When we sleep we die

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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I appreciate that Sam and perhaps he was still in his room but if you remember, Boxhall could not converse with the Sparks in the Radio Room because of the steam noise. Steam blowing off?
That's not just a whisper - from such a power plant it must have been deafening -particularly on the boat deck. And If he was 'half awakened' by women's voices - what awakened him fully? (better watch myself on this one!!!!)- what kind of 'voice' did Boxhall use? Besides, doesn't explain being told 'you might be about to die old son - the ship's sinking'. Surely that information or suggestion would awaken a corpse?

If, however you're right, it says a lot about his shipmates!
Cheers,

Jim
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Where did he say it was "women's voices" that awakened him, Jim? In his inquiry testimony he says he was "awakened by hearing voices". In a sworn affidavit of May 1912 he describes what happened as follows:

quote:

I went below at 8 o’clock, undressed, turned in, and went to sleep.

The next thing I remember was hearing voices. It must have been just about midnight. I half woke up; I was not fully awake; and I listened; and after listening awhile I got up and opened the door and looked out on the deck, and saw passengers with lifebelts on and the crew clearing away the boats.
He does not specify how long he listened to the noises outside his cabin - perhaps one of the "voices" he half woke to was Boxhall's.

If the accounts of how Boxhall spoke to Pitman and Lightoller are anything to go by, he wouldn't have used the phrasing "you might be about to die old son - the ship's sinking". Pitman says Boxhall came in, said there was water in the mail room, and when Pitman asked "What happened?" he responded "We struck an iceberg." It was similar with Lightoller - "You know we have struck an iceberg" "I know you have struck something". Both Pitman and Lightoller had already been awake and out on deck, then returned to their cabins. Having found them both awake, alert and fully conscious, his alert to Lowe may have been understated. In his fugue state, Lowe may even have acknowledged Boxhall and not been fully conscious of doing so.
quote:

From that, one would think that in fact, Lowe was on deck before Lightholler. Was he? and did he used the cross allyway to go over to the starboard side at first?
Doubtful, if Lowe's own words are to be believed. In the statement I refer to above, he describes passing along the forward port side and seeing the boats attended to there with "officers" in charge, walking up and down and seeing to them. He doesn't specify which officers, but Lightoller would have been one of them. He then crossed to starboard abaft the second funnel.

There is no tradition within Lowe's family that he harboured any skeptism about Boxhall having tried to wake him (and Lowe did privately express reservations about other things at least one colleague testified about). While I have wondered in the past at why the steam emissions don't seem to have registered with him, I think you're looking at an extremely deep sleep. I've expressed the view before that I think the juniors were probably exhausted before they even left port - Moody wrote of days in Southampton when all they had were four hours of broken sleep between Tuesday and Thursday before they sailed.​
 

Tom McLeod

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Sep 1, 2005
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Jim I confused Boxhall's remarks with that of Pitman's. I can site sources or give you more information if you like.
 

Jim Currie

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Inge:

I should use my eyes! - The 'ladies' bit is an assumption based on what Sam quoted in the last paragraph of his reply above. I suppose I thought: 'if he heard voices then looked out and saw ladies in the allyway of his accommodation ; then the voices were those of the same ladies'.

Cheers!

Jim.