Crew Refused to Sail on Titanic?



Is it true that the crew who sailed on the Titanic at Belfast had purposely left the ship at Southampton and refused to sail on her to New York? My sister works in a retirement home near Belfast. She said her colleague has spoken to many residents over the decades who were connected in various ways to the Titanic and "the big Olympic boats". She was told that the crew refused to sail on the Titanic after she arrived in Southampton. Does anyone know why? e.g. Issue with wages, the bunker fire etc?

Mar 18, 2008
Not true. Most of them where from Belfast and did only delivery trips (that is why so many gave the last ship the Olympic which left Belfast on 7 March) and had no interest to go over to New York. Joe Mullholland left the ship as he stated in later years, there was something he did not like on that ship. No one mentioned the bunker fire by the way.

Dave Gittins

Mar 16, 2000
Ioannis is quite right. The crew were called runners and they went back to Belfast, probably by a combination of train and ferry. I think one or two joined Titanic.

Years later, Mulholland told a great story to an Irish reporter.

When he reached Southampton, Mulholland was short of money, so he considered whether he should sign on Titanic, or whether he should go on a tramp steamer and make a few months' wages. As he stood at the rail, wondering what to do, Titanic's cat appeared with her kittens. She carried the kittens ashore and disappeared. Mulholland thought the cat knew Titanic was no place to raise her kittens, so he followed in her pawsteps. He found a tramp steamer and lived for many years after. What more do you want for a pint of Guinness?
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Jan 23, 2006
There is a video out that will give you adequate reason for many of the crew to resign their posts:
It talks about the high temperature fire in one of the boiler coal bunkers before it reached Southampton. The many of the crew who knew about it, didn't want to continue to sail so they resigned, and White Line had to find new crew,
Documentary done on Channel 4 covering Molony's research
Titanic: The New Evidence - On Demand - All 4
Mar 18, 2008
Oh you mean that made up stuff from that show. I am not going to called that a documentary!
Now where are the accounts from the crew mentioning the high temperature? If you find one let us know.