British Investigation Into The Loss of the S.S. Titanic

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This is the complete transcript of The Formal Investigation Ordered By The Board Of Trade Into The Loss Of The S.S. Titanic. The proceedings were before The Right Honorable Lord Mersey, Wreck Commissioner Of the United Kingdom. They began on 2nd May, 1912 and ended on 3rd July, 1912. Lord Mersey’s Report Of The Court was made on 30th July, 1912 and is in Volume III.

Joseph Bruce Ismay, managing director of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company and president of The White Star Line, testified on 4 June  and again on 5 June, 1912.

 

BY The Attorney-General:

Very well.

To the Witness:

Q. At least we know this, Mr. Ismay, that certainly there was no slowing down of the vessel after that ice report was received?

A. Not that I know of.

Q. You knew, of course, that the proximity of icebergs was a danger; you knew that much, did not you?

A. There is always danger with ice—more or less danger with ice.

Q. I suppose you are familiar with the reason of the different tracks which are marked upon the charts?

A. Perfectly.

Q. Different tracks for different seasons of the year?

A. Yes.

Q. And that is for the purpose of avoiding ice, is it not?

A. Not entirely.

Q. I will not argue with you about entirely, but, at any rate, it is an important factor?

A. It is.

Q. And for that reason you get, I think, I am right in saying, a more southerly track during a certain period of the year?

A. That is true.

Q. Had you no curiosity to ascertain whether or not you would be travelling in the region in which ice was reported?

A. I had not.

Click here to read more of J. Bruce Ismay's 4 June testimony.

Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon testified on Friday, 17th May, 1912 and Monday, 20th May 1912.

Q. Did you notice this when they were rowing away? Did they continue rowing without stopping for what you consider a thousand yards’ distance?

A. No, I think they rowed for 200 yards or so, and stopped; and then they rowed on again, I daresay, another 100 or 200 yards, and stopped again, and so on.

Q. According to the account we have had, it was certainly somewhere about that time, whatever the distance was, that the Titanic went down?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you hear the cries?

A. Yes, I heard the explosion first, and I heard, I will not say the cries, but a wail—one confused sound.

Q. We do not want unnecessarily to prolong the discussion of it, but they were the cries of people who were drowning?

A. Yes.

Q. There is no doubt about that?

A. Yes, I think so without doubt.

Q. Did it occur to you that with the room in your boat, if you could get to these people you could save some?

A. It is difficult to say what occurred to me. Again, I was minding my wife, and we were rather in an abnormal condition, you know. There were many things to think about, but of course it quite well occurred to one that people in the water could be saved by a boat, yes.

Q. And that there was room in your boat; that they could have got into your boat and been saved?

A. Yes, it is possible.

Click here for Sir Duff-Gordon's 17th May testimony

Of 885 crew members, 212 were saved. Here are some.

Click here for a list of passengers and crew saved.

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