George McGough


Aug 16, 2016
60
9
18
Maybe the most difficult case to solve among the survivng ABs of whom we have evidence from testimonies is that of George McGough. And anyone who did research might have ended up with the hypothesis that switched the lifeboats launching order putting boat 14 ahead of 9 (based on the testimonies of Scarrott and Haines).

Nevertheless, another launching sequence hypothesis states that it was the opposite of the above and sounds pretty reasonable too: based on greaser Scott's testimony, who climbed up to the boat deck and saw no boats on the starboard side and a couple boats left on port, involving that officer who threat to shoot (most likely Lowe at 14 or Lightoller at 12). Since Murdoch lowered sequentially the aft starboard boats I'm inclined to think that boat 15 was still on the boat deck when 9 departed. And Scott saw no boat left on starboard because the last one or maybe the last ones were already on the lower deck taking passengers, but boat 14 was still in sight on the boat deck.

Where do we put McGough here? I think maybe he did helped lower lifeboat 14 level to the boat deck when it was being ready for evacuation, but later on he moved the other side of the ship. Scarrott saw him when getting the boat ready but then his atention turned to the passengers and the men rushes and he did not see when McGough left leaving the lowering process to another fellow. Certainly we may never know the truth.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,276
589
183
Germany
Maybe the most difficult case to solve among the survivng ABs of whom we have evidence from testimonies is that of George McGough. And anyone who did research might have ended up with the hypothesis that switched the lifeboats launching order putting boat 14 ahead of 9 (based on the testimonies of Scarrott and Haines).
I do not know what Haines had to do with it. From what I see the statement that boat 14 went ahead of boat No. 9 and thus the aft port side boats left before the starboard one is only based on Scarrott mentioning McGough as the one lowering No. 14.


And Scott saw no boat left on starboard because the last one or maybe the last ones were already on the lower deck taking passengers, but boat 14 was still in sight on the boat deck.
Scott was clear that he looked over the side and saw no boats left on the starboard side.

Where do we put McGough here? I think maybe he did helped lower lifeboat 14 level to the boat deck when it was being ready for evacuation, but later on he moved the other side of the ship. Scarrott saw him when getting the boat ready but then his atention turned to the passengers and the men rushes and he did not see when McGough left leaving the lowering process to another fellow. Certainly we may never know the truth.
I do think Scarrott was mistaken about McGough (sadly no interviews with McGough are known about his actions aboard). We have boats Nos. 14, 12 and 10 all loaded and left when there was a list to port. On the starboard side we have a different picture. People who went into lifeboats Nos. 9, 11 & 13 mentioned a list to starboard before they went in one of these boats and at boat No. 9 we have mention of a non list when it was lowered. It was at lifeboat No. 15 when the first mention of a port list is mentioned.
There are also reports from survivors mentioning that the boats on the starboard side left before the port side, that on the aft port side people waited for 30 minutes while on the starboard side the lifeboats were loaded and lowered, a best example is 3rd class passenger Charles Dahl who waited for 30 minutes or more on the port side and then went to the starboard side in time to let himself down the falls into lifeboat No. 15 which was in the process of lowering.
 
Aug 16, 2016
60
9
18
Haines mentioned McGough being at 9. I agree with you Scarrott was mistaken; maybe he was talking about McCarthy, who left later in lifeboat 4.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,276
589
183
Germany
I see what you mean now. Haines was not the only one, it were also Kemish, Watt and Futrelle (I think I forget another one) who mentioned McGough in No.9.

Still I think Scarrott was mistaken. I do not know about McCarthy (there is no report if he has anything to do with the lowering of No. 14) possibly it was someone who look similar like McGough.
What I am wonder is how Scarrott recognize McGough who was "lowering the after-fall" of Boat No. 14. According to Scarrott he saw him doing so when No. 14 hung up about 10 feet over the water surface. Even with the port list I am still wondering how he was able to see McGough on deck at the after fall also taking the poor light condition into account.
 

