Various Titanic Articles

April 25, 1912

The Titanic Disaster.

The terrible event of last week, the sinking of the Titanic with the loss of nearly 2000 lives, ranks as the greatest marine disaster on record. The largest vessel ever built (one-sixth of a mile in length), "practically unsinkable," and fitted up in the most luxurious manner to pander to the tastes of the millionaires for whose use mainly she was intended, has sunk on her first voyage, with as little notice to her occupants and as little regard for their wishes or feelings as would be given or manifested by a fishing boat on the Grand Banks.

While universal sorrow is felt for the great loss of life through this disaster, and sincere sympathy for those so terribly bereaved, there seems little reason to think that the owners of the steamer (the White Star Line) are deserving of any sympathy. They are, rather, to be held responsible for the deaths of the unfortunates who lost their lives through this disaster, directly attributable to greed. The vessel was fitted up with every device to attract the worshippers of luxury. She was proclaimed abroad as "unsinkable," though her builders, her owners and her officers knew that an unsinkable ship was an impossibility. Capt. Smith, who, for some years, has commanded steamers of the White Star Line on their first voyages, was put in charge and Mr. Bruce Ismay, who is really at the head of the owning company, made the voyage in the steamer. His object was to see that she made the fastest voyage on record. This would ensure her the cream of the passenger traffic between America and Europe for the summer.

The captain of the Titanic was duly notified, by wireless telegraphy, that an ice field lay before him. He knew its dangers, but he dashed into it, travelling at the rate of twenty-six miles an hour. Mr. Ismay was at his elbow and he knew that his job depended on making a record voyage.

When the crash came, then it was found that there were not boats enough to accommodate one half the passengers. There was nothing to do but put women and children into such boats as were available and let the men go to their death.

Mr. Ismay’s life was saved.

The Register

May 2nd, 1912


Great anxiety is felt about town today for the safety of Miss Emily Young, who was a passenger on the Titanic. Miss Young is the daughter of the late Rev. F.M. Young, who for a number of years was pastor of the Baptist Church here. For the past four months she has been in Europe with a wealthy New York family and they were returning on the ill-fated ship. Among the list of survivors appears the name of Miss Mary Young, which has given a ray of hope to her many anxious friends. Parsboro Cor. In Amherst News.

The Register

May 9th, 1912

Lessons From the Wreck.

In a letter to the Montreal Gazette Captain J. Reid, R. E (T), commenting on the Titanic disaster and investigation, makes the following startling deductions: -

The most startling fact revealed to me was the statements of the navigating officers that they hoped that on the remaining part of the maiden trip the Titanic would reel off from 24 to 26 knots per hour. The official statement of the owners fixed her speed at only 21 knots. In her trials before she reached Southampton her real speed was not tested. But she had evidently boiler power sufficient to raise steam to drive her at 26 knots per hour. Why, this was sufficient to give the mammoth liner of 46,000 tons the blue ribbons of the Atlantic for speed! Was the Titanic a mystery ship during her construction? The first Dreadnought was. Was the Titanic’s great speed power the surprise ace trump card which Mr. Ismay, the owner, had up his sleeve? Let us see how it was played out. Captain Smith had undoubtedly orders before leaving port to put the Titanic to her utmost speed on the last days of her course. Throughout the Sunday she had been doing twenty one and a half knots per hour, which is half a knot over her stated speed! Yet, those on the bridge said she was to do a lot better, "twenty-four to twenty six knots, perhaps."


Everything pointed to her doing so. The sea was an ‘oily calm,’ and the night promised to be very clear. But long before dusk Marconigram warnings arrived about ice floes and bergs. These agitated Captain Smith. He delivered the Baltic’s Marconigram to Mr. Ismay without comment between 5 and 6 p.m. Mr. Ismay made no response. The captain waited till 8, two long hours, and then he went to Mr. Ismay, and asked for the fateful Marconigram’s return. It was a mute, pathetic appeal, a dramatic picture which requires no words. Still no response from Mr. Ismay. He handed the message back. Neither the course nor the speed of twenty-one and a half knots were altered, and Captain Smith knew that the pace had to be maintained, if not increased.

Some suggest that Captain Smith was away from the bridge on that fateful night. The old officer was not. When not on the bridge he was beside it. He was too ill at ease to be otherwise. When the liner struck the berg he was instantly at his post. But he gave the wrong position to the Marconi operators for the rescuing steamers to steer to; eight miles out of reckoning – a dreadful error. This was the result of his agitation, because notwithstanding Mr. Ismay’s grim silence over the Baltic’s warning, Captain Smith knew well, none better than be, that racing ahead at twenty-one and a half knots after its receipt was both reckless and criminal. Why did he do it? I stand up for Captain Smith’s sad memory. He could not have done so on his own initiative. He was not a madman.


To me this is the whole terrible story of the Titanic in a nutshell. A pitiable victim to speed mania, and let us hope in front of impending drastic legislation, the last.

