This is the FAQ for the RMS Titanic Mailing List.
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Here's the FAQ....
DD/MM/YY By Details 1/10/95 Phil Hayward Revised mailing list usage instructions Unsub,Digest,FTP archives all changed. 1/10/95 Phil Hayward Notes about plans to raise HMHS Britannic 3/ 9/95 Phil Hayward Revision History title added
The White Star Line, owners of the Titanic, and also the builders, Harland and Wolff, never publicly stated that the Titanic was unsinkable. They knew much better than that. Rather it was the public and the press who marveled at the many lifesaving devices such as automatic watertight doors and bulkheads. White Star and Harland and Wolff never believed in christening any of their ships and was a main cause of superstition. At the launching one worker was overheard to say "They just builds her and shoves her in!" Over twenty-two tons of tallow and soap was spread one inch thick on the ways to better help the ship slide easily into the water during the launching the Titanic reached a speed of twelve knots during the launch, stopping in about her own length dragging chains to slow her down.
The band is one of the Titanic's most popular subjects. People hailed them as heroes, playing till the waves swallowed them up. I find it very unlikely they played to the very end. The ship assumed a almost perpendicular position as she sank and I tend to think it would be very hard to concentrate on a tune as the walls turned into floors and visa-versa. There is also much confusion on what their last song was. From the lifeboats, a number of different songs were heard. Among them is "Nearer, My God to Thee". Both the American and British survivors recall hearing it. This hymn is ordinarily played to entirely different music on both sides of the Atlantic. Three different tunes in all! I find it very unlikely they played all three versions. Also in the running is the hymn "Autumn" and "Songe d' Automne". It is important to note that there was two separate bands on the Titanic and they had two totally different playing styles. None of the band members survived.
The Band was supplied by the Black talent Agency of Liverpool. They signed on the ship for a shilling a month, but were listed as second class passengers. They were clearly under the Captain's authority, but worked for and were paid by the Black Agency. After the ship floundered, nobody wanted to take responsibility for the lives of the Bandsmen.It seems they weren't covered by anybody's insurance policy. The White Star Line said that the Band worked for the Blacks and therefor covered by them, and the Blacks argued that the Band was listed as passengers and therefor covered as such. One family was even hounded by the Black's for the dead bands man's unpaid uniform bill which amounted to only $3.50 in American money.
Also in question was his last words. They might have been " Be British Boys, Be British!" Or they might have been "Every Man for Himself!" Or, after supposedly delivering that baby to a lifeboat, he refused to be brought aboard, saying "Good-Bye Boys, I'm going to follow the ship!"
J.P. Morgan had his very own private suite and promenade deck on the Titanic. He was supposed to join her for her maiden voyage but canceled passage sparing him the fate of many of the other millionaires.
Among the most notable was "A Night To Remember", made in 1958. It is about as close to the truth as filmmakers ever got without going overboard. Actual survivors were consulted on the film. Even then, there were some major flaws as showing the ship being christened and making the Californian's officers look like total morons. In the movie, a young girl keeps a couple of small girls amused in a lifeboat with a musical toy pig as the Titanic sinks. This actually happened, and this was the actual toy pig!
Since the wreck was discovered there have been several expeditions to salvage artifacts, some of these will be on display at the National Maritime Museum in London, England from October 4th - 2nd April 1995. Some or all of the collection is scheduled to move to the USA after the London display.
Artifact retrieval is one of the "hot" subjects in the Titanic world at the moment, expect to encounter many points of view!
The Olympic was recieved well, but on 20th September 1911 she was involved in a collision with cruiser HMS Hawke. After limping back to Belfast she was repaired using components from her sister (Titanic) then under construction.
After the Titanic disaster, Olympic unwent various safety improvments including lifeboats for all abord, and in October 1912 she returned to Belfast again for installation of an inner watertight skin.
On 1st September 1915 the Olympic was requisitioned by the British Government for war service as a troopship. Later she recieved a coat of dazzle paint designed to confuse enemy observers. Perhaps her most famous exploit of the war years was when she struck and sank a German submarine, U103.
After the war she returned to commerical service, and despite her early mishaps, she gained an affectionate following and earned the nickname "Old Reliable".
Her back luck returned on 15th May 1934 when the Olympic collided with the Nantucket lightship with the loss of 7 lives.
Her last voyage ended in Southamption on April 12th 1935, on 13th October 1935 she arrived Palmers Yard on the Tyne for breaking up. Her pitiful remains were finally towed to Inverkeithing on 19th September 1937 for final demolition.
Fittings from the Olympic were sold off at auction, and to this day it is possible to see them. Notable locations include the White Swan Hotel, Alnwick, England and the famous "Honour and Glory Crowning Time" wood carving can be seen in the Southampton Maritime Museum.
In appearance the Britannic resembled the Titanic, having an enclosed promenade A-Deck, but one large difference was the lifeboat davits which were much more prominent on the Britannic.
Below decks, the Britannic was similar to her sisters, but additional safety features (such as a double skin) were "built in" rather than retrofitted. Although her service speed was not intended to be increased, she was fitted with a more powerful turbine capable of developing 18,000HP compared to the 16,000HP of the Olympic, it was the largest marine turbine in the world.
Launched on 26th February 1914, fitting out was delayed by WW1 and financial/industrial difficulties. On 13th November 1915 the Britannic was requistioned as a hospital ship becoming HMHS (His Majesty's Hospital Ship) Britannic.
Receiving a coat of brilliant white paint, with huge red crosses each lit by 125 lights. On 11th December 1915 she left Belfast and started her short career.
On 8:12am on 21st November 1916 Britannic struck a mine (some still contest it was a torpedo) in the Kea Channel, Aegan sea. Despite her improved safety features, the Britannic began to sink in a creul copycat of her sister's end four years earlier.
Attempts were made to beach the ship on the nearby island of Kea, but it was not to be. Two lifeboats, launched without authority from the port side were sucked into the propellors and smashed to pieces....the occupants didn't stand a chance.
At 9:07 the stern disappeared beneath the ocean....from that moment the Olympic became the last survivor of White Star's dream of a three-ship New York shuttle.
In retrospect, the disaster could have be much much worse. If the Britannic had been on a homebound journey with wounded aboard, the loss of life would have been unthinkable.
In 1976 the famous French explorer Cousteau discovered the wreck lying on her side at a depth of 110 metres and recovered a few small objects.
Considering the shallow water that the Britannic rests in, and the length of time her position has been know it's perhaps ironic that the wreck of the Britannic is safer from would-be salvagers than the Titanic. As a requistioned ship in the service of Crown, the wreck to this day belongs to the British Government.
Titanic Historical Society, P.O. Box 51053, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts 01151-0053 USA Membership $25/year (USA & Canada) $30/year (UK & Europe) - Airmail $15 extra $35/year (Other) - Airmail $15 extra British Titanic Society, P.O. Box 401, Hope Carr Way, Leigh, Lancashire WN7 3WW ENGLAND Membership 7 pounds sterling/year (UK) $16 (in sterling equivalent!)/year (Other) Titanic International Post Office Box 7007 Freehold, New Jresey 07728-7007 USA Membership $25 annually (US) $30 Canada and Overseas (US dollars only!)
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