Thomas Andrews after the collision

Alex McLean

Former Member
How do we actually know that Andrews didn't feel the collision? He had put so much effort in bringing Titanic to life, she was his ship, so you would think that an experienced ship builder like himself would have felt the life threatening collison.
Who was sent to get him? I know that in ANTR, a man was sent to get him (though I cannot remember who it is, and cannot get the information as I am at school in classes), but who in reality retrieved him, if anyone? If this person has stated that Andrews said he didn't feel any collision or anything in the way of a shudder, then we can take that, but what really happened?
Many Thanks
Well, we'll never know exactly what took place. However, whether or not someone would have felt the collision mostly depended on where they were located on board at the time. Since Andrews was reportedly in his cabin, and his cabin was located near the stern of the ship on A Deck, I can see why he wouldn't have felt the collision, especially if he was concentrating on adjustments he was making to the deck plans, as I have heard he was.

As to who was sent to get him, John Hutchinson, who was the carpenter, might have told him about the situation. Captain Smith told him to sound the ship, and then later Smith and Andrews did their own run through the damaged area. I think this same thing has been discussed before.
Just a thought -- Given the location of Andrews' cabin, I doubt he felt the impact. However, ships do not stop their engines in the middle of the Atlantic except under extraordinary circumstances. The stopping of the engines would have been like an alarm bell to Andrews.

--David G. Brown

Inger Sheil

In the movie ANTR it was James Moody who was sent to call Andrews to the bridge. There's no direct evidence that this is what happened historically (although I do believe there is some slight evidence that Moody might have alterted some of the department heads).

D. M. Pogue

Former Member
I don't mean to contradict any of your theories, in fact, that is what mine is, a theory. But anyway, who was to say that Andrews didn't feel the collision, and especially on A Deck.The Ice, hitting the ship, and take into mind that this was no ice cube, it was larger than the ship it self and gave at least some little shake to every part of the ship. That's why a lot of people thought that they had just thrown a propelor (Spelled wrong.) blade, because the quake was so small. However, who was sent after him, clueless, but I do remember that what Inger has said is right, according to ANTR. But, this is just my theory.

Stephen Stanger

Former Member
I think Cameron did an accurate visual with Andrews in his study and his brandy shaking ever so subtly.
This can be cemented by some of the first class descriptions and even by the Captain himself waking at the impact
Stephen -- It's purely a myth that Captain Smith was asleep at the time of the accident. Boxhall stated the captain was present the whole time either on the forebridge, or in officers' chartroom or his own navigation room. Smith was at Boxhall's side when the accident ended, indicating he was not only awake but on his way to the forebridge while the ship was on the ice.

Hichens said the captain came out about a minute after...? His testimony can be interpreted to mean a minute after the accident (which does not match Boxhall) or a minute after the lookouts' 3-stroke bell alarm (which does match Boxhall). In any event, the captain came from behind Hichens which sounds a lot like the chartroom.

--David G. Brown

Doug Criner

What is the source for Andrews telling Capt. Smith that the ship couldn't be saved? And for Andrews last seen gazing at the picture?

I didn't see references to either in the U.S. Inquiry transcript.

[Moderator's note: This message, originally a separate thread in a different topic, has been moved to this pre-existing thread, MAB]
The only reference to anything Andrews might have said to Smith comes from hearsay contained in Boxhall's BOT testimony. In his answer to question 15610 Boxhall claimed the captain said, "Mr. Andrews tells he he gives her from an hour to an hour and a half."

While widely quoted as fact, this was entirely hearsay on Boxhall's part. We have no corroboration whatsoever of either his conversation with Captain Smith or what Smith may have said if such a conversation took place.

Never forget that it is easy to predict past events. In London Boxhall knew exactly how long the ship floated, so it would have been easy for Boxhall to have Andrews give such an accurate "prediction."

-- David G. Brown
The source for Andrews' last being seen in the smoking room, staring at a painting, apparently comes from a press interview with steward Jack Stewart, who claimed that he entered the smoking room after all the lifeboats had gone and saw Andrews in there. However, this has been called into question, because anotehr survivor, Samuel Rule, testified at the inquiry that Stewart left in Lifeboat 15, much earlier in the sinking. On the other hand, Frank Evans, in Lifeboat 14, also identified Stewart as one of the three men they rescued when they went back to search for survivors. So, the truth is unclear.
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I can only imagine after all was gone and you have consciously made the decision to die, that the theory of him just sitting there staring into space is very plausible. When reading these stories and the decisions most of these people have made I don't know what I would ever do if put in the situation to make such a choice. Choosing to die, whether it's going down with your creation or standing by your husband and waiting for the end together.
Speculation of course, but plausible.
Where can I read the testimony by Stewart? Is there a book or something?
Also, say Stewart's testimony is false, where would Andrews be, then?
Not sure where you can find the entire interview of Steward John "Jack" Stewart but part of it is reprinted in the book "Thomas Andrews: Shipbuilder" by Shan Bullock. You can also find more information on this account in "On a Sea of Glass" by Tad Fitch et. al. In the latter book the authors do a wonderful job of piecing together survivor accounts to ascertain Andrews last location. They conclude that Andrews was likely seen by Stewart in the smoking room at around 1:40am and that he left that location and did what he had been doing all throughout the evacuation, helping people get off the ship. He eventually made his way to the bridge where he was seen with Captain Smith just before the ship took the final plunge. This is supported by the account of Steward Cecil William N. Fitzpatrick. Titanic and Olympic is technically correct that the Smoking Room being the last place Andrews was seen has definitely been put into question.
Matthew, thank you for mentioning "On A Sea of Glass." As you describe, and "Titanic & Olympic" mentioned above, there is some very solid evidence and reason to doubt the story about how Andrews met his end, as legend would have it. We did an in-depth study and search for evidence relating to this in our book, including some accounts which have not been examined previously, such as Fitzpatrick. As stated in the appendix on this subject, we believe that Thomas Andrews was indeed sighted in the Smoking Room by Stewart and there is little reason to doubt his story. However, Stewart left in Boat No. 15, and therefore, would have to have sighted Andrews earlier than people typically think. Indeed, Andrews was seen after this point, helping with the evacuation, tossing deck chairs overboard, and finally, was sighted on the Bridge with Captain Smith close to the end, and entering the water as the ship plunged under.

Oddly, in Shan Bullock's 1912 Andrews book, he doesn't claim that Stewart was the last person to see Andrews, and in fact, gives several examples of him being seen after this by witnesses, although he unfortunately doesn't give names. I wonder if Walter Lord might have been the source of the popular belief that Andrews was last seen in the Smoking Room, since they weren't even claiming that in 1912 when relating Stewart's account? Lord does claim that in ANTR, citing Stewart's account.

Kind regards,
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