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Mentions of William Murdoch in the

Board of Trade Enquiry.

Click on the names to read the questions and answers that concerned William Murdoch.



















7 May, 1912

1364. On the day of muster in Southampton, what officer called the names out? – Mr. Murdoch, I think, Sir.

1365. After you had answered our name did he give you any instructions with regard to the boat, fire, or bulkhead door drill? – Not that I am aware of.

1366. He never gave you any. In other ships you have been in you said you have seen the general boat muster? – Yes.



8 May, 1912

2411. Do you know who was in charge on the bridge? – Yes; Mr. Murdoch

2412. The First Officer? – Yes, that was his watch.

2413. There would be other officers on the bridge with him? – Yes.

2414. Do you know who they were? – I think Mr. Moody was there, but I could not say for certain, because when you are up in the nest you do not know.

2415. You would not be able to tell who the officers were? – No, unless you happened to see them.



10 May, 1912

[No. 15 boat]

6490. What did you do? – The time I got there Mr. Murdoch had given orders to see the plug and rudder shipped and the tiller shipped, and everything ready, and then to call the men together into the boat.

6491. Mr. Murdoch was in charge then? – Yes.

6492. He was the officer superintending? – Yes.

6493. You say he called to the men to get into the boat. Will you tell us as nearly as you can what it was he said? – He said: “Some of you get into the boat.” About six went in and he said: “That will do; no more; lower away to A deck and receive any women and children there are.”

6494. “Lower away to A deck?” – Yes.

6523. When there were no more women and children, what orders were given to you? – Mr. Murdoch said, “Fill the boat up; take in what you have got there, and lower away.”

6524. “Take in what you have got there.” What do you mean by that? Those already in the boat? – No, whoever was at the ship’s side.

6552. Then did men begin to go on board the boat? – Not until Mr. Murdoch gave the orders from above.

6553. And what order was it he gave? – He said, “There are no more women and children; fill your boat up and lower away.”

6554. Could you tell whether the women who were on board were first-class or second-class or third-class passengers? – I think they were third.

6555. Who, the men? – The women.

6584. Do you mean that when the scouts who went round that you have told us about, whilst the scouts were away, the men were getting into the boat? – No, not till the men came back.

6585. When the men came back and said there were no women? – No, Mr. Murdoch said, “Fill your boat up with what you have got there – men.”

 6650. And did the officer shout out when the rush was made, “Stand back; women first.” – I did not hear him.

6651. Well, he must have shouted something, must he not? – I did not hear him shout it.

6652. Did you hear him give any order? – No.

6653. Not when the rush was made for the boat? – Not after Mr. Murdoch said “Fill the boat up”. I never heard any order after that.

6654. I am going to put it to you that you are making a mistake as to the time, if you will follow what I am going to suggest to you. I am putting to you that what really happened was that the rush that was made for the boat of which you have spoken was before Mr. Murdoch’s order. Let me put to you the story. Just follow this: that there was a rush of a number of passengers for the boat, and Mr. Murdoch then shouted out “Stand back! Women first!” that you then proceeded to take in all the women and children that were there? – That is correct.

6655. That is correct? – Yes.

6656. That is what I put to you before, you know. Then there was a rush made for the boat before the officer called out “Stand back! Women first!”? – Yes.
9804. I do not want it put on you if you are not certain. You told us how Mr. Murdoch stood on the boat deck and told some of you to get in the boat?
– There were six got in then.

16 May, 1912
[No. 15 boat]

10023. I want to be sure we do justice to you. You got you second contingent, 20 or 25, into the boat. They got in before you did? – Yes.

10024. Now, were any directions given about your getting into the boat? – Yes, I was ordered to get into the boat.

10025. Please, tell us about it? – After I saw my people in, the officer who had charge of the lowering away of that boat –

10026. That was Mr. Murdoch, was it not? – Yes, Mr. Murdoch. It was rather dark on the deck. He said, “What are you?” I said, “One of the crew. I have just brought these people up.” He said, “Go ahead; get into the boat with them.”

10027. And that is how you came to get in? – Yes.
10131. Did you ever see any of the engineers on the boat deck? – No, I would not know them, perhaps, if I saw them.

10132. You would not know them at all? – No.

10133. How many officers did you see on the boat deck? You saw Mr. Murdoch? – I saw Mr. Murdoch on two occasions, the only two occasions on which I went to the boat deck.



10391. Do you know what boat it was you took them to? – A collapsible boat.

10392. Was there any officer there? – Yes.

10393. Who? – The Chief, Mr. Murdoch.

10394. Do you remember whether the collapsible was on the starboard or the port side? – On the starboard side.

10395. Did Mr. Murdoch give you any order? – Yes.

10396. What was it? – He told me to get inside with the babies and take charge of them.
10491. When you got up to the boat deck who was standing by that collapsible boat? Was there any officer there? – Yes.