George Jacub

Member
Sep 28, 2005
146
5
88
This thread should be called Frederick Scott, the Key, because his testimony puts the final nail in the coffin of the argument that the port boats aft were lowered (except No. 10) before the starboard aft lifeboats.
Note also the context of the Scarrott/McGough "evidence". Scarrott doesn't say he saw McGough lowering his boat. Scarrott was describing how the lowering of No. 14 stopped abruptly, leaving the boat at a 45 degree angle, with the forward end low and the aft end high. He was blaming McGough for the uneven lowering.
"Her after-fall then would be about ten feet - we had about ten feet to go on the after-fall. Our boat was at an angle of pretty well 45 degrees. I called Mr. Lowe's attention to it. He said, "Why don't they lower away aft?" I know the man that was lowering the after-fall, it was McGough."

TIP | British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry | Day 2 | Testimony of Joseph Scarrott (Able Bodied Seaman, SS Titanic)
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,276
589
183
Germany
Scarrott doesn't say he saw McGough lowering his boat. Scarrott was describing how the lowering of No. 14 stopped abruptly, leaving the boat at a 45 degree angle, with the forward end low and the aft end high. He was blaming McGough for the uneven lowering.
"Her after-fall then would be about ten feet - we had about ten feet to go on the after-fall. Our boat was at an angle of pretty well 45 degrees. I called Mr. Lowe's attention to it. He said, "Why don't they lower away aft?" I know the man that was lowering the after-fall, it was McGough."
Maybe you can point out the part where he blames McGough for it? All he said is that he fall was twisted. How was this McGough's fail?

395. And having been lowered to the water, was she disengaged? - No, she hung up. The forward fall lowered all right, sufficiently far enough that the forepart of the boat was afloat and the forward fall slack. Her after-fall then would be about ten feet - we had about ten feet to go on the after-fall. Our boat was at an angle of pretty well 45 degrees. I called Mr. Lowe's attention to it. He said, "Why don't they lower away aft?" I know the man that was lowering the after-fall, it was McGough. I looked overhead naturally enough, seeing the boat did not come down, and the fall was twisted. It resembled more a cable hawser than a fall, and would not render at all.
 

George Jacub

Member
Sep 28, 2005
146
5
88
For the record, here's McGough's account of the events aboard the sinking Titanic. (Posted in two parts to fit.)

The Evening World from New York, New York · Page 3

THE EVENING WORLD, SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 1912.
NEW THRILLING STORIES OF AWFUL DISASTER

HEROIC WOMEN IN BOATS
AT OARS ALL NIGHT LONG
SEAMAN TELLS THE STORY
-
McGaugh, Who Saw Captain and
Chief Officer Go to Death, Gives
Vivid Recital of Last Moments
of the Great Sea Tragedy.

Here is the story of the wreck of the Titanic told by one of the men
of the sea.. It is the narrative of an able seaman of twenty-five years'
experience. He has sailed in ships which are mere memories to the pres-
ent generation. Many times has he been wrecked on unfriendly shores;
many Victories has he scored over death by storm and wreck. It was
the boast of the White Star line that the best crew obtainable on the
other side was shipped for the maiden voyage of the Titanic. That is
why George McGaugh was shipped from Southampton to make the
record span from England's shores to Sandy Hook.
"In all my years on the sea, in all the dangers through which I have
passed," said the old salt, "I never saw a braver crowd of men. I never
helped a crowd of more courageous women than the passengers of the
Titanic, God bless them!"
And maybe it was the memory of those awful hours on the icy sea with
women and children in his charge that caused the brine to flow from his
weather beaten eyes. And maybe It was the thought of a patient and loving
wife in Southampton. McGaugh had done his duty. That is all he knows.
If you should call him a hero he wouldn't know what you meant. What
was there to be done but stand by and obey orders--- the orders of Captain
Smith and Junior Chief Officer Murdoch!
McGaugh is a simple sailor and he told his story in a simple narrative.
Across the ocean his wife knows not whether he went down with the many
or was rescued with the few. McGaugh has no money to cable her. He and his
mates who rescued the men, women and children of the Titanic- were not
permitted to come ashore the night the Carpathia landed. They were told that
they would be sent back to England on the Lapland, scheduled to sail to-day.
They were virtually prisoners on the steamer on Thursday night. The thanks
of a mighty company to a gallant crew!

