Wilde during collision and sinking


rob scott

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May 4, 2004
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First let me say I'm not one o the big researchers and have never had time to read too much on Titanic, I mean in-depth like experts on here - so that's the expectations to view what I'm saying ...........................
;)
I had heard much about Lightoller and some others but never on Wilde > how nice it was to have some spotlight on Wilde in this new "Letter" article in the new articles (it did me an Email prompt so I'd flip over and read that) ........ and in the middle was a report on Wilde, and here I'm thinking Who? he had just gone by me in the books and movies, and I never actually did what I just did today : > went to top menu, hit People, hit Crew, hit Deck Officers, and saw about Chief Officer Wilde.
happy.gif

made me wonder, when I read he had an 'extra masters license' : what the heck is that?? he could master in emergencies but it's not a 'real' masters license? And I read for the first time he'd been up for master of a White Star liner but circumstances delayed it ....... then that part he was last seen smoking and wondering if the water would put it out before He Could! aack
sad.gif

anyway, I'll read more on him, I hadnt even seen the discuss forum thread folder on him til now! *:sheepishlyduckingdownsmilie

Question: on many ships I believe 1st officer does duties of this chief officer ........... so, what's a chief officer? what is his difference in duties from 1st officer, and why have both? (I'm such a newbie with Brit merchant marine)

Anyway, I hope that new Letter article with mention of Wilde brings him more in view to other readers who missed him as I did.
R
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 13, 1999
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Hi Rob, how are you? Wilde has often been overlooked in past research, although that is changing. Contrary to popular belief, Chief Officer Wilde was actually quite active during the sinking. Bill Wormstedt, George Behe and I attempted to chart the movements of both the other officers and him from boat to boat as part of our research into the lifeboat launch sequence. You can find the article at this address:
http://home.comcast.net/~bwormst/titanic/lifeboats/lifeboats.htm

Also, Inger Sheil wrote an excellent article on Chief Officer Wilde for the following website. Her article will offer much more regarding what Wilde's actual duties were, and regarding his background. There is great information available there on the other officers as well.

http://www.nautical-papers.com/onwatch/wilde/wilde.html

The following link will also take you to a great article on Wilde (the website itself is excellent as well, and well worth checking out!)

http://www.titanic-titanic.com/titanic's chief officer henry wilde.shtml

Hope this helps.
Kind regards,
Tad
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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Thanks for the nod for On Watch, Tad - although I went and reviewed the page and winced at a few of my typos and some of the more awkward writing. I really do need to update that! I have a bit more information on Wilde and his family that should probably go up as well.

Rob, the Extra-Master certification was in addition to the Master's certification. All the Titanic's deck officers held BoT tickets up to Master, and several - Wilde, Murdoch, Lightoller and Boxhall - had the higher qualification of Extra-Master.

Different lines used different ranking systems - while the WSL used Chief Officer - 1st Officer - 2nd Officer on down, others went 1st - 2nd etc, and still others went Chief - 2nd - 3rd and so on. Cunard evolved another system as well - Staff Captain, Chief Officer, First Officer, Second Officer, Senior Third Officer, Junior Third Officer. Dending on the System used, the most senior deck officer might be called either Chief Officer or 1st Officer.
 

Andy In

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Feb 19, 2006
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hi,
im not sure if this is a good thread. i am new to this. but did chief officer wilde commit suicide for real? because my friend who is starting a skit of the titanic said that he will make the actor of chief officer wilde shoot himself. i really want to know so he can change that part. if anyone has info on that, plz let me know. thanks

Andrew
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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The short answer is that no one knows for certain, Andy. Yes, he is a candidate. But we can't even be certain whether he was in the location where the suicide took place, let alone if he was the officer in question (if such an incident did really happen).

You may want to read some of the discussion that has taken place on this topic before:

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/5914/27971.html

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/5914/31942.html

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/5914/19953.html

If you do a search with the keywords 'Wilde' and 'suicide', you'll see that this topic has been discussed quite extensively on the board.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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I also believe that Wilde ordered a steward to lock the rooms of the first class passengers because, as it said in ITV's Titanic drama, he believed there may be steerage passengers going through the corridors of the first class and he didn't want any looting :)
 
C

Caroline Mendes Ferreira

Guest
what happened to chief officer Wilde?

Elizabeth Gilbons reported that someone was killed and the officer Wilde and also suspected it might have acid Purser McElroy or Wilde, but has a bad McElroy was found with no bullet wound.Bad for me or may have acid Wilde Murdoch or bad their bodies were never found.

