Commander Bartlett - Captain of the Titanic


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Aaron_2016

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Commander Bartlett was reported to have taken command of the Titanic In March 1912 when she was manoeuvred in and out of her dry dock in Belfast so that the Olympic (commanded by Captain Smith) could turn around after repairs to her propeller were completed. Would he oversee the operation from the bridge and rely on the pilot and the tugs to complete the change in position, or would he require a crew, and possibly use their engines to take them in and out?

Was Captain Bartlett in command when this footage was taken - March 1912 ?

Skip to 1.44 - Is that him on the bridge?




Belfast news from March 1912.

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Rob Lawes

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In order to have lighting, telephones and other internal systems up and running the ship would have had to have steam up to run the generators during the manoeuvre.

In my modern experience, entering and exiting dry docks was done as what we would call a 'cold move' in other words the engines themselves were shut down and it was all carried out under the control of tugs and dockside capstans.

When you use the dockyard facilities there is normally a dockyard pilot provided but I expect @Jim Currie can clarify that far better than me.
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hi Aaron,

Commander Captain Smith was in charge. Captain Bartlett had a land based desk job at this stage, and was Marine Superintendent of the IMM so was also responsible for Captain Lord, though Marine Superintendent Fry was the Leyland Line rep in Liverpool. Captain Bartlett was very supportive of Captain Lord after the British Inquiry via private correspondence which is in the Liverpool Museum.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Julian Atkins

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Also, in Captain Rostron's important letter of 5th September 1912 to Captain Lord describing the 2 steamers seen by him at daybreak 15th April he ends his letter

"I may state for your private information I have had quite long talks with Captain Bartlett about you".

Captain Bartlett was trying to pull the strings to get Captain Lord (now unemployed as from 13th August 1912) a job in the West India trade. (letter Captain Bridgewater to Captain Lord, late August or September 1912).

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Aaron_2016

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Hi Aaron,

Commander Captain Smith was in charge. Captain Bartlett had a land based desk job at this stage, and was Marine Superintendent of the IMM so was also responsible for Captain Lord, though Marine Superintendent Fry was the Leyland Line rep in Liverpool. Captain Bartlett was very supportive of Captain Lord after the British Inquiry via private correspondence which is in the Liverpool Museum.

Cheers,

Julian


Thanks, although in the news article above it says:

'Captain Bartlett, marine superintendent of the White Star Line was on board the Titanic, and Commander Smith was on the bridge of the Olympic.'


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Mark Baber

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Do unfinished ships have commanders during intra-shipyard movements they make before being handed over?

As already mentioned, Bartlett was White Star's Liverpool marine superintendent at the time.
 

Rob Lawes

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Again, I'm only able to speak from modern-day Naval experience but during build, RN ships have an Senior Naval Officer who will be the skipper until the official one is appointed and assumes his duties.

The difference normally being that the SNO could be an engineer or a member of the supply branch where as the official skipper would always be a seaman.

It would be my guess that Bartlett was just on-board to supervise the move.
 
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Aaron_2016

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It must have been quite a challenge to turn the ships around and change their positions. I've seen cruise ships turning around there, but they always go out a great distance and turn around in safer waters. Wonder how far the Titanic and Olympic were taken out, and if the area had to be dredged just to accommodate their size when they turned around.


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Jim Currie

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Olympic was commissioned and "On Articles". Captain Smith was Master of the Olympic and in complete charge.
Titanic was still under construction and owned by the builders. Captain Bartlett had no official role to play in the movement of the ships. In respect of the Olympic, he was simply the Representatives of the Owner.He would be Representative of the prospective owners in the case of Titanic.
Titanic
would be moved by the Harbour Authority in accordance with Docking Master's orders and pilot's advice.
Olympic would be moved on the basis of Master's Orders - Pilot and Docking Master's advice.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Yes, I was standing roughly where the Titanic was berthed, although she was slightly to my right. Cruise ships sometimes dock on my right as well, but always at a safer depth further out. I was standing between the Olympic and Titanic about here.

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