It was down in Father McGrath's Catholic Mission that the sailor man
told his story to the Evening World re- porter to-day. Father McGrath, who
has done much for the amelioration of the condition of Jack at sea, was there
and so were a number of his constitu-ents as well as many sailors who lis-
tened with breathless attention to themost graphic features of McGaugh's
narrative.

"It was fortunate," began McGaugh, "that the accident happened when it
did. It was just at the change of watch and every man on deck, either coming
on or going off duty. You know how she struck. It lacked twenty minutes
of eight bells, just before midnight. I was on duty; my relief was ready to
come up. I heard Capt. Smith ordering the carpenter to make the soundings. I
heard the report of 'Chips,' who said: 'Ten degrees list to starboard.'

" 'My God'.' cried the captain. 'Bos'n pipe all hands on deck.'

COULDN'T SEE THE BERG BE-
CAUSE IT WAS BLUE.

"Junior Chief Officer Murdoch, as(sic) on the bridge. The captain was in the
chart house when she struck. The look-out in the crows' nest couldn't see the
iceberg because it was blue, the samecolor as the water. The captain held
the bridge and held it to the last. Murdoch came to the deck and cried to the
firemen, who were just reporting, to go below and keep the fire going.
Keegan, in charge, shouted "Down below, men'.' and the crew followed him
down to their death. They never were seen afterward.

"The collision was an awful bump forward, but owing to the great size
of the Titanic was hardly felt aft. In a twinkling Murdock had all the men
at their stations by the lifeboats. When eight bells sounded two of the boats
had been lowered from the davits to the rail. A number of the ladies who
had been asleep came up on deck in 'scant dress. The stewardesses had or-
ders to make them put on life belts.
Some of them had time to clothe themselves more fully: others went into the
lifeboats in their night dresses.

"Mr, Murdoch supervised the handling of the lifeboats and his cry was:
"Ladies, this way!" ' A quartermaster and a sailor manned each boat. The
first boats had men placed in them for the reason that there were not women
and children enough to fill them. It was a matter of getting off the greatest
number of boats and saving the greatest number of passengers.

'"The port boats were lowered first and then those on the starboard side.
It isn't true that when the water-tight compartments were closed the steer-
age passengers were sealed down.
The women in the steerage were given equal chance with those in the first
cabin. it was only necessary to be a woman to have the right of way. The sailors
were so busy lowering and getting away the boats that the latter had
to be manned by the stewards.

MURDOCK SHOOTS STEWARD
WHO CROWDS IN BOAT.

It was only toward the last that the steerage passengers got to rushing the
boats. Murdock stood with a six shooter drawn and shouted that he would shoot
the first man who attempted to ---- his way into the boats. A crazy
steward was warned back, but he jumped into one of the boats at the rail,
trampling down a woman and her child.
I think that it was in Mrs. Astor's boat and it was overloaded then. Murdoch
shot him through the jaw and he was yanked back on the deck.

"Murdock calmed the passengers, tell ing them there was no occasion for ex-
citement, that the boats were all com-ing back, and ordered them to go on
the poop. Even then, the doom of the Titanic was sealed and the officers and
the crew knew it. There was no panic, but the passengers were bewildered.
They would start for the poop, then follow some excited individual who had
started forward.

"A lot of women ran down between decks to get into the boats there, think-
ing that the drop to the water from there would be less dangerous. They
had to come back up again to embark.
All the lifeboats had to be swung from the davits before the collapsible boats
could be used. But everything was got off except one of the collapsible boats,
which burst in the bows getting afoul of the falls. This was afterwards used
as a lifeboat and thirty man were saved on its bottom.
"Mr. Murdock ordered Bos'n Nichols to go down to the working alleyway
and bring up the big gangplank, ca-pable of holding forty people. The bos'n
and ten men obeyed the order, going to what they believed was certain death.
They were never seen again. I got off in charge of the second to last lifeboat
lowered before the collapsibles were used. and, acting on orders, stood off fifty
yards from the Titanic. Forty women and children and some men were in the
boat.

