What if Andrews had survived the sinking?

Emilie

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A little alternative history there.

(A scenario I already envisioned on a French speaking Titanic community forum (www.titanic.superforum.fr for your info.) btw)

Back in time...
April 15th, Thomas Andrews is assisting passengers gathered on the Boat Deck to board the lifeboats. At a moment, one of the officer orders Andrews to get into one of them ( similar situation to Lights with Peuchen, apart this time it was more of looking for a volonteer). It's an absolute necessity at the moment, because there's a lack of people with full shipping knowledge. So Thomas Andrews gets in and is rescued by the Carpathia.
Then, as Bruce Ismay, he's summoned to the Comission Smith as a principal witness upon arrival in New York.

As he would have been de facto a kind of "forced" sinking survivor, would he had been as unfairly as Ismay scapegoated by the press?
Or on the contrary, as the building firm's representative would he had gotten an even worse treatment?

Really interesting question.... Feel free to post your feelings.
 

Rob Lawes

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One things for sure, if Andrews had survived we would have had an important witness to the damage received by the ship.
 
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Harland Duzen

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I think IF he survived, he would have been one of the many survivors either being thrown into the water and swimming to Collapsable A trying to balance atop Collapsable B

Sadly he left behind a wife and daughter, Helen and Elizabeth Andrews.
 

Emilie

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I think IF he survived, he would have been one of the many survivors either being thrown into the water and swimming to Collapsable A trying to balance atop Collapsable B

Sadly he left behind a wife and daughter, Helen and Elizabeth Andrews.
Yep, and and we can't change that ... Your scenario is also plausible as well, he reportedly was on the ship towards the latter moment.
 

Harland Duzen

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One thing I can't also help but wonder is when Andrews was in the 1st class smoking room, if he saw or talked to William T Stead who it's reported near Titanic's demise was sitting reading.
 

TimTurner

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Most likely, Andrews would have been vilified as Ismay was. Had he been ordered into a lifeboat, it is highly likely that he would have been suspected of lying or exaggerating. It would probably one on the top 10 mysteries/debates in Titanic lore. - "Was Andrews really ordered into a boat, or did he use his position with the company to arrange it?"

Doubtless he would not be the beloved folklore figure he is today. We respect him because the kindly gentleman died to let others go first. Had he saved himself, he would have been a villain.
 

Emilie

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My take exactly... he would also have been vilified as a builder who weren't able to build safe ships.
IF he really didn't try to save himself, part of it might be he would have foreseen the upcoming press abuse and his decision would have been all but fairly understandable.
 

TimTurner

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If I had the choice between being vilified by the press and downing in ice water, I'd choose the press.

Of course, social respect and chivalry were a bit more important then.
 
Dec 28, 2016
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I apologize, for responding to a month-old thread, but Tim, your response sparked a question that I have always wanted to ask. Why was social respect, and chivalry SO IMPORTANT back then? Why was it seen as "gentlemanly" to get killed on the Titanic? I would have chosen the press, myself. Thanks..
 

TimTurner

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Why was social respect, and chivalry SO IMPORTANT back then? Why was it seen as "gentlemanly" to get killed on the Titanic?
The question might be "Why is it so unimportant now?"

1912 culture was as different to us today as any foreign culture. Why it changed is subject to interpretation and debate, but I would suspect the following reasons:
1. An increase in casualness, brought about by
a. increased media communication, allowing people to realize that many leaders and symbols of authority were "just like us"
b. An increase in the democratic spread of wealth, erasing the boundaries between upper and lower classes.
2. A decrease in religious devotion, indirectly reducing the ideal of "honesty above all".
3. People questioning events like the sinking of the Titanic, and deciding that chivalry wasn't worth dying for.
4. Ordinary shifts in culture and opinion
5. Perhaps it hasn't changed at all, it just appears to have for certain perceptual reasons (most notably the stories that live on are the stories of heroism and villainy, not ordinary events, so we simply never here about "ordinary things and this leaves us to assume that history is full of heroism)

In 1912, many of the most "Chivalrous" passengers of the Titanic were wealthy members of well-connected society, an isolated caste, whose success depended on their reputation. They had been trained from birth in the idea of chivalry, of decency, honor, gentlemanly conduct, good sportsmanship, and the importance of not telling lies.

Many people, especially Andrews, realized that hundreds of people were going to die, and that every person who saved themselves took someone else's seat in a lifeboat. Even today, "Survivor's Guilt" is a very real phenomenon. Also, even today, there are people who risk their lives to save others, and for many people, chivalry is still alive and well.
 
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Dec 28, 2016
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Now, I understand. Thanks, Tim. Yes, "Survivor's Guilt" is still very real. I am sure there are people who survived 9/11, that club fire, involving that band Great White in Rhode Island in 2003, plane crashes, and other disasters, who feel a sense of guilt, that they lived, and others did not. It has to be a tough thing to deal with.