EXCITED crowds congregated at Southampton Docks to watch the maiden voyage of the world’s largest ship – RMS Titanic.
The luxurious liner was said to be ‘invincible’, but less than one week after she departed the ship struck an iceberg and was submerged by the freezing waters of the Atlantic ocean.
The maritime tragedy has made her the most famous ship of all time with many myths surfacing about what really happened that fateful night on 15 四月, 1912.
Swedish historian Claes-Göran Wetterholm, the curator behind a new immersive Titanic exhibition in London, tells The Sun: “The Hollywood movie, Titanic, directed by James Cameron is the best movie ever to be made about what never happened.
“There are so many things I cannot agree with in it and when I met Cameron at the premiere I told him this. But the film’s theme is fantastic and perfectly captures the atmosphere on the ship.
“I have spent many years researching what really happened that night and have spoken to survivors and family members of survivors to help uncover the real story.”
这里, Claes debunks the common myths surrounding the ship’s final hours…
Women and children first? Not quite…
Due to social norms back in 1912, the accepted story was that men stepped back and let women and children go first into the lifeboats.
In reality, a lot of men and male crew threw themselves into lifeboats before women and children.
实际上, the difference between men and women saved is only ten people.
Captain Smith wasn’t seen in the water – but may have had breakdown
At the time there were reports that Captain Smith was seen in the water, suggesting he’d tried to save himself.
But his body was never found.
I doubt this happened as he was not actively taking part in the lifeboat rescue, he was supervising it.
Evidence suggests he had a mental breakdown and couldn’t cope with the tragic situation unfolding and walked back to the bridge and went down with the ship.
The crew was not drunk
There is no evidence that the crew were drunk and that this caused the crash.
The rumors started circulating among the public in 1912 when one magazine wrote that Captain Smith was not sober at the time of the collision.
然而, he had attended a dinner party hosted for him by first class passengers George and Eleanor Widener and their son Harry.
Mrs Widener stated afterwards that captain Smith had not touched a drop of alcohol whatsoever, 只是水, so he was sober at the time of the crash.
Male survivors didn’t admit jumping into lifeboats
A few men jumped into the sea and survived, but the majority of male survivors jumped straight into lifeboats.
It was impossible to admit this in 1912 as you would have been seen as a coward and would have become a social outcast.
Mystery over the band’s final song
At the start of the 20th century people were still deeply religious and wanted to believe that the last song played as the ship submerged into the icy ocean was a hymn.
Because of this people believe the band performed ‘Nearer My God, To Thee’, a 19th-century hymn published in Hymns and Anthems – a tome used at South Place Chapel, Finsbury, 伦敦.
But if you start scratching below the surface you get too many questions.
I believe the last song the brave musicians played was Songe d’Automne.
The real story behind the movie’s Jack and Rose
Historian and Titanic expert Claes-Göran Wetterholm says:
“At our exhibition we have the real diamond necklace worn by Kate Winslet’s character, 玫瑰, in the film.
It belongs to Kate Philips who was just 19 years old when she boarded the ship.
Her lover, Henry Morley, was a wealthy 47-year-old man who was married.
The pair were fleeing Britain under a false name to set up a new life together in America.
可悲的是, he perished that night, but Kate survived and the baby she conceived while at sea was born nine months later.
Cameron based Rose and Jack’s love story in the movie on them.
We also have a third-class menu from the night the boat sunk and shoes and a blanket worn by a four-year-old survivor, Luise Kink.
She kept them locked away and they were only discovered after her death in August 1992.
It’s a fascinating exhibition which takes you back to that night and helps you to really understand what happened that fateful night.”
First officer didn’t shoot himself like in film
In the Hollywood blockbuster there’s a scene where First Officer William Murdoch shoots a passenger and then turns the gun on himself.
But it’s just rumours and hearsay.
He was deeply engaged in freeing the last boat when a sudden surge took him and the boat away.
Murdoch disappeared and likely drowned, 但 12 people on the boat survived.
Bigger proportion of third class men survived than in second
Interestingly, a higher proportion of men travelling in third class survived compared to those travelling in second.
The majority of males in second class were British and seen as gentlemen.
They were not trying to save themselves – they were trying to save the women and children.
A lot of the Swedish and Finnish men travelling in third class jumped into the lifeboats.
仅有的 8 per cent of the men in second class survived, 相比 13 per cent of third class males.
I do find it striking that so few men in second class survived despite having access to the boat deck, where they could have easily entered a lifeboat on the starboard side.
The Titanic exhibition is located at Dock X London in Canada Water and tickets start from £27.90 for adults and £15.90 for children, please see https://feverup.com/london