Hichens Newspaper Account - Compared with Inquiry Testimony


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Aaron_2016

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Quartermaster Hichens gave a very detailed account which was published in the newspapers on April 20th 1912. This was right after the Carpathia docked and before he testified at the Inquiry. Does his newspaper account show anything interesting to you and how do you compare it with his later testimony?



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April 20th 1912


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Another newspaper with the same account had this extra sentence at the bottom:


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That last sentence would clearly alarm the White Star Line. He just admitted to the press that no helm orders were given before the collision and that Captain Smith did not ask what they had struck, because he was already aware they were expecting to meet ice. Naturally his testimony at the Inquiry had to be 'corrected' to make it appear the helm was turned before the collision, the engines were reversed full astern, and that Captain Smith had to ask what they had struck. Thus, creating the impression they were not expecting ice, and were also quick to act when they did meet the ice. Hichens tried to return to England aboard the Lapland and was stopped. My guess, his account reached the ears of the Committee. The Washington Herald said:

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What are your thoughts on his newspaper account? Does it shed light on the disaster and what he later told the Inquiry?


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Rob Lawes

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Just because Hichens never said it in that report it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Let's be honest, the paper can't even spell his name correctly.

Aaron, you've posted a discussion claiming that Fleet never received an answer to his phone call. This article clearly states he did. There are so many claims and counter claims.

QM Oliver said he heard the helm order hard a port and yet this isn't mentioned here either. It is inconceivable that Murdoch gave no helm orders at all.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Lookout Fleet and Hichens were in the same lifeboat. It is quite believable that they agreed to help each other out. Peuchen heard them talking to each other about the collision. One can easily see how Hichens would support Fleet and say the officer answered the phone and show that Fleet had done everything he could, and Fleet would support Hichens and say the ship veered away from the iceberg before the collision. Trouble is, their accounts were in the wrong order and did not make any sense. Boxhall felt the collision just a few seconds after hearing the bell ring. Fleet said he got an immediate reply on the phone, but he also said the ship was turning while he was still at the phone waiting to get a reply, and he told Peuchen that nobody replied. Then we have Hichens who said the helm order was given after Moody answered the phone and told Murdoch what he saw and then he was given the order 'hard a-starboard' and yet he was heard in the lifeboat asking if anyone knew which officer was on the bridge because he didn't know. My guess is, Moody was not in the wheelhouse before the collision and did not answer the phone. Boxhall did not know they had struck an iceberg, but he heard the bell ring and apparently heard Murdoch order 'hard a-starboard' yet he never heard Moody yell out iceberg ahead. My guess is, he never heard it because Moody did not answer the phone. Hichens slipped up again when he said Olliver was next to him when the order 'hard a-starboard' was given. We know Olliver arrived on the bridge immediately after the collision, or during, as he saw Murdoch at the lever closing the watertight doors. The order 'hard a-starboard' just makes no sense when the testimonies are put together, and the action of turning the ship left would simply swing the entire starboard beam and stern into the iceberg. Olliver said the order "hard a-port" was given when the iceberg was passing the stern. I believe they broke a propeller blade and Murdoch instinctively ordered the helm to be turned. Rowe believed the engines were going full speed astern immediately after the collision and reeled in the log line "half a minute" after he felt the collision. I believe the vibration he felt after the collision was the vibration caused by the lost blade. The ship came to a stop very soon afterwards.


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Rob Lawes

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Hichens was on the helm. No helmsman on any ship anywhere would put a hand to the wheel and turn it without orders to do so. He had no need to be backed up by Fleet or anyone.
 
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Harland Duzen

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This is partly the same testimony written by Carlos Hurd (Passenger on SS Carpathia and reporter to the New York World) and can be found in George Behe's ''Voices From The Carpathia''.

(I really need to stop mentioning this book...)

Back to Topic!
 
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Aaron_2016

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Thanks. Who is this survivor? He was in the original 1912 newsreel just prior to the title card that said Hichens. Was the card misplaced, and they were actually referring to this man? Would be interesting if that was the news reporter he spoke to.


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Hichens at the Inquiry


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Jim Currie

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The man being interviewed by the reporter is wearing a cloth cap, not a sailor's hat. I think it is QM Walter Perkis.
http%3A%2F%2Fa.amz.mshcdn.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F04%2Ftitanic-5.jpg

From lefr to right:
Front Row: AB Ernest Archer, Lookout Fredrick Fleet, QM Walter Perkis, Lookout George Symonds and AB Fredrick Clench.
Back Row: Lookout Arthur Bright, Lookout George Hogg, AB George Moor, AB Frank Osmond and Bedroom Steward Henry Etches.

The sketch in your last post looks like Lord Byron. Lol.
 
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This is partly the same testimony written by Carlos Hurd (Passenger on SS Carpathia and reporter to the New York World) and can be found in George Behe's ''Voices From The Carpathia''.
A more interesting version is given in Howard Chapin's "Account of the disaster told by the quartermaster at the wheel" (p.36) which was based on his interview with several survivors while on board Carpathia.
 

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