Encyclopedia Titanica


Dr. O'Loughlin and Pursers McElroy and Barker on Honor Roll

New York Times

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Dr. O'Loughlin and Pursers McElroy and Barker on Honor Roll

In telling the story of the loss of the Titanic more light is being shed upon the conduct of the ship's officers. Three men who lost their lives were well known to hundreds of transatlantic travelers, and their duties brought them into more intimate contact with the passengers than even with the navigating officers.

They were Dr. W. F. N. O'Loughlin, surgeon; H. W. McElroy, purser, and R. L. Barker, assistant purser. The last two were last seen on the boat deck by Second Officer Lightoller just before he left the vessel by jumping overboard. They and their assistants were bringing up bags which are believed to have contained the ship's papers, money, and passengers' valuables.

Dr. O'Loughlin was the oldest physician, in point of service, afloat. He had been going to sea forty years, and in that time he had made a host of friends, many of them the most prominent men and women in the United States and England.

Dr. O'Loughlin was 62 years old. He was born in Naase, County Kerry, and after a course at Trinity College, Dublin, entered the College of Surgeons, Dublin. He was a nephew of Dean O'Loughlin of the Catholic University of Dublin. He was on the Britannic when in 1887 she rammed the steamship Adriatic.

Dr. O'Loughlin made his rounds of the steerage at 10 o'clock the night the Titanic sunk. [sic] Afterward he went to the room of Frederick M. Hoyt and his wife and got them on deck. It was Dr. O'Loughlin who assisted Mrs. Hoyt into a boat, and it was he who shoved Mr. Hoyt overboard to be picked up by a boat. It was the doctor's wish to be buried at sea. The last time he was seen on board he had a life preserver in his hand. He would not put it on.

"I don't think I will ever need this," he is reported to have said to a friend.

McElroy, the purser, was 38 years old. He had been in the White Star service for thirteen years and for three years he had served on the troopship Britannic, during the Boer war. Mr. McElroy was married. He had served on the Majestic and was the purser on the Olympic until he was transferred to the Titanic.

Mr. Barker formerly served as purser on the Majestic. He left a widow.


Mark Baber, USA


Encyclopedia Titanica (2006) THREE BRAVE OFFICERS (New York Times, Tuesday 23rd April 1912, ref: #5418, published 19 December 2006, generated 16th October 2021 05:51:44 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/three-brave-officers.html