The Fate of Andrews


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Terry Dwyer

Guest
Friends,
Recently I have been contemplating the fate of Titanic designer Thomas Andrews.
I find it increasingly hard to believe that a young man (in his late thirties I believe)with a wife and 2 children back home, as well as a promising career ahead of him having just designed three of the world's leading steamers) simply accepted his fate, and stood virtually paralyzed in the smoking room right up to the end.
I personally think that Andrews may have pulled himself together in the last minutes, left the smoking room and returned forward to his cabin.
(Perhaps to retrieve some personal papers or cherished momento.)He may have even been carefully eyeing the progress of the growing fatigue break in the hull, as it may have proved useful in redesigning BRITTANIC should he be rescued.
It just seems that an intelligent man with so much to live for, (and with a chance to correct the design flaws in the two remaining OLYMPIC Class vessels)would remain fixed in the lounge to meet his destiny.
It's also possible that he waited too long in the smoking room to save himself and was killed as the hull fractured. Being trapped in the splintered remains of the first class smoking room
alone and in the dark must have been a terrible way to pass from this life. Poor Andrews.
I apologize for leading this discussion into such a graphic and sensationalized manner I'm just curious what the views of other Titaniphiles are on the actual fate of Andrews.
God Bless all who rest with TITANIC and all those lost at sea.
 
D

Dan C.

Guest
Terry,
I can understand Andrews' actions from his point
of view - he desired the ship to have at least 48
lifeboats, and that was overruled by bureaucrats
eager to push the safety status of the ship.
Andrews was sailing on a ship he knew had
insufficient lifeboats for all aboard. He was
bitterly reminded of this fact at midnight on
April 15. As the designer, though he had pushed
for adequate lifeboats and did what he could for
the cause, he still must have felt a tremendous
responsibility for the lives he knew were hanging
in the balance. He knew that rescue couldn't come
before the ship sank, he knew that there was going
to be a catastrophic loss of life, and he knew
that this large ship, his design, his baby, was
going to spell the end for over a thousand people.
Andrews also must have known that the lifeboats
would keep clear of the sinking liner, making a
chance for a water rescue slim to none, especially
with the freezing water.
I feel that Andrews resigned himself that any
chance at life would compromise the better choice
of the era - to meet death with dignity rather
than live where women and children died. Remember
Ismay?
Andrews, of course, could have answered many more
questions at the inquiries than Ismay, who was
doing what he could to dodge villification after
the disaster. It would have been helpful for
Andrews and the captain to secure in Collapsible C
or D the log books and the design books (which
would have been nice for us historians nowadays
and in answering many unanswered questions, but
not a priority thought at 2 a.m. on 4-15-1912)
Those are my thoughts. Anyone else?
 
T

Terry Dwyer

Guest
Dan,
Thank you for your insights. All very good points.
Thinking again, I agree with you that choosing to stay behind was the right and honorable thing for Mr. Andrews to do. ( Your mention of Ismay's salvation, and later "spin control" at the Inquiries was well stated.)

- - T.
 
S

Seong Ae-Mun

Guest
Hello,
I was just wondering what everyone think of a the story Steward Jack Stewart gave of having seen Thomas Andrews in the Smoking Room right before the ship sank? As I understand it, Stewart claimed to have leapt overboard, and to have been picked up by a lifeboat. A crewman in Lifeboat # 14 describes Stewart as being one of the men picked up. However, one man say he was in Lifeboat # 15, and was in charge, while Steward Hart say he never saw him in the boat, even though he knew him. Did not Stewart give another interview in which he say he boarded a boat from the deck? The reason I ask is if he was in water, then he would have been on ship late enough to assume Andrews met his fate in the Smoking Room. But what if he left in Lifeboat # 15? Then he would not see him at last minute, and Andrews could have gone anywhere after he saw him. What do all of you think? Also, does anyone have the entire account given by Stewart where he claim to see Andrews? I only have excerpt from. I also see on other board speculation of an account where Andrews was supposedly seen on the boat deck forward, right before the bridge went under. He could not remember if this was correct or not. So question is was Stewart telling truth, or no. This is a big question and bears on Mr. Andrews true fate.
Sincerely,
Seong
 
T

Terry Dwyer

Guest
Seong,

Thanks for your posting.
Your comments make clear that it is so very difficult to sort out the true events of that night. So much tragedy, and in the face of it, no possible way for those involved to note every detail as it happened.
The great advantage of our discussions "On-Line" is that, our collective knowledge of history can aide in a better understanding of the events that may have transpired on 14-15 April 1912.
Maybe others can better clarify for you, the steward's recollections as our discussion continues.
Thanks again,
Terry.
 
