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Fight For Life in the Sea

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Fight For Life in the Sea

Post by Karen on Fri 27 Apr 2012 - 0:26



Many dramatic surprises, poignantly touching incidents, and mysteries pressing for solution are being revealed from hour to hour in connection with the awful disaster to the Titanic.
Among the latest stories by survivors and their friends is one which tells of an entire family of eight being drowned. Another, told by a Salvation Army member, tells how she saw her two sons drown.
In a vivid narrative a Yorkshire gentleman tells the marvellous story of his swim for life and of incidents on the sinking liner.
The captain of the German ship Frankfurt declares that when he got the Titanic's message he hurried to the scene and searched for survivors.
The British inquiry, under Lord Mersey, will begin its work next Thursday. Sir Rufus Isaacs (Attorney-General), Mr. Butler Aspinall, K.C., Mr. Rowlatt, and Mr. Raymond Asquith will represent the Board of Trade.
[Full reports of the United States inquiry and other matters concerning the Titanic appear on Pages Six and Seven.]

Thrilling Story of a Six Hours' Wait on Keel of Capsized Boat.

One of the most vivid narratives so far published has been given by Mr. A.H. Barkworth, whose home is at Tranby House, Hessle, East Yorkshire.
"I was in the smoking-room," said Mr. Barkworth to the New York correspondent of the "Daily Telegraph," when the crash came. Somebody said we had hit an iceberg, but I did not see it. I went down to my state-room and got a coat and life-preserver, and came back on deck. To tell the truth, I didn't think about getting into a lifeboat, and the boats were all gone before we realised that the condition of the ship was so serious. I learned swimming at Eton, and made up my mind that if it came to the worst I would try my luck in the water.
"When the ship gave her first dip we all went aft. I remember somebody shouted, "Go gently," as if a sudden shift of weight would have disturbed the ship's position. Well, I had read somewhere that a ship which is about to sink gives a premonitory dip, and when the Titanic did that I simply threw my despatch-case, containing all my money and some papers, into the scuppers.
"I saw near by Mr. Howard Case, manager of the Vacuum Oil Company in London. I said something to him. "My dear fellow," he replied, "I wouldn't think of quitting the ship. Why, she'll swim for a week." And he calmly lit a cigarette.
"This was not reassuring to me. I had had enough of the Titanic, so I climbed upon the rail, holding on to a stanchion. I was afraid to dive, because the water was full of steamer chairs and other things. I cannot recall that I had any sensations, as I went down, but when I struck the water it seemed terrifically cold. I went under, and must have had my mouth open at the time, for I came up spitting out salt-water. I struck out away from the ship, for I feared the danger of suction. I found a spar, and it helped me to keep afloat.
"Well, I swam and swam. Finally, I managed to reach a capsized boat, to which a lot of men were clinging. For a time we knelt on the bottom of the boat, and then someone suggested that our legs were getting benumbed, and we had better try to stand. So we huddled together, and all except two of us managed to get into a nearly erect posture. We were on there five or six hours. Two men just behind me died, and one of them slipped overboard, but we managed to keep the body of the other one.
"It is extraordinary how, under such circumstances, you lose your horror of the dead. The death of these two men did not seem to make any particular impression upon any of us."

Fateful Last Minute Change of Liner to Join the Titanic.

Mrs. Berry, of Brook Green, Hammersmith, has furnished to the "Mirror" the tragical instance of an entire family of eight, emigrants to Canada, perishing.
The victims were Mrs. Berry's sister, with her husband and six children, named Goodwin. For a week Mrs. Berry was in complete ignorance of the fate which had overtaken the family. She did not even know they were in any danger, for she thought they were on board the liner New York. But, suddenly, two words cabled from America brought the dreadful, stunning news of her bereavement.
Mrs. Berry said that the family - Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin and their children, of Melksham, Wiltshire - had originally intended emigrating to America during Easter week.
"But owing to the upset of things caused by the coal strike," she said, "they had to postpone their journey.
"They made new arrangements, and had booked passages on the liner New York. Not hearing to the contrary, we at home fully thought they had sailed on that boat.
"But it now seems that they were transferred to the Titanic almost at the last moment, and the next thing we heard was that they were all drowned.
"When I read the awful tidings last Sunday night - seven days after the disaster - the shock was terrible. It was so sudden and utterly unexpected that no words can express my feelings."
"My brother-in-law's mother, an old lady of seventy, brought the dreadful news. I was going to the evening memorial service for the Titanic victims at St. Barnabas Church, Addison-road, when I met her. The sight of her surprised me greatly, for she does not get about much nowadays.
"I've come to tell you about Gussie' - Augusta was my sister's name - she said. I did not understand what she meant at first. She did not say any more then, but handed me a cablegram from relatives at Niagara Falls, to whom the family were going.
"All gone!" was the message. Nothing more than that.
"I do not quite know what I said or did when I realised what the words meant. I had lost eight of my nearest and dearest relatives. Besides my sister, and her husband, there were Lille, aged sixteen; Charles Edward, aged fifteen; Willie, aged thirteen; Harold, aged twelve; Jessie, aged ten; and Sydney, the baby, aged eighteen months.
"All the children, especially Jessie, were very bright and clever, and it was chiefly to get them a good start in life that the family was emigrating.
"My sister had been married to Mr. Goodwin eighteen years; she was forty-four, and he was forty-two years of age. He was a compositor by trade."

