Robert Hichens


Inger Sheil

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Hallo, Geoff -

I would love a copy of Wilde's will! It's one of the documents I haven't ordered yet. I have a few copies of birth/death/marriage certificates for the Wilde family - are there any you need?

Ing
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Many thanks, O adored Geoff :) I haven't done much work on Wilde lately, and this might provide just that little bit of impetus I need. I did the obvious geneological stuff, pulled up a few crew agreements for him, found a sort of 'postscript' to his story, and then shelved it until I had time to properly trace his career. I know the avenues I want to follow, but just haven't had the time to get out to the necessary archival repository (and have been too lazy/miserly to shell out for a researcher there to look up what I want for me).

All the best,

Ing
 
G

Graham Pickles

Guest
Hi Inger,

I appreciate your thoughts on the early iceberg scenario, but the fact that two published authors (George Behe and Senan Molony) find the scenario credible proves that there may be more truth in the subject than is made to believe.

The account I am refering to is from the New York Herald of April 12 1912,

I have the full article if you want it but hear is a piece of it.

FRONT PAGE
story in the New York Herald of April 21, 1912, just
a week after the disaster. The lead story says:

LOOKOUTS' WARNINGS OF ICEBERGS THRICE DISREGARDED
WITHIN HALF HOUR OF CRASH, DECLARES STEWARD

Thomas Whiteley Tells of Hearing Men Who Were
In Crow's Nest Express Indignation Because Mr
Murdock, the First Officer, Repeatedly Refused
To Act on Their Report of Danger.

"NO WONDER MR MURDOCH SHOT HIMSELF,"
SAID SAILOR WHO TOLD OF ICE AHEAD


Yes I agree with you that the accounts are problematic but they are definitely worth looking into a bit further before they are discarded.

Regards
graham

PS Inger have sent e.mail in answer to your last.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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G'day, Graham -

I've kept George's theories in mind for the past few years while sifting through primary sources, and certainly don't dismiss them - although I've tried to outline my reservations about his theories in the many discussions he and I have had about this over the last few years. I've also discussed it with Sen a few times, and I know he sees my point that the lookouts (with whom all these accounts seem to originate) were not disinterested witnesses. Of course I'm willing to consider new material, but nothing of a startlingly new nature or definitive nature has materialised lately.

I'm sure you're already aware of the limitations of the Whiteley account, but just to remind anyone following this - Whiteley claimed to have heard the conversation between the lookouts while on collapsible B. Fleet and Lee weren't even in the same boat - let alone atop collapsible B.

Fleet was not a disinterested witness - and there are suspicious disrepencies in the versions of the tale attributed to him. While exploring the questions of prior ice warnings, you might also want to consider whether Fleet had enough motivation to deflect potential blame while on the Carpathia. I believe he did.

I do think these rumours should be followed up - for example, although I don't put that much faith in it I intend to fully investigate the Wilde suicide rumour referred to in the newspapers. But we won't all necessarily reach the same conclusions.

Many thanks for the last email - will answer it as soon as I have an opportunity!

All the best,

Ing
 
G

Graham Pickles

Guest
Hi All,

In responce to Inger's last post.
Inger wrote:

> I've also>discussed it with Sen a few times, and I know he sees my>point that the lookouts (with whom all these accounts seem>to originate) were not disinterested witnesses.

Senan has promoted the early iceberg scenario
as a very likely possibility, and I agree with him that the Titanic's lookouts may have seen several icebergs before they saw the fatal one.

>Fleet was not a disinterested witness - and there are
>suspicious disrepencies in the versions of the tale
>attributed to him.

Yes but in one way of thinking none of the survivors were disinterested witnesses, and most of their stories contain discrepancies

>While exploring the questions of prior>ice warnings, you might also want to consider whether Fleet>had enough motivation to deflect potential blame while on>the Carpathia. I believe he did.

You as everyone is welcome to there own opinion, Inger, otherwise no research would get done.


Regards
graham
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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G'day, Graham -

I do see your perspective on this issue, and trust equally that you see mine. I'm very well aware of what Senan's views are on this subject - we've discussed this in public and private several times, over email and face to face over a few pints. It's not for me to discuss his opinions here - that's up to him if he wishes to do so - but I do know that he sees my perspective on the issues, acknowledges it as a valid argument, and has his own reservations about some of the material that has been used to support the 'three icebergs' theory. He himself has also, in this forum, raised questions about the training and screening of the lookouts.

