Duff Gordon Goofs

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
I own 12 books on the subject.

So what? Does that all of a sudden make you an expert? And just ignore people who are knowledgeable in this subject, who have been researching the Titanic much longer than you and who disagree with you, even when they present you with facts to counter your claims?

No, I hardly think so.

All the books state that the Duff Gordons asked to leave, all the books state that duff Gordon offered to replace the kits and that people though of it as a bribe and ALL the books spacificlly state that a picture was taken, the day AFTER Sir Cosmo paid up and that it was a seperate situation. Many of these authors actually spoke with members of the THS and got this information.

Well, your information is wrong for the reasons posted above. You posted in a public forum, so you should expect rebuttal, disagreement and constructive criticism. Those are the consequences.

Perhaps you need to read things closer before trying to correct me.

Michael McGuffin doesn't need to do any such thing. It is YOU who needs to take a closer look at things. As he recommended, read the inquires from both the U.S. Senate and British Board of Trade, found here:TIP | United States Senate Inquiry

Just because someone wrote it in a book and states that they are an authority, does not make it so. Don't believe everything you read and double check, and re-check your facts before taking it as gospel.

Now deal with it and get over yourself.
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No doubt they had a couple of moments of poor taste in there but I hardly think it can be considered their "goof" that their lifeboat left with only a fraction of the maximum capacity on board; nor is it their fault that they didn't row back for survivors. They were not part of the crew and therefore had no say in the matter. This cannot be one of those guilt by association things, the responsibility for launching lifeboats that weren't full must lay with the crew members who lowered them.

Also, as cold hearted as it may be, it was also sensible to not row back immediately for survivors. Imagine hundreds of desperate people trying to clamber aboard one or two lifeboats - in all likelihood, boats would have been overturned and the people in them would have suffered the same fate as those who were already in the water.

So yes, the Duff Gordon's were lucky and they may have behaved a little badly, but I think an outright criticism of them is a bit over the top.

People judge this couple so much, I had the displeasure to read a comment comparing them to Hitler, extremely unnecessary. It's very easy to point your finger at a deceased Titanic survivor when you're in a warm bed.

Arun Vajpey

The Duff-Gordons were passengers. Unlike many others, they probably realized that there was some danger to the ship and decided that it was wise to get into a lifeboat if they got the opportunity. They probably noticed that many fellow passengers around them were reluctant to get into lifeboats and 3 lifeboats had already been lowered only partially filled. Therefore, when the opportunity presented itself during the call for passengers for Lifeboat #1, they took it and boarded. They did not force their way into the lifeboat not deprive anyone else of a place. Even with the crew, #1 was just short of half-full when launched.

I don't believe that the Duff-Gordons "goofed" or did anything wrong. If my wife and I were in their place we might have done the same thing, knowing that we were not taking someone else's place. It was not the Duff-Gordons' fault that Lifeboat #1 was launched only partially filled.

AFAIK there is no solid evidence that Lucile Duff-Gordon or anyone else stopped the crew from going back to take more passengers from the water. That could have started from the scene in the 1958 ANTR film and in any case, it would be the crew's decision.

As for the alleged £5 given by Cosmo to each of the crew, I believe that he did so exactly for the reason that was given - to cover for the loss of their kits. But since the Duff-Gordons were rich and had survived while many of their kind (the men) had not, the media distorted the gesture into something that would sell more newspapers in the streets.
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Whilst on the subject of Duff Gordons. I only visited his gravesite at Brookwood cemetery last spring, quite close to captain Smith wife and daughter gravesite. Wife is
on the right and daughter far left.P1010535.JPGP1010546.JPGP1010544.JPG
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I don't believe that the Duff-Gordons "goofed" or did anything wrong. If my wife and I were in their place we might have done the same thing, knowing that we were not taking someone else's place. It was not the Duff-Gordons' fault that Lifeboat #1 was launched only partially filled.
I wouldn't be too sure about Boat No. One being only partially filled.

Dave Gittins (great historian of the disaster) was of the opinion that H&W were at it when they rated the emergency cutters as being safe for forty occupants. Fifteen to twenty would probably have been more realistic and safer.

Arun Vajpey

I thought a bit about the so-called £5 "bribes" that some people alleged that Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon gave to the crew in their Lifeboat #1 so that they did not insist on rowing back to pick-up survivors from the sea etc and realized that the accusations made no sense.

Whatever else he was or was not, Sir Cosmo was not a fool. If his intentions were really to bribe the crew, he would never have written out personal cheques in their favour; that would have been written proof that he gave them the money. Moreover, even though £5 in those days represented a substantial sum for a stoker or trimmer, Cosmo could not be certain that the sum was enough to buy every man's cooperation and silence if that was indeed his intention. The fact that he still wrote those cheques strongly suggests IMO that they were compensation for loss of the personal kits - just like he claimed - and he found no need to be secretive about it.

If bribes were on his mind, he could easily have used the same pen to note down their names with a verbal promise of "making good" later.
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