Edward J. Smith
Edward John "E. J." Smith (27 January 1850 – 15 April 1912) was an English sea captain. He was the captain of the R.M.S Titanic, which sank when it struck an iceberg. Smith died in the sinking, aged 62. Smith was to retire after the maiden voyage of the Titanic.
Early life[change | edit source]
Titanic's sinking[change | edit source]
When the Titanic struck the iceberg, Smith knew within minutes that the ship was doomed and that people would die. During the evacuation, Captain Smith failed to manage and coordinate the evacuation effort, and gave ambiguous and impractical orders (an hour after the collision, Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall was still unaware that the ship would sink). Smith perished that night along with around 1,500 others, and his body was never recovered.
At around 2:10 a.m. as the water reached the deck, Second officer Charles Lightoller saw the captain walk onto the bridge, but just seconds later later Trimmer Samuel Hemming found the bridge apparently empty. There are conflicting accounts of what happened to Smith; Some claimed to have seen Smith in the water swimming towards a lifeboat, or near the capsized collapsible lifeboat "B", others saw shooting himself with a pistol. When working to free Collapsible B, Junior Marconi Officer Harold Bride reported seeing a crewmember who he believed was Smith dive into the sea just as the water flooded the bridge, However, the man who Bride saw jump from the bridge may have likely been Second Officer Charles Lightoller, who was seen jumping at this time
Other accounts describe him entering the wheelhouse on the bridge and dying there as the Titanic went underwater. This is the most likely scenario because if true, this would explain why Hemming did not see Smith: Earlier at nightfall, the shutters on the wheelhouse windows would have been raised making Hemming unable to see Smith.
Movies[change | edit source]
References[change | edit source]
- Captain Edward Smith at The Titanic.com
- "Plaque for Titanic captain's house in Stoke-on-Trent". BBC News. 20 March 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-17447183. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Testimony of Charles Herbert Lightoller
- Testimony of Samuel Hemming at Titanic inquiry.com
- Testimony of Harold Bride at the US Inquiry
- Edward J. Smith at Google Books.co.uk
- Spignesi, Stephen (2012). The Titanic for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 207. http://books.google.com/books?id=jqO__ScTpnMC&pg=PA207#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
- Bartlett 2011, p. 224.
- Ballard, pp. 40–41
- Mystery surrounds Captain Smith's last Smith
- Captain Smith info at Titanic.com
Other websites[change | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Edward Smith|
- One of Stoke-on-Trent Museums' Local Heroes
- Captain Smith on Titanic-Titanic.com
- Edward Smith at Find a Grave