[Moderator's note: Three threads about how Wilde may have died have been merged here. MAB]
 
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Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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Don't know if anyone has any evidence to support this but my guess is that Mr Wilde's last efforts were spent trying to launch Collapsible A as Mr Lightoller doesn't mention him as trying to assist in lowering Collapsible B, anyone got any backing for this??
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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In the matter of Collapsible A, Hemming's testimony suggests that Moody was giving the orders. That would be unlikely if a much more senior officer was present.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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Does anyone actually know where Wilde was when the ship sank, or during the sinking as from what i have researched little is known about his movements other than the fact that it may have been him who informed a Steward ( if anyone knows who it was then it would help ) to lock the rooms of the 1st class passengers, other than that i don't know of anything else, this is my main reason for thinking that it was Wilde who shot himself, maybe because he felt he had let the company and the ship down
Matteo :)
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Does anyone know what Chief Officer Wilde was doing immediately before and during the collision? Was he keeping watch with 1st officer Murdoch? Was it customary for the officers to stand at opposite ends, or were they allowed to stand together and socialise while they watched ahead?

Quartermaster Hichens told the US Inquiry that during the collision - "The chief officer rushed from the wing to the bridge, or I imagine so, sir. Certainly I am enclosed in the wheelhouse, and I can not see, only my compass. He rushed to the engines. I heard the telegraph bell ring."

Was he referring to Wilde or Murdoch?


.
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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NewtonMearns, Glasgow, Scotland.
Yes, Murdoch stepped down in favour of Wilde.

Murdoch came on Watch at 10 pm that evening. he was due to be relived by Wilde at 2 am who would have been on Watch until 6 am when Lightoller would once again have taken over the bridge. It follows that when impact with the iceberg took place, Wilde would or should have been fast asleep in his bunk.
The normal practice on such an occasion would have been for Captain Smith to order all officers called. Normally,this would be the job of QM Olliver who was the standby helmsman. We know for sure that, Boxhall called Lightoller, Pitman and Lowe.

Lightoller was in charge of the port side lifeboats and Murdoch was in charge of the starboard side ones.
Pitman assisted Murdoch, Moody and Lowe were on the port side.
It seems that Wilde had a roving commission in that he would be supervising all lifeboats activity and ensuring that any orders given by Smith were promptly carried out. If he was under the foc'sle immediately after impact, he was a very quick riser indeed.
 
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Thomas C.

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Sep 6, 2017
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I have one simply question about chief officer.

Boatswain Haines said:

Senator SMITH.
What was done then?

Mr. HAINES.
I went down to look at No. 1 hole.

Senator SMITH.
What did you find there?

Mr. HAINES.
The tarpaulin was bellying up, raising, showing that the water was coming in.

Senator SMITH.
What did you do then?

Mr. HAINES.
I went on the bridge and reported to the chief officer.

Senator SMITH.
What was said then?

Mr. HAINES.
I told him No. 1 hole was filling. He gave me an order then to get the men up and get the boats out.

Did chief officer could gave this order without knowledge of the captain?

Thank you in advance.
 

Charlene

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May 5, 2001
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I was watching theJames Cameron film some days ago and It seemed to me that Wilde was at the boilers when the ship was going to collide. Is It him? (I know It is not very clear where he was in reality)
 

Thomas Krom

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Nov 22, 2017
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That "officer" is meant to be Second Engineer John Henry Hesketh, to whom Frederick Barrett spoke when the "all stop" order came from the bridge. During the collison chief officer Wilde was off duty, possibly asleep or preparing himself for his shift at 2 o'clock to 6 o'clock in the morning, in his cabin near the wheelhouse. For a good overview of chief officer Wilde his actions during the sinking I recommened reading the excellent articles by the talented Dan Parkes here: Titanic's Officers - RMS Titanic - Chief Officer Wilde
 

Arun Vajpey

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Jul 8, 1999
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It is quite difficult to get information about Chief Officer Wilde right from the collision to the actual sinking. Yes, he has been mentioned by several survivors but somehow it is not easy to reconstruct his whereabouts and activities.

For example, he was off-duty and presumably sleeping when the collision with the iceberg occurred.

Does anyone know if Boxhall, Olliver, Hichens or anyone else mention seeing or interacting with Wilde in the 10 minutes after the collision? Was he briefly near the bridge? If so, please post here.

The first definite mention of Wilde after the collision is about 11:50 pm, some 10 minutes after the impact when he met Sam Hemming and John Foley near the forcastle just after the other two had investigated the hissing sound from the anchor chain space and determined that it was due to displaced air from rapid flooding of the forepeak tank.

During the evacuation Wilde appears to have been active mainly on the port side. According to Bill Wormstedt's research, he was involved with loading of Lifeboats #8, #14, #12, #2 and Collapsible D. In addition, he might have been briefly near #10 during the earlier part of that boat's loading (seen by Joughin) and later might have briefly helped Murdoch with loading and lowering of Collapsible C.

At the very late stages of the sinking, Wilde might have been in the vicinity of Collapsible A, which makes him one possible candidate for the shooting incident. Survivor scullion John Collins, who knew Murdoch by sight, seemed certain that the "Scots officer" was one of those flung overboard when the partly flooded Collapsible A floated free. Walter Lord commented in a live TV interview in 1989 that (contrary to his impressions 3 years before when he wrote the book The Night Lives On) by then he had a strong feeling that Wilde was the officer involved in the shooting incident. But he did not elaborate his reasons for thinking on those lines.
 

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