Harold Bride & charles Pellegrino


Jan Wood

Member
Good point about the timing! Would Bride have had the time to be so observant? and pulverise a man into the bargain?

Mark
Re the "death" if it occurred being accidental, had it occurred on land, under English law, it could fall under constructive murder or even manslaughter with a possible defence of self-defence dependant upon whether it could be shown that an intent to kill was present..

However, I would imagine, at sea in International waters it would be anyone's guess whether it would fall under such a law.

I would find it hard to condemn someone as guilty who accidentally killed someone defending themselves and their life jacket.

I think the radio operator's response was quite natural to attack but I personally doubt whether there would be the time or the inclination to finish someone off under the circumstances unless it was done under sheer panic. I would imagine that the least of your concerns would be to finish someone off, you would be more interested in saving yourself from the impending disaster.

It is that point that makes me doubt that anything else more than a momentary scuffle took place.

Does that make sense?
 

Inger Sheil

Member
I don't think Bride was necessarily afraid of prosecution, Mark - after all, there was no body, and the only witness was Bride himself. From both a practical legal point of view, as well as from a political/public relations POV, I don't think anyone on either side of the Atlantic would want to push into those very gray areas.

Bride might not have feared criminal charges, but that doesn't mean he'd want to face close questioning over a possible death he had caused -there were already enough controversial elements to his testimony. That's whether or not the incident took place in anything like the manner he described (whichever version you go with).

A momentary scuffle sounds more likely to me too, Jan - a kernal of truth somewhere in there, that became embellished first by the journalist and Bride himself, then by writers who added guns and a racial element, and then finally by Pellegrino who adapted Bride's account.
 
Jan: yes it does, and that was my main point about the "murder" issue, that, for that reason, it can't be construed as an intended killing, so why should anyone worry about Bride appearing as a possible murderer? The circumstances justify his desperation and self-defense.

As for English law, the self-defense stipulation is part of American law, too, but I am wondering how English law and American law differ in that respect. I would so much appreciate any elaborations that you'd like to make on that point.
 
>>I don't think Bride was necessarily afraid of prosecution, Mark - after all, there was no body, and the only witness was Bride himself.<<

Inger, I agree. I was merely responding to the person, whoever it was, that mentioned on this board before that he may have been afraid of being labeled a murderer. I can see his wanting to steer clear of the issue. Killing someone, either accidentally or intentionally, is more than enough to cause a person to feel guilty. As a matter of fact, I am wondering now if that is one possible reason that he disappeared for good and changed his life. His reasons had remained a mystery. It's possible that this killing was at the root of his disappearance. What do you think, Inger?
 

Inger Sheil

Member
It might be defensible for Bride to have fought for Philips' jacket (although even by his own versions the 'self defence' angle is nebulous - it could be legitimately asked if it was really necessary to kill the man), but that would not necessarily absolve him from criticism. Given the adversarial tenor of the some of the questions at the American inquiry, and some of the sharp questioning on some of the more problematical elements of his testimony in Britain, if I were Bride I wouldn't want to give any more fodder to those asking the questions! This is particularly true if the original version of the story owed more than a little to journalistic invention.

An interesting idea on the guilt angle, Mark. I'm not sure if he 'disappeared' any more than his colleagues did, though - I think he simply faded back into the comparative obscurity that many survivors did once the story died down. The 'disappearance' angle has been played up by writers like Gardiner, when in fact he didn't really vanish abruptly at all - he continued in wireless for a period, then changed his career. Survivors faded from the public gaze for many reasons - the sheer trauma of the event, the stress of the subsequent inquiries, the desire not to seek publicity etc. He could have done a Jack Binns, I suppose, but he might not have had the journalistic flair or inclination. While he didn't seek publicity, there are indications he wasn't exactly reluctant to discuss the disaster with those who knew him well - Jemma Hyder has found indications that he did talk about the sinking to people even outside his family circle.
 

Paul Lee

Member
May I bring up the spectre of Robin Gardiner here? He suggested that Philips was trapped underwater in his wireless shack sending out signals because the last timed message from Titanic was 2.17am, or three minutes before the ship sank!

Cheers

Paul

 

Paul Lee

Member
He just looked at the Virginian's wireless logs and saw that the sinking occurred three minutes after the last transmission. He didn't think about time differences with other ships!

Cheers

Paul

 
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