David Blair 2nd Ofcr relieved before departure

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Kim Robinson

Guest
Does anyone have information on which cabin Mr. Blair occupied? Was the cabin taken over by Mr. Lightoller when the change of Chief Officer forced a demotion in the top officers thus removing Mr. Blair from his position on board? If Mr. Blair's cabin was unoccupied, was it identified and searched by Mr. Ballard? I am curious if the Crow's Nest binocular's were ever located in the cabin?
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hi Kim,

On deck plans the Officer's rooms are marked: Chief Officer, 1st Officer, etc.

So yes Lightoller would have occupied the room that Blair was to have had.
 
K

Kim Robinson

Guest
Thanks for the clarification that Lightoller would have taken over the = room. Evidently Mr. Lightoller never found the binoculars which leads = me to believe they were locked in something in the room. Does anyone = know if Mr. Ballard's deep sea exploration ever searched the room and = whether or not the binoculars were found?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Hallo, Kim, and welcome to Titanica. The binoculars in question were officially allocated to the 2nd Officer rather than the crow's nest. We know that Blair had provided them for the use of the lookouts on the short run from Belfast to Southampton, but Lightoller believed that binoculars were of little or no use in the crow's nest and didn't follow suit. When the ship went down they may have been in his cabin or on the bridge, but (if we dismiss the traditional theory of their being locked away) they were a 'loose item' which could have ended up anywhere in the vicinity of the wreck. If found and recovered, they would easily be identified from engraved markings and their notoriety would ensure a lot of publicity.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Parks, Eric or Bill could probably clarify this, but when I asked them what - if anything - remained of these cabins, the answer was 'very little'. The internal walls, for example, are gone.
 
K

Kim Robinson

Guest
Thanks for the clarification and information from all that have = responded to me. This has been and continues to be a learning = experience in many ways. I'm currently rehearsing for the play Titanic a = new musical. I will depict the character of 2nd Ofcr. Lightoller. The = process rekindled an interest in Titanic. I've been reading a biography = about him that has given me alot of insight to both the wreck, events = leading up to it, and about 'Lights' himself. 'Lights' had a very = interesting life and I am honored even more to be depicting the man.

If anyone is going to be near Springfield, IL on June 6 - 8 or 11 - 15, = 2003, I invite you to stop by at our MUNI (outdoor Broadway, in your = backyard). It is the largest outdoor theater between Chicago, IL and = St. Louis, MO. If any intestest about it, please feel free to check out = our web site: www.themuni.org =20
 
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Bob writes:

>>they were a 'loose item' which could have ended up anywhere in the vicinity of the wreck. If found and recovered, they would easily be identified from engraved markings and their notoriety would ensure a lot of publicity<<

I speaking with George Tulloch, of RMST about the issue of binoculars, several years ago I was informed that three pairs of binoculars were recovered from the debris field. Of the three pairs if I remember correctly a pair was on display at the Boston Artifact Exhibition.

Tarn do you remember a pair of these on display at any of the various exhibits you worked at?

An image of one set of recovered binoculars is shown on page 79 of Susan Wells - "Titanic Legacy of the World's Greatest Ocean Liner"

And I have numerous additional images of the various pairs of binoculars recovered in my collection of images supplied to me by RMST, however copyright laws prevent the posting of these images.
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
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Perhaps I should clarify the 'markings' on the binoculars. I am assuming that the lettering would have been stamped or engraved on the brass lens barrels. According to Fleet's testimony at the British Inquiry:

"Were those glasses marked in any special way?" - "It had on one side of it, 'Second Officer' and on the other, 'SS Titanic'.

According to Lightoller's evidence, there were "A pair for each senior Officer and the Commander, and one pair for the bridge, commonly termed pilot glasses." But of course there could have been any number of others in the private possession of crew or passengers. The recovered item pictured in Susan Wells' book is in fact described as 'opera or field glasses' - very likely the property of a passenger.
 
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Interesting huh, Tabby. I think the Binoculars wouldn't have made much a difference in spotting the berg.

The site might of had it's facts wrong though. I always thought the Binoculars were in Officer Blair's cabin not in a locker in the crow tower.

If Officer Blair did sink the ship because of the missing binoculars he made up for it when he save a crew member the next year by jumping into the sea to rescue the crew member who, I believe was trying to commit suicide. Look on Blair's biography. It will take you right to the article on Blair's rescue of the attempted suicide.
 

Shea Sweeney

Member
Apr 1, 2007
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"I think the binoculars wouldn't have made much a difference in spotting the berg"

Agreed. Binoculars are used to mostly look at an object closer once you've spotted it with the naked eye. One of the lookouts testified this at the inquiries.

Perhaps someone with a more maritime background than myself could add on to this.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>Perhaps someone with a more maritime background than myself could add on to this.<<

Not much. I've spoken on this before based on my own lookout experience. The really big problem with binoculars is that they severely limit your field of vision to the point of tunnel vision. They're also amazingly difficult to search with even if your trained in how to do it and I am.

