Paul Mauge and the restaurant staff: "And there they die."


Brad Walton

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Oct 16, 1998
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I am trying to make sense of Paul Mauge's testimony concerning the adventures of himself and the restaurant staff during the sinking. These are the bits that are puzzling me:

1. "At the moment I heard the alarm signal, and I went to the front, the steward sent me back to my cabin." What alarm signal? I did not know that the Titanic had any emergency alarms, or at an rate, used any during the sinking.

2. "We had a staircase which was going on the first class passenger deck, a private staircase only for the staff." Where was this staircase and where did it go to? Can I find it on the Deck Plans? What was the "first class passenger deck"? The remainder of this testimony seems to suggest that he was referring to the boat deck, because he said he saw "women and children being but into the boat."

3. "Well, I went down again [ie to E-deck] . "I said to the other cooks to wait for us. After that we had been to the third class deck just at the back [ie the aft well deck?] and we were trying to go on the second class passenger deck [B-deck aft?]. Two or three stewards were there, and would not let us go.... I [dressed in civilian clothes] asked the stewards to pass. I said I was secretary to the chef, and the stewards said, "Pass a long, get away." So the other cooks were obliged to stay on the deck there [the after well deck?] They could not go up. That is where they die."

So it appears that after asking the cooks on E Deck to "wait for us," Mauge and the head chef went somewhere else (the boat deck?), then returned to the "cooks", and the group went up to the after well deck. Mauge later mentions that not only did he leave the cooks stranded (if that is the right word) on the after well deck, but the whole restaurant staff, about 60 men. So it appears that either all the restaurant staff accompanied Mauge to the after well deck, or joined Mauge there later.

Have I totally lost the thread, or is this what Mauge is saying? Why did not all use the "staff only" staircase to get to the boat deck?

Thanks for your help. Brad
 

Thomas Krom

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Nov 22, 2017
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1. "At the moment I heard the alarm signal, and I went to the front, the steward sent me back to my cabin." What alarm signal? I did not know that the Titanic had any emergency alarms, or at an rate, used any during the sinking.
Perhaps he referred to the alarm bells besides the horizontal watertight doors. The quarters of á la care restaurant staff was located between three horizontal watertight doors (Bulkhead L and M, and a small horizontal watertight door that closed a small stairwell leading to the starboard engineers quarters on F-deck off from E-deck). It is quite possible when the boatswain closed these doors the alarm bell would have had rang.
2. "We had a staircase which was going on the first class passenger deck, a private staircase only for the staff." Where was this staircase and where did it go to? Can I find it on the Deck Plans? What was the "first class passenger deck"? The remainder of this testimony seems to suggest that he was referring to the boat deck, because he said he saw "women and children being but into the boat."
There are several candidates for this stairwell. I do not believe that Mr. Maugé as maître d’hôtel of the á la carte restaurant knew much of the ship her layout outside the areas near the á la carte restaurant and the quarters of the staff. I personally believe he referred to the small stairwell near the quarters of the á la carte restaurant staff that led to D-deck, and afterwards the needed to go more forward to a spiral staircase which the staff used on a daily base to reach the galley of the á la carte restaurant. This stairwell went further up to the boat deck as well which was beside the turbine engine casing. It is perfectly possible he referred to this spiral staircase first and second class galley on D-deck up to the boat deck.
3. "Well, I went down again [ie to E-deck] . "I said to the other cooks to wait for us. After that we had been to the third class deck just at the back [ie the aft well deck?] and we were trying to go on the second class passenger deck [B-deck aft?]. Two or three stewards were there, and would not let us go.... I [dressed in civilian clothes] asked the stewards to pass. I said I was secretary to the chef, and the stewards said, "Pass a long, get away." So the other cooks were obliged to stay on the deck there [the after well deck?] They could not go up. That is where they die."
If he truly refers to the small stairwell leading to B-deck from the after well deck it is perfectly possible that the staff was held back there since there is documented evidence of a group of third class passengers that were held back there by the crew.

