Titanic - A Survivor's Story ep1Mar 16, 2022
early in 1912 I left my post at Dulwich College Master of Science in South London, and prepared to organize a tour of the United States in the early spring of that year. I decided to cross in the latest addition to the white crew that the RMS Titanic needed. because it seemed like it would be rather a novelty to be on board the biggest ship yet launched the night before she set sail the night of tuesday april 9th which i spent in a southampton hotel its pathetic to remember as i said the next morning in the breakfast room from whose windows one could see the four huge funnels of the
titanictowering over the roofs of the various shipping offices facing the set behind me, three of the Titanic's passengers were discussing the upcoming voyage and estimating, among other things, the chances of an accident in from sea to ship when I got up from breakfast, I looked at the group and recognized them later on board, but they were not among those who responded to the roll call on the Carpathia The following Monday morning, shortly after by In the afternoon, the gangways were removed and the Titanic moved slowly along the pier.
We made our way down Spithead, past the shores of the Isle of Wight, and in the calmer weather headed for Cherbourg, stopping briefly to collect passengers and mail before sailing. so Queenstown got on board our pilot and ran slowly into the harbor with the sonar line going down all the time and stopped quite suddenly our propellers stirring up the bottom and turning the sea brown with sand from below to stop as far back as possible and look over the side from the upper deck forward and down to where the mail offers rolled on its bars it was easy to appreciate or magnificent both the Titanic was as majestic as it was huge there is very little to tell from the time you set out from queenstown thursday to sunday morning the sea was calm, so calm that very few were absolute from meals the wind was from the west or southwest, but often quite cold and with the thought that we had seen the last Earth until we set foot on the shores of America, I spent a lot of time in the library reading and writing letters to friends that I posted in the mailbox outside the door of the library, possibly they are still coming now to sunday it will be interesting perhaps to give the events of the day in some detail the service was performed in the saloon by the person in the morning and going out on deck after lunch we found such a change in temperature that not many they care to stay to face the bitter wind I think the wind created entirely by the rapid movement of the ship through the cold atmosphere returning to the library I stopped for a moment to read the day's race and note our position on the chart the reverend mr.
Carter, the Church of England clergyman, was similarly employed and asked if he knew the purser well enough to request the use of the hall to sing an evening hymn. I am pleased to say that the flight attendant gave his consent immediately. he had enjoyed several conversations with mr. Carter spoke of the impossibility of carrying out his parish work without the help of his wife. I mentioned the Carters particularly because they were good people that I never saw again. Through the windows the sun was shining brightly portending a beautiful night and a clear day ahead and the prospect of landing in New York in two days was generally satisfactory to all of us.
I can look back and see every detail of the library that afternoon the room beautifully furnished with lounge chairs and small writing or card tables scattered over desks around the walls of the room and the library in glass cabinet shelves flanking one side all finished in mahogany with white fluted wooden columns that supported the platform above through the windows there is the covered corridor reserved by general consent since the playground in the corridor is a man and his wife with two children, all are young and happy. he is dressed in a gray Knickerbocker suit a camera slung over his shoulders i didn't see any of them near me again so close i can't help but overhear snippets of their conversation a two american ladies both dressed in white young people probably friends only one had been in India returning via England the other was a schoolteacher a fashionable girl with a distinguished heir enhanced by a couple of past names conversing with them is a gentleman whom I subsequently identified from a photograph as a well-known resident of Cambridge Massachusetts brilliant polished with a courteous air towards the ladies a boy breaks into their conversation from time to time I never saw any of this group in the opposite corner again nor a young American film photographer and his French wife who put patience in he leans back in his chair, getting in the way from time to time I didn't see them again in the middle of the room our two Catholic priests a or silently reading the other dark bearded man with wide brimmed hat talking seriously with a friend in German about something in the open Bible in front of him I didn't see any of them again many other faces repeated a thought of all the people in the library that afternoon I can remember only two or three who found their way into the Carpathia looking across this room with his back to the library shelves is the lean library manager hunched over with a sad face and usually with nothing to do but serve books after dinner mr.
