- Jan 31, 2018
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!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.