10492. Who was it? – The chief officer, Mr. Murdoch.



16 May, 1912
[No. 11 boat]

10757. Did you go down to A deck yourself? – No, the first order I heard given was, Mr. Wheat, the second assistant-steward, had an order from Mr. Murdoch to take charge of that boat.

10758. That was on the boat deck? – Yes. Steward Wilson and myself were ordered by Mr. Murdoch to collect all the women we could and take them to A deck, which we did.



17 May 1912

11417. When you got on the boat deck, what order did you get then? – The order I got on the boat-deck from Mr. Murdoch, and also the boatswain was, they gave an order to uncover the boats and get the falls out. I assisted generally in the boats and the starboard fore end, 3, 5 and 7 in the boats on the starboard fore end, 3, 5, and 7.

11425. Who was in charge of the starboard side? – Mr. Murdoch.

11426. Was there any difficulty, speaking generally, so far as you could see, in getting out these boats on the starboard side? – None whatever, they never worked better or more comfortably. I have never seen them work better in any ship I have been in.
11431. Was there an order? – Yes, there was one order when we were at boat No. 3. Two or three men of some description, whether stewards or passengers I do not know, were asked to keep back to give the men room to work.

11432. And they did? – Yes.

11433. Were the boats lowered to the deck rail? – After we got all the covers out, the orders were given by Mr. Murdoch to start swinging them out. We started No. 5 first, and then we came back to 3, and then to 7.

11434. Five first, then 3, then forward again, and then 7 – that is aft? – Yes, that is the next one.

11435. Did you assist in putting passengers in any one of the boats? – I assisted in putting passengers in No. 5 and No. 3, and also assisted to lower No. 3 with the boatswain –

11436. Were you acting all this time under the instructions of Mr. Murdoch? – Under the instructions of Mr. Murdoch and the boatswain.

11437. What is the boatswain’s name? – Nicholls.

11438. Were the passengers that you put into the boat men, women or children? – Women and children. That was the order, and they were put in.

11439. That was the order you got from Mr. Murdoch? – That was the order, “Women and children first.”
11444. Speaking of boats 3, 5 and 7, did you see seamen placed in these boats under the order of Mr. Murdoch? – Yes, under the orders of Mr. Murdoch. They were given an order to get in, to get the plugs ready, to see everything was right in the boat, and told to stay there and take the women and children.
11452. Then you went to No. 1, and did Mr. Murdoch speak to you then? – No, we did not go to No. 1, we were ordered to No. 1.

11453. And then you went? – We went to No. 1, and Mr. Murdoch asked who was assigned to that boat. I said I was, and he said “Are you a sailor?” I said “Yes” He said, “Jump in and see the plug is in”. After that he asked if there were nay more sailors. Horswill replied, “I am assigned to that boat” He said, “Jump in” He next gave an order for five firemen to jump in because there were no passengers around the deck at that time. Other members of the crew were assisting in getting the cover off the surf boat lying under the emergency boat, if she had been in her place, if she was swung in.

11454. That is the collapsible, we call it? – As he gave orders I saw two ladies come running out of the foremost end of the top saloon deck, running towards the boat, and from there they asked Mr. Murdoch if they could get into that boat, and Mr. Murdoch said, “Yes, Jump in”. And then, after that, I saw three gentlemen come running up, and they asked if they could get into the boat, and he said, “Yes, jump in.” Mr. Murdoch then looked around for more, and there was nobody in sight, only just the remaining members of the crew. He then gave an order to lower away. On the way down, just as we started lowering, he asked who was in charge of the boat. I replied, “Symons, the look-out”. He replied “Symons, take charge of that boat, make all those under you obey you, make them do what you tell them”. I replied, “All right”. When we were lowered down, just below B deck, we got hung up by a wire guy. I told them on the boat deck to stop lowering. They stopped lowering almost immediately. Then they asked me what the trouble was, and I said we were hung up by a wire guy. Someone came down on the next deck and chopped it away, and from there we proceeded to the water without a mishap and released the boat very satisfactorily.

11455. There was plenty of room in your boat? – Oh, yes.

11456. For a good number of passengers besides those you were taking away? – What do you mean?

11457. I mean there was plenty of room in your boat for more than you were carrying? – Yes, but the order was, “Lower away,” and you had to obey orders.

11458. I am not making any complaint against you, I want to get the fact.

11459. (The Commissioner) I want to be sure about this. Was there plenty of room in the boat for more persons when Mr. Murdoch ordered the boat to be lowered away? – Yes.

11460. Now why did he order the boat to be lowered away while it was not full? – Because, I suppose, he had looked around the deck for other people, as well as I did myself, and there was not another passenger in sight, only just the remainder of the crew getting the surf boat ready.