Every shipbuilding expert and mariner with whom I have discussed the approximate extent of the injury the Titanic received from the iceberg declares that the ship’s bottom must have been torn off as far aft as the engine room. It is an extraordinary opinion in direct face of the witnesses’ evidence as it presents itself to a lay mind.

The lookout men in the crow’s nest heard a smash, felt a little impact, followed by just a sharp grinding noise at her starboard bow side.’ The third officer, asleep in his berth behind the bridge, did not hear or feel it. The fact that the Marconi operator did not flash forth ‘Engine room flooded’ until one hour and fifteen minutes after the collision, according to the Mount Temple captain’s evidence, is proof positive that the incoming water which bore down the Titanic’s fore part to destruction slowly gained its way to the engine room, situated as far aft as the two sternmost funnels. It did not surge into it at the instant of the iceberg’s impact.

This wipes out another fairy tale regarding the engine room staff. It is said they joined hands and went down, as is their custom. There was no sudden surprise of overwhelming waters on this occasion. Stokers and then the engineers and aft officers must have been slowly driven from their posts to the upper galleries of the huge engine rooms. I do not say they came on deck. The recovery of only 200 bodies as I write, proves that of the 1,620 lost ones, the greater number went to their doom between decks, and went with the Titanic to the bottom of the Atlantic.

Nor are the workers in the bowels of a ship screwed down nowadays. When the early methods of closing watertight doors in bulkheads from the navigating bridge were introduced, the ready-witted stokers promptly rendered this horribly inhumane arrangement abortive by blocking up the bottom of the doors with lumps of coal sufficiently large for them to crawl under and escape. Then a closing door was patented with a side lever, which enabled it to be temporarily raised for escape when shut. But the Titanic’s builders put aside each bulkhead a spiral staircase for escape upwards, and the harrowing legend that the firemen and engine room staff were shut down within a steel tomb is a morbid phantasy.

From the bow’s cutwater to the navigating bridge there is a space of 180 feet, and as far as I can discern from the diagrams there are four big transverse bulkheads in this section. I put this question to a well-known shipbuilder: ‘Suppose by a superhuman power I had cut this section of the Titanic completely away should she still have floated on the calm sea of the 15.h inst.?’ ‘Certainly she should. ‘Then why didn’t she?’ ‘Because her bottom was ripped off further aft.’

There is not a tittle of evidence as yet from any of the survivors to support this supposition. I still reject it for the reasons expressed in this and my previous communications. The Titanic, in my opinion, carried too ponderous a superstructure for her forward bulkheads to withstand, when once the water gained admission.


Hence my advice to avoid the monster ship. The real thing of safety is the ship. Do not let the cry for the lifeboat in stead us. The ship must be seaworthy, properly manned, and properly navigated. Herein alone lies our salvation as Atlantic passengers.

(same issue)

Canadians Lost.

It is known that there were on the Titanic 36 Canadians, 21 men and 15 women. Of these 21 were drowned; 15 were saved. Of the saved, 13 were women, two were men. Of the lost 19 were men, two were women. Of the two drowned Canadian women, one at least – Mrs. A l son (sp?) – was urged to enter a boat, but preferred to go with her husband.

May 9, 1912

The Titanic Victims.

The Mackay-Bennett picked up 306 bodies of persons who perished in the Titanic disaster. Of these, 189 were brought to Halifax. Such as were not identified and taken away by friends were buried in the cemeteries of the city.

The Minia, which followed the Mackay-Bennett, has also returned. She brought but fifteen bodies, among them that of Mr. C. M. Hays. The government steamer Montmagny has sailed for the scene of the wreck.


Titanic Damages. The first compensation claim in connection with the Titanic disaster has been made at Liverpool by a bedroom steward’s widow in behalf of herself and five children. The company admitted liability and paid $1,500 into the court, the maximum amount for which the company was liable. It is estimated that this admission of liability will cost the White Star Company $3,000,000 in settlement of claims.

Berwick Register,

August 8, 1912

Judgment In Titanic Inquiry

The judgment of the British board of trade court of inquiry into the disaster to the White Star liner Titanic, which sank in mid-ocean with 1517 souls, after collision with an iceberg on April 14, was pronounced by Lord Mersey, the presiding judge, before a large audience on July 30th. The court finds that the collision of the Titanic with the iceberg was due to the excessive speed at which the ship was navigated, that a proper watch was not kept; that the ship’s boats were properly lowered, but that arrangements for manning them were insufficient; that the Leyland liner Californian might have reached the Titanic if she had attempted to do so; that the track followed was reasonably safe, with proper vigilance, and that there was no discrimination against third-class passengers in the saving of life. The court of inquiry exonerates J. Bruce Ismay, chairman and managing director of the White Star Line and Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon, one of the passengers form any charges of improper conduct. The judgement recommends more watertight compartments in seagoing ships, the provision of lifeboats for all on board, and more efficient drill of the crew as well as a better lookout.