams was taken to row, he didn't do much rowing. And if Morris is correct, then Williams was left behind with the other lifeboats and didn't go with Lowe to search for survivors. But Morris' testimony got confusing.

He said that when No. 14 reached the Carpathia, it carried seven women. But they only picked up one woman from Collapsible A. Where did the other six come from if the boat was "empty" when it left the others. Did Mrs. Hart, with her daughter, and Mrs. Compton, with her daughter, go with Lowe's rescue mission as their accounts indicate they did?
 

Seumas

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Tad and Arun have provided a tidal wave of evidence proving you wrong. Just admit you were wrong and take it with good grace.

The evidence you provide relies extremely heavily on the notoriously unreliable newspapers of 1912 where all sorts of ridiculous "blood and thunder" tales were told that don't stand up to scrutiny.

Your posts make no sense because you so frequently contradict yourself in the same post about who said and did what.

This is getting very boring and you not doing yourself any favours here.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Did Mrs. Hart, with her daughter, and Mrs. Compton, with her daughter, go with Lowe's rescue mission as their accounts indicate they did?
I'll try to keep this simple. Those confusing testimonies have been considered in other posts and the universal opinion is that Lowe most certainly did not take any women or children on his rescue mission. It would have made no sense and Lowe did not come across as someone who would make such senseless decisions. He dropped off all of the passengers in other boats except Charles Williams who volunteered to remain on #14 and help with rowing.

So, of the original complement rescued on Lifeboat #14, Lowe, Crowe, Pugh, Morris, Threlfall, Scarrott and Charles Williams remained. Lowe added Evans and Buley from Lifeboat #10, making it a total of 9 men going back, just like IG said earlier above.

It is fairly simple and straightforward, based on what surviving crew said at the testimony. But if you want to make it complicated by adding confusing and probably newspaper embellished passenger statements, please yourself.
 
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