11461. I do not understand. What time was this? – I could not tell the time, I do not know.

11462. How long before the ship foundered? – Well, I should think myself if I say it was within half an hour I should not be far out. It may have been less.

11463. Half an hour is a long time? – Yes, it may have been less.

11464. Was there no time to find women and children to put into the boats? – I saw Mr. Murdoch running around there. I could not tell why he gave the order. I could not criticise an officer. He gave the order to lower away, and I had to obey orders. It is not a seaman’s place to criticise an officer in that case.

11465. I am not asking you to criticise anybody, I am asking you to help me find out, if I can, why Mr. Murdoch ordered this boat to be lowered into the sea when it was more than half empty? – That I could not tell you, that was his own discretion, I suppose, it was not for me to say anything to him.

11466. How soon after the two ladies had got into the boat, and the three men passengers, did Mr. Murdoch give the order to lower? – I should say, roughly, about three or four minutes.

11488. Do you remember getting an order from Mr. Murdoch to stand off a little way when the boat was lowered? – Yes, my orders were to pull away from the ship, not to far, and stand by if I was called back.

11489. That we have not had from you yet. That is what I wanted. That is quite right. Your Lordship will see the importance of it all. You have it, mind Question 5011 is what Hendrickson said about this. He was cross-examined about it. That substantially agrees, I think, with what Hendrickson say. I will read you what he says. “We were told to stand off a little way and come back when called.” That is right? – That is what Mr. Murdoch gave me.

11742. I notice that there is nothing in your statement here or in the deposition to show that Mr. Murdoch had given you the order to go a short way off and stand by and come back when called? – No, there is nothing in the evidence.

11743. You never said that before? – I never said that before.

11744. Not till I asked you to-day? – Not till you asked me to-day. You put the question to me in a proper manner, whereas in America they did not, in that way of speaking.
11781. Was there any person directing operations on the boat deck beside Mr. Murdoch? – Mr. Murdoch and the boatswain.

Examined by Mr. Duke.

11913. Just answer me two or three questions. First of all, with regard to the sending off of this boat. So far as you are aware did anybody interfere with Mr. Murdoch’s discretion as to the sending off of that boat? – No; I saw nobody interfere.
11924. The emergency boat? – From the time we were there till she was afloat was about 10 minutes.

11925. You think about ten minutes? – Yes.

11926. During the whole of that time was there anybody in communication with Mr. Murdoch, except the members of the crew under his orders? – Nobody except the members that were there that he was giving his orders to.

11927. Were you there for any length of time before that, before this boat was taken in hand? – No, we were working our way down through the line.

11927. Were you there for any length of time before that, before this boat was taken in hand? – No, we were working our way down through the line.

11928. Were you under Mr. Murdoch’s orders while that was being done? – Yes, under his sole orders.

11929. Did anybody, so far as you are aware, during the whole of that time interfere at all with Mr. Murdoch’s exercise of his duties? – No, I saw nobody interfere with him all the time he was in my sight.
11995. With regard to Mr. Murdoch, was he loading and lowering all the boat on the starboard side you saw go? – Yes, all the ones I saw go.
12006. Did you hear an order given for the emergency boat to remain within hail of the ship? – No; the only order I heard given is what I have said.

12007. It is suggested that Mr. Lowe, the fifth officer, gave this order three times in a loud and distinct voice. Do you say that you did not hear it? – I neither hear it, nor did I see Mr. Lowe. The only officer I saw was Mr. Murdoch.


17 May, 1912
[Was in Boat #1]

12322. Who ordered you to get into the boat? – The First Officer, Mr. Murdoch.

13223. Do you know Mr. Lowe? – Yes.

12224. The Fifth Officer? – Yes.

12225. Was he about at the time – I did not see him.
12330. Do you remember what the orders were that were given to the boat when she was lowered? – Yes.

12331. Will you tell me what they were? – To lower the boat and lay off the ship.

12332. And come back when called? – Yes.
12382. Did you hear any order given to those in your boat about standing by? – Yes, stand by the ship after we had lowered.

12383. Did you hear Mr. Murdoch give that order? – Yes.
12400. Who gave the orders to lower away? – Mr. Murdoch, the First Officer.

12401. How do you know that it was Mr. Murdoch? – We have been together long enough, we ought to know each other.

12402. You say it was Mr. Murdoch? – Yes.

12403. Was he the Officer who gave the instruction about standing by? – Yes.



20 MAY, 1912
[Was in Boat #1]

12976. Who told you to get in? – Chief Officer Murdoch.

12977. Did you see some ladies get into that boat? – I did.

12978. How many? – Two, I think.

12979. That is right. Do you know how they came to get into it? – They were ordered in by Chief Officer Murdoch.

12980. And did three male passengers get into that boat? – Two male passengers, I think.

12981. Do you know how they came to get into it? – Because they were ordered by Chief Officer Murdoch.

12982. When that boat was lowered to the water, did you hear any orders from that officer as to what was to be done with that boat? – I did.