Did Everything Possible to Reach Titanic and Searched for Survivors.

The North German Lloyd liner Frankfurt reached Bremerhaven on Wednesday, and the captain at once made an important statement in connection with the evidence given by the wireless operators at the American inquiry. It was there alleged that the Frankfurt, instead of replying to the Titanic's "C.Q.D." message by hastening to her help, wished to learn more concerning the disaster, and thus lost valuable time.
Captain Hattorf, of the Frankfurt, said: -
"The Frankfurt was the first ship with which the Titanic communicated by wireless. Shortly after midnight on Sunday we received this call from the Titanic: "Danger! Where are you?" We replied immediately, giving our exact position. The Titanic replied: "Struck an iceberg; sinking; assist us quickly."
"During our journey we received distressing calls from the sinking ship. I replied that we were coming with all life-saving apparatus in readiness.
"On Monday morning ten enormous icebergs were in sight, the largest I have ever seen. I slackened speed, and noticed that one great iceberg was split. It looked like a mass that had been struck by lightning. It was evidently the berg that sunk the Titanic.
"I also noted that while all the other icebergs were dazzling white, a portion of this berg, near the fracture, was brown and red, as though splashed with blood.
"We saw no signs of the wreck save a little floating debris - pieces of wood, etc. - nothing, however, that indicated that many persons had been drowned.
"I had the Frankfurt's boats lowered, but nothing could be done. We remained in the vicinity from ten a.m. until two p.m., and then received the news that the Carpathia had all the survivors on board."


The "War Cry" this week publishes a cable from Commissioner Eva Booth at New York. She says: - "Mrs. Abbot, a Salvationist in uniform, was rescued after five hours' drifting on a raft, during which time her two sons, aged 16-1/2 and 13-1/2, were drowned before her eyes.
"They died, I am assured, like true Salvationists. Mrs. Abbot is now seriously ill in hospital. Owing to long exposure on the raft she was frozen up to the hips. Mrs. Nye, a young woman soldier, who is employed at the New York headquarters, is also safe."
Mrs. Abbot and her sons, it is stated, were, until their departure for America, residents for some months at St. Albans. Their home was at Providence, Rhode Island. Mrs. Nye is the daughter of Bandsman Ramell, of Folkestone, and is employed in the Uniform Department at New York.
Mr. Leslie Williams, whose body was among those picked up by the steamer Mackay Bennett at the scene of the Titanic disaster, was the Welsh bantam-weight boxer.


A splendid entertainment has been prepared for the matinee in aid of the Titanic sufferers at the London Hippodrome on Tuesday. Those who would like to assist the cause, but are unable to be present, should send a postal order for 2s 6d. for the special souvenir programme, which is printed on finest art paper and bound in a very heavy cover. In addition to photos of famous artists and the programme proper, the souvenir contains original sketches, verse, and literary pieces by many well-known men and women.
The Lord Mayor and Sheriffs and the American Ambassador will be present at the Coliseum matinee in aid of the fund on Wednesday.
Mme. Sarah Bernhardt and many prominent players will appear at the Titanic benefit at Covent Garden on May 14. A special souvenir is being prepared by the committee, including Lady Tree and Lady Alexander.
The profits from this week's performances at the Shakespeare Theatre of "La Cigale," by the Clapham and Balham Operatic Society will be given to the Titanic Disaster Fund.
Thursday, May 9, is the date finally selected for the matinee at the Garrick Theatre.
For the same good cause a matinee will be given on Thursday at the Edmonton Empire.


Among the many memorials to those who went down in the Titanic one is to be erected to the memory of the vessel's orchestra who behaved with such wonderful bravery as the ship sank.
As M. Virins, one of the orchestra, was first prizeman at Liege Conservatoire, a group of Belgian musicians propose to erect a monument at Liege.

Impressive Memorial Service at Westminster.

