Wilde during collision and sinking

According to his biography on this site, he was last seen assisting with the work at Collapsibles A and B. That would have been only minutes before the final plunge.



Inger Sheil

As far as I am aware, no one has yet identified a primary source that places Wilde at collapsibles A and B. Lightoller is sometimes referenced for placing him at A, but at the British Inquiry he stated that had not seen Wilde for 'some time' before those final, frantic efforts to launch the boats. Soon-to-be published material may clarify matters somewhat, but until then it's best to stick to firmer ground and place him last at C and D, unless someone can cite a specific source to the contrary (would be tremendous if they could, as this would be important material).
I have to go with Inger on this one - I'm aware of no testimony of Wilde at either A or B. However - it would be logical for him to be at one of these boats, after finishing with D, which launched after C.

Inger Sheil

Agreed there, Bill. As we've discussed before, part of the problem of placing individuals at locations on the boatdeck can be a lack of surviving witnesses who were able to put names to faces - a problem that becomes more acute the later an event takes place. If, for example, Hemming hadn't lived and testified he saw Moody at A, we would have a lack of direct eyewitness evidence regarding his presence there.
I am in agreement with Inger as well. There is very little eyewitness account (as researched Publically, at this point :->) that pinpoints Mr Wilde's location at the end. The question is that if he was on deck at the moment of submersion, why was his body not found????
I've always found that to be an intriging element in the "placement" of Wilde's person at the end.
Just an amature's quandries.
Kate - it appears that very many of the lost who were on deck at the end were not recovered.

Pulling some numbers off my site "An Analysis of the Bodies Recovered from the Titanic" (using figures from the US Inquiry):

705 people saved
338 bodies recovered or accounted for
1043 accounted for out of 2223.

So, 1180 not accounted for. Look at all the accounts of people lining the decks, watching their loved ones leave in lifeboats. I strongly suspect few, if any, of these people would have gone below decks at this time. And their bodies were not recovered. Moody, Ida Strauss (her husband's body was recovered, if he was on deck, so was she), Capt. Crosby, so many names I can't think of most of them - known to be on deck toward the end.

Wilde's body not recovered? Just because he was in the greater proportion that were not found.

Though I do believe that quite a few people *were* trapped inside the ship, I also believe that many/most were on deck, and the odds were not in favor of their bodies being recovered.
Bodies like wreckage are subject to the whims and whimsys of the wind, the wave, currents, scavangers, etc. and the ships sent to recover the bodies couldn't possibly cover all the ground.

Consider that the Atlantic Ocean is pretty big and spotting something as small as a body in an ever spreading mass of wreckage would be no mean feat for even the most experienced lookouts. All things considered, it's a wonder the search vessels found as many as they did.

Michael H. Standart
From what I understand, the first search vessel was absolutely surprised to find as many bodies as it did. It wasn't even prepared or stocked to recover and accommodate all the bodies it found. In fact, due to the large amount of bodies found, several other search ships were sent out. The death toll was near 1500, this was known yet it was not expected to find as many 338 bodies.
Perhaps you can all settle a dispute Im having with a friend who is also a Titanic buff. He inists the whereabouts and actions of Cheif Officer Henry Wilde during the sinking are an absolute mystery.
I say poppycock!!- The American and British testimonies of the survivng officers place him at helping to lower various boats. Wilde oversaw lowering the boat Ismay entered. Why does this myth exhists that the actions of Wilde that night are unknown?

Tarn Stephanos

Inger Sheil

It's a bit of a myth that has taken hold that Wilde is an 'enigma' during the sinking.

We've discussed this before on ET, but off-hand I can't remember the thread. However, I can tell you that inquiry testimony places Wilde - by name - actively working at #8 (Crawford, Brit Inq) #2 (Boxhall American & Brit Inq), #10 (Joughlin, Brit Inq), #14 (Scarrott abd Poingdestre, Brit Inq) Collapsibe C (Rowe, American Inq). These are just off the top of my head - other accounts name the 'Chief Officer' at boats like #13.
Inger, you may have mentioned the boat already, but since I don't know the number you could you tell me the one where lightoller wanted to start lowering but Wilde said better not, and then Lightoller asked the Captain, who said women and children to the boats. It's one of the scences in Cameron's film.
Dear Adam,
I have always enjoyed your comments and valuable contributions which make many of the treads fascinating reading. However I do think to some extent you believe 'Camerons Titanic' as fact. I remember replying to one your messages regarding Mr Murdoch shooting someone. ( unable to rember exactly what it was now )Much of Cameron's film was fiction and as I have mentioned before on this site slightly anti British. Many American films cater for the USA market.The best Titanic film was ANTR.In the Disney films the 'baddies' always have an English accent. Look at films Like Enigma. The Americans never did find an Enigma machine. My friend across from where i live worked on 'Camerons 'Titanic. He didn't rate it well.There is a lot of information on Mr Wilde on a number of sites, books and the British and USA inquiries. I note and agree what Inger has stated that it is somewhat of a myth that Mr Wilde was an 'enigma'.
Sorry to have gone on a bit.
With kind regards,
I don't believe Cameron's Titanic as any sort of "fact". It is innacurate in many ways. And I know Jack and Rose never existed. But, I believe what I am talking about did happen. I am not saying that particular scene is 100 percent accurate to compared with what happened, though I think a similar thing did happen. I was just curious to what boat it happened to.