Page 208 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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extraordinary account of what had happened. Your Lordship will remember the boy’s account was a very different one. The boy’s account was a very important one. It is put, I think, at page 168 in further examination by me of the Captain, Question 7280: “Did not the boy deliver the message to you, and did not you enquire whether they were all white rockets? - (A.) I do not know; I was asleep.” The first reference to the boy in that is at Question 7278: “(7281.) (Q.) I think this is a very important matter. - (A.) It is a very important matter. I recognise that. (Q.) It is much better to tell us what happened, Captain. - (A.) He came to the door, I understand. I have spoken to him very closely since. He said: I opened my eyes and said, ‘What is it?’ and he gave the message; and I said, ‘What time is it?’ and he told me; and then I think he said I asked him whether there were any colours in the light. (Q.) That is what the boy has said to you. You have questioned him a good many times since? - (A.) Yes, I have questioned him since. (Q.) Is he still an Apprentice on your ship? - (A.) He is. (The Commissioner.) Is he telling the truth? - (A.) Is the boy telling the truth? (Q.) Yes? - (A.) I do not know. I do not doubt it for a moment. (The Attorney-General.) Just think. You say you do not doubt it for a moment. Do you see what that means. That means that the boy did go to the chart room to you. He did tell you about the rockets from the ship, and you asked whether they were white rockets, and told him that he was to report if anything further occurred? - (A.) So he said. That is what he said. (Q.) Have you any reason to doubt that is true? - (A.) No; I was asleep.” Then if you turn to what the boy says about this it is at page 173, Question 7552: “(Q.) What were the orders which the Second Officer gave you when she disappeared? - (A.) Call the Captain and tell him that that ship has disappeared in the South-West, that we are heading West- South-West and that she has fired altogether eight rockets. (Q.) Did you report that to the Captain? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Where did you go to? - (A.) Into the chart room. (Q.) Was the chart room door shut? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Did you open the door and go in? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Did you find the Captain there? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Did you speak to him? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Did you give him the report you were ordered to give him? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) What did the Captain say? - (A.) He asked me were they all white. (Q.) The rockets? - (A.) Yes, were there any colours in the rockets at all? (Q.) What did you tell him? - (A.) I told him that they were all white. (Q.) Did he give any instructions? - (A.) No. (Q.) Did he say anything further? - (A.) He asked me the time. (Q.) What was the time? - (A.) Five minutes past two by the wheelhouse clock. (Q.) You told him that, did you? - (A.) Yes.” Then he said the Captain was awake, and then he explains that he had up to that time seen five more rockets. Having done that he goes back and reports to the officer. He says at Question 7572 that he had reported what he was told to do. The Commissioner: I do not understand this boy’s evidence - that he saw three rockets at twenty minutes to four. The Attorney-General: It may be one of two things. It might be that they were some of the signals which were sent up from the boats, but if they were rockets it may be they were the ‘Carpathia’s.” The Commissioner: She sent up rockets? The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: That is quite possible. The Attorney-General: Of course, he does not see those until about twenty to four. The Commissioner: “I cannot say at twenty minutes to four, but it was about that time.” However, you can pass it by; it does not affect my mind. The Attorney-General: Again, it is a little difficult to tell what time exactly that boy saw those rockets. He saw some after the eight rockets which had been sent up by the “Titanic.” The difficulty is to reconcile that evidence with the Captain’s. The Commissioner: I asked the boy, was the Captain awake, and he said, “Yes.” The Attorney-General: Yes, certainly, your Lordship did.
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