GIVES CREDIT TO HIS CREW
Modest Skipper Praises and Thanks His Men for Them Loyalty and Committee for Its Gifts
When the Cunarder Carpathia arrived at her pier yesterday from Naples, her first return to this port since she landed the survivors from the Titanic, she was boarded by a committee of those survivors bearing a silver loving cup, and gold, silver, and bronze medals for Capt. Arthur Henry Rostron and his officers and crew. The committee was headed by Frederick K. Seward, and included Mrs. J. J. Brown of Denver, Lieut. H. B. Steffanson of the Swedish Army, F. O. Spedden, Karl Behr, the tennis player; I. G. Frauenthal, and George A. Harder.
When the passengers had left the ship with their baggage Capt. Rostron, at the request of the committee, issued orders for all hands to muster in the first-class dining saloon at 10:30 A. M. Of the 320 members of the crew that were in the ship's last voyage seventy had left at Fiume, according to Purser Brown with whom they had left their addresses. Their places had been taken by other hands, who remained on duty while the 250 members of the old crew lined up in the saloon in two long lines. The officers and engineers stood at the head of the lines near the Captain, who stood by Mr. Seward, the Chairman.
It was a striking picture, that of the brawny, weatherbeaten old bo'sun and the quartermasters and sailors in their blue uniforms mingling with the soot-begrimed firemen and coal passers who had come direct from the stokehole. In addition to the gold-laced uniforms of the officers and engineers, the cooks, in their white caps and aprons, were there with a big array of stewards. At the head of the table, beside cases of medals, was the silver loving cup, standing fifteen inches high, on an ebony base and bearing the following inscription:
Presented to Capt. A. H. Rostron, R. N. R., commander of the R. M. S. Carpathia.
In grateful recognition and appreciation of his heroism and efficient service in the rescue of the survivors of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, and of the generous and sympathetic treatment he accorded us on his ship.
FROM SURVIVORS OF THE TITANIC
In addition a framed set of resolutions from the women survivors that were proposed in the saloon on the night of April 17, before they reached this port, which included thanks to the entire crew of the Carpathia, was placed beside the loving cup.
In making the presentation Mr. Seward spoke in glowing terms of the high regard all the survivors felt for Capt. Rostron, and also eulogized him for the way in which he went full speed in a dangerous sea to their rescue directly he got the news of the disaster, and said that but for his heroism they might not be alive to-day.
For a moment or two after the applause accompanying the presentation had ceased, Capt. Rostron seemed overcome, and simply said, "I thank you." Then he gained a litle [sic] more courage, and in the manly tones he used on the bridge he said:
I do not know how to express my thanks for this tribute, for the honor you have accorded me, for the many compliments you have paid me, and for the kind things you have said in presenting me with this cup of good fellowship. All I can say is that, first, I tried to do my duty as a sailor; second, I tried to do it toward suffering humanity.
But I will not take the credit for the achievement of that night when we went to the aid of the people of the Titanic. I do not deserve this credit. My crew does deserve it, and to them I want to give my heartfelt thanks for their loyalty, valor, and fidelity to the trust that was imposed. I cannot think of them too highly for they have brought this honor to me and to themselves, and I feel humbly proud of what has been done for me through their valor.
I offer you the thanks of myself, my wife, and my family, and for generations to come this moment will be spoken of proudly by my descendants."
As he turned to his crew and thanked them Capt. Rostron's voice showed the emotion he felt.
Chairman Seward then spoke to the crew, saying, in part:
"The eyes of the world are upon you and were upon you when you came to us on the open ocean, when we saw the Carpathia coming to us out of the dawn, and to all of you we wish to give our heartfelt thanks. For your hospitality, for your devotion, for your unselfishness, and for all that was done for us we never can be adequately grateful, and as a slight token of that appreciation we wish you to accept the medals that we have had struck for every man and woman of this ship."
The medals bore in bas relief a copy of the Carpathia at full speed going to the rescue of the Titanic's victims, while the reverse side bore the following inscription:
Presented to the Captain and crew of the R. M. S. Carpathia in recognition of their gallant and heroic services, from the survivors of the S. S. Titanic, April 15, 1912.
There were six gold medals, one each for Capt. Rostron, Chief Engineer Johnson, Surgeon Frank E. McGee, E. G. F. Brown, R. N. R., purser; Chief Steward E. H. Hughes, and Second Engineer Marshall. Then, at the request of the commimittee, Capt. Rostron handed a medal to each member of the crew as they responded to their names as the roll was called by Purser Brown, each man saluting the commander as he received his decoration while his shipmates cheered. The junior officers received silver medals, while the members of the crew had bronze.
In speaking of the honor that had been accorded to him by the United States Government, Capt. Rostron said that he was proud for himself, the officers and crew of the Carpathia, and for the Cunard Line, and that he believed the whole mercantile marine of the world would feel honored by it.
Asked about the delay in the arrival of the news of the disaster on Monday. April 15, the captain said that he had no idea that the dispatches had not been forwarded until he got Capt. Haddock's message at 4 in the afternoon, and then he sent for Operator Cottam, who said that he had not been able to get into touch with any other steamers that could relay them through.
Capt. Rostron, his officers, and the entire crew of the Carpathia have been invited to attend the memorial band concert to the musicians of the Titanic, to be held next Sunday evening at the Moulin Rouge, formerly the New York Theatre, Broadway and Forty-fifth Street. The bands that have volunteered for this concert are Arthur Pryor's Band, Gustav D'Aquin's Madison Square Garden Band, Lacalle's Concert Band, New York Letter Carriers' Band, Hebrew Orphan Asylum Band, Catholic Protectory Band, Soller and her male band, United States Army bands from the forts near New York, and United States Navy bands from the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the war vessels here now.
Karl Howell Behr
Mauritz Hokan Björnström-Steffansson
Ernest G. F. Brown
Isaac Gerald Frauenthal
George Achilles Harder
Frank E. McGee
Arthur Henry Rostron
Frederic Kimber Seward
Frederic Oakley Spedden
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(1912) TITANIC SURVIVORS HONOR CAPT. ROSTRON New York Times (ref: #3526, accessed 25th March 2017 03:48:06 PM) URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivors-honor-capt-rostron.html
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Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Saturday 21st August 2004, last updated Saturday 12th September 2015.