Ismay's escape


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Sean C. Corenki

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William T. Sloper was written up by one of the newspapers (I forget which one)as being the man who escaped Titanic wearing some sort of ladies clothing. It was not true and if I remember correctly it was written rather maliciously by a journalist whom Sloper refused to grant an interview to when he arrived at the Waldorf-Astoria.
 
May 12, 2005
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William Sloper was the victim of an unethical writer for the New York Evening Journal who, along with a number of other reporters, was rebuffed by the understandably fatigued survivor upon arriving at the Waldorf Astoria. As Sean has said, this story was trumped up, totally false. Sloper escaped in lifeboat 7, the first boat lowered, thanks to the pleading of his bridge companion that night, Dorothy Gibson, who said she and her mother wouldn’t go without him. Their other game partner, Frederic Seward, was also saved because the women asked him to join them. Boat 7’s passengers were made up mostly of men so there was no need of their doing "drag." If anything, it was the other way around, since Sloper and Pierre Marechal shared their jackets, coats, gloves, etc, with the thinly clad women aboard.
 
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Sean C. Corenki

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I believe Sloper had also already promised an "exclusive" story for a friend who was the editor of the New Britain Herald here in Connecticut. Regards, Sean
 
May 12, 2005
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Back on the topic of Paul Lee’s essay on Ismay, I want to offer my belated congratulations to him on that report, which puts a fair and balanced perspective to Ismay’s escape. We are all familiar with the criticisms of Ismay but it’s important to examine the full range of accounts and I think Paul has done that commendably.

While I think Paul’s research paper is quite good and pretty thorough, may I say that it would have been a good idea to get a quote of some kind from Bruce Ismay’s great nephew, Michael Manser. I doubt Paul intended his passing reference to him in his paper to be dismissive but it comes across that way — the reference to his having a double-barrelled name, I mean, which he doesn’t have. I believe Manser has been cooperative with researchers and is also open to speaking to the media, although he doesn’t seek out the attention.

In an interview Manser gave to a London correspondent for People Magazine in 1998, he stated that his great uncle "acted honorably and was anything but reclusive afterward" but that he (Manser) was aware that "for most people Ismay remains a scapegoat." Referring to the portrayal of his relative in the Cameron film, Manser said, "People want someone to blame…It’s nice to have a baddie in the films."

I’m not sure which researchers have been in touch with Manser but I think it is either George Behe or Phillip Gowan, maybe both.
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Thanks Randy,
As I said I can't remember the name of the Ismay family member who was quoted except for a couple of details:
a) The quote occurred shortly after the Titanic film came out in the UK, so it must have been sometime around February 1998.
b) A lady said it
c) She had a double barrelled (hypenated) name.

I also think, but am not 100% sure now, that she had the name "Ismay" as part of the double barrelled surname.

Paul
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http://www.paullee.com
 
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Joseph Kendrick

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I read somewhere that Ismay steped into lifeboat C when it was lowering but if it were lowering that wouldnt give Mr. Carter time to get in. Any comments???

Joe
 
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Sean C. Corenki

Guest
Joseph...William Carter claimed that he and Ismay were asked to enter collapsible C to assist with rowing. There was a bit of a scandal surrounding his departure from the ship and he ultimately did'nt fare much better than Ismay in the public's eye, or at least in his wifes eyes. Carter said he assisted his wife and children into a lifeboat and later left himself in collapsible C with Ismay. The British Inquiry later established that his wife and children, in lifeboat #4, left 15 minutes AFTER he did. Regards, Sean
 
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Sean C. Corenki

Guest
Oh...and by the way...Carter was the only other male passenger in collapsible C.
 
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However, there is quite a bit of evidence that the BI got it wrong, and Collapsible C lowered a lot closer to 2 am, AFTER #4. Which fits Carter's story on the button.
 
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Alyson Jones

Guest
Ismay is not an escape Villian,far from it.If he did not enter the life boat,there would be an extra death to add to the total. Ismay entered the lifeboat when there was no women and children near by!
 
