Jobs of the 5th Officer and the 6th Officer

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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I wasn't going to start a new thread but couldn't find a thread containing this sort of stuff, i was wondering if anyone new the jobs of the 5th Officer during the sailing not the sinking and also of a 6th Officer
Cheers Guys
Matteo :)
 
As junior officers, their jobs were to assist the senior officers in whatever capacity needed. This could include doing rounds of the whole ship to make sure all was in order, scheduled watches, aiding in navigation, and assisting passengers and crew when necessary. They also would record the speed of the ship, as well as the water temperature and occasionally, check the ship's compass midship. Just to list a few.
 

Matteo Eyre

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I have been advised not to take note of what happens in films but in the James Cameron film Titanic, Lowe is seen taking a cup of tea to Captain Smith, would this have been something he would have done or not??
Cheers
Matteo :)
 
I have been advised not to take note of what happens in films but in the James Cameron film Titanic, Lowe is seen taking a cup of tea to Captain Smith, would this have been something he would have done or not??
Cheers
Matteo :)
I don't see why not, truth be told. What was depicted in the film was fictional in that regards, since no accounts have been reported of "kitchen runs" but as there was no pressing items that needed to be done right that instant, I don't see why Lowe couldn't have stopped by the kitchen and picked up something for the captain. It might have even been on one of his inspections of the ship which they were known to routinely do.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Indeed.

"Begorrah, Captain Smith, is it a cup o' tay that ye're a wantin'?"
"Why, thank you, Mr Andrews, that's exactly what's needed. Where did you spring from?"
"Central Casting, sir. Comedy Oirish department."

:)
 

Matteo Eyre

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I didn't think it was likely, ah right, was Paintin the cook for the captain or would he have dined in the restaurant and dining room like the other passengers, i know he attended the Widener's party but i don't know anything after that
Cheers Guys
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Whenever possible the Captain was expected to dine with the 1st Class passengers, but in potentially dangerous situations when he needed to stay on or near the Bridge for long periods he could use the Officers' Mess on the Boat Deck, or Paintin could bring food and beverages from there to the Bridge or to the Captain's sitting room immediately behind it.
 

Matteo Eyre

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I guess it doesn't apply to all films as some have true bits in, but a bit like the film The Titanic starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, a lot of it isn't very true
Matteo :)
 

Matteo Eyre

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Thought so, what about the other Officers?? it has been said that Lightoller dined in there or at least was seen in there but nothing about the other Officers, yeah i guess that seems sensible, didn't think food would be allowed in the bridge, sure i read that somewhere, wonder what the Captain would have eaten
Cheers for all the help Bob
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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I do sometimes refer to film scenes for visual clues about things like uniforms - if I know they've got it right. And in A Night to Remember there are scenes where you can see real equipment in action. The Welin davits and lifeboats, for instance, weren't made by a props department - they were the real thing. There was plenty of authentic hardware still available back in 1958, along with technical advisers like Boxhall to advise on its proper use.

The Captain would normally have eaten very well, just like the 1st Class passengers. Food from the Officers' Mess, however, would most likely have been of 2nd Class standard. I didn't mean to imply that the Captain would ever have been seen standing on the Bridge with his dinner in hand - if he needed to eat that close to the Bridge it would have been at the table in his sitting room which was only a few feet away.

The only other crew members who regularly ate with the passengers were the pursers and the surgeons.
 
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Caution: movies are entertainment, not real life. The story is paramount and the facts can't be allowed to distract. Understand history by watching movies is like trying to understand rodents by reading Disney comic books.

Before this thread strays too far from its topic – the following selections are taken from the IMM/White Star Line company rule book placed into public record by J. Bruce Ismay during what are known today as the “New York Limitation of Liability Hearings.” This first paragraph applies directly to the fifth and sixth officers. It encompasses the duties of the third and fourth officers as well, however those officer had additional duties described elsewhere in the rules. Notes in brackets [ ] are mine.


Junior Officers

371. Duties.– (a) The Junior Officers should exert themselves to afford ever assistance in the navigation of the ship by perfecting themselves in the practice of solar and stellar observations, both for the correction of the compass, and for ascertaining the position of the ship.

(b) They will attend strictly to the instructions of the Officer in Charge as to superintending holds, gangways, or in keeping watches, and perform any other duties which may be required of them.

(c) Junior or Petty Officers must supervise the holds during the loading or discharging to control the stowage, and prevent stealing and the improper use of hooks and crowbars by the stevedores.


Opposite Art. 17 – Watches

Sea Watches – Regular sea watches must me kept... . The watches are to be equally divided and the ship is never to be left without an Officer in charge of the bridge. ...The three Seniors [chief, 1st and 2nd officers] are the bridge officers and divide the time into three watches of four hours duration, each will have four hours on the bridge in charge of the ship, followed by eight hours below. The Junior Officers, where five or more Officers are borne, will keep watch and watch with the seamen, the Third Officer having charge of the port watch, and the Fourth Officer the starboard watch, under the direction of the Senior Officer on watch. They [the junior officers] are also to go the rounds every hour during watch on deck, reporting having carried this out to the Senior Officer on watch.

...Junior Officers are not to have charge of a watch at sea except during daylight in fine weather at the discretion of the Commander.


17. Watches – Regular sea watches must be kept from the time the ship leaves the dock at port of departure until she reaches the dock at port of arrival. ...No Officer, Engineer, or other member of the Crew on watch shall go off duty without being properly relieved.


9. Attention to Passengers -- (a) All employees...are to show every attention to the requirements of passengers...but Officers, except the Purser and Surgeon, are not permitted to participate in the amusements of passengers, such as games, concerts, etc., and, while courteously replying to any questions which may be put to them by passengers, will not seek conversation with them.

(b) ...Officers...are strictly forbidden to receive passengers in their rooms, and none of them are to accept hospitality from passengers on board.


-- David G. Brown
 

Matteo Eyre

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Oh right, yeah the 1958 A Night To Remember was really good and certainly more accurate than James Cameron's Titanic although that did have a few good pointers oh right, i haven't seen any testimony about the pursers eating in 1st class but i have heard something about the doctors eating there, Cheers for all the info David, i'll be sure to make note of it
Cheers Guys
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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The Chief Purser dined with the 1st Class passengers, the 2nd Purser in 2nd Class. Likewise, I think, with the two surgeons.
 

Jane Smith

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I’m not entirely sure if this is the right thread for this but here’s my question.

What did the ship's officers even do?