(continued)
 

George Jacub

Member
Sep 28, 2005
146
5
88
THE EVENING WORLD, SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 1912.
NEW THRILLING STORIES OF AWFUL DISASTER


HEROIC WOMEN IN BOATS
AT OARS ALL NIGHT LONG

SEAMAN TELLS THE STORY

GOT OFF ALL THE COLLAPSIBLE
BOATS BUT ONE.

(part two and final)

"Murdock, with Chief Officer Wilde and Second Officer Lightoller, went to
attend to the manning of the collapsible boats. They got them all off but one,
as I have said. This is the one which was capsized and which now lay on the
deck. Mr. Murdock had overlooked nothing that could help save the pas-
sengers when the final moment came.
He ordered doors, chairs, chests of drawers -everything on board that
would float to be thrown into the sea."In this way he saved not less than
sixty lives, for that number of people were picked up clinging to these buoys.
All the while Capt. Smith was on the bridge, overlooking everything, giving
his orders which were obeyed without a murmur and without hesitation. Sec-
ond Engineer Farley and his brave crew of engineers and firemen were
below shutting down ths valves and working the pumps. Farley fell and
broke both legs and was carried to the pump room. From there he went to
his death.
"The water was nearing the bridge when the first explosion came. Ten
minutes later the second explosion fol- lowed. The water had reached the boil-
ers and that settled the fate of the ship. The Titanic was split in two.
All the passengers left were on the poop deck. The capsized lifeboat was
now adrift on the deck and men crowd-ed upon it
"Both Capt. Smith and Junior Chief Murdock were now together on the
bridge, the water being up to their armpits. The next I saw of Capt. Smith
he was in the water holding a child in his arms. He swam to the raft on
which was Second Officer Lightoller and gave the child to the mate. That
was the last. He and the ship went down and Murdock-God help me, don't
ask me what I saw!

"Then men on the poop plunged into the sea as the great craft went down,
both by the head and stern. The men on the life raft were carried hither
and thither across the width of the ship by the currents formed between
the two big funnels. The raft with its load was directly over the ship when
the waters closed above it, and the miracle of it all is that she kept afloat.
There wasn't a bit of suction from the sinking of the big ship, and that's what
beats me yet
"The men who had jumped into the sea found resting places on the chairs,
hatches, chests of drawers and doors which had been thrown overboard by
Mr. Murdock. Everything was now dark. The lights on the Titanic had
gone out section by section, and there was just an electric arc left to light
the noble ship down.

SAILOR'S IN BOATS SHARED
CLOTHING WITH WOMEN.


"Through all this I never heard a murmur from one of the women, either
en the ably or on the boats. It was cold, and thatt was all any of them
said. We made them pull on the oars every once in awhile to keep up their
circulation. The sailors on the lifeboats gave up their socks, their coats and
whatever they had to keep the women covered. They cut up their sails to
spread over than and keep them warm as possible.
"All through the night the fleet of lifeboats rowed around in a circle. We
rowed through wreckage and through lanes of bodies of the living and the
dead. The living were pulled into the boats. We would row for half an hour
and lay on our oars for the next half hour, and then begin the work of cir
culation again. We had word that the Olympic was coming to our rescue.
"Poor Phillips, the wireless operator who had saved all our lives by getting
in touch with the outer world, died a heroes death. He went overboard at
the last moment and managed to reach the raft. He had no big boots or cover-
ings on, and he just hung to the raft and died from exposure. They didn't
have to push him over.
"The water on the raft was up to the waist, and when Phillips became ex
hausted he just fell and was washed into the sea. May God have mercy on
his soul. He saved the life of every man, woman and child who was brought
into port by the Carpathia.


WOMEN IN THE BOATS DIS-
PLAYED FORTITUDE.


