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
"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
"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