M

Mike Kelly

Guest
Not to impune anyone's statements here, but didn't Andrews just have the one daughter, Elizabeth, the one they called Elba?
 
T

Terry Dwyer

Guest
Mike,
You are correct. Mea Culpa
I noticed my error too late and had sent the post by the time I had realized my mistake.
Thank you for the correction.
Thomas Andrews was survived by his wife and daughter.

- - Terry
 
Dec 7, 2000
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I was amazed by this image when I saw it recently and couldn't resist sharing it with the group! I know it's from Olympic and from the later 1920's (I think this image may also have appeared in one of the Commutators).

With a little imagination (well the photo leaves little to imagine) one could assume a similar scene with Thomas Andrews last being seen at the fireplace and painting in Titanic’s Smoking Room.

26156.jpg
 
Dec 7, 2000
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It's been discussed in the Smoke Room section under the technical thread. It is Olympic so that particular painting seen above is "New York Harbour" (I have posted other images of it in the other thread). As far as I'm aware, from 1911 to 1935, all records indicate that Olympic had the same painting above the fireplace, which still survives to this day.
happy.gif
 
Mar 3, 2001
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WOW, that's really a great example of foreshadowing! It's creepy in a way. Where di you find this picture I've never seen it.
 

Emilie

Member
Aug 10, 2013
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Saint-Étienne, France
Yes I think Andrews did better choise, if he really not attended to save himself, than would having been sitting in a boat. Imagine the blame he wuld have faces from the press when Carpathia docked in NY!
 

TitanicNerd

Member
Jan 18, 2014
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I heard he was last seen in the smoking room, which would've been in the stern of the ship. So, can we make a guess of when he died? He probably survived till the ship broke in two, he then probably fell into the freezing water or something like that. Any guesses? And would he even survive the ship splitting apart?
 
Nov 13, 2014
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Belgium
Hello,
I was just wondering what everyone think of a the story Steward Jack Stewart gave of having seen Thomas Andrews in the Smoking Room right before the ship sank? As I understand it, Stewart claimed to have leapt overboard, and to have been picked up by a lifeboat. A crewman in Lifeboat # 14 describes Stewart as being one of the men picked up. However, one man say he was in Lifeboat # 15, and was in charge, while Steward Hart say he never saw him in the boat, even though he knew him. Did not Stewart give another interview in which he say he boarded a boat from the deck? The reason I ask is if he was in water, then he would have been on ship late enough to assume Andrews met his fate in the Smoking Room. But what if he left in Lifeboat # 15? Then he would not see him at last minute, and Andrews could have gone anywhere after he saw him. What do all of you think? Also, does anyone have the entire account given by Stewart where he claim to see Andrews? I only have excerpt from. I also see on other board speculation of an account where Andrews was supposedly seen on the boat deck forward, right before the bridge went under. He could not remember if this was correct or not. So question is was Stewart telling truth, or no. This is a big question and bears on Mr. Andrews true fate.
Sincerely,
Seong
Based on your post, I can draw three scenarios:

- Stewart saw Andrews at 2:10 A.M. before jumping off the ship and being dragged into Lifeboat 14 or 15. Andrews made no attempt to save himself, staying in the smoking room until the final moment.

- Stewart saw Andrews at 1.40 A.M. before jumping off the ship and being dragged into Lifeboat 14 or 15. Andrews returned to the boat deck and jumped off the ship at the final moment.

- Stewart saw Andrews at 1.40 A.M. before boarding Lifeboat 15 from the deck. Andrews made no attempt to save himself, staying in the smoking room until the final moment.

- Stewart saw Andrews at 1.40 A.M. before boarding Lifeboat 15 from the deck. Andrews returned to the boat deck and jumped off the ship at the final moment.
 
Nov 13, 2014
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Andrews seen at 2:00 a.m.

It is often claimed that the last sighting of Andrews was by John Stewart in the smoking room. But on Wikipedia, there is a claim that Andrews was seen after this. Who? Which survivor claims to have seen Andrews 'waving his arms and announcing to the crowd in a loud voice'? And who saw Andrews 'frantically throwing deck chairs into the ocean for passengers to use as floating devices. Andrews then headed towards the bridge perhaps searching for Captain Smith. Andrews was last seen leaving the ship at the last moment.'

There are no names called. I know that Wikipedia isn't a very reliable source, but if one looks through the history of the Thomas Andrews page of Wikipedia, it becomes clear that that very statement has been removed and replaced for several times.

