Encyclopedia Titanica

Titanic Survivors' Stories on Arrival at Plymouth

The Witney Gazette

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One hundred and sixty-seven survivors of the crew of the Titanic landed at Plymouth on Sunday from the Red Star liner Lapland. They told a large number of full and graphic stories of the disaster. One of the chief facts brought to light is that Mr Murdoch, the chief officer, after working assiduously at getting the women and children into the lifeboats and launching them, shot himself.


Captain Smith was on the bridge practically to the last. He was seen swimming in the water after the ship went down with a child in his arms, which he vainly attempted to rescue. He afterwards disappeared. Practically all of the survivors agree that the band played hymns, and not “rag-time” tunes. After his fellow musicians had been washed away the violinist continued playing Nearer My God to Thee until he went under with the ship.


The Titanic broke in two between the funnels. There were explosions. The men believe that the machinery fell out of the hull when she split and the bow went down. The stern rose straight up in the air before the final plunge.


A great many of the passengers and crew lost their lives by the falling of one of the funnels when the ship broke. Others, when she dipped, were killed by being thrown violently into the well of the forecastle. More lives might have been saved but for the over-confidence in the unsinkability of the vessel.

An outstanding feature of the stories is the record of perfect discipline which was maintained on board the sinking liner. Stewards ranged themselves opposite the lifeboats, and saw that the rule of the sea “women and children first”, was strictly observed. Of 100 bedroom stewards, only two were saved. These men, say the survivors, went about their duties with a calmness which must have assisted to maintain the splendid discipline which prevailed.


How nearly 400 men employed in the stokeholds of the Titanic remained at their posts after the confusion is told by a trimmer. Not one of these men made his way on deck until the order was given “every man for himself”.

Related Biographies

Edward John Smith

Related Places

Plymouth, Devon, England

Related Ships



Stanley C. Jenkins, UK


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2007) Titanic Survivors' Stories on Arrival at Plymouth (The Witney Gazette, Saturday 4th May 1912, ref: #5543, published 10 May 2007, generated 4th December 2022 12:32:33 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivors-stories-arrival-at-plymouth.html