Clifford Ismay


Dec 21, 2005
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Hello to all group members and moderators.
My name is Clifford Ismay. I live in North West England very near to the birth town of Thomas Henry Ismay. My branch of the family is thought to be the closest living connection to Thomas and Bruce Ismay which still carries the Ismay surname. I am indeed honoured to be part of this group and look forward to some interesting and informative discussions.
 
Apr 7, 2001
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Hi Cliff,

A big welcome to you!!!!!!!!

Wow what a surprise to see you here. Me very happy now ...

Glowing in Pasadena,

Yours -

--Teri
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
Member
Dec 3, 2000
8,248
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Niagara Falls, Ontario
Hello Cliff,

Welcome aboard! You've come to the right place to discuss all things Titanic.

It's good to hear from you and I look forward to reading your thoughts, and opinions on your family members.
 
H

Holly Hewlett

Guest
Clifford, hi!
In James Cameron's film "Titanic", Bruce Ismay is portrayed as being firstly one of the reasons the Titanic speeded up and then hit the iceberg, and secondly a coward for sneaking into a lifeboat. Do you know why this was or if it is true? I know little about Bruce Ismay and I would really like your opinion.
Thanks, Holly.
 
Dec 21, 2005
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A big thank you to Teri, Jason and Holly for your warm welcome.
To answer the questions asked by Holly (post No. 28) Firstly, Bruce Ismay was indeed portrayed as being one of the reasons the Titanic speeded up and certainly he is likely to have been on the Bridge on at least one occasion, but I understand the he did not interfere with the navigation of the ship in any way. Captain Smith was very experienced and I doubt that he would allow Bruce to suggest that he make a record crossing, nor do I believe that Murdoch would go against the orders of his Captain.
Secondly, as far as sneaking into collapsible 'c' is concerned; Bruce saved many lives before boarding the lifeboat. There is some debate in that he may have been ordered into the lifeboat, or that he entered the boat in a dignified manner, but which ever is the truth, it has been said that if he had not entered the lifeboat, then no other life would have been saved. I am in no doubt that when boarding collapsible 'c' Bruce will have been well aware that as Managing Director of the White Star Line the events of that night would rest firmly on his shoulders (as history has proved) perhaps a lesser man would have taken another option.

Cliff
 
Nov 26, 2005
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Hello Clifford and I also want to extend my welcome to you to ET.

Your last post is every interesting and well put. The media/hype has this way of vilifying people w/o being in full possession of the facts. Truth is, none of us know what really happened. However, I for one, refuse to believe some myths that Bruce PUSHED through a croud of men, women, and children to get to Collapsible C.
I do think he saw an opportunity and took it. Maybe with the knowledge that he would be more than held accountable, maybe not. I just refuse to look at him, or anyone else on the Titanic that night, as a villain. Human instinct, as with all animal instinct, is survival.

I'm very much looking forward to hearing more of your insights on the matter. You seem to be in a position to maybe offer some new family information, if you so choose.

Anyway, just wanted to extend my welcome to you as well. Hope to hear more from you on future threads.
 
W

Wayne Keen

Guest
Welcome Clifford.

There are a wonderful variety of fascinating people here - with patience bordering on sainthood (they put up with me - enough said).

May you enjoy yourself from the sharing.

Wayne
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Captain Smith was very experienced and I doubt that he would allow Bruce to suggest that he make a record crossing,<<

Since the Olympics were not in any sense even capable of setting any sort of speed record...a fact that Bruce Ismay was well aware of...my bet is that any such notion wouldn't have even been on the radar screen. I suppose there may have been some sort of discussion about a possible Monday morning speed run to see what the ship could do, but that's a very different sort of animal from having a go at a record which they knew these ships were incapable of besting in the first place.

Whether or not Bruce "influenced" the manner in which the ship was operated is controversial and probably always will be. Considering that the Titanic was really not operated in a manner any different from the way any other mail boat was I'm inclined to think that any impact he may have had with some "Suggestions" if any were offered is way over rated. Absent his presence, I'm inclined to think the accident would have happened anyway. The contemporary operational practice of the time in my opinion, made it inevitable. Since history doesn't reveal it's alternatives, there's really no way to know.

For all the controversy, hate and discontent thrown at the man, I believe Bruce Ismay's only "crime" was nothing more then being in the wrong place, on the wrong ship at the wrong time. In that respect, he had plenty of company that night.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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G'day, Clifford!

In my e-book you will find some interesting material in support of Bruce Ismay. He actually attracted sympathy in some quarters in 1912.
 
H

Holly Hewlett

Guest
Thanks for answering my questions Clifford. It's so fantastic that we have someone related to a Titanic survivor (and Bruce Ismay of all people!) we can talk to! If you have other information or trivia on Bruce Ismay or Titanic I'd be glad to hear it!
Holly.
PS - so how are you related to Bruce Ismay?
 
Dec 21, 2005
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Hello to Matthew, Dave, Michael and Wayne and thank you also for your very warm welcome.

Matthew, thanks for your comments, I'm sure they echo the views of many here.

