British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 10

Testimony of Charles Hendrickson, cont.

11182. Simmons had all to do and Horswell had something to do with the management of the boat?
- I suppose so.

11183. The two seamen were in charge. Do you suggest you said, so that either of these two seamen could hear you, that you considered this boat ought to go back?
- They should have heard me.

11184. Had you any sort of indication that Horswell heard you - the man close by?
- I could not say whether he heard me or not.

11185. You could not tell?
- No.

11186. If you thought the boat, in the name of humanity, ought to go back, why did not you say so to Horswell?
- I did not want to tell one man personally; I called out.

11187. Did any seaman reply?
- I never heard any.

11188. Did any fireman reply?
- I never heard any replies at all about going back after that.

11189. Now, I suggest to you, that you are quite right in that answer, and that nobody addressed any observation to you upon the question whether the boat should go back. Is that the truth?
- Certainly, it is the truth.

11190. That nobody said anything to you about the boat going back?
- No.

11191. Nothing?
- No.

11192. Then why do you say that Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon prevented the boat going back?
- I thought you were talking about the crew.

The Attorney-General:
He said that before.

Mr. Duke:
I am aware, but I am cross -examining; I want to deal fairly.

The Witness:
You were referring to the crew.

11193. Well, go back to the others. None of the crew said anything?
- No, I got no answer, only from Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon.

11194. Now I will take you with regard to that. Did you consider whether they were right or wrong in the course which you suggest they said ought to be taken?
- It would be right in one way and wrong in another, on account of ladies being in the boat.

11195. Did you consider whether they were right or wrong, because a serious imputation is put upon them?
- I should say they were wrong.

11196. You think they were wrong?
- Yes.

11197. Did you always think that?
- What do you mean, "always"?

11198. From the time when, as you say, you wanted to go back and take the boat back, down to the time when you got to the "Carpathia" and onwards, were you always of opinion that they had done wrong in not taking the boat back?
- I had other things in my mind as well as that. I never had that in my mind all the time.

11199. Were you on the best possible terms with Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon on board the "Carpathia"?
- Yes.

11200. Was the first time, so far as you know, that Sir Cosmo spoke to you, the time when the boat was alongside the "Carpathia," and there was some difficulty in getting up the rope ladder?
- Yes, there was a little difficulty.

11201. Had Sir Cosmo ever spoken to you before that?
- Yes.

11202. Where?
- In the boat, he asked me if I wanted a smoke, and he gave me a cigar in the boat.

11203. That is one thing. What else had he said to you in the boat?
- I do not remember him saying anything to me. He said he would get our names and send a wire home to our families if he could.

11204. But that was not said personally to you?
- No.

11205. Was that your first personal conversation with him when the boat was alongside the "Carpathia" and there was some difficulty about getting up?
- There was not any conversation, only we were trying to get this chair.

11206. A chair was being slung down to get the ladies up?
- Yes, the boat was rocking about.

11207. That was the first time you spoke personally to Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon?
- Yes.

11208. Who was it on board the boat who had some conversation with you about his making a present to the crew?
- First of all Collins come down to me and said, "Sir duff-Gordon wants our names."

11209. Was that when you were on board the "Carpathia"?
- Yes.

11210. That is the first time you heard of it?
- Yes.

11211. I will come back to what you said about it. I want to find out when you were in conversation with him. You were in conversation with him while the boat was alongside the "Carpathia"?
- No, it was not a conversation at all.

11212. Well, did you take charge of his coat so as to help him to get up the ladder?
- No.

11213. Did not you?
- No.

11214. And give him his coat on deck?
- No.

11215. On deck did Sir Cosmo say to you, either then or shortly afterwards, "Now I am going to make a present of £5 each to the men who were in the boat to make good the loss of their kit"?
- No.

11216. Did he ask you to get a list of the men?
- No.

11217. Did you get the list?
- Yes.

11218. And is it in your own handwriting?
- Yes, I made the list out, but he never asked me to make it out.

11219. And did you bring it to Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon?
- Yes.

11220. Before the men left the "Carpathia" these cheques were written, and you got yours?
- Yes.

11221. Were you all photographed together by one of the passengers of the "Carpathia," you in your lifebelt?
- Yes.

11222. Did not you believe at that time that you and everybody else on board that boat had done their duty?
- Well, we did it to a certain extent.

