Ismay's Escape


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Adam Tarzwell

Guest
Ismay obviously was signaled out as a scapegoat of the disaster simply because he was Managing Director of The White Star Line and many people viewed him being saved over 1,500 people was atrocious. I am of the belief that through the years Ismay has been treated very unfairly. Like previous posters mentioned his career was sinking with that ship as it was his companies and his pride and joy. I am sure he was in complete and utter shock and if he really did pressure Smith and the officers to go faster then maybe some guilt too. Again what would you have done? I am sure his ultimate escape and the 1,500 souls that were lost haunted him until his life ended in 1937. I think the reported men who dressed as women to get on lifeboats are ten times more cowardly than Ismay ever was.
 

T. Eric Brown

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Jun 5, 2005
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Ahhh
happy.gif
. It feels so good to be back. After a two months of silence I have this to say:

I agree with everyone who says Ismay is not a villain. I'd like to ask opponents 'Would YOU have gone down with that ship?' Not I, that's for darn sure. There is a story I've heard about Astor (yes, this is relevant). He helped his young, pregnant wife into a boat and asked the officer in charge if he could accompany her. The officer bluntly refused. Astor just handed his wife a pair of gloves and walked away. His body was found with something like $2,000 in cash in his pocket. Yet he made no effort to use one cent of that to his advantage. How is this relevant to Ismay? Well, not many people are as chivalrous as Astor. I know I'm not. Are you? Back then, this kind of behavior was expected of men in high social status. So Ismay was therefore considered a coward. Now we have much more respect for Darwin's 'every man for himself' philosophy (since proven wrong, by the way).
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Now we have much more respect for Darwin's 'every man for himself' philosophy (since proven wrong, by the way).<<

This really isn't the place to discuss the dynamics of natural selection which is not a philosophy but one of the mechanisms of evolution. The "Every man for himself" thing is drawn from a statement made by Captain Smith to the Marconi operators when he dismissed them from their post just as the ship was in her final death throes.
 

T. Eric Brown

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Jun 5, 2005
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Monica, I misspoke. It was Adam Smith, not Charles Darwin that said that. Sorry for the confusion.
Michael, I wasn't referencing Captain Smith, but another Smith. I was referring to Adam Smith's economics theory of 'every man for himself' and how we have much more respect now for a man trying to save his own life than we did then.
 
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Susan Leighton

Guest
Through the years that I have been involved with this forum I have learned a lot. I have also been able to use the information I learned here to think about the reality of Titanic. Based on the media portrayal, which are almost exclusively negative toward Mr. Ismay, as well as reviewing the testimony, I had formed an opinion that he did what he had to do, to survive…as did every other single survivor (of any disaster for that matter).

More recently, I think of how I would feel if I were a crewmember, or a passenger, or an officer…anyone on the ship. I think I would feel that my boss needs to be protected. I think everyone knew who Mr. Ismay was. Whether they knew him by face or not, they knew he owned the company who owned Titanic, and whether in Edwardian times or current times…he HAD to be saved. I believe those present at Collapsible C knew the ‘situation’ was about to come to an end, and were consciously aware that it was important that he be saved. Maybe not all along in the sinking, and I know there were some initial problems with his attempts to assist Lowe, but by the time Collapsible C was actually being lowered, they knew they had a responsibility to save him…and yes, I believe he deserved to survive.
 
Apr 30, 2007
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The majority of previous comments in this thread seem to be missing the point. If you look at Ismay's actions in isolation, as a snapshot in time, there is little to criticise. There he was stood, a boat was lowered and in he stepped. Just like that. There’s nothing wrong there, surely? It’s what anyone would do in those circumstances isn’t it?

But wait a minute. Let’s ask a few questions here.

What was he doing there in the first place?

Oh he was being a good citizen helping to load the boats.

OK. But I thought the men were asked to stand back?

Ah yes, they were but this was not an ordinary passenger but MR ISMAY and as such he was allowed to play the part of a crew member and be part of the action.

Right, so ORDINARY passengers did not get the opportunity to be in a position to step into a boat?

Um, no I’m afraid not.

But, hey it’s not relevant as (according to Ismay) as the boat was being lowered “there were NO passengers left on the deck”.

But hang on. The vast majority of the occupants in Coll C were women & children. Weren’t there a number of husbands, fathers, escorts and male friends waving goodbye to their wives, fiancés, children, friends?

Nope.

Weren’t there other male passengers congregating around the boat hoping to secure a place as after all things were now getting quite desperate with all the wooden lifeboats launched?

Nope, not a soul around according to Ismay. Strange that!

Seriously though, people’s actions’ cannot be judged in isolation but should be assessed relative to others. Generally those responsible for passenger safety and who held positions of status had a higher sense of moral duty relative to others. We would not have been impressed if any one of Smith, Wilde, Murdoch, Lightoller, Andrews, etc had deliberately manoeuvred themselves into a position to ‘step into a lowering boat’ as they could quite easily have done if saving themselves was their first priority.

That is why these men, along with the likes of Gracie, are considered selfless and generally held in high regard. Ismay, who also had status on the ship, decided to save himself and could not really complain at his subsequent loss of credibility.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>In one sense it was braver of Ismay to get into the boat.
As he must of known he would get the criticism he did<<

Maybe he did, but that concern was probably non-existant as a priority at the time. (The immidiate prospect of a nasty death has a wonderful tendency to make one wonder how to avoid same.) More and more, I wonder if Ismay's decision to climb into that boat may have been an impulsive and spur of the moment sort of thing. In light of the censure he recieved for that act, he probably regretted it for the rest of his life.
 
