Kitchen crew during the sinking

Sam, the wireless operators were in an ambiguous situation in that they were salaried employees of the Marconi Company but were also signed on and paid as crew members. The lift operators certainly were crew members, signed on as stewards. But the youth of some of the lift attendants and of all of the bellboys would have worked against them on the boat deck, where a burly stoker would be a better choice for manning an oar. This matter of practical choice is most obvious in Lightoller's statement that he would allow no stewardesses into boats that he was loading - they were crew members, but they would not have been useful in that situation. I daresay the same consideration would have applied to men like the wireless operators, pursers and surgeons.

The lift operators (who weren't all boys) had the same long working day as other crew members. I imagine that the lifts weren't available overnight, and that there must have been periods during the working day when only two of the three lifts in 1st Class were in use, to give the operators a chance to snatch a meal break in rotation. That would have been more of a problem in 2nd Class, with only one lift. Perhaps another steward (or one of the operators from 1st Class) would take over from time to time to provide the lift man with short breaks.
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Denise, I'm aware of the Inquiry testimonies. What I am curious about is where Butler got his information. As it seems to be a bit different from the usual testimonies.
 
Thanks, Bob, for the clarification. I have read more than once that the nationality of the staff was the reason they were held back by the crew. Of course, reading it doesn't mean it's accurate/true, as we all know.

Bill, no surprise you're familiar with the Inquiry testimony on this (or any other) topic! I was having some fun searching for specific information on this story, which has always interested me, so I posted the links. As I mentioned above, I looked through Butler's book yesterday but couldn't find anything in it about the fate of the a la carte staff. Any idea where it is in the book?

Denise
 
I've read somewhere - I can't remember where - that that some of the saloon stewards worked until around midnight setting up tables for breakfast - could that be true?
 
I heard from a descendant of a kitchen staff worker that a few of them had gone down below to fetch some food from the freezers and were trapped in the lift when they cut power to the lifts. Can anyone confirm this? If so that would be a horrible way to go.
 
I too have heard that report from the grandson of perished butcher William Willsher. He claims a surviving baker overheard their shouts, but despite trying, was unable to free them. Willsher's teenage son later joined the Merchant Navy as a bellboy, and worked on the same ship as the baker where the tale of his fathers demise was passed to him. There is of course no way to verify the story, but it has nonetheless been passed on to the current generation of the family and is an interesting addition to the mythology.
 
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