Thomas Andrews actions during sinking

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Michaela Famfulikova

Member
I have tried to collate information from various sources about Thomas Andrews movements late in the sinking. In one source, probably Geoffrey Marcus' The Maiden Voyage (but I might be wrong), that scene with Andrews standing as if in a daze in the First Class Smoking Lounge when seen by Verandah Steward John Stewart is depicted as taking place quite late in the sinking, at 02:05 am or even later, with his life belt lying on a chair nearby. Also, the painting is described in that source as "Approach to the New World", depicting arrival at New York harbor.

The problem with that conjecture is that Stewart himself was rescued on Lifeboat #15 lowered at 01:40 am, at least 40 minutes before the ship disappeared underwater. So, in OASOG, that scene is calculated to have taken place minutes after Lifeboat #11 was lowered at 01:32 am, with Stewart on his way to the boat deck, which would fit in with the above. Also, the painting above the fireplace in the First Class Smoking Room of the Titanic was "Plymouth Harbour" by Norman Wilkinson; I think that that other painting was in the equivalent place on the Olympic.

In OASOG, Andrews is said to have been seen about half an hour later at around 02:10 am helping to toss deck chairs overboard to help those in the water; moments later he was heading towards the bridge, carrying his life vest. The secondary source of that is author Shan Bullock but apparently the primary source, a survivor, was not mentioned. Soon afterwards Mess Steward Cecil Fitzpatrick was crossing from the lower port side to the starboard side through the bridge and saw Captain Smith and Thomas Andrews in quiet conversation, telling each other that the ship was "going". Fitzpatrick claimed to have "fainted" upon hearing that but he was seen working with other crew in the frantic attempts to launch Collapsible A. Fitzpatrick was one of those flung into the water when Collapsible A floated free and was eventually pulled on board the overturned Collapsible B.

It is believed that Smith and Andrews entered the sea together from the (port side of?) the bridge moments later.
This is the most likely scenario in my point of view. At times, before one goes to take the decisive action, he or she goes somewhere aside to gather his or her thoughts before going to act. And this might have been the case of Thomas Andrews. I still insist on my opinion of Tommie, as he was called, helping people up until the almost last moment.
 
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Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

Member
It is believed that Smith and Andrews entered the sea together from the (port side of?) the bridge moments later.
However evidence has now came out and been corroborated with other sources stating that he and Smith most likley jumped off the bridge wing as the ship submerged. Others have already quoted testimony in the previous pages, so feel free to read them.
Engineers mess steward Cecil William Fitzpatrick (1890-1964) never mentioned them jumping overboard together in his own eyewitness report. He reported that he was working on collapsible Engelhardt lifeboat A AFTER he sighted them on the bridge, saw Thomas Andrews Jr and captain Smith pass him by on the starboard side and when he looked again he didn't saw them anymore. He added: "I suppose they went overboard.". Captain Smith was indeed seen on the starboard side moments before the infamous wave started to flood the starboard side, before he went back to the bridge (See first class saloon steward Edward Brown, from here on captain Smith either jumped overboard alone or was washed overboard).
 
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Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

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The one thing that puzzle me why he didn't make a bigger effort in trying to save his own live. After all he was not responsible for the ship hitting the iceberg in the first place. The iceberg responsible clearly lies within what was happing on the bridge and not Mr T. Andrews.
Thomas Andrews' mindset at the time depends on the individual and situation combined. As the the Head of the Drafting Department at H&W and the Titanic's principal architect his heart would have been more with the Titanic than the likes of Bruce Ismay or Captain Smith. Ismay was mainly a businessman and while he would have been justifiably proud of one of the two flagships of WSL, at the end of the day his main interest would have been its profit potential. Captain Smith would have also been very proud of his ship and the fact that he was it's Master but his own failure to try harder to save himself would have been mainly because of the latter fact and perhaps a modicum of maritime tradition. It might sound corny in this day and age but the fact that his pride and joy sank in her maiden voyage with such a huge loss of life would have broken Andrews' heart and affected his will to live.

Engineers mess steward Cecil William Fitzpatrick (1890-1964) never mentioned them jumping overboard together in his own eyewitness report.
I never said that he did in my post #29. He said that he just saw them at or near the bridge before he started helping with Collapsible A. In fact, I am not sure of the primary source of the statement that Smith and Andrews entered the ocean together; I saw that depicted in the excellent real-time OASOG video and that is why I used the phrase "It is believed".
 
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Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

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I never said that he did in my post #29. He said that he just saw them at or near the bridge before he started helping with Collapsible A. In fact, I am not sure of the primary source of the statement that Smith and Andrews entered the ocean together; I saw that depicted in the excellent real-time OASOG video and that is why I used the phrase "It is believed".
I only wanted to make it clear since the matter of jumping overboard together was brought up in two separate posts. In my humble opinion the way it has been claimed and depicted overtime is not accurate.
The one thing that puzzle me why he didn't make a bigger effort in trying to save his own live. After all he was not responsible for the ship hitting the iceberg in the first place. The iceberg responsible clearly lies within what was happing on the bridge and not Mr T. Andrews.
Thomas Andrews Jr knew if he would take place in a lifeboat another son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of another human being wouldn't arrive back and their families or friends. As long as there were other people to save he wouldn't have attempted to save his own in someone else's his or hers place.
 
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Dan Coghlan

Dan Coghlan

Titanic Historian - 10 Years
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I saw that depicted in the excellent real-time OASOG video and that is why I used the phrase "It is believed".

Yeah same in my case. We will probably never know exactly how it took place due to the state of the situation at that stage of the sinking where pure hell was breaking loose and people were solely focused on what they had to do to survive.
 
Kathy S

Kathy S

Member
That scene was inspired by the account of a survivor, John Stewart (no, not the late night host, but rather a steward onboard) who said he saw Andrews in the smoke room at around 2:05 AM, and according to Stewart, he was in a state of shock and didn’t respond verbally to Stewart asking if he was going to try save himself.

That interaction inspired the scene used by Cameron in the movie.

However evidence has now came out and been corroborated with other sources stating that he and Smith most likley jumped off the bridge wing as the ship submerged. Others have already quoted testimony in the previous pages, so feel free to read them.

Hope this helps.
Hmmm, no that's not what I was thinking of, but thanks! I should have taken notes while I read. Maybe I'll start.
 
Kathy S

Kathy S

Member
It might sound corny in this day and age but the fact that his pride and joy sank in her maiden voyage with such a huge loss of life would have broken Andrews' heart and affected his will to live.
That's beautifully put. I believe you are 100% spot on.
 
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Michaela Famfulikova

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That's beautifully put. I believe you are 100% spot on.
And it would have broken his heart too, that he would never ever again see his beloved wife Nellie and little daughter Elba.
 
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