Men who were offered but turned down a lifeboat place

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It seems the major thing any movie on Titanic or many other a subject be it a western, a King Arthur epic or such always seems to flub is the world of dental work. It can be a gross subject in our times, but as well as some of these type of movies in our time have done to bring us back to those times, they almost always show the actors with clean, straight, teeth; which wouldn't be true for most during such a period. I've often noticed that William Murdoch's famous Olympic bridge shot picture seems to show him grinning with some era teeth behind the smile. Not how I think we think of such folks by today's standards. I guess it explains why most of the pictures of the Titanic officers showed broad grins, not full smiles. It does seem those who got some sleep the night Titanic sunk such as Col. Gracie or Harold Bride did, as opposed to Jack Phillips and Officer Moody, faired better. Having recently bought a house and doing day long renovations, on little sleep and lots of determination-- finishing wiped out, I think of those officers who toiled so hard mentally and physically; I really think such mixed with little sleep could do anybody in very quick I'm afraid. Try it sometime, sleep a little, work a ton and when you are ready to finally rest (do so safely of course) think that as you get to go to a nice warm bed, the officers and the like on Titanic had strong currents, falling objects and lethal water to face; sadly quite a grim prospect no matter how old one is.
I think I remember that the Monty Python film Camelot took some delight in showing ghastly teeth in all their disrepair - but only the character actors, of course! Can't see Angelina or Brad consenting to some dental accuracy in a period movie. Or indeed, even a mature actress playing the aging Queen Elizabeth I who was, apparently, by the age of 50 an extraordinary sight with no hair of her own to speak of, bone white face, hardly any teeth, and who had the habit of loosening her stays (one does sympathise) with the result that her bosom was on display to all and sundry, much to the distress of a French diplomat who recorded this. Not even Cate Blanchett would be game enough to appear like this, and she doesn't usually step away from the difficult.
Good point Monica,

There are exceptions to my previous post. Some movies do get the teeth thing correct. I agree about how few would like to wear some mock up of how things really where, but likely audiences today may just not want to see things exactly as they were as well. This has become a moving thread, to really put yourself in the place of the officers or other personal on Titanic that night and try to think of factors such as, stamina, stress, their bravado, the water, the craze of everything that was going on near the bridge at the time of the final plunge; it's pretty somber thought. On a side note, maybe if Titanic's Chief Baker's story is true, that he rode the stern of Titanic right down to the water, he would therefore might be man enough to go bungy jumping with Inger!! (In jest of course!)
Concerning retinal detachment, I've been there and done that. In my case, it was probably one of those things that go with aging. I was operated on successfully, but the operation is frequently followed by a cataract. I'm currently waiting on an operation for that.

Anybody should think twice before doing anything that may invite a retinal detachment. Boxing is particularly bad.

I'm determined to beat my problems. I hate dogs!
The interesting thing about bad teeth is that it often seems to be a result of the mixing of different human types - people with large jaws marrying people with small ones, and the resulting over-crowding in their offspring. Not to mention using sugar as a preservative or in processed food, of course.

When one sees Africans, sometimes in very dire circumstances, I am often struck by how brilliant their teeth are compared to ours. And it's all natural.

Some aspects of Baker Joughin's story must be true, as he survived after all, and was pulled from the freezing water after some time. Most modern doubts about his tale seem to me to hinge on the contemporary belief that drinking alcohol should have accelerated his demise, rather than protecting him against the elements. I'm not sure this is true.

I reckon that the effects of alcohol are dependent upon one's age, BMI, general fitness etc., and that maybe alcohol did confer a short-term advantage for him. You might not want to take a chance on this in a tricky situation, of course.
I've always believed much of Baker Joughin's story. But with few to observe him that either lived or payed attention to one person's actions we have generally just his word. There were other accounts of drinking, Storekeeper Foley had some brandy on him, Jack Thayer talked of a man who downed a bottle of Gordon's Gin and later saw the man on the Carpathia. As you mention, there could be a lot of factors combined with the amount one drinks that may play a role in survival; if anything maybe it calmed those folks down to focus (best they could) on the situation and not get so upset that they made desperate choices. Acting on my own or what others have talked about those times when one drinks a lot; I/they don't always seem to remember the night before as clearly as what took place. But that again is a guess based on experiance, something to think about, but it doesn't change the baker's story officially, just a few things to ponder. If everything occurred the way he described it or even most everything, he is another interesting addition to those who tried to help and against all odds found a place among the living!
I'm sure I couldn't down a bottle of Gordon's gin. Well, not and survive anything at all, really. However, depending on one's capacity/limits, the alcohol could maybe confer short-term benefits. I can see that I might have jumped and survived better after a couple of glasses of white, but only if I were young - not now, of course. Instant death - cardiac arrest! But that wouldn't really to be anything to do with the alcohol - more just to do with age and general decrepitude.

You can't take people's own evidence of their personal habits very seriously, and the only evidence we have is people who paddled around and either died or survived in waters that would kill most of us in a fairly short time. Why would some aging guy in a fur coat, primed with booze, survive when loads of other young, sober ones perished? Probably, because he didn't hit anything when he left the ship and took the dive. And was near enough to a boat. Just luck.

One can over-analyse this sort of thing, you know.
One can over-analyse this sort of thing, you know.

Yes, indeed. Rhoda Abbott was up to either her knees or chest in the freezing water in collapsible A. She had seen her sons die of exposure when they were either on a piece of wreckage or in Collapsible A according to Amy Stanley's account.-

Amy Stanley later recalled:

"We were very close since we were on the Titanic together. And her stateroom had been near mine. I was the only one that she could talk to about her sons because I knew them myself. She told me that she would get [sic] in the lifeboat if there hadn't been so many people around. So she and her sons kept together. She was thankful that [the] three of them had stayed with her on that piece of wreckage (? Collapsible A Perhaps?-G.Lorton). The youngest went first then the other son went. She grew numb and cold and couldn't remember when she got on the Carpathia. There was a piece of cork in her hair and I managed to get a comb and it took a long time but finally we got it out."

Taken from ET Rhoda Abbott's bio Collapsible A.

- And yet Ms. Abbott made it after suffering a few broken ribs as well. I would have given up after an hour if I had suffered what she'd gone though.
Some more very good points. Trying to figure out who survived and how, after the ship left them would be a very long subject. If anything I guess it is the will to live, shock, chemical reactions in the body to keep one going . . . luck. Who really knows what one is capable of when all seems lost. I've had a few accidents in life and looking back, something kept me going when I should not have been up to it.
>>Trying to figure out who survived and how, after the ship left them would be a very long subject.<<

Maybe not. For those who made it into the boats, by hook, crook, invitation or on orders, this one is a no-brainer. For those in contact with the water, the key to survival was getting out of it as soon as possible. They may have been uncomfortable and cold to the point of being frostbitten, but at least they survived.
Very true Michael,

The quicker one got out of those temperatures the better. I was just thinking, that to factor in ranging metabolisms, stimulants, ability to cope with the anxiety factor, and many other such factors could take awhile or forever to go through. It also would be one of the more painful subjects, to talk about how some people could of made it, were others just where there to die, not by choice. Another question that comes to mind is, do we really want to know what happend to the 1500 or so that were in the water after the stern disappered or do we want to just ponder aspects. Personally I'm up to any challenge on the subject, but this one would be quite heartbreaking.

Respectfully yours,

Tom I. McLeod
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