May 12, 2009
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Nearly all Titanic films portray Bruce Ismay weaseling his way onto collapsible C at the last second while Officer Murdoch and the crewmen are distracted (this is given an extremely bizarre twist in the 1943 Nazi film), but I've never read any sources confirming/describing the event.

Is all that "sneaking business" just dramatic license that seeped into pop culture? I mean, this happened on the starboard side and Ismay, along with a few other men, could have simply been allowed on the boat once all the present women and children were onboard; which is what Murdoch practised while loading the lifeboats.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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Evgueni,
There is a good deal of controversy surrounding the circumstances of the launch of Collapsible C, but I would have to say that there is little evidence that Ismay snuck into the boat. In fact, some claimed that he was ordered into the boat or bundled into the boat by the officer on the scene.

However, Ismay himself denied this story. Carter said they were allowed to board because they were First Class passengers. Whatever the case, and whatever the circumstances surrounding the launch of this boat, I don't think there is sufficient evidence to say that he snuck in.

Check out the following article. It has quite a bit of information relating to this controversy:
http://www.paullee.com/titanic/ismaysescape.html

Kind regards,
Tad
 
May 27, 2007
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Howdy Evgueni and Tad,

Poor Ismay got lynched in the yellow press of the day and also in movies about Titanic which is how a lot of people perceive him and form their opinions of Ismay! Interesting Article! Thanks Tad for posting it! I think Cameron's Titanic was responsible at least in my case of giving Ismay a bad rap! ANTR deals more kindly with him I think although Cameron is fair with him. I think the most fair telling of Ismay though is through A&E's Titanic End Of A Dream!
 
May 12, 2009
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I just find it hilarious that Ismay, the chief villain of the 1943 version, comes off better than the Ismay in the 1996 mini-series.

ANTR and SOS TItanic have the kindest portrayals of Bruce Ismay, though both make him a short and frumpy whiner, which J. Bruce was anything but.

I don't think Cameron's movie is all that unsympathetic with its treatment of Ismay. The only two scenes I can think off are the still debated conversation with Captain Smith (are we really supposed to take the words of a ditzy gossiping socialite at face value?) and the "boat sneaking" towards the end of the film. Besides, according to the original script and some of the deleted scenes, Ismay had more depth before Cameron had all the historical scenes hit the cutting room floor in order to accommodate more "Jack! Rose! Jack! Rose! Jack! Rose! Jack! Rose! Jack! Rose! Jack! Rose!"

Well... I guess, in the end, somewhere in the depths of the netherworld, William Randolph Hearst must be laughing his butt off right now that his character assassination of Bruce Ismay has prevailed to this day.
 
May 27, 2007
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quote:

Well... I guess, in the end, somewhere in the depths of the netherworld, William Randolph Hearst must be laughing his butt off right now that his character assassination of Bruce Ismay has prevailed to this day.
I bet Hearst is at that!
lol.gif


There should of been less Jack and Rose! I'm sorry he got a raw deal which looking back on it he did! I've been there myself so I know how he feels!​
 
May 12, 2009
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Yes, thank you, Tad, it's a great article. I knew that the press crucified Ismay, but I had no idea how ridiculous and outlandish their claims were!
 
May 1, 2004
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The marshalling of all those newspaper accounts is quite impressive, Tad. I feel more sympathetic toward Mr. Ismay. I can't believe that he saw "no passengers", but now I accept that he and Mr. Carter saw no [underline]female passengers before they entered the lifeboat. I've always accepted that he did the best he could to assist, even if the crewmen rebuked his effort. As for going before the male passengers, perhaps Mr. Ismay did feel he was more important - bosses can be like that - or perhaps that there it was every man for himself.
I don't blame Mr. Ismay for entering a boat. I would have been the first person in the first one if I had his knowledge. I'm impressed that he left his chance until nearly the last.
 

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