United States Senate Inquiry

Day 2

Testimony of Harold S. Bride

(The witness was sworn by the chairman.)

2226. What is your full name?
- Harold S. Bride.

2227. Where do you reside?
- London.

2228. London, England?
- Yes, sir.

2229. What is your age?
- Twenty-two.

2230. What is your occupation?
- Wireless-telegraph operator.

2231. How long have you been engaged in that business?
- Since the beginning of last July; sir.

2232. What service have you seen since then?
- I have been across to America, here, three times and down to Brazil three times.

2233. On what boats?
- I went to Philadelphia on the Haverford, twice to New York on the Lusitania, once to Brazil on the Lanfranc, and twice to Brazil on the Anselm.

2234. In that service were you chief operator?
- On the Lusitania I was the second man. On the other boats I was in charge, the only operator.

2235. Had you any previous experience as an operator?
- No, none at all.

2236. Had you ever been employed by the post-office department of England?
- No. I had been to a training college to learn wireless.

2237. What college?
- The British School of Telegraphy, Clapham Road.

2238. Did you receive a diploma from there?
- I have a Government certificate.

2239. How long were you there?
- Eight months.

2240. In whose employ were you on the 10th day of April?
- The 10th day of April of this year?

2241. Yes.
- The Marconi Co.'s, sir.

2242. The Marconi Co.'s?
- Yes, sir.

2243. In what capacity?
- Second operator on the Titanic.

2244. What wage did you receive?
- £4 a month.

2245. And board?
- And board; yes, sir.

2246. You were second operator?
- Yes, sir.

2247. Who was your chief?
- Mr. Phillips.

2248. An older man than, you?
- Yes, sir.

2249. A more experienced man?
- Yes, sir.

2250. How old would you think Mr. Phillips was?
- He was around about 24.

2251. And he had had a larger experience?
- Larger experience.

2252. Do you know what wage he received?
- No, sir.

2253. What were your duties as assistant operator?
- To take a watch with Mr. Phillips; to relieve Mr. Phillips.

2254. How?
- To keep a watch of six hours, sir.

2255. To keep a watch of six hours. And during that time was there some one constantly at the instrument?
- Constantly at the instrument; yes; sir.

2256. Upon what vessel were you employed?
- The Titanic.

2257. The Titanic?
- Yes, sir.

2258. Were you acquainted with any of the officers or the crew of the Titanic when you entered service on that boat?
- No, sir,

2259. Had you sailed with any of them before?
- No, sir.

2260. Were you acquainted with Mr. Phillips?
- Not until I saw him in Belfast.

2261. Was he in Belfast?
- Yes, sir.

2262. Once or oftener?
- I went up to Belfast to join the Titanic.

2263. Did you join her in Belfast?
- Yes, sir.

2264. Were you on aboard the Titanic when she made the trial tests?
- Yes, sir.

2265. Did you take any interest in the trial tests?
- We were kept rather busy, sir.

2266. At the instrument?
- Yes, sir.

2267. Do you call it the key? You do not call it the key. What do you call the instrument?
- The apparatus.

2268. And you were engaged at this instrument or apparatus during these trial tests?
- Yes, sir.

2269. Were you sending communications at that time?
- We were testing the apparatus, sir. It had just left the hands of the engineers. We were holding tests with Liverpool and Malin Head wireless stations.

2270. Can you say of your own knowledge how long a time was devoted to these trial tests?
- The whole of Monday, as far as I know, sir. Monday we left Belfast.

2271. You do not know of your own knowledge when the trial tests ceased, I suppose?
- No, sir.

2272. Did you leave the ship at all after boarding at Belfast?
- I left the ship at Southampton, sir.

2273. Temporarily?
- Temporarily; yes, sir.

2274. And returned to the ship?
- I returned to the ship day before sailing, sir.

2275. The day before sailing?
- Yes, sir.

2276. Which would have been the 9th of April?
- Yes, sir.

2277. At what hour?
- Well, we got on board rather late. It was half-past 11 in the evening.

2278. At what time was she to sail?
- Midday the next day, sir.

2279. Now, I wish you would describe, as near as you can, the wireless apparatus with which the Titanic was equipped.
- It was a 5 kilowatt, the disk discharger fitted with magnetic detector and valve and receiver and emergency gears.