12983. What were those orders? – Ordered by Chief Officer Murdoch to lay handy for further orders.


20 May, 1912

13187. I think you can tell us what happened when you got to the boat deck? – When I arrived at No. 9 boat Mr. Murdoch was there with quite a number of our men passing women and children over from the port side into No. 9 Boat.

13188. When you say “with a number of our men” does that mean with a number of stewards? – Yes; the victualating department.

13189. They were being put into No. 9 boat? – The starboard side.

13190. I think you had been getting your stewards up to their stations, had you not? – Yes, I had just come up from down below after doing that.

13191. Did you hear the orders which Mr. Murdoch gave as to what you were to do? – Yes; he told me to take the rest of the boat’s crew down on to the next deck as they had to send the people off A deck.

13206. Is No. 11 the boat in which you went away? – Yes.

13207. Who ordered you in? – Mr. Murdoch.

13208. We already have some evidence about it from a witness named Mackay, so that one only wants it very shortly. When your boat was lowered, you say Mr. Murdoch gave the order. Was she full? – Yes, quite full; she could not hold another soul.

(Re loading from boat deck)

13239. Did Mr. Murdoch come down on to A deck to give his orders? – No.

13240. He gave them from the boat deck? – Yes.

13241. Over the side? – Yes, we could hear him shouting over the side, he looked over the side when the boat was full and told us to lower her away.


21 May, 1912

Examined by Mr. Clement Edwards

14645. When you came to Southampton you said there was another representative of the Board of Trade. Who was that Representative? – Captain Clark.

14646. Did you accompany him in his survey? – Part of the time.

14647. For how long? – I really could not say. I was with him part of the time.

14648. Who was with him the other part of the time? Could you say? – Yes, the Chief Officer that was then Mr. Murdoch.

Examined by the Solicitor General

13443. Just give me, if you will, the arrangement about the watches between the Chief Officer, the First Officer, and yourself.  I suppose you would count yourself as the three Senior Officers? – Yes, exactly.

13444. How was that? – The Chief Officer had from 2 until 6 am and pm; the Second Officer –

13445. That is you? – Yes, myself. The Second Officer relieved the Chief at 6 o’clock and was on deck from 10 to 2 am and pm.
13447. We will go to Sunday, April 14th. Your first watch, the morning watch, would be from 6 to 10, as I follow you? – Yes.

13448. Then, having completed that watch, did you come to the bridge again about luncheon time? – Yes.

13449. Just tell us about it? – Lunch is at half-past 12. I relieve the First Officer, who has his lunch at half-past 12, and he comes on deck again about 1 o’clock or five minutes past; then I have mine.

13450. It really means that there is half-an-hour out of the Fist Officer’s watch? – Yes.

13451. Now, on this day, the 14th Of April, did you follow that course? – Yes.

13452. And relieved Mr. Murdoch from 12.30 to about 1? – Yes.

13453. Do you remember Captain Smith showing you something during that time? – Yes.

13454. Just tell us what it was? – Captain Smith came on the bridge during the time that I was relieving Mr. Murdoch. In his hands he had a wireless message, a Marconigram. He came across the bridge, and holding it in his hands told me to read it.

13471. And you told us you were relieving Mr. Murdoch while he was away at lunch. Did he come back? – Yes, when he came back I mentioned the ice to him.

13472. When you mentioned this message about the ice to Mr. Murdoch when he came back at 1 o’clock did you gather from Mr. Murdoch that it was news to him or did you gather from him that he had heard of it before? – That I really could not say, whether it was fresh news to him or not; I really should judge that it would have been, but I really could not say from his expression – not from what I remember.

13473. Your impression is that it was news to him? – Probably.

13474. Then did you leave the bridge at that time? – Yes.

13578. You have told me about the speed and about the direction. Now, there is a third thing. What about the temperature? – The temperature had fallen considerably. As a matter of fact I happen to know exactly how much because when I relieved Mr. Murdoch after dinner he made the remark to me that the temperature had dropped 4 degrees whilst I was away at dinner.

13579. This is when you are at dinner in the middle of your watch? – In the middle of my watch.

13580. He came and took you place? – Yes.

13581. You watch is from 6 to 10? – Yes.

13582. What you have described hitherto, noticing the course and speed and giving directions to the junior officer and getting his calculations did that happen before you went off to dinner? – As far as I remember I asked for these calculations immediately after coming on deck. Yes, I think I am right in saying that I asked for these calculations immediately after coming on deck.

13583. That would be just after six o’clock? – Yes, I have got it, I think. I asked for the calculations immediately after coming on deck and they were given to me about half an hour or three quarters of an hour afterwards. It is very difficult to remember.
The Solicitor-General: I quite follow, and you are helping us considerably.

