In Their Own Words


Mike Spooner

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Rostron served in the Royal Naval Reserve alongside many tens of thousands of other peacetime merchant navy men. This wasn't just for the officers.and engineers. Quite a number of the Titanic's rank and file deck crew and engineering crew were RN reservists too.

He was not in command of any warships. Rather he simply continued to command big Cunard vessel's that had been requisitioned by the Royal Navy as armed troop transports. Still an extremely important job though.

Rostron is quite possibly just using what I and many others would call his "telephone voice". Very clear and precise in speaking so others can understand you clearly. Plenty of my older relatives speak completely differently on the phone than they do in person. He was speaking over the radio of course but the same principle applies.

As for Smith there is only Lightoller's hint that Smith had quite a pleasant tone of voice to listen too and that he only rarely found occasion to raise it in anger or chastisement.

I would strongly dispute the whole "you need to be posh to rise in rank" thesis. There are plenty of men in the last hundred years or so have risen from the ranks to positions in the high command in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. The Chief of the Imperial General Staff during WW1, Sir William Robertson was the son of a postman who rose form the rank of private to Field Marshall and was known for his broad Midland's accent. Australian commander Sir John Monash was the son of German Jewish immigrants who ran a small shop and the Canadian commander Sir Arthur Currie was the son of a farmer. Plenty from humble origins make it to the top. So that's myth that needs to be cast aside.
I can quite assure you my Uncle was no myth. As a young boy he certainly let you know about his posh voice and who was in charge. He minded me so much of Arthur Lowe in Dad's Army!
 

Seumas

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Please read my post again carefully. i said no such thing.

All I said is that there are many, many cases where others did not have to change there voice to reach the top.

Getting back on topic now. (and please keep the Californian/Mystery Ship bun fight for the appropriate threads, not this one)
 

Julian Atkins

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Rostron is reading from his book, published in 1931.
Hi Dave,

I haven't got Rostron's 1931 autobiography; in fact it ought to be out of copyright now, and someone ought to make it available - hint hint!

I've now got Eric Clements' biography of Rostron published in 2016.

As an aside to other posters, I had a working class upbringing, and I remember very vividly being aware in the Church Choir I pronounced my "th's" incorrectly, and corrected this while singing psalms from the psalter to chants around age 10 to 11. You can advance yourself up the social scale by such simple means!

If I could do it before my teens, I suppose Captain Lord and Captain Rostron could do it 80 plus years before!

In his speech he was quite positive the ship he saw about five miles away and was the Californian! Yet in the UK inquiry
Ref: 13777. He was ask. No other ship near? Reply NO!
Hi Mike,

I haven't the faintest idea to what you are referring to here. You will need to be more explicit!

Cheers,

Julian
 

Seumas

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Hi Dave,

I haven't got Rostron's 1931 autobiography; in fact it ought to be out of copyright now, and someone ought to make it available - hint hint!
You are correct Julian, it is indeed out of copyright and if you want you can download it here:

 

Mike Spooner

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Jan 31, 2018
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Hi Dave,

I haven't got Rostron's 1931 autobiography; in fact it ought to be out of copyright now, and someone ought to make it available - hint hint!

I've now got Eric Clements' biography of Rostron published in 2016.

As an aside to other posters, I had a working class upbringing, and I remember very vividly being aware in the Church Choir I pronounced my "th's" incorrectly, and corrected this while singing psalms from the psalter to chants around age 10 to 11. You can advance yourself up the social scale by such simple means!

If I could do it before my teens, I suppose Captain Lord and Captain Rostron could do it 80 plus years before!



Hi Mike,

I haven't the faintest idea to what you are referring to here. You will need to be more explicit!

Cheers,

Julian
Hi Julian,
The British inquiry on the 11th day when the Solocitor - General asked Lightoller the following questions.
13775: And that she was going only six knots-through the water?-Yes
13776: In mid Atlantic-Yes
13777: No other ship near?- NO
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Hi Julian,
The British inquiry on the 11th day when the Solocitor - General asked Lightoller the following questions.
13775: And that she was going only six knots-through the water?-Yes
13776: In mid Atlantic-Yes
13777: No other ship near?- NO
You need to understand the context here. This was when Lightoller got up to have a look around after the ship struck ice. This was after the engines had stopped. He only looked over the portside rail and noticed the ship was then moving very slowly. If he looked around at that time it was to see if he could see any nearby object which might have been the cause of the ship striking. He obviously didn't see any nearby vessel, nor did he see the iceberg.
 
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Julian Atkins

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Mike Spooner

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You need to understand the context here. This was when Lightoller got up to have a look around after the ship struck ice. This was after the engines had stopped. He only looked over the portside rail and noticed the ship was then moving very slowly. If he looked around at that time it was to see if he could see any nearby object which might have been the cause of the ship striking. He obviously didn't see any nearby vessel, nor did he see the iceberg.
As on the third day of the inquiry when Robert Hichens is question.
1160: Who gave it to you. Mr Lightoller the Second Officer
1161: What was that order.To pull for that light, to seer for that light.
1162: What light? There was about two points on the port side, about five miles away.
Now are we saying that Lightoller didn't see the light about 5 miles away before lifeboat No 6 was launch? If that is the case I find it very hard to believe he didn't the light before! Or are we back to the haze and mist again?
 

Julian Atkins

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Well, I've now read chapter 5 of Rostron's 'Home From The Sea' , and I don't dispute what Dave Gittins says about the BBC Radio interview as to Rostron reading from excerpts from his book.

It was wonderful to hear Rostron speak in the BBC radio interview.

By 1931, when Rostron's book was published, it must have been apparent to him that his account was somewhat economical with the truth, yet there is no hint of this in his autobiography or his BBC radio interview.

I am seeing a pattern here with notable Titanic witnesses who were officers and Captains, but I don't want to 'hog' Seumas's thread on all this, and detract from the very valuable links he has provided.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Seumas

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Three more survivors voices here but I won't be adding them to our list because they don't tell us anything about their experiences unfortunately.

Here are Lawrence Beesley and Alfred Pugh being interviewed briefly for a newsreel film concerning the Premiere of "A Night to Remember".


Beesley only says a couple of words praising the films production and special effects whilst Pugh makes a general comment about how safety at sea has changed since 1912.

And here is the film "Journey's End" in which the part of the Company Sergeant Major is played by former RMS Titanic saloon steward Tom Whiteley.

The bits I spotted him in where at 03:20, 01:22:23, 1:44:45

 

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