2280. Would you call it a thoroughly up to date apparatus?
- Yes, sir. It was the only set afloat with the Marconi Co., with the disk discharger.

2281. And your tests of this apparatus worked out satisfactorily?
- Very satisfactorily, sir.

2282. How far could you communicate, with that apparatus?
- During the daytime we reckoned to be able to do 400 miles.

2283. That is a pretty broad statement.
- When you say "no limit," sir, we are talking about freak messages which you can get. We were lying off Linton when we came around Belfast, when we exchanged the last message with Teneriffe and Port Said.

2284. Almost any apparatus can get a freak message if it comes within the radius of that instrument?
- We had a special sending apparatus which doubled our range.

2285. What wave length could you employ with that apparatus?
- Six hundred and 300 meters.

2286. That is the international regulation?
- Regulation; yes, sir.

2287. And the regulation prescribed by the Marconi Co.?
- Yes, sir.

2288. Did you have occasion to use this wireless frequently after leaving Southampton?
- Very frequently; yes, sir.

2289. For what purpose?
- Commercial traffic, sir.

2290. With English coast stations?
- With English coast stations and with other ships.

2291. And ships at sea?
- Yes, sir.

2292. I wish you would let us know, if you can, how busy you were kept at that work?
- From leaving Southampton to the time we had finished with Cape Race, we had got through about 250 telegrams. That was the evening we struck. When we had finished with Cape Race, we had transmitted 250 telegrams, just about, since leaving Southampton.

2293. Up to the time you struck; up to the time of the occurrence of this impact?
- Yes, sir.

2294. Was the weather favorable for that kind of work?
- Very favorable, sir.

2295. Were there any officers of the White Star Line aboard the Titanic?
- The Titanic was commanded by White Star officers.

2296. I understand, but any general officers?
- Any what, sir?

2297. Any general officers of the White Star Line?
- We had heard Mr. Ismay was on board, but beyond that I do not know anything.

2298. Where did you hear that?
- Mr. Phillips told me, sir.

2299. Your chief told you?
- Yes, sir.

2300. Did he tell you who Mr. Ismay was?
- I knew from the name who he was.

2301. You knew who he was?
- Yes, sir.

2302. Had you ever seen him?
- Not before, sir.

2303. Did you see him during that voyage?
- No, I do not think I did, sir.

2304. At no time?
- No, I do not think so.

2305. Did he send or receive messages through you during the voyage?
- I believe there were some transmitted for him, sir.

2306. Official messages?
- They would rank with us as official messages.

2307. Did they have to do with the direction or the speed of the ship?
- Coming around from Belfast there were messages transmitted for Mr. Ismay regarding the speed of the ship.

2308. He was not then aboard? Was he aboard the ship from Belfast to Southampton?
- I believe so.

2309. He was?
- Yes, sir.

2310. That was on the trial trip?
- Coming around from Belfast to Southampton, sir.

2311. That is, the trial tests were made in what water?
- Belfast Lough.

2312. And then the ship was put under way for Southampton?
- Yes.

2313. And while she was under way these messages from Mr. Ismay were sent?
- Yes, sir.

2314. And received? Did you get any reply?
- I could not tell you, sir.

2315. To whom were they sent, do you remember?
- They were sent to the White Star offices at Liverpool and Southampton.

2316. Liverpool or London?
- Liverpool and Southampton.

2317. Can you recall what was contained in the messages?
- No, sir.

2318. Generally, do you know what they said?
- Generally, sir, that the trials of the speed of the ship were very favorable.

2319. Were there any other messages for Mr. Ismay at that time?
- I can not recollect, sir.

2320. Did you see him aboard the Titanic after leaving Southampton?
- No, sir.

2321. Did you send or receive any messages from or for him after leaving Southampton?
- I could not tell you. We had too many to remember them all.

