Captain E. J. Smith, the commander of the ill-fated vessel, was a native of Hanley, the son of Mr. E. J. Smith. He was educated at the British School, then under the mastership of the late Mr. Alfred Smith, who afterwards became clerk to the Hanley School Board. He served his apprenticeship to the sea with Messrs. A. Gibson and Co., of Liverpool. Joining the White Star Company as fourth officer, he received his first command in 1887, and since then he had been one of the company's most trusted officers, and had commanded no fewer than twelve White Star liners. he held an extra master's certificate, and was an honorary commander of the Royal Navy Reserve. He was a member of the executive council of the Mercantile Marine Association before removing to Southampton to take up command of the Oceanic. It is recalled that he was in command of the Olympic when owing to the negligent navigation of the pilot in charge a collision took place between the great liner and H.M. cruiser Hawke on 20th September 1911, in the Solent. Captain Smith, who was in his 62nd year, leaves a widow and one daughter, who reside at Southampton. It was his intention shortly to retire from the active seafaring career in which he had gained so much distinction. A suggestion has been made that a memorial tablet should be erected to his memory in one of the public buildings of his native town.