So it appears that after asking the cooks on E Deck to "wait for us," Mauge and the head chef went somewhere else (the boat deck?), then returned to the "cooks", and the group went up to the after well deck.
Of the 66 á la carte staff members that died only 11 bodies were recovered. These were Joan Javier Monrós (an assistant waiter), Alessandro Pedrini (also an assistant waiter), Abele Rigozzi (also an assistant waiter), Ernest Cyril Price (the barman), Battista Bernardi (also an assistant waiter), Battista Antonio Allaria (also an assistant waiter), Maurice Emile Victor Debreucq (also an assistant waiter), Pompeo Gaspro Piazza (a waiter), Henri Marie Jaillet (the pâtissier), Emilio Santo Attanasio Poggi (another waiter), Italo Francesco Donati (also an assistant waiter) and Gaspare Antonio Pietro Gatti (the restaurant manager). So we know it is perfectly possible that the rest of the staff entered onto the boat deck later during the sinking.


I hope this helps.


Yours sincerely,


Thomas
 
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William Oakes

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Mar 6, 2020
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Perhaps he referred to the alarm bells besides the horizontal watertight doors. The quarters of á la care restaurant staff was located between three horizontal watertight doors (Bulkhead L and M, and a small horizontal watertight door that closed a small stairwell leading to the starboard engineers quarters on F-deck off from E-deck). It is quite possible when the boatswain closed these doors the alarm bell would have had rang.

There are several candidates for this stairwell. I do not believe that Mr. Maugé as maître d’hôtel of the á la carte restaurant knew much of the ship her layout outside the areas near the á la carte restaurant and the quarters of the staff. I personally believe he referred to the small stairwell near the quarters of the á la carte restaurant staff that led to D-deck, and afterwards the needed to go more forward to a spiral staircase which the staff used on a daily base to reach the galley of the á la carte restaurant. This stairwell went further up to the boat deck as well which was beside the turbine engine casing. It is perfectly possible he referred to this spiral staircase first and second class galley on D-deck up to the boat deck.

If he truly refers to the small stairwell leading to B-deck from the after well deck it is perfectly possible that the staff was held back there since there is documented evidence of a group of third class passengers that were held back there by the crew.


Of the 66 á la carte staff members that died only 11 bodies were recovered. These were Joan Javier Monrós (an assistant waiter), Alessandro Pedrini (also an assistant waiter), Abele Rigozzi (also an assistant waiter), Ernest Cyril Price (the barman), Battista Bernardi (also an assistant waiter), Battista Antonio Allaria (also an assistant waiter), Maurice Emile Victor Debreucq (also an assistant waiter), Pompeo Gaspro Piazza (a waiter), Henri Marie Jaillet (the pâtissier), Emilio Santo Attanasio Poggi (another waiter), Italo Francesco Donati (also an assistant waiter) and Gaspare Antonio Pietro Gatti (the restaurant manager). So we know it is perfectly possible that the rest of the staff entered onto the boat deck later during the sinking.


I hope this helps.


Yours sincerely,


Thomas
Great Information! Thank You Thomas!
 
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Brad Walton

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Oct 16, 1998
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Perhaps he referred to the alarm bells besides the horizontal watertight doors. The quarters of á la care restaurant staff was located between three horizontal watertight doors (Bulkhead L and M, and a small horizontal watertight door that closed a small stairwell leading to the starboard engineers quarters on F-deck off from E-deck). It is quite possible when the boatswain closed these doors the alarm bell would have had rang.

There are several candidates for this stairwell. I do not believe that Mr. Maugé as maître d’hôtel of the á la carte restaurant knew much of the ship her layout outside the areas near the á la carte restaurant and the quarters of the staff. I personally believe he referred to the small stairwell near the quarters of the á la carte restaurant staff that led to D-deck, and afterwards the needed to go more forward to a spiral staircase which the staff used on a daily base to reach the galley of the á la carte restaurant. This stairwell went further up to the boat deck as well which was beside the turbine engine casing. It is perfectly possible he referred to this spiral staircase first and second class galley on D-deck up to the boat deck.

If he truly refers to the small stairwell leading to B-deck from the after well deck it is perfectly possible that the staff was held back there since there is documented evidence of a group of third class passengers that were held back there by the crew.


