Saturday, April 14, 2012

Heroes of the Titanic

The world is in Titanic fever.
National Geographic Channel is broadcasting documentaries (Robert Ballard: Restore the Titanic, Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron), while the movie channels show adaptations on Titanic filmed in the past 50 years.

I think you are all familiar with the Hollywood movie version starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, but what do you know about the real Titanic and the story "behind"?

RMS Titanic

Facts and Numbers
- Laid down: 31 March 1909
- Launched: 31 May 1911
- Maiden voyage: 10 April 1912
- Fate: 15 April 1912
- Found: Fall 1985

- Tonnage: 46,328 GRT
- Length: 882 ft 6 in (269.0 m)
- Beam: 92 ft 0 in (28.0 m)
- Height: 175 ft (53.3 m) (keel to top of funnels)
- Speed: Cruising: 21 kn (39 km/h; 24 mph). Max: 24 kn (44 km/h; 28 mph)
- Lifeboats: 20 for 1,178 people
- Passengers: 1,336
- Crew: 888
- 1.514 died
- 710 lived

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. - Romans 10:13
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. - John 15:13
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household. - Acts 16:31


A Guarantee Group was a group of nine individuals (ages 15-40) selected to attend a ship’s maiden voyage, in order to record the performance and any problems that may arise with the ship. It was a privilege to be a member.
The possibility of being part of the Guarantee Group for Titanic was motivation for workers at Harland and Wolff to work hard and prove their abilities to the company. The members of the Guarantee Group  for Titanic included: WILLIAM HENRY CAMPELL, RODERICK ROBERT CRISPIN CHISHOLM, ALFRED FLEMING CUNNINGHAM, ANTHONY WOOD FROST, ROBERT KNIGHT, FRANCIS PARKES, HENRY WILLIAM MARSH PARR, ENNIS HASTINGS WATSON. All nine individuals perished in the sinking. As the evacuation of the Titanic began, THOMAS ANDREWS searched staterooms telling the passengers to put on lifebelts and go up on deck. Fully aware of the short time the ship had left and of the lack of lifeboat space for all passengers and crew, he continued to urge reluctant people into the lifeboats in the hope of filling them as fully as possible. He was last seen by John Stewart, a steward on the ship: Andrews was standing in the first–class smoking room staring at a painting, "Plymouth Harbour", above the fireplace, his lifejacket lying on a nearby table.

ISIDOR and IDA STRAUS - elderly couple, 1st class. Once it was clear Titanic was sinking, Ida refused to leave Isidor and would not get into a lifeboat. Although Isidor was offered a seat in a lifeboat too, he refused seating while there were still women and children aboard. Ida insisted her newly hired English maid, Ellen Bird, get into lifeboat #8. She gave Ellen her fur coat stating she would not be needing it. Ida is reported to have said, "I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die, together." Isidor and Ida were last seen on deck arm in arm. Eyewitnesses described the scene as a "most remarkable exhibition of love and devotion." Both died on April 15th when the ship sank.

The Musicians of the RMS Titanic all perished with the ship when it sank in 1912. They played music, intending to calm the passengers, for as long as they possibly could and all went down with the ship. All (WALLACE HARTLEY, JOHN WESLEY WOODWARD, JOHN FREDERICK PRESTON CLARKE, GEORGES ALEXANDRE KRINS, THEODORE RONALD BRAILEY, JOHN LAW HUME, PERCY CORNELIUS TAYLOR) were recognized for their heroism.

At the time of the Titanic disaster, JOHN HARPER was a widower with a six-year-old daughter, Annie Jessie (Nana), and pastor of Walworth Road Baptist Church in London. He was traveling with his daughter and niece Jessie W. Leitch to Chicago to preach for several weeks at the Moody Church, where he had been guest minister the previous fall, when the ship hit an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912, and was lost. His daughter and niece were put on a lifeboat and survived, but Harper stayed behind and jumped into the water as the ship began to sink. Some who survived told that Harper preached the Gospel to the end (especially Acts 16:31), first aboard the sinking ship and then afterward to those in the freezing water before dying in it himself.

When the ship foundered at around 2.20 AM, 5TH OFFICER HAROLD GODFREY LOWE had begun to gather several lifeboats together. He wished to return to pick up survivors but had fears of being swamped by hordes of people. He redistributed the survivors in the group of lifeboats he had gathered, to ready one lifeboat for a search for additional survivors. The lifeboat he took back to the site of the sinking had no passengers and an excess of crewmen, saying "Is there anyone alive out there" to facilitate rescue. When he returned to gather survivors, he picked up only four men, one of whom died later that night. Lowe's was the only boat to return for survivors.

Lowe and his group of lifeboats were picked up the next morning by the RMS Carpathia.


"Nearer, My God, to Thee" is a 19th century Christian hymn (written 1841) by Sarah Flower Adams (1805-1848), based loosely on Genesis 28:11–19, the story of Jacob's dream. Tune (1856): Lowel Mason (1792-1872).
This hymn is associated with the sinking of the RMS Titanic, as some survivors later reported that the ship's string ensemble played the hymn as the vessel sank.

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I'd be nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

There let the way appear steps unto heav'n;
All that Thou sendest me in mercy giv'n;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Then with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I'll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upwards I fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

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