Was Titanic really going to be Smith's last trip?

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George Behe

Member
Dave Gittins wrote:

>In fact, I've just come across a statement from >White Star's New York
>office, before the sinking, that says he was >going to stay on.

Hi, Dave!

Would you mind quoting your source so that future researchers can make use of your information? Thanks very much, old chap.

All my best,

George
 
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George Behe

Member
Dan Cherry wrote:

>.... if Smith was indeed planning to retire after
>Titanic's voyage (and of course we know on this
>thread that there's nothing concrete to support
>that),

Hi, Dan!

Well, all we really know is that nobody has posted such information on this bulletin board (which isn't quite the same thing as saying the information doesn't exist.) By the same token, we haven't seen any documentation for the claim that Smith was *not* going to retire, either. Perhaps it would be wise for us to keep an open mind on the subject until we know where Walter Lord got his information about Smith's retirement.

By the way, old chap, I enjoy your postings on the Titanic model bulletin board. Hope I'll get a chance to meet you in person one day.

All my best,

George
 
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Emily Bisignano

Guest
I know how all of you feel about trying to iron out the facts about Titanic. In my short time of study, I admit I've learned a whole lot, but a lot of the information contradicts each other. That's also the fun of researching Titanic
Happy
 
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Brandon Whited

Member
Hello Emily,

I also share the feeling. I will soon turn 15, and have been hooked on the Titanic since around '94, and I still don't know even a small portion of what's out there. That's what I love about E.T. and this message board. As I've said on other threads, it helps you "sort things out". Honestly, I think there's too much for any single person to ever learn and remember. You just have to rely on your books (even though they're not always accurate), and from what you learn from others (just as we're doing). I think the sinking of the Titanic is a "had to be there" type of experience; you just had to have witnessed it yourself to feel the power of it. No book or movie could ever fully explain or take the place of what actaully happened on the night of April 14/15, 1912. To hear the steam being (loudly) released from the funnels after the collision, to see the forward funnel come crashing to the ocean, to witness and hear all the last conversations between seperated couples, not to mention the Strauses unwilling to leave each other for Lifeboat No. 8. It's a story that's better than fiction, and there's just no way that any single person, book, or film could recreate it. To witness Thomas Andrews' worried look as he tries to get passengers in the boats, or William Thomas Stead, quietly reading in the lounge. Those things would be overpowering to witness.

TITANIC: 1909-1912

-B.W.
 
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Emily Bisignano

Guest
I'm 15
Happy
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person under 18 interested in Titanic.
I'd definately agree with what Brandon has to say about the emotional chaos that Titanic caused. Nobody could possibly re-create the sheer shock and horror that some passengers experienced. I still can't imagine exactly what happend that fateful night.
 
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Dave Hudson

Member
Hello All,
Does anyone know who would have replaced Capt. Smith after Titanic completed her maiden round trip? What would the list of officers look like after Wilde left?
 
Mark Chirnside

Mark Chirnside

Member
It's down this list in the thread

Captain Smith.

SubthreadCaptain Smith's replacement.

[Moderator's Note: The thread referred to is now this one; they have been merged. MAB]
 
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Adam McGuirk

Member
My question is was E.J. Smith actually going to retire or is that something that has became a myth over the years? I have heard that white star wanted him to stay a couple more years and and command Gigantic on her maiden voyage.Which is true?
Thanks,
Adam
 
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Mark Baber

Staff member
Moderator
Member
Hello, Adam---

Take a look at this thread, in which some of us posted what we knew/thought about this a few months ago:
[A link referring to a thread that has been merged into this one has been removed.]
 
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181218

Guest
Hello
I’m sure I can remember hearing somewhere that Titanic was not to be Captain Smiths last voyage before retirement as often believed. I’ve not been into the Titanic for a few years so little things that I have heard like this keep coming back to me.

Was Titanic going to be his last trip or would he have gone on a bit longer ... If so how much longer and would he have kept with the Titanic ?

I know there is a biography about him — but what happened to his wife and daughter after Titanic ?
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
Miles, this tale seems to be a media invention intended to add irony to the drama.

On 11 April 1912, The New York Herald carried a statement from the New York office of White Star denying rumours that Smith would retire. He was going to continue until a bigger and better ship was commissioned, presumably Britannic.

Possibly the fact that he had retired from the Royal Naval Reserve started the rumour. He's on the crew list as retired commander.

Mark Baber discovered another denial of the story and it's somewhere on this forum. I think both denials are correct, because they were both made before the sinking had romanticised Titanic forever.
 
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George Behe

Member
Hi, Dave!

Interestingly, I have a post-sinking account where friends of Captain Smith (whom he visited a week or so before Titanic sailed) said that Smith himself told them he intended to retire after the Titanic's maiden voyage (and that he might even return as a *passenger* on the return leg of that voyage.)

Whether or not Smith ever *really* intended to retire after his return to England, though, I think there's a pretty fair chance that *Smith himself* was the true originator of these retirement rumors (just as other of Smith's ill-considered public comments helped create the Olympic/Titanic myth of unsinkability.)

It appears that the guy just liked to talk. :)

All my best,

George
 
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181218

Guest
So what was Captain Smith class wise ? Was being a captain one of the few & expectable ways of working your way up the class system — and ultimately mixing with the very best of society at that time ? From what I have read about the Captain of the Lusitania in 1911 he seems to have come from a wealthy background. However from looking at where Smith was born the house is very small. Maybe all captains worked there way up in those days or maybe Smith was the exception to the rule ?
 
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