Of the 66 á la carte staff members that died only 11 bodies were recovered. These were Joan Javier Monrós (an assistant waiter), Alessandro Pedrini (also an assistant waiter), Abele Rigozzi (also an assistant waiter), Ernest Cyril Price (the barman), Battista Bernardi (also an assistant waiter), Battista Antonio Allaria (also an assistant waiter), Maurice Emile Victor Debreucq (also an assistant waiter), Pompeo Gaspro Piazza (a waiter), Henri Marie Jaillet (the pâtissier), Emilio Santo Attanasio Poggi (another waiter), Italo Francesco Donati (also an assistant waiter) and Gaspare Antonio Pietro Gatti (the restaurant manager). So we know it is perfectly possible that the rest of the staff entered onto the boat deck later during the sinking.


I hope this helps.


Yours sincerely,


Thomas
Thanks, Thomas, for that very comprehensive response. I should have guessed the source of the alarm that Mauge heard -- those water-tight door alarm bells were featured in the movie, "A Night to Remember." Thanks for the information about the staff-only stair way : when I first read Mauge's account (in an edited version), I was so confused that I thought that it was in that stairwell that all the restaurant staff had been trapped. Horrifying. It was a relief to realize that they were at least out on an open deck, though being trapped anywhere on that ship would be horrifying enough. I understand that there are memorials to some of the waiters scattered here and there throughout Italy.
 

Ken Ziemski

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Jul 2, 2020
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Thanks, Thomas, for that very comprehensive response. I should have guessed the source of the alarm that Mauge heard -- those water-tight door alarm bells were featured in the movie, "A Night to Remember." Thanks for the information about the staff-only stair way : when I first read Mauge's account (in an edited version), I was so confused that I thought that it was in that stairwell that all the restaurant staff had been trapped. Horrifying. It was a relief to realize that they were at least out on an open deck, though being trapped anywhere on that ship would be horrifying enough. I understand that there are memorials to some of the waiters scattered here and there throughout Italy.
Those same 'alarms' and lights were also featured in a made for TV miniseries... 'TITANIC' don't know if it made it across the water... anyway, the lights and alarms were portrayed as signaling the engine rooms and boilers while the WTD's were closing. Perhaps, the sound of the alarms could have telegraphed via the bulkheads they were attached to and heard in other parts of the ship?? (Kitchen staff quarters, etc.??) Just a thought.
 
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Thomas Krom

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Nov 22, 2017
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Those same 'alarms' and lights were also featured in a made for TV miniseries... 'TITANIC' don't know if it made it across the water... anyway, the lights and alarms were portrayed as signaling the engine rooms and boilers while the WTD's were closing. Perhaps, the sound of the alarms could have telegraphed via the bulkheads they were attached to and heard in other parts of the ship?? (Kitchen staff quarters, etc.??) Just a thought.
The horizontal watertight doors, which were located between their quarters, did not close at the same time first officer Murdoch turned the lever a half circle during the collision nor did the alarm bell ring beside these horizontal watertight doors when he pressed the button of the alarm bells. Only the vertical watertight doors could be closed from the lever of the watertight doors on the navigating bridge (there was no indicator panel as depicted in nearly all Titanic related media, nor was it located in the wheelhouse as depicted in the 1997 movie). The horizontal watertight doors had to be closed by hand with the deckplates on the deck above it. When these doors began to slide sideways into the closed position the alarm bell would have rang.
 

Brad Walton

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Oct 16, 1998
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The horizontal watertight doors, which were located between their quarters, did not close at the same time first officer Murdoch turned the lever a half circle during the collision nor did the alarm bell ring beside these horizontal watertight doors when he pressed the button of the alarm bells. Only the vertical watertight doors could be closed from the lever of the watertight doors on the navigating bridge (there was no indicator panel as depicted in nearly all Titanic related media, nor was it located in the wheelhouse as depicted in the 1997 movie). The horizontal watertight doors had to be closed by hand with the deckplates on the deck above it. When these doors began to slide sideways into the closed position the alarm bell would have rang.
Thanks
 

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