If there's one thing the Hichens discussion should have taught us it's to be cautious in using material that is of a second hand nature or reported a long period after the event. After all, this thread arose from the 'Harbourmaster' rumour. As a researcher you'd be as aware as I am of the nature of some of the material you come across in this way - and no major historical event is complete without allegations of cover-up and conspiracy. I used the example of Michael Collins' death before - curiously consistent rumours that Emmett Dalton was involved, missing government files, official reticence on the subject...but in the end, nothing substantial.

The material for the three iceberg theory is drawn from fairly garbled newspaper accounts, reminiscences given many years later, and allegations of what witnesses purportedly said. These are frequently vague and contradictory, or outright dubious - as in the Whiteley account.

You wrote:

Yes but in one way of thinking none of the survivors were disinterested witnesses, and most of their stories contain discrepancies

I think in the case of Fleet and Lee you have a pair of witnesses who were rather less disinterested than most - they were active participants in the event and would be quite justified in fearing blame for the disaster falling on their shoulders! The atmosphere was difficult enough for male crew survivors - can you imagine being confronted by a widow on the Carpathia and asked what your position on the Titanic was? A lookout on watch at the time of the collision - is it any wonder that they'd feel the need to deflect blame? Also something to explain to your fellow crewmen. The easiest way to do this was to suggest that they had given the bridge sufficient warning - either of previous bergs, of seeing the fatal berg and not getting a response, or of calling the bridge earlier and saying that they 'smelled ice'. All three of these versions are extant in various second hand reports - I believe it's possible that the versions Fleet told were fluid. However, it's one thing deflecting blame onto the dead - who cannot respond - when on the Carpathia. It's another thing to lie in the formal, structured environment of an inquiry.

We do have another direct account of the collision that Fleet gave to author/historian Leslie Reade - although given some time after, it has the benefit of being an interview rather than a second had report. In it, Fleet confesses that he did not know what the fatal iceberg was when it first loomed up, and that he lost precious seconds asking Lee before phoning the Bridge. This is not the response one would expect of a man if he had seen previous bergs, and who subsequently should have been in a state of heightened alertness. Fleet certainly seems to have feared being blamed for not responding in time - hence his highly defensive 'I reported it as soon as ever I seen it'. It is interesting that Reade, one of the finest researchers in the field and who knew Fleet, suggests that Fleet was probably not the best lookout in the world and implies that the accident was at least partly the responsibility of the two lookouts. To be fair to them, as Senan has outlined in another thread the basis for selecting lookouts was not particularly stringent - nor had the Bridge posted the extra lookouts that would have so obviously been of assistance.

You wrote:

You as everyone is welcome to there own opinion, Inger, otherwise no research would get done.

Indeed, yes! And, as I said above, I wouldn't want to discourage anyone's investigations along either the lines of previously sighted icebergs or the potential furphys spread by the lookouts. But I certainly wouldn't want you to think that I discarded the theory without looking into it as suggested above. While I have and continue to keep it in mind, until more substantive evidence to challenge the canonical version appears I don't feel justified in incorporating the prior berg/WSL conspiracy theory into my interpretation of events. I also believe it would be worthwhile for anyone with an interest in this area to investigate the role and motivations of the lookouts, and keep these in mind while reading the various accounts of what they are supposed to have said.

Anyway, should I happen to stumble across anything pertinent to this discussion now that I'm finally doing some systematic work in the UK newspapers, I'll be sure to pass it on to you.

All the best,

Inger
 
G

Graham Pickles

Guest
Hi Inger.

Thank you for your personal mail, I will reply to it in the very near future. yes it is nice to have a civil debate so to answer your question's above hear goes

>and no major historical event is complete without
>allegations of cover-up and conspiracy.

Yes sometimes allegations of conspiracy are false, but also
sometimes they're true, too

> A lookout on watch at the time of the collision
>- is it any wonder that they'd feel the need to deflect
>blame?

The lookouts would be completely justified in deflecting
the blame onto the bridge officers if those officers really did ignore warnings of early icebergs.

> A lookout on watch at the time of the collision
>- is it any wonder that they'd feel the need to deflect
>blame?

