Wilde's Promotion


Inger Sheil

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I must admit I'd forgotten this little snippet until rereading Lightoller's article from the Christian Science Sentinel (December 1912). It's one of the earlier accounts of Wilde's proposed promotion, and the reasons for its delay:

quote:

Shortly before we sailed from Southampton, Wilde, who was formerly chief of the Olympic, and who was to have been given command of another of the White Star steamers, which, owing to the coal strike and other reasons was laid up, was sent for the time being to the Titanic as chief, Murdoch ranking back to first, myself to second, and Blair standing out for the voyage

This can be read in conjunction with the claims of a Mr Smith, manager of a NY club for mercantile mariners, who wrote in April 1912 that:

quote:

He would have been Captain of the Cymric two trips ago, only the coal strike and the tying up of some of the ships altered the company's plans.

There is a possibility that Lightoller is also the source for this claim as well, as he seems to have discussed the sinking with Smith. Wilde himself is another possible source (both for Smith and Lightoller).

Other interesting aspect to the Christian Science article is that Lightoller himself notes the chain of circumstance leading on from the change in the deck officers and attributes the fact he survived to this - had it not been for Wilde requesting the guns and then observing that he was going to put his lifebelt on, Lightoller would not have happened to pass his cabin and think of putting on his own lifebelt.

Also intersting to observe the following bit of obfuscation:

quote:

Now it will be seen why it was that Wilde, on wanting some articles which were recieved by the first officer in Belfast, came to me. I took him into the first officer's room and showed him where they were.

No mention of what those 'articles' were...(or of any other officers being present, but that's a bit of an aside to the point Lightoller was making about the manner in which his life was spared).​
 
A

Alex McLean

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Very interesting, Inger. I had heard Mr. Wilde was going to be made captain of the Runic. Does anyone else know which one it was?
 

Inger Sheil

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Hallo Alex -

Do you have a source on the Runic claim? I'd be very interested in tracing it back to its origins!
 
A

Alex McLean

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Inger,
I read it on a web site about 3 months ago. The site address eludes me right now because I am currently holidaying in New Zealand away from my favourites list, but as soon as I find out, I will let you know.
happy.gif

All my best,
 

Inger Sheil

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Cheers, Alex. Will be interesting to see where it had its origins. I might have a google to see if anything turns up.
 
Jun 4, 2000
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Already tried that but with no success: "Chief Officer" / Wilde / Runic / Captain.

Oh well, YMMV. Guess I'll have to wait until Alex is able to access his bookmarks again.
happy.gif
 
A

Alex McLean

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Sorry about that, I will be home on May 5th, and it will be my first task to take care of.
 
A

Alex McLean

Guest
I am dreadfully embarrassed. I was incorrect about my Runic claim, my mind had altered the story over time. I think it was because as a young officer, it is to my understanding that Henry T. Wilde worked aboard the Runic. I do most humbly apologise, and I hope I have not caused any problems in the Titanic community in regards to this claim.
Once again, I am very sorry.
happy.gif
 

Inger Sheil

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Absolutely no problem at all, Alex - these things happen to all of us. I was just intrigued that the Runic had come up as a possibility, as I remember him serving aboard her. I've seen the Oceanic suggested as another potential, but no documented sources for this possibility.
 
A

Alex McLean

Guest
That is true, thanks for understanding.
I also happened to hear about Oceanic as a possibility, although I doubt a ship as majestic as this would be given to a captain as his first command - White Star would likely build Wilde's experiences up before putting him aboard this ship.
 
Dec 13, 1998
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Hello Inger, how are you? Have you got some sort of e-mail? I have a few questions for you regarding Lowe and Moody, and I would very much appreciate your opinions.

Yours humbly,

Peter
 

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