Carter invited all who wished him into the saloon and to the piano accompaniment of a young Scottish engineer who was away to join his brother's fruit farm at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, had about a hundred passengers sing hymns . He was curious to see how many solicited his deal. with the dangers in the song i noticed that the quiet ov sang the hymn for those in danger and i saw that the singing continued until ten o'clock there were several butlers waiting to serve cookies and coffee before going off duty mr. Carter closed the evening by thanking the ER person for the use of the lounge and saying a few words are the happiness and safety of the voyage here the grave of the great confidence we all feel aboard this great liner with its stability and size. and the happy prospect of landing in a few hours in New York I retired to my cabin about a quarter to eleven I have been fortunate enough to secure a two-berth cabin for myself d-56 fairly close to the saloon and and most convenient in all respects senses to move about the ship after undressing and climbing into the upper berth I read from about a quarter to eleven to about a quarter to twelve during this time I particularly noted the increased vibration of the ship and assumed we were going at a speed greater than never since we left Queenstown two things led me to this conclusion the first was that as i sat on the sofa undressing we were s with bare feet on the floor the vibrating jar came out of the motors below very noticeably second as i sat on the bunk reading the spring mattress that was holding me up was vibrating faster than normal now this cradle like motion always it was noticeable while one was lying in bed but that night there was certainly a marked increase in movement and then in the stillness of the night broken only by the muffled sound reaching me through the fans of the butlers talking and moving around the hallways the kiemce came with what seemed like nothing more than extra effort from the motors and more than usual obvious mattress dance move in which i said nothing more than that no sound or crash or anything else no sense of shock no jaw that felt like one heavy mass meeting another and at that moment the same thing was repeated with about the same intensity the idea came to me that I must n having increased speed still more and all this time the Titanic was being torn open by an iceberg and water was spilling over the side of it.
Now it fills me with amazement to think that here was this huge ship running on the starboard side towards an iceberg and a passenger sitting quietly in bed reading felt no movement or list on the opposite side and this must have been felt if it had been more than the usual The role of the ship was never very important in the calm weather we had, so without thinking that something serious had happened to the ship, I continued my reading and the murmur of the waiters and the adjoining booths and no other sound no scream in the night didn't raise the alarm but within moments i felt the motors slow down and stop the dance move and the vibration stopped suddenly after being a part of our existence for four days and that was the first hint that something out of the ordinary had happened.
I jumped out of bed and put on a robe over my pajamas put on my shoes and walked out of my cabin into the corridor near the saloon walked up three flights of stairs opened the hall door to the upper deck and stepped out into an atmosphere that cut me like a shock. knife walking to the starboard side I looked over and saw the sea twenty yards below the smooth black Ford the deserted deck stretching to the first class cabins and captain's bridge and behind the third class quarters and aft bridge nothing else no icebergs to either side or aft from what we could see in the dark there were two or three men on deck and with one with a scottish engineer who had played piano before i compared notes he just started undressing as the engine he stopped and went up immediately, so he was quite well dressed, all was quiet, and yet we went down to the next deck through the smoking room windows, saw a game of letters with various onlookers and we went to ask if they knew more than us but none of them had come up on deck to ask any questions even though one of them had seen an iceberg go by and was towering over us, it caught the attention of the others and they all watched as Stern disappeared, but then immediately resumed the game.
I guess the iceberg has taken some of the new paint off her and the captain doesn't like to go on until she's repainted, said one, we laughed and one of the players pointed. the whiskey glass at her elbow said just run around the deck and see if any ice has come aboard. I would like a little for this. I never saw any of the occupants of that smoking room again. Almost all young men full of hope for their lives. perspectives in a new world I decided to go back on deck, but as it was too cold to do so in a dressing gown, I went to my cabin dressed in a Norfolk jacket and trousers and went back upstairs.
Now there were more people walking but no new information coming in the boat had resumed its course moving very slowly through the water with a little layer of white foam I decided on the bow I think we were all glad to see this I decided to go down again and when I crossed from the starboard to port I saw one o Better get into the last lifeboat on the port side and not the 16th and start pulling the deck but no one seemed to pay much attention to it when I went through the door to get off I looked ahead and to my surprise I saw a definite slope down from the stern to bowers, just a slight slope which I don't think anyone noticed, but I didn't notice it anyway, so I went back to my cabin and sat on the couch and read for about ten minutes and then I heard through the open door above all the passengers on deck wearing lifebelts I put two books I was reading in the side pockets of my Norfolk jacket I picked up my belt I got out vavidas and my robe and went upstairs tying up my life spread on arrival Back on the upper deck I found many people gathered there, some fully dressed in coats and coats well prepared for whatever might happen, others had hastily thrown punches around them when they were called and were not equipped to face the cold of that night.
Lately there had been no wind to whip the cold air through our clothing, even the breeze from the ship's motion had died out completely for the engines to stop again and the Titanic lay placidly on the unmoving surface.
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