Thomas Andrews a hero

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julia feldmann

Guest
Hi all

Last week, somewhere on this message board the question came up whether Thomas Andrews can be considered a hero or not. As you might already know I´m doing a project on him and so I did a lot of research in the last few months.

I don´t know if Thomas Andrews can be called a true hero but let me tell you what I think about this:

I don´t believe that he ever wanted to become a hero. Thomas Andrews was among these who knew first that the Titanic would sink. From this moment on he also knew that he was a dying man. It must´ve been terrible for him to know that he had two hours left to live and wasn´t allowed to talk to anyone about this. I don´t think he felt like a hero.
From what I read he felt that he was responsible for the disaster and that so many people would die because there weren´t enough lifeboats on the ship.He also would have thought about his family and that he would never have the chance to see his wife and daughter again. I´m sure he was really desperated but he didn´t lock himself into his cabin !
He went out and tried to get as many people off the ship as possible. It is said that he never tried to get into a lifeboat himself.
Even when all lifeboats were gone an officer saw him throwing deck chairs overboard.
If he´d survived he wouldn´t have been able to deal with what happened that night. I´m sure about that.

I don´t know if these are the actions of a hero, but for myself, I wouldn´t have been able to act like he did.
Would you ?

What do you think about this ?

Julia Feldmann
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
I don't recall any stories about Andrews tossing deck chairs over the side. The last time he was seen, he was in the First Class Smoking Room, staring at a painting, no lifebelt on, and apparently in a state of deep shock. He was known to have helped get passangers into lifeboats, and lifebelts, and he was certainly the first one to realise the ship was doomed. (See the ET Biography on the man for more. It's in the First Class passangers section.)

As to whether he felt like a "hero", I tend to doubt it. The real heros are men and women who see something and try to do something about it even when their gut tells them to run like hell. They're not after fame, honor or glory. They're interested in trying to salvage a very bad situation. Ask them why they acted as they did, and likely as not, they'll tell you; "Because I had to."

A lot of what he did that night will be forever shrouded in mystery, but whatever Andrews did, he didn't chicken out.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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julia feldmann

Guest
Michael,

Thomas Andrews was seen throwing deck chairs AFTER he was seen in the smoking room. I read this in the biography "Thomas Andrews-shipbuilder" by Shan F. Bullock.
I think this is from a surviving officer who was interviewed on the Lapland by a David Galloway, one of Thomas Andrews´s friends.
There even is a statement from a mysterious mess boy who claimed to have seen Andrews near the end standing on the bridge talking to Captain Smith. According to the boy Smith told Andrews "There´s no use waiting any longer" and then both men entered the water.
This story was never confirmed.

Julia Feldmann
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
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Easley South Carolina
A big "Maybe and maybe not" on Shan Bullock's work. A lot of stuff was written back in 1912, including this book. Unfortunately, a lot of them are rather less then relaible. It's not as if some of the authors didn't do their best, but in all the confusion, it was hard to sort out fact from fancy.(And some of the witnesses were less then reliable.) Some tried, some didn't.

Some didn't care, so it pays to be cautious.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Greetings,

I feel that Andrews did not make himself out to be a hero that night, and that he did what he did because he felt it was his responsibility to do it.

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However, even if Andrews didn't make himself out to be a hero, I still feel that what he did was heroic. Above you asked if I could stand to do what he did myself, and my reply would have to be a quick, definite, "No!" There is no way that I could voluntarily stay on a sinking steamer such as the Titanic.

As for the deck chairs rumor, I seriously doubt its authenticity. Since the chance encounter between Johnson and Andrews occured at about 2:10 a.m., and that Andrews appeared to be in a state of shock in the smoking room, then I seriously doubt that he came to his senses and did something in the next eight or so minutes before he would have been killed. I just don't see it.
If Andrews isn't widely considered a hero, then I think he would be an excellent nominee for one.

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-B.W.
 
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WOODROW STEPHEN CRAWFORD

Guest
In response to julia..... i think that Andrews did things according to his duty, and the best of his senses. I, myself, have read the account of him throwing deck chairs, but I highly doubt it's authenticity. He did, however, act as any gentleman would have at that kind of time, which tells you why he never attempted to enter any lifeboats. Another thing that really sticks in my head is what you said about what could've been going through his mind in those last few hours, and or minutes. Andrews, himself, like many others, were aware of the fact that the Board Of Trade regulations for life preserving equipment were met in every aspect, even though severely outdated. Alexander Carlisle, whom Andrews replaced, tried to argue this point, but his propositions were shot down. Extra boats would be too expensive, and clutter up valuable deck space. So, as it was, he faced those last few hours and minutes knowing this, and only God knows what might've been going through his head at the time. If you do plan to do a report about Andrews, i would respectfully suggest that you do some research on Carlisle, as well. That may lead some insight onto how he might've felt at the time. As far as being a hero, in my opinion, any of the valiant men that stayed on that deck and perished with the ship could be considered heroes, even if most of them didn't have a choice. please respond.

WOODY
 
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julia feldmann

Guest
Woody,

I have already done a lot of research on Alexander Carlisle. He seems to have been an interesting person as well.

Julia