The lookouts would be completely justified in deflecting
the blame onto the bridge officers if those officers really did ignore warnings of early icebergs.

> In it, Fleet confesses that>he did not know what the fatal iceberg was when it first>loomed up, and that he lost precious seconds asking Lee>before phoning the Bridge. This is not the response one>would expect of a man if he had seen previous bergs,

It's the response one might expect if the berg had a
different appearance than the earlier bergs Fleet had seen.

Inger I thank you for offering to share any information you may find and hope to speak later
Regards
graham
 
G

Graham Pickles

Guest
Hi All,

It was always believed that Robert Hichens had two children when the Titanic went down. Well this morning I received a lot of information from two different sources that prove that the believed "BOB" youngest child of Hichens who lost a leg in a cycle accident was not born when the Titanic sunk!

This above information is from a letter (From Steven Coombes August 1999 to the Titanic society England)
Forworded to me by Brian Tice. of Titanic History society England.

The articles mention his wife Florence and two sons, one aged 20 (''with his leg off'') the other aged nine all three living 'somewhere in Southampton'.

This reference I am assuming is taken from the 1933 court hearing article published in the "Torquay Times".
A quick bit of mental arithmetic and hey presto, this makes Bob 21 not 20 if he was alive when the Titanic sank!

So this poses a new question who was the two children Robert Hichens spoke of at the Titanic Inquiry?

The second source of this information is the full transcript of the Torquay Times article.
This article also proves without a shadow of doubt that Robert and Florence parted way before it is assumed, this I have known about for a long time but until now was unable to back it up with any documented evidence.Plus I have been told by a reputable researcher that they where together.

What bewilders me is the fact that this report has been in the public domain for a long time, yet it has always been stated in all the information I have seen that Robert and Florence where together and that he had two children when the Titanic went down.

Also in the original Bio and the following Bio's it would appear that most of the information about Robert is gleened from this report. So why is it so wrong. or is that someone want's to just discredit everyones work in one go?

I am working through some more fact's that I will share later when I have put them in order.
regards
graham
 
G

Graham Pickles

Guest
Hi All,

It was always believed that Robert Hichens had two children when the Titanic went down. Well this morning I received a lot of information from two different sources that prove that the believed "BOB" youngest child of Hichens who lost a leg in a cycle accident was not born when the Titanic sunk!

This above information is from a letter (From Steven Coombes August 1999 to the Titanic society England)
Forworded to me by Brian Tice. of Titanic History society England.

The articles mention his wife Florence and two sons, one aged 20 (''with his leg off'') the other aged nine all three living 'somewhere in Southampton'.

This reference I am assuming is taken from the 1933 court hearing article published in the "Torquay Times".
A quick bit of mental arithmetic and hey presto, this makes Bob 21 not 20 if he was alive when the Titanic sank!

So this poses a new question who was the two children Robert Hichens spoke of at the Titanic Inquiry?

The second source of this information is the full transcript of the Torquay Times article.
This article also proves without a shadow of doubt that Robert and Florence parted way before it is assumed, this I have known about for a long time but until now was unable to back it up with any documented evidence.Plus I have been told by a reputable researcher that they where together.

What bewilders me is the fact that this report has been in the public domain for a long time, yet it has always been stated in all the information I have seen that Robert and Florence where together and that he had two children when the Titanic went down.

Also in the original Bio and the following Bio's it would appear that most of the information about Robert is gleened from this report. So why is it so wrong. or is that someone want's to just discredit everyones work in one go?

I am working through some more fact's that I will share later when I have put them in order.
regards
graham
 

Phillip Gowan

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Apr 10, 2001
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Just a word of caution--all that is written in an article and published or told in an inquiry isn't necessarily true. Although I've not participated in the group effort on the biography of Hichens, my own research is "bringing forth mice" on almost a weekly basis. At some point (my hope is quickly after I return from Southampton in April), I'll be able to place an article on my findings in the Titanica research arena of ET.

"Bob" Hichens was not 20 at the time the article was published in 1933. Nor was he 19 or 21. He was born in 1918 and so would have been 14 or 15 at the time the article was published. The list of Hichens children in the new updated bio leaves out one very important daughter. And while Hichens and Florence may have had an on/off relationship, I have proof that they were a couple when at death they did part--even though I can't pinpoint the Quartermaster's exact date of death yet.