"It was a long night. It was a try- ing night on the women, but never a
complaint. If the men who gave up their lives for the women and children
of the Titanic were heroes, those brave women who spent that night and morn-
ing in the lifeboats were God's own angels. They were worth the sacrifice of
brave men.
"All they said was, now and then, that they were cold, and God knows,
although the sea was smooth and the sky was bright and fair, it was cold.
We were threading our way through fields of ice and ws were in the shadow
of the great iceberg which had sunk the big steamer.
"It was 6:30 in the morning that we saw the Carpathla. It was 8 o'clock
before we were alongside. The steamer was bearing down on us with her life
boats swung in the davits ready for action. It took three hours to get us
all on board.
"The best they could do to get us on board was to put down Jacob's ladders.
There was only a few of the men who could go up that straight rope ladder,
and they had to lower bos'n's chairs to take the woman and children up to the
deck. They opened up the hatches be-tween rail and water to make the work
more easy.
"The work of hoisting us on board was going on at four different places on
both sides of the ship.
As the last boat load was hauled up the steamer Cali-
fornia hove in sight. She had no pas- sengers of the Titanic on board.
"We were treated fine on the Carpathia. Everybody did the best he
could for the survivors. The two steam-ers took opposite courses and circled
around the scene of the wreck for a radius of twenty miles before proceed-
ing. Too much praise can't be given to the officers and men of the Carpathla
for ths way they handled the entire crowd of us castaways."
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,276
589
183
Germany
This thread should be called Frederick Scott, the Key, because his testimony puts the final nail in the coffin of the argument that the port boats aft were lowered (except No. 10) before the starboard aft lifeboats.
From what I see the starboard aft boats left before the port aft ones. No. 10 was most likely the last one on the aft port side. There was a list to port when Nos. 10, 12 & 14 were loaded and lowered, the first mention of a port list at the starboard side was at boat No. 15. Nos. 9, 11 & 13 left before the port list started.
 

George Jacub

Member
Sep 28, 2005
146
5
88
Maybe you can point out the part where he blames McGough for it? All he said is that he fall was twisted. How was this McGough's fail?
One. Two. Three.
One. The lifeboat was in danger of tipping as it had reached a 45 degree angle and was still ten feet from the ocean.
Two. The cause was with the after-fall, prompting Lowe to ask "Why don't they lower away aft?"
Three. Scarrott identified McGough as the man responsible for the after-fall, and hence the state of the lifeboat.
As for the twist in the rope, that was denied outright by Officer Lowe at the British Inquiry.

15848. One of the men in your boat has given evidence, and he says he looked up and saw the rope of the falls twisted?
- No; I looked up and I could not see anything
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,276
589
183
Germany
One. Two. Three.
One. The lifeboat was in danger of tipping as it had reached a 45 degree angle and was still ten feet from the ocean.
Two. The cause was with the after-fall, prompting Lowe to ask "Why don't they lower away aft?"
Three. Scarrott identified McGough as the man responsible for the after-fall, and hence the state of the lifeboat.
As for the twist in the rope, that was denied outright by Officer Lowe at the British Inquiry.
One and two can be ignored.
Regarding Three;

Clear Cameron (2nd class passenger in No. 14); "and down we went a little further and one of the ropes got stuck so that had to be cut and we splashed into the sea alright for a wonder, strange we were not capsized!”
Nellie Walcroft (2nd class passenger in No. 14); “One side worked better than the other and the ropes on one side did not act so the officer gave the order to cut the ropes...."
Bath Steward Morris;
5471. Had you any difficulty in lowering boat 14?
- Not at first. When it was half way down the ship's side the tackle got hitched up.

5472. Could you account for that at all?
- I think the tackle got twisted.



 

George Jacub

Member
Sep 28, 2005
146
5
88
So two civilians and a guy who cleaned the bathrooms knew more than the Officer of the ship with 11 years experience at sea. How about that!
And it must have been a great surprise to Fifth Officer Lowe to find out he cut the ropes. He forgot all about that when he testified before the British Inquiry.
 
Aug 16, 2016
60
9
18
So two civilians and a guy who cleaned the bathrooms knew more than the Officer of the ship with 11 years experience at sea. How about that!
And it must have been a great surprise to Fifth Officer Lowe to find out he cut the ropes. He forgot all about that when he testified before the British Inquiry.
Maybe Lowe was just covering some failures of the ship to protect the WSL name and his future career.
 