Jan 29, 2001
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And then again when you think of the life Bruce Ismay lived following the events of 14-15 April '12 was it an act of a coward man? To find himself in a state of shock inboard a private quarter aboard CARPATHIA. In my opinion a guilt ridden man attempting an escape from the wrath of GOD, only to be stricken down later in a secluded unhealthy (loss of limb) life.

As a religious man I have always felt comfort in knowing (since my intial interest in '67) that yes, the loss of the Roayal Mail Steamer was a direct result of GOD speaking to the nations...stop for a moment and think of the brave fate of IDA and Isidor Strauss....

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 

John Lynott

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Apr 2, 2002
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"As a religious man I have always felt comfort in knowing (since my intial interest in '67) that yes, the loss of the Roayal Mail Steamer was a direct result of GOD speaking to the nations...stop for a moment and think of the brave fate of IDA and Isidor Strauss.... "

All right, let's get this straight first. I'm a card-carrying left-footer who never quite got to be an altar boy, but let's not bring God into the debate over Ismay's actions on April 15, 1912, especially that God with a taste for wrath. We've had enough of the wrath bit over the centuries. I prefer the God who does the suffer unto me little children bit. And I don't reckon little Sydney Goodwin didn't have much time to contemplate his 'brave fate.'
 
Apr 30, 2007
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At 1.10am, a full hour before the launch of the last lifeboat, there were still 134 men from first class aboard the Titanic. 6 went down with the ship and managed to survive by getting aboard Coll A or B, with Hoyt boarding D. In addition Peuchen and Dodge were authorised by crew members to board lifeboats. 118 perished.

This leaves 8 first class men who, by various means, boarded lifeboats in the final hour. They are:

Brereton (#9) — Swindler

Romaine (#9) — Gambler

Mock - (#11) —

Homer — (#15) - Gambler

Bjornstrom (D) — Jumper

Woolner — (D) — Jumper

Ismay & Carter (C) — Stepped into boat

Strauss said he’d take his chance with the rest of the men. Astor asked to board, was refused and there is no evidence to suggest he made any further attempts to get into boats and it’s fair to assume he took Lightoller’s decision on the chin. Likewise the other 118 men or else they’d all have been lined up along side Ismay & Carter or jumping selfishly onto women & children in lowered boats.

It’s when I compare the actions of the above spineless group relative to the other 126 unselfish men that I find it difficult to concur with those who wish to defend Ismay.
 
Jan 29, 2001
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John:

If indeed you are such a religious man perhaps you have not read Filson Young's writing "GOD speaking to the nations". Always remembering the spoken word of an Edwardian shipyard worker who participated in the construction of TITANIC..."GOD himself could not sink this ship".

And you may recall that when the "sea had spoken" on 14-15 April '12 it held no particular favorites...
taking the $150,000,000 Astor right alongside the Goodwin family who basically had the shirts on their backs en-route to perhaps a better chance in the New World. There is a powerful message in the casting down of the $500,000,000 special Ocean Liner.

And trust me when I share with you, as a TITANIC enthusiast since 1967, and owing to the fact my Father and Mother bore "five" children the Goodwins have always held a special place in my heart...that could have certainly been the Cundiff family of "7" killed on an interstate during our migration from Placerville, CA (all five kids place of birth) to South Lake Tahoe, CA where our family resided for 11 yrs.

Then again I lost my beloved Sister Virginia in 1983 when she was only 28 yrs. old. (A victim of a DUI assailant) So I known the pain of loss that becomes a permanent fixture of one's life.

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Always remembering the spoken word of an Edwardian shipyard worker who participated in the construction of TITANIC..."GOD himself could not sink this ship". <<

A statement which has no verifiable provanance outside the Titanic mythos and which has never been specifically or verifiably attributed to the builders or owners of the vessel.

I'm not going to get into a religious debate on this as there's no need. There was nothing said about Titanic which was not said about any of the other crack liners of the day, each of which was touted as being a little bigger, a little better, a bit faster, and a bit or even substantially greater and grander then what came before. Titanic was just one more in the line and the second sister of the class which recieved the same treatment.

Nor was there anything even remotely unusual about the way the ship was operated. The way the Titanic was operated was the way just about every ship was operated, and you all would be amazed at how little has really changed since then.

The Titanic was killed by nothing more and nothing less then human error, and that by and of itself has been at the root of more carnage then any other cause. God didn't need to take any sort of active part in this when people being what they are, cheerfully did all the dirty work on their own. No outside help...divine or otherwise...was needed and none was had.

All that any deity had to do was sit back and watch, so why put it all on him/her? From where I sit, it looks a lot less like giving The Allmighy the credit, and a lot more like giving The Allmighty the blame for our mistakes.
 
Jan 29, 2001
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Then again Mike do you not think that fate intervened upon TITANIC's purposed launch date? Having been delayed owing to the HAWKE & OLYMPIC misfortune? Yet later to divert a near collision with a moored vessel (New York) by one foot?

Having travelled some three yrs. the culprit (Iceberg) of the events which unfolded 14-15 April on an extremely "rare" NA Ocean millpond,
turned turtle to become a black berg, and furthur yet, a steamer on a parellel yet oppisite route actually witnessed the "cries" of distress and did nothing. If that is not divine intervention
then your explanatory accidental mishap needs furthur explanation. BTW, who's the headstrong individual that pushed the engines of a vessel, basically still under sea trials? Was it Cpt. ISMAY? And whose idea was it to "cut" the corner of the NA run? And most of all what almighty force extended the range of the "APRIL" NA ice flo subsequently to expose his almighty created "blackberg".

And final yet...were the crew so confident of their "UNSINKABLE" ship that seven "warnings"
of DANGER (ICE) were ignored.

And yet I do not partake in the rituals of launching a ship, opening a business, etc. what of the ominus warnings that others have gave regarding TITANIC's launch?

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 

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