Lost and Saved statistics Why so Varied


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Aug 14, 2002
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It seems every book or website has different statistics on how many people were aboard the Titanic and the numbers saved. Didn't someone aboard the Carpathia just count heads as the survivors were brought aboard?
P.S. am new here and love the site and the interaction. Chuck
 

Dave Gittins

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Most books and web sites suffer from a lack of research. They just copy one another. The more conscientious go to the two inquiries, but neither of those are quite right. The US inquiry had 706 saved and the British had 711. Many books say 705, because that's what Captain Rostron said. However, Rostron also said that his purser had 6 more names. That's how the British got 711. It appears that Rostron's men almost got the right number.

Later research has made the correct number 712, of which 500 were passengers and 212 were crew.

You'll find details on this site that are as good as is possible, thanks to the efforts of a multinational band of researchers.
 
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sharon rutman

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welcome to the board Charles. I supposed in the frenzied aftermath of the horrific sinking, it was only natural that the lost/saved counts tended to be inaccurate. Names were probably misspelled or misunderstood. Many of the steerage passangers who were saved probably didn't speak English making a proper head count even more confusing. Just a theory mind you.
 

Dave Gittins

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Another factor in those class-ridden days may have been the practice of referring to servants merely as 'Mrs Whosit's maid'. There was also the habit of referring to married women by their husband's name. So if Fred Smith was saved, was it Mr Fred Smith, or Mrs Fred Smith?

Early reports of lost and saved even listed people who never went near the ship. George Eastman of Kodak was a notable example. I know of one modern book that has Lady Cynthia Asquith, the British PM's daughter-in-law on board. It's a real minefield.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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While it doesn't deal with the crew, "Who Sailed On Titanic" by Debbie Beavis is a must read for anyone who has an interest in the passenger list and the difficulties in putting one together that's actually reasonably accurate. To call the problems of reconciling the often contradictory and incomplete records byzantine in their complexity is the grandest of understatements.
 
Aug 14, 2002
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Thanks all for the explanations and the welcome. I noticed just the other day that the casualty numbers on the 9-11 event had just been revised. Apparently it is no easier today to get the numbers correct. Imagine the confusion if more ships than the Carpathia had picked up survivors from the sea.

Chuck
 
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