Aug 16, 2016
60
9
18
That's a nice account McGough gave. If we are to rely on it then he probably left in lifeboat 4 and that would justify his presence at 14, but again we had some four survivors reporting the man in lifeboat 9... hello Mr. Gordian-knot
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,276
589
183
Germany
So two civilians and a guy who cleaned the bathrooms knew more than the Officer of the ship with 11 years experience at sea. How about that!
And it must have been a great surprise to Fifth Officer Lowe to find out he cut the ropes. He forgot all about that when he testified before the British Inquiry.
Who said that Lowe cut the ropes? It was Scarrott who did that!
Lowe possibly did not see that there was something with the falls and he did not know why it did now lowered further. So how this had to do with experience at sea????? Depending where one was sitting and the light conditions some might have seen what was the reason while other could not make anything out.

15841. Did the falls go wrong? - Something got wrong and I slipped her.
15842. That means to say, you threw off the lever when you were some way from the water? - I should say I dropped her about 5 feet.
15843. Your Lordship remembers that Scarrott told us about that. Was that because the falls -? - That was because I was not going to wait and chance being dipped down by the stern by anybody on top, so I thought it was best for me to drop, and know what I was doing.
15844. No doubt you dealt with the situation quite rightly, but I want to know what caused the situation. Was it because the rope would not run any further? - I do not know, because, you must understand that the lowering away was being carried out on deck, and I must have been about 64 feet below that deck, and I could not see it.
15845. Did you look up? - Yes.
15846. Could you tell me why you were not being lowered further? - No.
15847. You could not? - No.
15848. One of the men in your boat has given evidence, and he says he looked up and saw the rope of the falls twisted? - No; I looked up and I could not see anything.
15849. Just let me ask you this, because it is fair to ask you it. Could they twist? - I suppose they could.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,276
589
183
Germany
That's a nice account McGough gave. If we are to rely on it then he probably left in lifeboat 4 and that would justify his presence at 14, but again we had some four survivors reporting the man in lifeboat 9... hello Mr. Gordian-knot
His report is full of made up stuff and partly observations he could have not made. As I said there are no reports of what he did during the evacuation (for example I help to load and lower this and that boat before I left with boat No....)
 
Aug 16, 2016
60
9
18
His report is full of made up stuff and partly observations he could have not made. As I said there are no reports of what he did during the evacuation (for example I help to load and lower this and that boat before I left with boat No....)
I imagined so, specially when talking about Murdoch's fate. So, given that he did not testify at any of the inquiries we are to believe that probably Scarrott was wrong about the aft-lowering man and McGough did left in boat 9.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,276
589
183
Germany
So, given that he did not testify at any of the inquiries we are to believe that probably Scarrott was wrong about the aft-lowering man and McGough did left in boat 9.
That is what I believe. Also taking the list the ship had (a port list at No. 14, no list at No. 9) when the boats were loaded it speaks for it that Scarrott was mistaken. (Unless the ship was changing the list several times during the sinking which I can not see.)
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,510
805
273
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
From what I see the starboard aft boats left before the port aft ones. No. 10 was most likely the last one on the aft port side. There was a list to port when Nos. 10, 12 & 14 were loaded and lowered, the first mention of a port list at the starboard side was at boat No. 15. Nos. 9, 11 & 13 left before the port list started.
No. 15 was lowered within a minute or two of No. 13 since it nearly came right on top of 13 forcing them to cut the falls. If they had to push the boat off as it was being lowered, as we were told happened with No. 15, then I suspect that No. 13 was pushed off as well unless the list worsened sharply within a minute or so. A list to port would at first be more noticeable on the port side of the vessel because of a widening gap between the side of the boat and the ship's rail there.
 

George Jacub

Member
Sep 28, 2005
146
5
88
Hi Ioannis,
Without getting too technical, Scarrott never says he cut the falls. He says flat out, "We dropped her by the releasing gear." Which corresponds to what Lowe testified. If the lifeboat was hanging with its forward part in the water, i.e. afloat, the only part that could be "dropped" was the part that was ten feet higher, the aft part of the boat. Unless the releasing gear involves a sharp blade, there was no cutting that I can see.
 

Similar threads