The Daily Telegraph reports that a previously unseen account by a survivor alleges Captain Smith was drinking before Titanic hit the iceberg. Second class passenger Emily Richard’s claims in a letter (written aboard Carpathia) that Smith was in the saloon drinking before he went to bed. Most accounts have Smith retiring to his cabin after leaving Murdoch in charge and in bed when the collision occurred.
Una Reilly of the Belfast Titanic Society was asked about the claim and states to have never heard the accusation before.
The problem is that no one else can corroborate this story. And it is quite possible it is a case of mistaken identity. No doubt it will get some play as the story zings around the world. Of course various Titanic authorities will be called or asked to comment. Coupled with stories about drunks piloting boats, the news media might wring out even more stories. So where does this story go? It gets filed into those strange/odd stories that seem to come out around full moons, Halloween, or near anniversaries of important events like when Titanic sank.
Source: The Telegraph, Titanic’s Captain Edward Smith In Bed Drunk When Ship Struck Iceberg, 10 Mar 2012
Events in Greece and in the Gulf of Mexico likely overshadowed the story of a Titanic victim. Her name was Kate Buckley who was aboard Titanic sailing to a new life in America. She was coming over to work as a domestic with a ticket paid for by her sister Margaret. Originally she was set to sail on Cymeric for Boston but the coal strike changed that. Instead she was transferred to Titanic and perished when it sank in 1912. Her family, opposed to her going, blamed Margaret (her half sister) for her death. It caused a family rift that was never healed. Kate’s body was found by the Mackay-Bennett and brought back for burial, the only third class passenger to have this done. Her sister requested she be buried in Boston; she was buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in West Roxbury in an unmarked grave.
And there the grave remained unknown to anyone until Bob Bracken of the Titanic Historical Society found it. He was shocked there was no headstone and contacted a local monument company, Thomas Carrigg and Sons, to have one made. The likely reason no headstone was ever put up was lack of money. Carrigg according to news accounts often gets requests to make headstones for relatives buried long ago with no headstone. The recent ceremony had nearly one hundred people in attendance. Two of her grandnieces unveiled the monument and roses were placed on the grave by her descendants. Descendants of Margaret and of the Irish family were present. Also present was Irish Consul General Michael Lonergan, Una Reilly chairwoman of the Belfast Titanic Society, along with Bob Bracken and Charles Haas of Titanic International Society.
“I think commemorating Kate Buckley’s death is symbolic of all of the Irish immigrants who sought to come to the United States,’’ said Boston’s Irish consul general Michael Lonergan. “It’s very appropriate that it’s here in Boston.’’
Amen to that.
thebostonchannel.com, Titanic’s ‘Kate’ Found Buried In Boston, 7 May 2010
WBZ, Titanic Victim Gets Headstone In West Roxbury, 19 May 2010
Irish Central, Titanic Survivor Remembered And Family Feud Healed, 24 May 2010