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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