A striking tribute to the memory of Mr. W.T. Stead, probably the most widely known of the many victims of the Titanic, was paid at a memorial service in Westminster Chapel on Thursday evening.
Dr. Clifford read many messages of sympathy. Among these was one from Queen Alexandra, who telegraphed to Mrs. Stead: "Do, in my name, let family know how much I grieve for them all." Her Majesty was represented by Major-General Brocklehurst.
The Prime Minister was represented by Mr. Eric Drummond. Amongst the congregation were Lord Esher, Lord Haldane, Lord Milner, Earl Grey, Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. John Burns, Dr. Macnamara, Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, and Mr. E.T. Cook.
The service was conducted by Dr. G. Campbell Morgan. The hymn, "Begone, unbelief," which Mr. Stead used to say was the hymn that helped him most, was sung. One of the verses Mr. Stead had described as "a lifebuoy, keeping my head above the waves when the sea raged and was tempestuous, and when all else failed." His favourite passage in the Book of Proverbs was read, and after the hymn, "Nearer, my God, to Thee," the Hallelujah Chorus was played by the organist. It was chosen instead of the Dead March, with the concurrence of the family, in order that sadness and gloom should not be suggested, and thus the spirit of Mr. Stead should be respected.

Rescued Five-Year-Old Tells How the Great Liner Sank.

Dr. and Mrs. Washington Dodge, of San Francisco, and their five-year-old son, "Bobo," were among the survivors of the Titanic. Mrs. Dodge had only time to put on her fur coat as she stepped from her state-room. As she drew on the child's overcoat over his pyjamas not a whimper escaped him, not an objection did he make. Through the long cold night his mother held him in her arms.
The family left New York for San Francisco on Thursday night, but just before the train-time and with the aid of his mother as interpreter, "Bobo" told his story of the shipwreck to the "Daily Telegraph" representative.
"Yes, I saved Mamma," he said. "When they said the women must go with the children mamma had to go with me. If I hadn't been there she would have stayed with papa, and she might not have been saved. I said, "By-bye Papa, we'll see you later," when he put me in the boat and kissed me good-bye. We rowed out in the boat and then we saw the Titanic go down, go down away down. Lots of people went down, too. She went down and then came up; then she busted in two and went down again, and all my toys went down."
"Well, tell me what happened to the Titanic? Did she strike something?
"Oh, yes," and Bobo's beautiful blue eyes opened to their widest. "She hit a big piece of mountain ice. She went like that - bang."
He illustrated his meaning by bringing his tiny hands together with a rush and crying, "Look."
"How did they put you on the Carpathia?"
"They put me in a sack and pulled me up. That was lovely. I wanted them to let me down that way when we got to New York, but they wouldn't."

Terrible Spectacle from the Deck of a German Vessel.

By wireless from the Mackay-Bennett, a cable ship which was chartered by the White Star Company to search for the dead, a statement has reached New York that 205 bodies have been found in the vicinity of the wreck. The message says: -
"Bodies are numerous in latitude 41.35 North, longitude 48.37 West, extending many miles both east and west. Mailships should give this region a wide berth.
"The medical opinion is that death has been instantaneous in all the cases owing to the pressure when the bodies were drawn down in the vortex. We have been drifting in a dense fog.
"The total number of bodies picked up is 205.
The "New York Times" suggests that the name "W. Vear" which appears in the list of bodies recovered by the Mackay Bennett, transmitted by wireless telegraphy, is probably intended for "W. Stead," the American morse signals for the two names being almost identical.
Women fled from the deck of the North German Lloyd liner Bremen, horrified by the spectacle of the floating bodies, as the vessel passed through the ice-field in which the Titanic went down.
The Bremen docked at Hoboken on Wednesday, when the officers told how the women retired below rather than confront the sight of between one hundred and two hundred dead. Close to the bodies floated a low-lying iceberg. The sea was strewn with deck chairs and other wreckage.


Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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Re: Fight For Life in the Sea

Post by Karen on Sat 28 Apr 2012 - 3:21

Seamen Refuse to Work with Imported Firemen.


As a direct result of the sinking of the Titanic, the voyage from Southampton to New York of her sister ship, the Olympic, which should have begun on Wednesday, had on Friday to be abandoned.
Realising that the loss of life in the disaster to the Titanic was due mainly to the deficiency of lifeboats, the Olympic's firemen demanded that more should be placed on board before she sailed. The White Star Company endeavoured to comply with this request, but in the short time before the vessel was due to sail a sufficiency of wooden boats could not be secured, so a number of collapsible boats, mostly from troopships, was requisitioned.
The firemen objected to these as not being safe, one saying he could poke his thumb through the canvas, and they still declined to make the voyage.
Thereupon the White Star people secured 300 other firemen from various districts, but the seamen refused to work with them. Appeals by Captain Haddock and the captain of the cruiser Cochrane were vain, and the men left the ship.
The Olympic was then ordered back to Southampton, the voyage being abandoned.