13584. (The Commissioner) Would that be about seven o’clock? – No, I do not think that fits in with the time I went to dinner.

13585. When did you go to dinner? – Dinner is at half-past six.

13586. Then it would be more like a quarter to eight? – No, I did not go to dinner at half-past six my Lord. Mr. Murdoch goes to dinner at half-past six and relieves me, I think, at five past seven, and I relieved him, I think, at 7.35.

13587. (The Solicitor-General) That means that Mr. Murdoch, the First Officer, would be taking your place for half an hour between seven and half-past? – Exactly.

13588. And after that you were in continuous charge, in fact, until ten o’clock? – Exactly.
13707. When you handed over the ship at the end of your watch to Mr. Murdoch, just tell us, as carefully and fully as you can, what was the report you made to Mr. Murdoch? What was it you passed along to him? – I should give him the course the ship was steering by standard compass, I mentioned the temperature – I think I mentioned the temperature first; he came on deck in his overcoat and said, “It is pretty cold.” I said, “Yes, it is freezing.” I said something about we might be up around the ice any time now, as far as I remember. I cannot remember the exact words, but I suggested that we should be naturally round the ice. I passed the word on to him. Of course, I knew we were up to the 49 degrees by, roughly, half-past 9; that ice had been reported. He would know what I meant by that, you know – the Marconigram.

13708. I will tell you what I want to know. Did you say anything to him at 10 o’clock about a calculation having been made by the Junior Officer, or anything of that sort? – I may have done it; I really cannot recollect it now. I may have told him that Moody worked it out 11, or I may have told him half-past 9.
The Commissioner: You yourself knew the boat was already in the ice region at this time?- Yes.

13709. Did you tell Murdoch so? – Yes, my Lord, as I say when he came on deck.

13710. What did you say to him? – That we were up around the ice, or something to that effect; that we were within the region of where the ice had been reported. The actual words I cannot remember; but I gave him to understand that we were within the region where ice had been reported.

13711 (The Solicitor-General) During your watch and while Mr. Murdoch had been off duty you had caused this calculation to be made and Mr. Moody had given you 11 o’clock? – Yes.

13712. You thought half-past 9? – Yes.

13713. And here you had sent a message up to the crow’s nest asking them to keep a sharp lookout for ice, especially small ice and growlers? – Yes.

13714. You are handing the ship over at 10 o’clock to Mr. Murdoch, who was on the bridge at the time of the accident. Now what I want to know is what it was you told him, as fully as you can, about ice? – I am very sorry, but my memory will not help; I cannot recollect word for word, merely that I gave Mr. Murdoch to understand that we were in the ice region; as to the actual words I said to him, I may have put it many ways – I cannot remember how I did.

13715. I follow you cannot give us the actual words, and your memory does not serve you say whether you told him anything about your view that you had passed the meridian or Mr. Moody’s view that you would not reach the position until 11 o’clock? – No, I really could not say.

13716. Did you say anything to him about your conversation with the Captain and the order the Captain had given? – Oh! Undoubtedly.

13717. You did? – Oh, undoubtedly.

13718. You would report to him that the Captain had been on the bridge? – Yes.

13719. As far as you remember did you report everything about orders as to speed? – No orders. No orders were passed on about speed.

13720. (The Commissioner) Did you tell him what message you had sent to the crow’s nest? – Yes.

13721. You told Mr. Murdoch that? – Yes, I told Mr. Murdoch I had already sent to the crow’s nest, the carpenter and the engine-room as to the temperature, and such things as that – naturally, in the ordinary course of handing over the ship everything I could think of.

13722. (The Solicitor-General) We have to get at what is Mr. Murdoch’s state of mind, with your help, because he is not here. – I quite see.

13723. The captain had said to you only half-an-hour or 35 minutes before that if it got at all doubtful you were to send for him, and that he would be close by? – Yes.

13724. Did you tell Mr. Murdoch of that message? – Oh, undoubtedly.

13744. From where you were lying could you hear the ring of the telegraph? – No.

13745. So that you did not know of the order given to stop engines? – No.

13746. But you felt that they had stopped? – I did.

13747. And you got up? – Yes.

13748. Did you go to the bridge? – Not exactly the bridge; I went out on deck. The bridge, you know, is on the same level.

13749. On to the boat deck? – On to the boat deck on the port side.

13750. Is your room on the port side? – My room is on the port side.

13751. What did you find was the condition of things? – Everything seemed normal.

13752. Was the ship going full speed ahead? – Oh, no, but I mean the conditions on the bridge.

13753. It was my fault. What did you find was the position of the ship? – I, first of all, looked forward to the bridge and everything seemed quiet there. I could see the First Officer standing on the footbridge keeping the lookout. I then walked across to the side, and I saw the ship had slowed down, that is to say, was proceeding slowly through the water.

