by Terri Bey
On April 8, 1912, the RMS Titanic is still docked at Berth 44. The S.S. Mauretania arrives early that morning in Liverpool. Stepping off that ship is RMS Titanic Bandleader Wallace Hartley, who will be onboard the new liner in two days.
On April 9, 1912, last-minute supplies and coal are loaded onto the RMS Titanic. There is a major shuffling of the officers. Captain Edward J. Smith asks Henry Wilde to serve as Chief Officer, which Wilde accepts. This forces a shift in the officer rankings. William Murdock is demoted to First Officer, Charles Herbert Lightoller is demoted to Second Officer and David Blair, who was supposed to have been the Second Officer leaves the ship that evening and accidentally took the keys to the locker which contains the glasses/binoculars for the lookouts.
Photographers come onboard the new liner to take photos.
White Star Line Managing Director J. Bruce Ismay's Private Promenade. Photo: Southampton Press
Book Recommendation: "A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells' Story of Survival" by Julie Hedgepeth Williams
This is one of my favorite Titanic-related books that I have read. Julie Hedgepeth Williams writes an amazing story about how her great-uncle Albert and his wife Sylvia and their son left Siam, where they served as Presbyterian missionaries, to return to the United States, because Sylvia was extremely sick, only to wind up on the RMS Titanic's ill-fated maiden voyage. Ms. Williams deftly writes about how the Caldwells met and became missionaries. She discusses how difficult it was for the Caldwells to deal with Mrs. Caldwell's illness and for them to get permission to leave, due to her illness. I was intrigued by the harrowing trip that the Caldwells took with their baby son.
Also, in this book, the reader learns who really said, "God himself cannot sink this ship." No, it was NOT the White Star Line, Thomas Andrews, Captain Edward Smith, or even J. Bruce Ismay. IF you want to know who the person was, read this wonderful book to find out. Ms. Williams discusses how the Caldwells got tickets to go on the RMS Titanic and how the Caldwells were able to escape the sinking liner aboard Lifeboat 13. Also discussed is the aftermath of the Caldwells' survival.
This is a great book, and I highly recommend it.
Feedback is welcomed and encouraged.