11223. Now stop. Did not you believe when you were photographed together in a group, you and another, I think, in your lifebelts, that you and everybody in that boat had done your duty?
- No, Sir.

11224. You did not?
- No.

11225. Before you left the "Carpathia" did you and the other members of the small boat's crew write your names on Lady Duff-Gordon's lifebelt?
- Yes.

11226. As a memento?
- Yes.

11227. And you parted with the Duff-Gordon's in terms of respect?
- Yes. We were asked to put our names on it, and we did it.

11228. Was the boat, at the time you got in her, rather crowded at the sides with oars and boat masts and things of that kind?
- Yes; they were all on one side.

11229. There were oars, and were there boat masts. They are spoken of as poles?
- Oars and a mast and a boat hook, I think.

11230. Which were stowed on one side, and which occupied a space?
- Yes.

11231. And made the position of the passengers and members of the crew rather cramped, did it not?
- Well, it did for a time until we got them out.

11232. Did you ever throw them overboard or get rid of them out of the way?
- No.

11233. Were not they there stowed alongside the whole time, so that there was barely room for two people to sit abreast on the seats where the two people were sitting?
- They certainly took up a space at the side of the boat. We had the oars out and then there was a little more room.

11234. Were not the people in the boat crowded by reason of the mode in which the seats had been packed while the boats were on the davits?
- I could not say that.

11235. You did not notice that?
- No.

11236. Tell me, with regard to the "Titanic" and Lady Duff-Gordon, from the time you first left off rowing, that is when you had got what was considered a proper distance from the vessel, to the time the "Titanic" went down, was Lady Duff-Gordon practically all the time violently seasick?
- Not then; she was after.

11237. From the time you left off rowing in the first instance until very near the time you came in sight of the "Carpathia," was she violently seasick, and was she lying along upon the oars which were occupying the side of the boat where she was?
- Yes, she was.

11238. Was not that her condition at the time the "Titanic" went down?
- I could not say.

11239. I suggest to you, Mr. Hendrickson, that your statement that she took part in any conversation about the boat is a complete error?
- That is what the lady said, what I am telling you; I am telling you the truth.

11240. How far off was she from you?
- I reckon about 200 yards.

11241. I am not speaking of the ship, I am speaking of the lady. There were several seats between you and her?
- I was in one seat here, and a gentleman was in this seat, and she was in the next one.

11242. She was in the second seat from you towards the stern of the boat?
- Yes.

11243. Lying down - in a reclining position. She had her head down upon those oars and tackle?
- Yes.

11244. I put it to you that at that time, the time the ship went down, she not only was not conducting conversation with anybody, but she was not in a condition to conduct conversation?
- She was talking to her husband at intervals.

11245. I put it to you that her conversation to her husband was considerably after that time?
- No; she got up now and again and lifted her head up.

11246. Was not the only communication which passed between her and her husband at that time the efforts the husband made to comfort his wife and to try and help her in her condition?
- Yes.

11247. It was so?
- Yes, when I saw them.

11248. Did that go on for a very long time when the boat was afloat?
- For some time after the "Titanic" went down.

11249. Now, do you suggest it was in the intervals of these attempts of the husband to comfort his wife and relieve her from the trouble she was in - that physical trouble - that the conversation took place?
- Yes.

11250. You say that?
- Yes.

11251. You think that Lady Duff-Gordon heard you suggest that the boat should go back to the ship?
- I could not say; I never said she heard me. I do not know who heard me.

11252. If she heard you, Horswell must have heard you?
- She must have heard me to answer me.

11253. Let us see. She was on the second seat from you?
- Yes.

11254. If she heard you Horswell must have heard you?
- I do not know.

11255. The seaman who was alongside sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon must have heard you?
- He should have heard me, yes.

11256. The person who was alongside Lady Duff-Gordon should have heard you?
- Yes, they should have heard me.

11257. Did you say anything so that Simmons could hear you?
- I could not say whether he heard me or not.

11258. Did you consider at that time whether Simmons heard you or not?
- No.

11259. What?
- No.

11260. How was that? If you seriously, as you say, thought as a matter of humanity Simmons ought to take this boat back, how was it you did not consider whether Simmons heard you or not?
- If he heard me he should have given me an answer.

