Cruise History: 50 BELLBOYS ABOARD THE RMS TITANIC DIED SMOKING AS WOMEN FILLED BOATS ESCAPED THE DOOMED WHITE STAR LINER

April 21, 1912 – Among the many hundreds of heroic souls aboard the fatal RMS TITANIC who went bravely and quietly to their end were fifty happy-go-lucky youngsters shipped as bellboys or messengers to serve the first cabin passengers. James Humphries, a quartermaster, who commanded lifeboat No. 11, told a little story today that shows how these fifty lads met death.

Humphries said the boys were called to their regular posts in the main cabin entry and taken in charge by their captain, a steward. They were ordered to remain in the cabin and not get in the way.

Through-out the first hour of confusion and terror these lads sat quietly on their benches in various parts of the first cabin.

Then, just toward the end, when the order was passed around that the ship was going down and every man was free to save himself if he kept away from the lifeboats in which the women were taken, the bellboys scattered to all parts of the ship.

Humphries said he saw numbers of them smoking cigarettes and joking with the passengers. They seemed to think that their violation of the rule against smoking while on duty was a sufficient breach of discipline.

Not one of them attempted to enter a lifeboat.

Not one of them was saved.

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About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…

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