Board of Trade officials on Thursday utilised the delay by boarding the Olympic and witnessing lifeboat drill. The twenty wooden boats were all lowered and the crew also practised with the collapsibles. A deputation of the firemen from Southampton watched the work, and went back prepared, it is stated, to make a report that would have satisfied the men, who were to have awaited their return. When the deputation arrived, however, there was no one to report to.
Meanwhile officials of the company had been busy in the North and round Portsmouth recruiting, and had secured 300 men. These were taken out in tugs on Friday to the Olympic. Then another difficulty arose for the seamen, finding the recruits were non-unionists, refused to work with them, and clambered aboard the tug Albert Edward.
Captain Haddock appealed to them, but they could not be persuaded to return on board, and a message was signalled to the cruiser Cochrane, which was lying up at Spithead, for assistance.
Captain Goodenough, who commands the Cochrane, put off in his pinnace without any guard and proceeded to the scene. He addressed the men who had got on the tug, telling them that as they had signed on for the voyage in the Olympic their refusal to do duty amounted virtually to mutiny. He advised them to return on board and resume their work. This, however, they refused to do.
The Portsmouth police were then communicated with. Chief-Superintendent Moore and other police officials, went out, and fifty-three men, comprising all her deck hands, were brought ashore in custody. The men offered no resistance.
The managers of the White Star Line at Liverpool wired the Postmaster-General as follows: "Regret to inform you that after shipping satisfactory engine-room crew, the deck and hitherto loyal men in engine-room refused duty, asserting they would not sail with substitute men. Under these circumstances we have been compelled to order Olympic back to Southampton, and abandon voyage. Earnestly hope you will secure for us official support in efforts we intend making to secure proper punishment of crew's mutinous behaviour, as unless firmness is shown now we despair of restoring discipline and maintaining sailings."
A passenger steamer left Southampton to take the Olympic's saloon passengers off.
Instructions having been received by the White Star agents at Queenstown that the Olympic had been withdrawn from sailing, the Irish passengers, numbering 140, booked by her were transferred to the Baltic, which left Queenstown on Friday for New York.
The White Star Line are advertising in a Southampton evening paper for qualified seamen for the Olympic. The men are requested to apply personally at once to the company's representative at the Portsea Pontoon, taking their discharge papers with them.

They Amuse Themselves Singing Sea Shanties in the Cells.

The fifty-three prisoners appeared on Friday at the Portsmouth Court. Among them were six quartermasters, a storekeeper, and a few greasers and firemen, the rest being able seamen. They at first stood in two rows facing the bench, but were afterwards allowed seats.
All the men belong to Southampton, and in court presented a smart, seamanlike appearance, many of them wearing their best clothes. They seemed, too, in the greatest good humour, and, it is stated, had spent the time between their arrest and their appearance in court merrily singing sea shanties in the cells.
Mr. C. Hiscock, of Southampton, prosecuted on behalf of the White Star Line, Mr. C.A. Emanuel represented the bulk of the defendants on behalf of the British Seafarers' Union, and Mr. G.H. King, of Portsmouth, appeared for the rest.
The men pleaded "Not guilty" to the charge, which was:

That they jointly, being seamen lawfully engaged on the steamship Olympic, lying off Stokes Bay, did wilfully disobey the lawful commands of the captain on the 26th inst.

Mr. John Edward Jarus Withers, of 66, Bridge-road, Itchen, fifth officer of the Olympic, gave evidence. He said that on Thursday night at 10:30 a second batch of substitutes arrived on board to take the place of those men who had not been replaced. Shortly after their arrival there was a renewal of the disturbance and a complaint was made to the bridge. A number of men left the ship and proceeded on board the tender alongside and refused to go back.
On Friday morning the witness received instructions to proceed with them to Portsmouth, which he did, and give them into the custody of Superintendent Moore on arrival.
Cross-examined by Mr. Emanuel: Was it because the men engaged did not know their work that the others left the ship? - The only reason I heard given was that non-union men were being employed.
Was not the sole reason why these men refused to sail that they objected to sail with a scratch crew who did not know how to stoke a fire or handle a boat? - No, I did not hear it.
Mr. King (representing certain of the defendants): I suggest that the men complained about the very badly-manned ship. - Not personally to me; I heard it in conversation.
Is it true that of the 200 men taken on board only three were able to show discharges to prove that they had ever been to sea as stokers? - I can't say.
The magistrates after a brief consultation agreed to allow bail until Tuesday next at eleven o'clock.

Some 310 passengers who had booked passages awaited the Olympic at Cherbourg. Many of these will embark today (Sunday) on the Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm, of the North German Lloyd, and still others who will wait patiently and embark on the Kronprinzess in Cecilie on Wednesday.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly News, April 28, 1912, Page 5

Karen Trenouth
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