When where who was the first casualty


Jul 14, 2000
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Bill,

Yeah I read that same area of his testimony. But I remember reading a very specific statement from Barrett who said something to effect that when the rush of water came down the passage between the boilers, he went up the escape ladder to the next deck, but that when asked about the engineers below, he says that the last he saw of them they were in BR5 while the water was rushing in and that they didn't make it out.

I'm paraphrasing from what I 'think' I remember about the testimony, so I could be wrong about it. But now I can't find such a statement online. Plus, didn't senator Smith take Barrett's testimony from onboard the Olympic? And wasn't that several pages of testimony? I only find one page of testimony from Senator Smith and Barrett on the Inquiry page.

I'll have to go through the inquiry transcripts I have on my pc and see if I can dig up what I'm looking for. I'll get back to you.

Nevertheless, regarding the first casualty on Titanic, I have to say that my money is on Engineer Shepherd. I can't see a man with a broken leg making it up an escape ladder while the compartment he's in is rapidly flooding.
A sad testiment to the true ugliness of that night.

Yuri
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Based on the evidence, I'm inclined to agree that Shepherd was probably the first casualty although I'd agree with Bill - it seems possible that a stoker in boiler room #6 may have succumbed even earlier. As Barret testified, room #6 bore the brunt of the impact with the berg, allowing volumes of water to enter through the cracks. However, the crucial witnesses, Barret and Beauchamp, left the rapidly flooding room at a very early stage - Barret through the water-tight door leading to boiler room #5, and Beauchamp up the escape ladder. The other stokers in #6 could have been overwhelmed by the rising water not long afterwards. Other stories involving stokers (or engineers) being trapped by descending water-tight doors, and then asking collegues to put them out of their agony with a pistol, I would *not* invest much stock in.

Geoff, I'll admit, the Belgian story rings the faintest of bells. Could you be thinking of Johannes Van der Velde (who's family was visited by a surviving member of his travelling party) or Victor Vandercruyssen?

Regards,
Ben
 

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