I learned very quickly that I had a vastly better chance of seeing something by scanning with the naked eye then with these things. The binoculars I used only came into play when I needed to identify something I'd seen.
 
Hi everyone,

In the Merchant Shipping Act 1894, section 305, it said "Every emigrant ship shall be manned with an efficient crew for her intended voyage to the satisfaction of the Emigration Officer from whom a certificate for clearance for such ship is demanded; after the crew have been passed by the Emigration Officer, the strength of the crew shall not be diminished nor any of the men changed without the consent in writing,"

We know that there was a reshuffling of the first three officers the day before the sailing of the Titanic, on April 9.

My question : is anyone knows if that reshuffling have been accepted by the Emigration officer in charge or / and if the White Star Line had obtained that consent in writing ?

Thanks!
 
May 3, 2005
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Once more, a question just out of curiosity . :
Is there any background on the reason, or reasons, for "the reshuffling of the officers" ?
 

B-rad

Member
Jul 1, 2015
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Hi everyone,

In the Merchant Shipping Act 1894, section 305, it said "Every emigrant ship shall be manned with an efficient crew for her intended voyage to the satisfaction of the Emigration Officer from whom a certificate for clearance for such ship is demanded; after the crew have been passed by the Emigration Officer, the strength of the crew shall not be diminished nor any of the men changed without the consent in writing,"

We know that there was a reshuffling of the first three officers the day before the sailing of the Titanic, on April 9.

My question : is anyone knows if that reshuffling have been accepted by the Emigration officer in charge or / and if the White Star Line had obtained that consent in writing ?

Thanks!
Here is a picture of the 'Report of Survey of an Emigrant Ship', so I'm guessing that all was right by the Emigration people.

officer switch.png


Once more, a question just out of curiosity . :
Is there any background on the reason, or reasons, for "the reshuffling of the officers" ?
It is my understanding that they wanted another person besides Capt. Smith, to have had experience with the Olympic Class vessels, so the took Wilde from the Olympic.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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It is my understanding that they wanted another person besides Capt. Smith, to have had experience with the Olympic Class vessels, so the took Wilde from the Olympic.
I've always wondered about that claim.

Murdoch had more experience on Olympic than Wilde and Murdoch, of course, was already available to Smith on Titanic. However, moving Wilde from Olympic also deprived Olympic's new commander, Haddock, of his experience. One would think Haddock, who was new to Olympic after five years in command of Oceanic, had more need of it than Smith.

I think, years ago, either Dave Gittins or Inger Sheil put forward a more plausible suggestion about the reshuffle but I can't remember what it was!

Best wishes

Mark.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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However, moving Wilde from Olympic also deprived Olympic's new commander, Haddock, of his experience. One would think Haddock, who was new to Olympic after five years in command of Oceanic, had more need of it than Smith.
Wilde was going to get his own command but because of the coal strike he was at shore and got aboard Titanic on April 5th unclear for all until April 9th if he would stay or not. Haddock sure took the few days aboard Titanic in Belfast to make him a little familiar and had also the other bridge officers on Olympic.
However aside from Captain Smith, Murdoch had the most experience with the Olympic Class.
 

B-rad

Member
Jul 1, 2015
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I've always wondered about that claim.

Murdoch had more experience on Olympic than Wilde and Murdoch, of course, was already available to Smith on Titanic.

Mark.
[QUOTE="
However aside from Captain Smith, Murdoch had the most experience with the Olympic Class.[/QUOTE]

Thanks. I had forgotten about Murdoch! :rolleyes: Yikes!
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Haddock sure took the few days aboard Titanic in Belfast to make him a little familiar and had also the other bridge officers on Olympic.
I made some notes ages ago about the officers assigned to both ships in April 1912. Going from memory, Titanic's officers - certainly at the senior level - had more experience.

Olympic had a new commander, new chief officer, and new second officer. (Her former second officer, Hume, was promoted to first). Her third, fourth, fifth and sixth officers had all served her before. Of the top four:
  • Olympic had one officer with existing experience of the ship (Hume) and three new officers including her new commander;
  • Titanic had three officers with existing experience of Olympic and one new officer (Lightoller).
We therefore have Olympic with three new men out of eight; and Titanic with five new men out of eight. However, the experience of the commander, chief, first and second officers was very much better on Titanic.

I need to check whether Murdoch missed a voyage. If he did, then he likely had the same amount of voyages on Olympic as Wilde and less than Smith.

Best wishes

Mark.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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We therefore have Olympic with three new men out of eight; and Titanic with five new men out of eight. However, the experience of the commander, chief, first and second officers was very much better on Titanic.
Nearly the same goes for the engine department, most of them came over from Olympic (as well as crew members of other departments.

I need to check whether Murdoch missed a voyage. If he did, then he likely had the same amount of voyages on Olympic as Wilde and less than Smith.
Murdoch did not miss a voyage but he also did the 2 day trial. Wilde joint after the Maiden Voyage.