14048. And coming over to the starboard side on the roof of the officers’ quarters, could you see any other officers? – I saw the First Officer working at the falls of the starboard emergency boat, obviously with the intention of overhauling them and hooking on to the collapsible boat on their side.

14049. The other collapsible boat? – Yes.

14050. That would be Mr. Murdoch? – Yes.

14051. Were there others with him helping? – There were a number round there helping.

14052. Then what happened? – Well, she seemed to take a bit of a dive, and I just walked into the water.

Examined by Mr. Scanlon

14270. I understand your point of view. When you were leaving the bridge after your second watch, I understand it to be your evidence to the my Lord yesterday that you explained to Mr. Murdoch what conclusion you had arrived at as to the proximity of ice; is that so? – I have not quite got that yet. Do you mean that I told Mr. Murdoch?

14271. When you watch finished at 10 o’clock on the night of the disaster, is it the case that you stated to Mr. Murdoch the conclusion you had arrived at as to the proximity of the ice? – Yes.

14272. You were examined with regard to this in America; do you remember that? – No, I do not remember what I said.

14273. I am reading from what purports to be the official note of the evidence in America, my Lord. It is the first day, and the first time you were in the witness box, and it is on page 68 of the copy I have. You were asked, “Do you know where you were at the hour you turned over the watch to Mr. Murdoch? (Mr. Lightoller) Not now, Sir. (Senator Smith) Did you know at the time? (Mr. Lightoller) Yes, Sir. (Senator Smith) Can you gibe us any idea? (Mr. Lightoller) When I ended the watch I roughly judged we should be getting towards the vicinity of the ice, as reported by that Marconigram I saw somewhere about 11 o’clock.” Do you follow this? – Yes.

14274. “(Senator Smith) That you would be in that latitude? (Mr. Lightoller) Longitude. (Senator Smith) At 11 o’clock? ( Mr. Lightoller) Somewhere about eleven, yes. (Senator Smith) Did you talk with Mr. Murdoch about that phase of it when you left the watch? (Mr. Lightoller.) About what? (Senator Smith) I said, did you talk with Mr. Murdoch about the iceberg’s situation when you left the watch? (Mr. Lightoller) No, Sir. (Senator Smith) Did he ask you anything about it? (Mr. Lightoller) No, Sir. (Senator Smith) What was said between you? (Mr. Lightoller) We remarked on the weather, about its being calm, clear. We remarked the distance we could see. We seemed to be able to see a long distance. Everything was clear. We could see the stars setting down on the horizon.” From this it appears that when you gave your evidence you were under the impression that you had not told Mr. Murdoch about the icebergs and the conclusion you had arrived at as to approaching them? – I may say by the questions that were put to me that those answers you might agree were correct as far as I understood the questions at that time.

14275. Is that your explanation then that this is incorrect or incomplete? – Incomplete, I say, yes.

14276. And that notwithstanding this evidence, you did tell Mr. Murdoch about the icebergs? – Undoubtedly, yes.

14277. You will admit, I suppose, that this is misleading, and I suppose, you would like to correct it? – Yes, I should.
The Solicitor-General: I think if you look a little earlier, Mr. Scanlon, you will find that this gentleman was asked “Did you communicate to Mr. Murdoch this information that the Captain had given you on the bridge?” And he speaks of having communicated to him about the ice then, I think. “So that the officer in charge, Mr. Murdoch, was fully advised by you that you were in proximity to these icebergs,” and he says: “I would not call it proximity,” but that the answers show that he did say that then. I know you want to be fair.

14278. (Mr. Scanlon) I do, and I hope you will understand that, Mr. Lightoller?
The Witness: Quite right.

14279. Apart from your telling Mr. Murdoch, was there any record which he could look up for himself in order to be assured that you were getting on towards the ice field? – The custom, as I think I explained previously, is that we have a notice board in the chart room for the purpose of putting up anything referring to navigation, wireless reports on matter navigational, wireless reports on matters navigational, and it is open for anyone to look at.

Examined by Mr. Harbinson

14595. When you were leaving the bridge at 10 o’clock did you mention to Mr. Murdoch who succeeded you that your calculation was different from the calculation made by Moody? – I do not think I mentioned any individual calculations.

14596. You would not have considered it desirable, considering the condition were such as you have told us, that you should have drawn Mr. Murdoch’s attention to this disparity in calculation? – No.

14599. You reported to Mr. Murdoch what took place while you had been on the bridge. You gave him a general report? – A general report.

14600. And did you discuss with him in detail the question of the vicinity of ice? – Nothing more than I have already given in my evidence with regard to ice.

