Ismay

Well I would like to start a conversation about Bruce Ismay and his action about leaving the ship. I saw a thread like this a long time ago and there were was a lot of yelling and screaming (in word of course). I would like to see what you people think.

Well I guess I will start. Personally I think what he did was fine because he got on a lifeboat when there was know one else to get on. I think he just saved another life, his own.

Well lets here what you think.
Matt
 
Matt,
It is difficult at best to determine Ismay's motives for getting into the lifeboat. We have the benefit of hindsight of the entire disaster. We cannot predict what we would do in a disaster unless we are faced directly with it. One can shout until the sun goes down about the whole situation, but as I've said before you can't get into someone's head who's been long dead, and understand their true motives, especially if they never divulged a reason.
I don't know Ismay's motives for climbing into the lifeboat - did he think he deserved a seat, did he act out of cowardice, did the crowd clear (as portrayed in movies) and he saw an available seat, did he think his survival would help answer questions about the sinking and his role en voyage (probably not - he was somewhat evasive and vague at the inquiry). IMO, based on my take on the whole situation, he got in the boat simply because 'it was there'.

Back into my cave...
 

Ed Hachey

Former Member
With Mr. Ismay's actions, we've got all the adverb questions answered, but 'why'. As such, Matt, you've opened an opinion poll with queues ready to attached themselves to each of Dan's reasons and, maybe even, coming up with others.
That said, I'm with the 'it was there' group.

Based on his known actions while on board, I've always thought that Mr. Ismay was like a chameleon that just missed total metamorphosis - he went from millionaire passenger to a mixed co-captain/'I am the White Star Line' persona with rapid succession, but not with total success. With the former, he didn't seem to mix with the upper strata of fellow first classers; he wasn't at the Wideners' dinner nor have I come across any Astor/Guggenheim/Strauss interaction. For the latter, it seems to me that this was met with something akin to respectful amusement; that is only until Lowe's actions with the lifeboats. As a chameleon without any metamorphosis needed nor
required, a boat that there with an empty seat does seem beckoning.

Well, enough of my rambling, next vote...
 
I think what he did was all right because the deck was reportedly void of women and children and had he not gotten in the boat he would have just made the death count higher by one.

I always pictured Ismay thinking, as he watched the collapsible start to lower, that it could be his only chance at survival and, without giving it a great deal of thought, he jumped in. I think his instinct for survival came into effect, he saw an opportunity to bail out of the situation, and he took it.

And he wasn't alone. Mr. Carter also escaped in C.

Joining Dan in the cave...
 

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
I agree with the above posts. Good points made all around.

Brandon said: "I always pictured Ismay thinking, as he watched the collapsible start to lower, that it could be his only chance at survival and, without giving it a great deal of thought, he jumped in."

That's the same way I've always pictured Ismay.

Dan and Brandon, is their still room in the cave for me?
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Best regards,

Jason
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The whole business of Ismay, lifeboat C, and Murdoch appears to be a half-told story. I have done little research into this lifeboat and so I don't want to suggest that I know any deep dark secrets. My only thought is that the testimony is less than half the story. There is probably much, much more that we do not know and may never learn. However, at that time on the deck of a sinking ship panic had to be a fact of life. Maybe not mob scene panic, but the kind of panic that turns good men bad. There were a lot of guns on the ship and not all in the hands of the officers. Rumors have sources, even if the rumors are untrue. I would be curious to learn if any of the other survivors in boat C ever communicated to friends or family any of the events surrounding its launch. Anyone looking for a research subject might do well to look here.

-- David G. Brown
 
Brandon said:

>I think what he did was all right because the deck was reportedly void of women and children and had he not gotten in the boat he would have just made the death count higher by one.

That may not quite be the case, Brandon. As pointed out in Paul Quinn's "Titanic at 2 AM", pages 30 & 31, several people seem to mention a crowd or disturbance around C - such as Jack Thayer and Hugh Woolner, mentioned here.
 
Hello Bill,

Now that you mention that, I can remember Jack Thayer mentioning the group around Ismay's boat in his account. If there was a crowd, especially if that crowd contained women, then Ismay getting in the lifeboat does seem more selfish. I had just been under the impression that it was an empty deck.
 
Good morning to all. Jack Thayer's accounts, though sometimes slightly exaggerated, tend to contain a high level of truth. I can easily believe that the deck was not as clear as Ismay would have liked when he left the ship.
 
I think I'm the first or one of the first to disagree but I think that Ismay should've gone down on the ship.

First of all:

Just because the deck had no more women or children on it, it doesn't mean that he should get on. He should be getting men with wives and children, or simply as many men on as possible if there were really no more women or children.

Second of all:

What makes it right for him, one of the ships founders, to step in to a lifeboat leaving Mr. Andrews and Captain Smith to die? He was shown much recognition for the ship before it sunk, he would've gotten even more recognition for being brave and going down with the ship.

Thirdly:

Think of all the other women and children in the water! Think a minute. If there hadn't been so much chaos due to men crowding in to the empty boats and people like him who had no business being in there, they could've saved dozens more women and children swimming in the water!

I'm not saying that no men should've been allowed in period, I'm saying that men like him, founders, builders, people like that should NOT have been allowed in. Even if they were allowed in, they shouldn't of gone. Because it's their responsibility.

- Smith [email protected]
 
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