Doreen Hichens married a much older divorced man who was a Southampton grocer but they unfortunately did not remain in Southampton. I have tracked down Doreen's death record and am watching my mailbox on a daily basis for information that will lead me to her children.

I've also tracked down the marriage of an older daughter and am trying to determine if she remained in Southampton. Since I know for sure that Doreen left long ago (relatives of Doreen's husband who still live in Southampton estimate that they moved away about 1948), it is my hope that maybe the older sister still has children living in Southampton. My biggest goal while attending the BTHS convention is to sit down with a grandchild of Robert Hichens and ask the question "what finally happened to him?" I'm close, but so far no cigar. (Anybody want to help pay my for my February long distance calls to England?:)

Regards,
Phil
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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G'day there, Graham -

**Thank you for your personal mail, I will reply to it in the very near future. yes it is nice to have a civil debate so to answer your question's above hear goes**

No worries :) As I said privately, one reason I respect a researcher like Senan Moloney is that it is possible to go a few rounds with him - disagreeing sometimes quite vigorously - but it doesn't damage the personal or professional relationship. There are a few other researchers like that (on every controversial topic, from salvage to the Californian), and it makes me think all the more highly of them.

and no major historical event is complete without allegations of cover-up and conspiracy.

Indeed, yes - every now and then you do find a genuine conspiracy. But after many years of working with historical subjects, I'm afraid I'm just getting more cynical as I go along - take all the fascinating evidence that Peter Kurth assembled...all debunked by DNA (and if we didn't have DNA testing, we never would have known the truth). His book is such a powerful work that it is still being published, albeit now with a disclaimer that the central premise has been disproved.

**A lookout on watch at the time of the collision
- is it any wonder that they'd feel the need to deflect blame?**

The lookouts would be completely justified in deflecting the blame onto the bridge officers if those officers really did ignore warnings of early icebergs.

Either way you cut it, the lookouts lied - either under oath or - if the stories from the Carpathia are to be believed - in casual conversations. So there's a problem with their integrity right there - although I think it would be more human and understandable if they (or at least Fleet) chose to avoid blame in the emotionally charged environment of a ship full of widows. Although proponants of the 'prior warnings' theory do not discuss it much, the lookouts had both motive and opportunity - the dead (Moody and Murdoch) were not in a position to contradict them. I believe Fleet's different and contradictory versions of the tale (the bridge didn't answer the phone before the fatal berg/the bridge didn't heed warnings about earlier bergs/the bridge didn't pay attention when he told them he 'smelled ice' etc) indicate a man who is improvising as he goes along rather than sticking to a central set of 'facts'.

**In it, Fleet confesses that he did not know what the fatal iceberg was when it firstloomed up, and that he lost precious seconds asking Lee before phoning the Bridge. This is not the response one would expect of a man if he had seen previous bergs**

It's the response one might expect if the berg had a different appearance than the earlier bergs Fleet had seen.

I have to disagree with you most emphatically here. If bergs had been seen before, they would not have appeared as great, snowy, floodlit peaks - they would have been dark shapes off to either side, perhaps with a glance of starlight to indicate they were there. In a heightened state of awareness - as the lookouts *must* have been if they'd seen icebergs in the preceding period - another dark shape, this time looming up right in front of them, would not cause confusion. They would know what it was instantly.

Inger I thank you for offering to share any information you may find and hope to speak later

Not a problem - I'm always up for a chat. I'm finally adopting a systematic approach to the newspapers (have put off going through them until I had time), and - as I said privately - I'd feel absolutely duty bound to share anything either way on this subject.

BTW - am looking forward to what you and Phil G turn up...it sounds like the story of the Hichens family is one of gothic complexity!

All the best,

Inger
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Speaking as one who has stood lookout watches at sea, and at night, I'm not quite willing to discount the possibility that Fleet and Lee might have seen some icebergs prior to the fatal collision and reported same to the bridge. Visibility at night is nothing if not unpredictable and depends largely on what little light is available. I've seen nights as black as pitch where it was nearly impossible to make out much of anything. I've also been out on deck on a clear moonlit night where I could barely make out the black outline of the cruiser that was manuevering right in front of my ship, and stood low visibility watches in foggy conditions where the sea nearby was surprisingly distinct...even if nothing else was.