Examined by Mr. Holmes

14766. Can you tell me the last that you saw of Mr. Wild [sic] before the ship went down? – The last I remember seeing of Mr. Wild [sic] was quite a long time before the ship went down.

14767. And Mr. Murdoch? – Mr. Murdoch I saw practically at the actual moment that I went under water.

14768. Can you tell me where he was? – He was then working at the forward fall, on the starboard side forward; that is the fall to connect to the collapsible boat.

14769. What was the last you saw of Mr. Moody? – I do not remember seeing Mr. Moody that night at all, though I am given to understand, from what I have gathered since, that Mr. Moody must have been standing quite close to me at the same time. He was on top of the quarters clearing away the collapsible boat on the starboard side, whilst Mr. Murdoch was working at the falls. If that is so, we were all practically in the water together.

Examined by Mr. Laing

14834. You were asked if you told Mr. Murdoch about the position of this ice. Was it in the night order book, do you know? – It was.

14835. And would Mr. Murdoch necessarily have the night order book? – He would necessarily initial it; yes.



14971. Did you see the first Officer taking part in getting the boats ready? – No, I did not see him.

14984. Now you went, in fact, to No. 5. Why was that? – Mr. Murdoch was there before the boat was lowered.

14985. Was there any other officer there? – I did not see anyone.

14986. Of course, you know all the officers? – Oh, yes.

14987. If there had been one there you would have known? – Mr. Murdoch was there before the boat was lowered.

14988. Had you seen Murdoch there at No. 5, or merely heard his voice? – Oh, no, I saw him.

14989. At No. 5? – At No. 5, after the boat was out and practically filled with passengers.

14990. When you got to No. 5. In what state was No. 5.? – Well, the cover was still on.

15015. In view of the number that you had got into the boat at this time, did you think that that was as many as this boat would safely carry before she was lowered into the water? – No, I did not decide how many she should take.

15016. Who decided that? – Mr. Murdoch, he came along just then.

15017. What did he say? – Well, I jumped out of the boat then, ready to lower away, and he said, “You go in charge of this boat, and also look after the others, and stand by to come along the after gangway when hailed.”

15021. Did you say something about Mr. Murdoch saying he would hail you when he wanted you alongside the gangway? – Yes. He said “Keep handy to come to the after gangway.” Therefore, I understood he would hail us.

15027. Did you take her in the direction of the gangway, in case Mr. Murdoch might hail you and order you back? – Well, we dropped astern a little.

15028. That would be somewhere in the direction towards the gangway? – Yes.

15034. …..If I might go back for one moment – I do not know whether it is important or not, but it might become important – did Mr. Murdoch, in addition to telling you to keep handy to come back to the gangway, say anything more to you? – No; he only shook hands and said, “Good-bye, good luck”; that was all.

15035. When he said “Good-bye” to you in that way, did you think the situation was serious; did you think the ship was doomed then? – I did not, but I thought he must have thought so.



22 May, 1912

Examined by Mr. Asquith

15344. Where were you at that time? – Just coming out of the Officer’s quarters.

15345. How soon after you heard the bells did you feel the shock? – Only a moment or two after that.

15346. Did you hear an order given by the First Officer? – I heard the First Officer give the order “Hard-a-starboard,” and I heard the engine-room telegraph bells ringing.

15347. Was that before you felt the shock, or afterwards? – Just a moment before.

15348. ( The Commissioner) Let us be clear about that. The order, “Hard-a-starboard” cam between the sound of the bells and the collision? – The impact, yes.

15349. (Mr. Asquith) Did you go on to the bridge immediately after the impact? – I was almost on the bridge when she struck.

15350. Did you notice what the telegraphs indicated with regard to the engines? – “Full speed astern,” both.

15351. Was that immediately after the impact? – Yes.

15352. Did you see anything done with regard to the watertight doors? – I saw Mr. Murdoch closing them then, pulling the lever.

15353. And did the Captain then come out on to the bridge? – The Captain was alongside of me when I turned around.

15354. Did you hear him say something to the First Officer? – Yes, he asked him what we had struck.

15355. What conversation took place between them? – The First Officer said, “An iceberg, Sir. I hard-a-starboarded and reversed the engines, and I was going to hard-a-port round it but she was too close. I could not do any more. I have closed the watertight doors.” The Commander asked him if he had rung the warning bell, and he said “Yes.”

15356. Did the Captain and the First Officer go to the starboard side of the bridge to see if they could see the iceberg? – Yes.

15357. Did you see it yourself?  - I was not too sure of seeing it. I had just come out of the light, and my eyes were not accustomed to the darkness.

Examined by Mr. Roche

15511. Besides you who else were on the bridge? – Mr. Murdoch and Captain Smith.

15512. They had not been in the lighted chartroom up to that time? – No, not that I know of. Mr. Murdoch and Captain Smith were on the bridge as far as I know when I went there.