2322. If you received a message for the managing director of the company you might remember it?
- No; I can not.

2323. You can not say?
- No, sir.

2324. Did he come to the wireless office during that journey?
- Not to my knowledge.

2325. From Southampton to the time of the collision?
- Not to my knowledge, sir.

2326. Or after the collision?
- No, sir.

2327. Did he send any word to you between Southampton and the time of the collision?
- Not to my knowledge.

2328. Or after the collision?
- No, sir.

2329. Do you know whether he sent any messages or received any messages while Mr. Phillips was at the apparatus?
- I can not say, sir.

2330. Did you hear whether he did or not?
- No, sir.

2331. Or whether he called upon Mr. Phillips or sent word to him after the collision?
- No, sir; he did not, sir after the collision.

2332. Or on Sunday at all?
- I could not say, sir. We had a lot of traffic on Sunday.

2333. You can not recall whether Mr. Ismay sent or received any message on Sunday?
- No, sir.

2334. Can you recall whether the captain of the ship received any messages on Saturday or Sunday from any White Star official regarding the movement, direction, or speed of the ship?
- No, sir; he did not.

2335. How do you know he did not?
- Because I should have delivered it. I saw the captain's messages. I was delivering them for Mr. Phillips.

2336. You were not on duty all of the time during those two days?
- No, sir.

2337. And during the time that Phillips was on duty would you know what he received?
- I should know eventually sir.

2338. Eventually?
- When I made up my account.

2339. Did you ever make up the accounts?
- Not for Sunday, sir.

2340. Not for Sunday?
- No, sir.

2341. Or for Saturday?
- Saturday's accounts were made up; yes, sir.

2342. Did you make them up?
- Yes, sir.

2343. And you are ready to testify that the captain received no message from any source over the wireless which in any manner changed the course of his ship, its direction or its speed?
- Yes, sir.

2344. Or any other officer of the ship?
- Yes, sir.

2345. Would the same answer apply to all?
- The same answer; yes, sir.

2346. Did Mr. Phillips say to you at any time that such message had been received?
- No, sir; he did not.

2347. Did the captain, or any other officer of the Titanic, send any message to the White Star officers respecting the direction, the speed, or the conditions of the weather, the sea, or its proximity to the Great Banks?
- Communication had been established with the Baltic on Sunday afternoon, and compliments were exchanged between the two commanders, and the state of the weather.

2348. What else? Anything besides the state of the weather?
- Not to my knowledge.

2349. Were you on duty when the wireless message was received from the Amerika regarding the proximity of icebergs in that longitude?
- I have no knowledge of a wireless message received from the Amerika regarding any iceberg. There may have been received by Mr. Phillips, but I did not see one myself.

2350. Have you heard that such a message was received?
- No, sir.

2351. Did Mr. Phillips say that such a message had been received?
- No, sir.

2352. Did you ever talk with the captain about such a message?
- There was a message delivered to the captain in the afternoon, sir, late in the afternoon, regarding -

2353. Of Sunday?
- Yes, sir.

2354. Go ahead.
- Regarding the ice field.

2355. From whom?
- From the Californian, sir.

2356. At what hour Sunday?
- It may not have been the Californian, but I can give you the call signal of the ship; it is "M. W. L." You can ascertain that later.

2357. Go ahead.
- I received that message myself and delivered it to the captain. It stated that there were three large icebergs that the ship had just passed, and it gave their position.

2358. What was the hour of the day?
- Late in the afternoon, but I can not say the hour of the day.

2359. Dusk?
- It was an unofficial message.

2360. From whom was it?
- From this ship.

2361. The Californian?
- The ship with that call signal - M. W. L.

2362. Which was the code signal?
- The code signal of the ship.

2363. Are you familiar with the code signals?
- I know a good few of them.

2364. Do you know what that means?
- That particular call signal means a certain ship.

Senator Smith:
Yes. I want to know that ship.

Mr. Sammis:
It is the Californian. M. W. L. is the signal of the Californian.

Senator Smith:
What is your name?

Mr. Sammis:
I am the engineer of the Marconi Co.

Senator Smith:
What is your name?

Mr. Sammis:
Sammis.

Senator Smith:
What is your first name?

Mr. Sammis:
Frederick.

Senator Smith:
Who are you?

Mr. Sammis:
I am the engineer of the American company.

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