Michael, You are completely correct in stating that the Olympics were not capable of setting any speed record. They were never envisaged or designed to do any such thing, the emphasis being on style and comfort, and yes Bruce Ismay will have been very much aware of this. It is also true that so many elements were against the Titanic that night; the fact that the stars were so bright, but no moon; the rarity of ice being so far south at that time and the fact that there was little or no wind, rendering the sea so calm. One could be perhaps forgiven for thinking that the hand of fate played it's part on the events that night.

Holly, >>PS - so how are you related to Bruce Ismay?<< The relationship works out like this; Thomas Ismay was born in 1704, two of his sons were Daniel (1731) and Joseph (1743) From Daniel came the lineage of T. H. & J. B. Ismay and my lineage comes from Joseph. So in a nutshell, my Great x4 grandfather and Thomas Henry's Great x3 grandfather were brothers. Hope that goes some way to answering your question.

Cliff Ismay
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>One could be perhaps forgiven for thinking that the hand of fate played it's part on the events that night. <<

I don't really think fate had a lot to do with it, or Lightoller's now infamous "Everything was against us." defence that he would offer up years after the fact in his memoirs. In every casualty, there's a long chain of events which eventually leads up to the accident. Mistakes which...minor in and of themselves...end up leading to a really bad day when they all come together.

You may find the numerous threads in the Collisions/Sinkings Theories folder to be of some interest as we discuss the dynamics of what's most likely to be the possible realities there.

The real culprit in my opinion wasn't fate, but...in a nutshell...the navigation team overestimating their ability to see and avoid ice which they really had full knowladge was there.
 

suzanne scott

Member
Nov 15, 2005
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A belated hello Clifford and merry christmas to everyone! There are so many mysteries and twists and turns we'll never know the answer to them - as we all know 2 people experiencing the same event will give a totally different interpretation and in a traumatic situation it's all too easy to read things incorrectly. Knowing nothing about navigation etc i would, in my humble opinion, have thought that as a very experienced sailor and captain of a ship the size of Titanic that he would probably have paid little more than lip service to a lot of advice/suggestions (if indeed any were forthcoming). I don't know if anyone saw the recent programme on Discovery (i think!). Not sure if it was a repeat - it was the furthest ever they had managed to get cameras into the wreck - right into the turkish baths and one of the first class suites - i can't remember who they said it belonged to. Anyway, they said about the lifeboats and the weight of them - i'm amazed having seen that that they managed to lower them. They also used survivors ac! counts to reconstruct the workings of them and did say that it was quite possible that a lot of people - having watched the first couple go down - decided to stay on the ship as the boats had to be more or less dropped from a great height into the water thereby putting people off - i suppose many thought that firstly it wouldn't sink and secondly even if it did it would be afloat long enough for them to be rescued. As for Mr Ismay, who better to be pilloried than someone in a position of authority who just happened to survive the tragedy.
 

T. Eric Brown

Member
Jun 5, 2005
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Welcome to Encyclopedia Titanica Cliff (or do you prefer Clifford?)! Glad to see another survivor relative, however distant, roaming the board. Especially one of one of the most prominent passengers.

I agree with Mike, fate had little to do with the events of that night. All the little pieces of the puzzle that could bring down the ship just fell into place that night. You'll see Mike a lot around the board. He's probably on of the most prolific posters on ET. He had over 13,000 posts at one point, I don't know where the 9,000 figure came from, probably some moderator magic trick ;).

See you around the board!

Eric
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I don't know where the 9,000 figure came from, probably some moderator magic trick ;). <<

More like a software glitch about a month ago. Not the sort of thing we had a lot of control over. It just happened. Everybody's posts are still there, but the counter is mucked up.
 

T. Eric Brown

Member
Jun 5, 2005
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Uhhh, sounds bad. My counter didn't seem to have gotten screwed up. By the way, I'm closing in on 100 posts yea!
 
Dec 21, 2005
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Thanks also to Suzanne Scott and T Eric Brown for the welcome.
Eric- you can call me whatever you like (within reason) but Cliff is my usual preference
Cliff
 

Marion James

Member
Aug 18, 2005
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0
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Clifford,

Happy New Year to you, I am also a new member but I have been using the ET for a long time.

I also must say a 'wow' to the fact we have a member who is related to one of the most prominent characters of this tragic incident.

As you are a family member due to gt/grandfathers x 4 being brothers did your side of the family talk much about Bruce Ismay or was this subject put to one side and not spoken about within the family?

Also one more question Clifford do you look like Bruce Ismay as DNA and genes do repeat themselves through the years?

Anyway looking forward to reading your side of the story as a family member.

Marion
 
Dec 21, 2005
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Hello Marion
Happy New Year to you.

Two interesting questions and I hope you will find the answers equally interesting.

My side of the family did not talk about the Titanic connection very much. My grandfather used to visit London because of his work, and when he was there he often met with Bruce in Hyde Park but as far as I know he never talked about what was discussed.

To answer your second question about the resemblance to Bruce; perhaps a little. Many see more resemblance to his father, Thomas Henry. Going back about five yeas, I was visiting a museum in Maryport (the birth place of Thomas) and there was a portrait of Thomas Henry, my eldest son looked at the portrait and asked why there was a picture of me on the wall.

If you wish to take a look at my website: http://www.geocities.com/ismayfamily
there are some pictures on the 'whats new' and '2004 family gathering' pages.

Cliff
 

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