15513. Was Mr. Murdoch standing with you while you were observing the iceberg? – Yes, he pointed at it – like that.

15514. How long were you watching it? – That I cannot say. It was not very long because I went down below into the passenger’s accommodation.

Examined by Mr. Scanlon

15555. Who was on watch from 8 to 12, till the collision happened. There was Mr. Murdoch, I know? – The junior officers were the Fourth and Sixth. Mr. Lightoller was on till 10 o’clock.

15556. From 10 till 10.40 who were on? – The Fourth and Sixth Officers and Mr. Murdoch.

15557. Mr. Lowe is one of these officers? – No; Mr. Moody, who is the Sixth Officer.

15558. Who is the Fourth? – I am the Fourth.

15559. Then you had some duty for watching from 8 till 11.40. It was part of your duty as well as making out calculations in the chart room to take the watch on the bridge. Is that so? – My duty was to do what I was told by the senior officer on watch.

15560. Is it part of the duty you were told to do? – No. I was not told to do it.

15561. Were you told to watch at all that night? – No, I was not.

15562. In point of fact, you were not on watch that night? – I was on watch. I was on duty, but I was not on the bridge. I was not on the look out, if that is what you mean.

15563. That is exactly what I want to know. At no time that night were you keeping the look out on the bridge? – No.

15564. Who besides Mr. Murdoch was keeping the look out on the bridge? – Nobody. Mr. Murdoch was keeping the look out himself.

15565.  And there were not extra look outs? – Not that I know of. I did not hear of any.

Examined by Mr. Roche.

15566. Just tell me about a few matters, if you can. When you came from where you had been making those observations, you heard the order “Hard a-starboard,” and you felt the shock of the collision? – Yes; there was not much of a shock to feel.

15567. But you felt the collision? – Yes.

15568. And you knew the engines were reversed, full speed astern? – I heard the bells ring, but I did not know what the movement was until I got to the bridge.

15569. And then you knew that the collision bulkheads were closed because you heard the bell ring? – No, I did not hear the bell ring; I saw Mr. Murdoch pulling the lever.

15570. I thought you told my Lord that you heard the warning bell ring? – No.

15571. You heard the Captain ask? – I heard the Captain ask.

15572. Whether the warning bell had been rung? – Yes.

15589. Now do you know if anything was done in regard to the collision bulkheads after that? – No, the last movement that I saw was the First Officer closing them.

Examined by the Solicitor-General

15671. The effect would be she would have run a little bit further on the old course and then on the new course she is gradually making back to the line? – That is my impression of the idea which Captain Smith had in altering that course and setting it to that time.

15672. If she was going 22 knots and ran past the corner for 50 minutes that means she - ? – I did not say 50 minutes.

15673. No, I know you did not. – I do not remember what time it was but it was some considerable time; the difference I make between my time and the time that was given in the book – well, there was such a big difference that I considered it worth mentioning to the Senior Officer of the Watch.


22 May, 1912

15771. Was it your duty to look at the boats at Belfast and see that they were all there, and so on? – I was instructed by Mr. Murdoch, the then Chief Officer of the ship, to do so.

15812. Then did you go to No. 5? – I went to No. 5.

15813. Did you see that lowered? – I did.

15814. Did you assist? – I did.

15815. When you say you assisted, did you take charge of the operations? – I assisted; that is to say, Mr. Murdoch was superintending.

15816. Mr. Murdoch was there? – Yes.


24 MAY, 1912.

Examined by Mr. Raymond Asquith

17704. Do you remember reporting to Mr. Murdoch, the First Officer, that all the lights had been placed? – Yes.

17705. About what time was that? – I think about a quarter past 7.

17706. Do you remember what he said to you when you reported that? – Yes.

17707. What did he say? – I was walking off the bridge, and he called me back, and he said: Hemming, when you go forward get the fore scuttle hatch closed, there is a glow left from that, as we are in the vicinity of ice, and I want everything dark before the bridge.

17708. Where is the fore scuttle hatch? – On the forecastle head.

17709. Did you carry out those orders? – I closed it myself.

Examined by Mr. Scanlon.

17770. Can you tell us when you were told that the ship was in the vicinity of ice? – Mr. Murdoch told me when I put the lights out that night.

17771. Can you tell us at what hour Mr. Murdoch told you that? – About a quarter past 7. I would not be sure on the point.

17772. Would you repeat, if you can, exactly what Mr. Murdoch said about ice? – The words he said were: “Hemming, when you go forward see the fore scuttle hatch closed, as we are in the vicinity of ice, and there is a glow coming from that, and I want everything dark before the bridge.”

17773. The object of stopping the glow, I suppose, was to give the people on the bridge a better chance of seeing ahead? – Yes.



21630. With regard to Mr. Murdoch, he has been in the service of the White Star for 12 years? – That is right.


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