Besides, Wikipedia isn't the only source that handles about Andrews's last sighting. Robert Ballard said in 1987: One witness recalled later seeing Andrews on deck, helping with the boat loading. Again, no name, only a claim. This book was written well before Wikipedia added this.

So, what are the names? Which surviving passenger and/or crew member made that statement of seeing Andrews after Stewart saw him?
 
Mar 18, 2008
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I do not know what is claimed on Wikipedia and honestly I do not care.

The last sighting of Thomas Andrews together with Captain Smith was by Cecil Fitzpatrick on the bridge before the final plunge.
 

Emilie

Member
Aug 10, 2013
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Saint-Étienne, France
In fact the Smoking room possibility was brought up in Bullocks bio first.
It lead to an iconic and idealized image re. Andrews fate. Although it can be possible, it may have never happen.
 

Andrew M.

Member
Mar 16, 2020
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Hello ET,
This is my first post here on the message board though I have been reading the site for years now. The above quote has made me really curious, I generally use Wikipedia and Wikia as a starting point and go from there into more reputable territory. While browsing both of the aforementioned, his article mentions that he was ""last seen leaving the ship at the last moment". To my knowledge, he was on the Deck Boat at around 02:00AM after leaving the First Class Smoking Room, but wasn't seen after that (correct me if I am mistaken).

My question: what is the source, whether inquires, books, or interviews was this mentioned?

Thank you for your time. If I posted this in the wrong section, I'm terribly sorry, I'm still navigating the site.
 
May 3, 2005
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Hello Andrew and welcome from this ex-Navy person who has never made a claim of ever being a real sailor - only one who was in a "Specialty Rating" who knew nothing about many nautical terms.
I mentioned that because there a lot of persons on these forums who are very knowledgeable on such things.

Also you can not rely on most, if not all, of the Titanic movies for the true facts such as in
your questions.

For example if you are familiar with the 1958 version in "A Night To Remember" and the 1997 "Titanic" the last you see of Thomas Andrews is showing him in a lounge and setting the clock and taking a seat in a chair in the lounge in ANTR.
This is is the first I have read that he was seen afterwards on deck.

Thomas Andrews and J. Bruce Ismay are not even included in the 1953 "Titanic" movie. Otherwise it has some very dramatics from Clifton Webb and and Barbara Stanwyck but it is rather short on historic content. I have also posted many times that the Robert Wagner - Audrey Dalton love affair is better IMHO than the 1997 Leonardo DiCaprio - Kate Winslet love affair. LOL.

Those are just my two cents worth and I, too, would be interested in any more information about Thomas Andrews.


Cheers !
Robert
 
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Andrew M.

Member
Mar 16, 2020
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Thank you for the welcome Robert. I'm basing the quote, not after the movies (Cameron or ANTR) as we don't see him after the Smoking Room scene, but rather, the fact that someone edited it into his article and has stayed there.

I neglected to even post the first part of the quote which basically states that he "had a brief conversation with Captain Smith," which lead to the "last seen leaving" quote. Over the years, its commonly accepted that he was last seen in the Smoking Room. To anybody/somebody claim to have seen him on the boat deck, and even leave the ship before the final plunge is whats confusing me. I'll just post the whole passage:

From the Fandom article: "At around 2:00 A.M., Andrews was seen back on the Boat Deck. The crowd had begun to stir, but there were still women reluctant to leave the ship. It appears that Andrews stayed in the smoke room for some time to gather his thoughts, then he continued assisting with the evacuation. To be heard and to draw attention to himself, Andrews waved his arms and announced to them in a loud voice. Another reported sighting was of Andrews frantically throwing deck chairs into the ocean for passengers to use as floating devices. Andrews then headed towards the bridge, searching for Captain Smith and they had a brief conversation. Andrews was last seen leaving the ship at the last moment. "

From the Wikipedia article: "There were testimonies of sightings of Andrews after that moment. t around 2:00 a.m., he was seen back on the boat deck. The crowd had begun to stir, but some women remained reluctant to leave the ship. To be heard and to draw attention to himself, Andrews waved his arms and called to them in a loud voice. He then headed towards the bridge, perhaps in search of Captain Smith. Andrews was last seen leaving the ship in its final moments; the Northern Irish historian Gareth Russell argued that he was most likely swept overboard when the Titanic's bridge made a sudden dip into the ocean at about 2:10 a.m"

Interestingly, these accounts were taken from two books: On a Sea of Glass: The Life & Loss of the RMS Titanic by Tad Fitch, J. Kent Layton & Bill Wormstedt and The Darksome Bounds of a Failing World: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era by Gareth Russell

If anybody has read or have any knowledge on the validity of these authors, that would be greatly accepted as well.

Thank you for your time
 
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