11261. You think if he had heard you he would have given you an answer?
- I do not know whether he would; he should, I said.

11262. Did you think he did?
- No.

11263. You thought he did not. Why did you not repeat what you had to say, if you ever said it, so that it should go to the ears of the one man who could give effect to it?
- It was up to the others, as well as me, to pass the word along if they heard me.

11264. Do you mean there was a little conversation between you and some other people about you as to whether it was up to you to go back?
- No little conversation at all. I had no conversation. I called out, as I told you before.

11265. No talk?
- No.

11266. None of the men about you replied?
- No, no one at all.

11267. Are you sure now that any of the men about you heard?
- They must have heard, they were there.

11268. Horswell must have heard?
- They must all have heard, I should think.

11269. None of them made a reply?
- None of them; none of the men.

11270. Simmons never had an opportunity of forming a judgment on your opinion that he ought to go back?
- He had plenty of time. He should not wait for anyone's opinion, the man in charge.

11271. You say now Simmons ought to have seen for himself that he ought to go back?
- Of course, he did.

11272. And whether you communicated with him or not you do not know?
- No, I do not.

11273. Could you see one another's faces in the boat at the time?
- No.

11274. No?
- No.

11275. Did you know Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon from any other member of the party in the boat at that time?
- No.

11276. Had you ever heard his voice up to then?
- Yes.

11277. Where?
- When he said about one man take command of the boat.

11278. Who said, "One man take command of the boat"?
- Duff-Gordon.

11279. But the Officer who despatched the boat had given an order to them?
- Sir Cosmo repeated it after.

11280. And you heard his voice?
- Yes.

11281. Were there two Americans on board?
- I knew there were men.

11282. Mr. [Abraham] Salomon and Mr. [Charles E.] Stengel?
- I do not know their names.

11283. Have you any idea whether stengel was in a position to hear this statement of yours, if you made it?
- They should have heard it.

11284. Everybody in the boat should have heard?
- If they were not deaf.

11285. Assume for a moment that Horswell did not hear and that Simmons did not hear, do you think you are mistaken in supposing that you shouted out that you ought to have gone back?
- I am not mistaken at all.

11286. Supposing that Horswell did not hear it; assume for a moment that Horswell is here and that he heard nothing of the kind; how would you account for that?
- I do not know; they were thinking of something else; they were too excited perhaps.

11287. Were you all very excited?
- No; there was not any excitement.

11288. Was Horswell excited?
- No; not that I knew of.

11289. If Horswell is here and did not hear a word from you on this subject, how would you account for that fact?
- I do not know.

Mr. Duke:
You cannot tell.

Re-examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL.

11290. The only matter upon which I want you to give us a little further explanation is how you were sitting in the boat, if you can?
- I was sitting with my back to the bows.

11291. Well, you start from the bows; who was right ahead in the bow?
- Horswell, I think.

11292. That is right. Was there anybody beside him, or was he sitting beside the bow?
- There was another man; I think Collins was at the side of him.

11293. I think he was a fireman?
- Yes.

11294. At any rate, he was one of the crew. Who was sitting in the next thwart?
- I was sitting in that thwart.

11295. Was anybody next to you?
- Taylor, I think, and Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon were in the next thwart.

11296. With you?
- No, I was alone on this thwart.

11297. That is what I want to get. You were alone; then in the next thwart, Taylor a fireman, and Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon?
- Yes.

11298. Then in the next one?
- I do not know who was in the next one. Lady Duff-Gordon, I know. I do not know who the other was.

11299. Do you mean another lady, or was it a man?
- I could not say.

11300. Who was in the stern?
- There was a man at the tiller, the coxswain, Simmons, that is all I know. It was dark, I could not see. I did not take notice when daylight came in.

11301. (The Commissioner.) When you were here last you suggested that something had been said in the boat before you reached the "Carpathia" about money?
- No; the gentleman said he was giving us a present after he said he would send a wire home if he could.

11302. That was before you got on board the "Carpathia"?
- Yes, we did not hear a word at all about any money until we got this a day or two before we got to New York. He said he would give us a present. He never said a word about money.

(The Witness withdrew.)