Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Titanic: How did Captain Smith spend last moments

Titanic first class suite bedroom 'b58'. Photograph © National Museums Northern Ireland. Collection Harland & Wolff, Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
Titanic at fitting-out wharf with three out of four funnels fitted. Photograph © National Museums Northern Ireland. Collection Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
The Titanic Building will immortalise one of history's most enduring tales

Nobody knows exactly how Captain Edward Smith died on the night of the sinking. According to certain historians and Robert Ballard’s book, The Discovery of the Titanic, Captain Smith was on the bridge at 2.13am, seven minutes before the Titanic disappeared beneath the waves, and went down with the ship.

Some sources state that Smith wandered off to the ship’s wheelhouse, while others say he was actively present in the radio room. Working near collapsible B, Junior Marconi Officer Harold Bride reported seeing Smith dive into the sea from the open bridge minutes before the final plunge began.

One story states he carried a child to the overturned collapsible B after the sinking and swam off to freeze in the water, but according to the documentary Titanic: Death of a Dream, that story is generally considered romantic fiction. Equally apocryphal is his last statement to the crew, “Be British” although that stirring sentiment also adorns a plaque to the Captain in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

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