Titanic: Thomas Andrews - a true hero
The Comber-born ship designer Thomas Andrews, who was Viscount Pirrie’s nephew enjoyed a standard upper middle class upbringing.
He attended the Belfast Royal Academical Institute and was one of the best loved characters in the Titanic story.
Even if Andrews didn’t design the Titanic all by himself, he was totally committed to the safety of the White Star line passengers. He was apprenticed at the age of 16 and served a five-year apprenticeship.
By the time Pirrie and Bruce J. Ismay had dreamed up the idea of building the Olympic and Titanic, Andrews was managing director of design within White Star. He reportedly took his wife, just before the birth of their daughter, Helen, to see the new ship.
On record as having wanted more lifeboats on board the Titanic - he asked for 36 more than the 20 carried, but was overruled - Thomas Andrews was one of the undoubted heroes of April 14, 2012. Once the collision occurred, Andrews, one of the few people aware of the consequences, spent his time urging people to put on their lifejackets and get into the inadequate number of lifeboats.
He was reportedly last seen in the first class smoking room, staring at a painting of Plymouth Harbour.
His body was never found.
The telegram that came from America to his family read: “INTERVIEW TITANIC'S OFFICERS. ALL UNANIMOUS THAT ANDREWS HEROIC UNTO DEATH, THINKING ONLY SAFETY OTHERS. “EXTEND HEARTFELT SYMPATHY TO ALL.”