One also has to be aware of such problems as optical illusions where stationary objects seem to be moving. (I've encountered this one while piloting a light aircraft at night.)

Trust nothing and report everything was the mantra we lived by.

Having said that much, I don't believe that the lookouts were yelling reports to the bridge vis a vis the Podesta account. Not when they had a phone that worked just fine.

Conspiracies? Cover-ups? Well...maybe, but as Inger has pointed out, there were no disinterested witnesses here. If Fleet and Lee were trying to cover something up, it may have been due to the Cover your a** incentive. Let's face it, if blame could be laid at their feet, they'ed be looking for employment elsewhere with no "safety net" to tide them over. That being the case, they would hardly need White Star to give them a reason to lie.(And if they were making up stories in the lifeboats and on the Carpathia, it was obviously befor White Star could get to them.)

Just some thoughts.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Inger Sheil

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G'day, Michael -

I agree with you that we can't disprove the lookouts seeing ice before the fatal berg - nor, conversely, can we prove it (at least based on anything that has come to light so far). Always interesting to have the perspective of a mariner on this...I've had a few long discussions on the subject with another man who has stood long hours on watch as a lookout (and who, in discussions about the Titanic and her lookouts, has been told by individuals who have never gone to sea that his experience is 'irrelevent' because it conflicts with the opinion of a land bound theorist).

I'm glad you do see my point about Fleet and Lee having a very personal stake in the sequence of event leading up to the disaster - it's an issue that is often neglected, but I feel essential to any examination of the incident. These were ordinary human beings with all the faults, foibles and motivations of any other human beings. Fate had given them a central role in a terrible event - what they went through in the immediate aftermath, and afterwards, can only be imagined. Fleet was haunted for years after the wreck by the memory of the inexorable advance of the collision, finally seeking medical advice. They weren't neutral, inactive observers with all the humanity of the crows nest telephone - they were central participants who played a part in what happened.

All the best,

Inger
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
An experienced mariner was told his experience was irrelevent because it conflicts with the opinion of a landbound theorist? Wonderful!

As Londo Mollari said in a Babylon Five movie,"Stupidity and arrogance all in the same room. How efficient!" I wonder if it ever occured to these blokes that their research might be better served by consulting with people who actually knew what they were talking about?

Oh I understand your point about vested interests and the lookouts weren't the only ones. We had the surviving officers with careers and family support obligations to think of, 705 passangers and crew who wondered why they ended up in lifeboats or freezing water, and White Star which had to explain why two out of every three people on board their largest, safest and best liner either drowned or froze to death in the middle of the North Atlantic.

Let's not forget Captain Lord and his chums who ended up facing some tough questions from hostile inquisitors.

Then there was Senator Smith who had an axe or two to grind with J. P. Morgan and I.M.M., and Great Britain had matters of national prestige and pride at stake.

If there was a nuetral party in any of this, I'd love to hear about it.
wink.gif


Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Senan Molony

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Well it comes down to this:

Either

A) The Titanic banged into the first iceberg they saw, which is massively unlucky, not to say improbable. It is, of course, possible.

Or

B) They hit one after first seeing a number of others, or precursor material, which sharply defines the arguments about speed, resposibility and civil, even criminal, liability.

We can't know which of these is the truth from the testimony of persons aboard for the very good reason that such evidence is contaminated by a host of possible motivations. Unreliable in toto, therefore.

However the ice warnings of other ships put ice substantially further east than the position in which the Titanic sank.

It may be that these "boxes" of described ice in the Marconigrams are unreliable. But then one sees the Carpathia, steaming towards the scene (and being 58 miles from the SOS location, although the Titanic sank substantially further east) and the "Little Cunarder is soon encountering a great deal of ice. South-eastern ice perhaps, but there is an eastern component there...
We know there was eastern ice... Californian and Parisian both saw bergs far to the east. Cal saw three bergs at 6.30pm, and steamed on for another four hours towards the ice barrier...

Look, I don't know whether the T saw prior ice.
I would imagine it is a very live possibility that they did, but it may be that they didn't. Strange things happen. When learning to drive as a teenager, I once nearly hit the only sign on the wide open sands of Dollymount beach...

Fred Fleet says this:

Sen Smith: "Did you see any other icebergs; field ice, or growlers while you were in the crow's nest Sunday or Sunday night?"

