Encyclopedia Titanica

Last Scenes On the Titanic

Scone Survivor's Experiences

Dundee Evening Telegraph

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Scone Survivor's Experiences

The grim scene aboard the Titanic just before she sank in mid-Atlantic carrying with her hundreds of people, was described by the only surviving wireless operator, Mr Harold Bride, of Scone, in an address to Stirling Rotary Club.

"About 10.30 in the evening a tremor ran through the whole ship," said Mr Bride. "Shortly afterwards Commander Smith came to the wireless cabin and told us to send out a "Stand by" signal, and a little later we were ordered to make a "General Distress" call. The ship had struck an iceberg and was seriously damaged."

We waited a bit after the signal had been sent out," continued Mr Bride, " but for the moment the ether seemed to be dead. No reply came through. And it is not extraordinary when you think of it. "Here we had been sending out scores of private messages and messages from the captain to his chiefs in New York and Liverpool—the next moment we send out an urgent distress call. The ships in the vicinity could not believe it. I think that is the reason why there was such a silence after our first call.

"Ultimately, however, we had replies from the Olympic, which was a good 300miles away, too far to of any service to us, and also from the Cunard liner, Carpathia. which hoped to be alongside by six o'clock the next morning.

Refused to Leave Husbands.

Mr Bride said that the Titanic's first-class passengers were the first to give trouble. It was well-nigh impossible to persuade the women and children to leave the apparent safety of the liner for a little boat in mid-ocean. And to add to the difficulty many women refused to leave their husbands.

Boats could only be lowered on one side of the vessel owing to its heavy list.

Towards the end Commander Smith went to the bridge and, seizing a megaphone, made the cry—"Every man for himself" And as an after-thought he added—"Be British."

After a very few moments the Titanic put her head down, lifted her propellers and rudder clear of the water, and sank quietly out of sight beneath the waves.

All her lights were burning, and full power was available in the wireless cabin. "I think that is a wonderful tribute," said Mr Bride, "to the engineers who remained below maintaining the power necessary for dynamos and pumps."

Mr Bride also paid tribute to the striking courage of Commander Smith, who went down with his ship.

With the dawning came the welcome sight of the Carpathia steaming up over the horizon, and a little later the survivors were taken off the lifeboats.
 

Related Biographies

Harold Sydney Bride

Citation

Encyclopedia Titanica (2021) Last Scenes On the Titanic (Dundee Evening Telegraph, Saturday 29th June 1935, ref: #458, published 27 April 2021, generated 29th November 2021 07:43:00 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/last-scenes-on-the-titanic.html