Fleet: Only the one I reported right ahead.

Smith: Only that one?

Fleet: That is all.

But am I alone in detecting a distinction drawn by Fleet at the British Inquiry when he is asked:

17355. Did you notice when you got into the
(life)boat - (Fleet entered Boat 6 shortly after 1am) - and were in the (life)boat before daybreak, any icebergs? - It was only at daybreak we noticed them.

He's not denying that there could have been ice around the Titanic (when he entered the lifeboat just after 1am), just that if it was there, it wasn't seen.

Fleet's answer to 17355 might have been a careful one. Equally, it might perfectly well have answered the question. I don't know... it would have been great if it had all been videotaped...

17356. At daybreak you saw a good deal, did you not? - Yes.

17357. Icebergs? - And fields of ice.

17358. All round you? - Yes.

17359. If I understand you aright, whilst you were in the boat, from the time you were in the boat till daybreak, you did not notice any icebergs. Is that right? - That is right.

So Fleet himself, quite rightly, does want to deny absolutely that there could have been Titanic around the time she struck or shortly thereafter (circa 1am). What he does say is that the Titanic hit the only berg they saw.

Taking a minimalist view of all of this, it just might bring "other ice" a millimetre or two closer to the Titanic's bows.

But hell, who knows? Nobody now.
 

Inger Sheil

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G'day there, Smolony -

There were those other bergs in the vicinity - seen with dawn. Obviously the officers in command overestimated the distance at which ice could be seen and thus avoided, or we wouldn't be having this discussion. Even on the Carpathia - going at a lesser rate of knots - the first berg sighted was *not* seen simultaneously by all the lookouts on watch, but rather by a single man on the bridge who happened to catch a glint of starlight. Come dawn, much to their surprise, they found that they were close to another berg. God knows how many more they passed in the night in addition to those they *did* see - even though they had more men specifically detailed to look for them than the Titanic's inadequate lookout. Osman, in lifeboat #2, didn't spot a berg about 100 yards away until the following morning.

So I don't find it as improbable as you do that the Titanic ran into the first berg she *saw*. Given that the bergs were stand alones, interspersed with gaps between them, I find it quite possible that they could have got as far as they did without seeing them. Nor am I blazing a trail when I suggest that the lookouts might not have been the best in the world - Reade says as much.

Of course it's possible that they *did* see ice before the fatal berg - but at the same time (as outlined in the testimony you quote above, as well as in witnesses such as Lowe and Clear Cameron) there was a whole hell of a lot of ice around that wasn't seen until dawn!
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Hello,

A bit late to the party and apropos of nothing, here's Bisset (ghost)writing in 1959 of 15 April 1912:


Quote:

...The calm sea and the absence of wind to whip a surf around the base of the berg made sighting unusually difficult; the ice had come further south than usual at that time of the year; finally, the berg was not isolated, but was part of an extensive field which greatly increased the mathematical chances of collision....

...in eight more miles at forced full speed, we zigzagged among the bergs...

(Bisset, Sir James (with Stephensen, PR), 1959, Tramps and Ladies, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, p 284)

As the Carpathia steamed to the southwestward with her load of sorrow, we passed dozens of icebergs in the first three hours, frequently changing course to avoid colliding with them, before we were able to set course for New York, in open water, after taking sights of the sun at noon, in Lat. 40 deg. 45 min. N.

I have never since seen, and never wished to see, so much ice as I had seen on that day, so far south in the Atlantic. The early thaw, which had set this field of vast extent adrift, was one of the many unusual circumstances of the Titanic fatality...

(ibid, p 296)



(The emphasis is mine.)

Owing to this and other accounts I believe Senan's option B the more likely. But then I wasn't there, was I.

Back to loitering with intent,
F
 

Phillip Gowan

Member
Apr 10, 2001
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For the listmembers who have been pooling/discussing the search for Hichens- I've made a giant leap forward. This afternoon I finally located and talked to a living granddaughter of the old quartermaster himself--one of two daughters of the oldest Hichens child. She still lives in Southampton while her only sister now lives in Victoria, Australia. Apparently only the one descendant is still living in Southampton. Will be meeting her in two weeks while attending the convention and she is going to be checking with other relatives to come up with information on her grandfather. Hopefully this chase is nearing an end. Stay tuned.

Phil
 

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