British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 10

Testimony of James Taylor, cont.

Examined by Mr. LEWIS.

12163. Was it on Tuesday you saw the agent of Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon?
- Yes.

12164. Who sent you to Trafalgar Chambers?
- Mr. Blake. Mr. Greenham came, the shipmaster, the superintendent engineer of the White Star Line.

12165. Have you seen anyone else?
- Yes, I saw a man the day before in the Chambers, too.

12166. Who was that?
- I do not know his name. I did not ask who he was.

12167. Have you seen anyone since?
- No, only the man I have just mentioned, the day after.

12168. On the Tuesday?
- Yes.

12169. On the day before did they say what they wanted you for?
- They wanted me to give a statement.

12170. Did not they say who it was for - who they wanted the statement for?
- No.

Examined by Mr. COTTER.

12171. Where were you when the ship struck?
- In my bunk, asleep.

12172. What did you do after the ship had struck?
- I went up on deck.

12173. Upon the boat deck?
- No, the well deck.

12174. What did you do afterwards?
- Stood there, and waited to see what we could see and hear.

12175. Did you get an order to go to the boat deck?
- Yes.

12176. Who gave that order?
- A leading fireman.

12177. When you got to the boat deck, was No. 1 boat swung out ready for launching?
- Yes, the boat was swung out; it always is swung out.

12178. Was No. 3 swung out ready for launching?
- I do not know.

12179. You do not know?
- Not No. 3.

12180. Do you know where No. 3 boat is situated?
- No.

12181. Had you a boat at all?
- Yes.

12182. What was the number of your boat?
- No. 5.

12183. Do not you know No. 3 is situated next to No. 5?
- No.

12184. How did you know where No. 5 was?
- Because I was told where it was as I was going there.

12185. Did you see any women round No. 5 boat?
- Yes.

12186. What was the order when you got to No. 5 boat?
- The order was nothing when we got there.

12187. The order was nothing?
- Not when we got there.

12188. What did you see?
- I saw a lot of ladies in the boat, and a lot of ladies getting in the boat, and children.

12189. Was there any Officer there?
- Yes.

12190. Did you know the Officer?
- No.

12191. Have you seen Mr. Lowe, the Officer, since the disaster?
- I might have seen him, but I do not know him by name. I might know him by sight.

12192. (Mr. Cotter.) Will Mr. Lowe kindly stand up? (Mr. Lowe stood up in Court.) Do you know that gentleman?
- Yes.

12193. Did you see him on the night of the disaster on deck?
- No, not that I know of.

12194. Why did not you go into your own boat?
- Because I was ordered away.

12195. Who ordered you away?
- An Officer.

12196. Do you know the Officer?
- No.

12197. Did he order you to go to any other boat?
- No, not that same Officer.

12198. Did anybody else order you?
- An Officer ordered me to go and get No. 1 emergency boat ready.

12199. You do not know that Officer, I suppose?
- No.

12200. How do you know it was an Officer at all?
- Well, by his clothes.

12201. Can you tell the rank of an Officer by the stripes on his arm?
- I think this gentleman was in an overcoat. I took him to be an Officer by the badge on his cap. There was a White Star on there. I took him to be an Officer.

12202. When you got to No. 1 boat, were there many women round it?
- No.

12203. How long after you went to No. 5 was it that you went to No. 1?
- I could not say the time.

12204. You could not say the time?
- No.

12205. Can you give us any idea?
- No, I cannot.

12206. Were all the other boats out. Just look at that model. Were those other three forward boats out, and gone before No. 1 boat?
- Yes.

12207. They had all gone. No. 1 was the last boat at the forward end of the ship?
- At the forward end of that ship.

12208. That was the last boat?
- On that side.

12209. Which boat went before No. 1 then?
- No. 5 went first.

12210. Which one went before No. 1?
- An after one.

12211. That was No. 7 boat?
- Yes.

12212. Did you see the first of those four boats go?
- Yes.

12213. Which boat went first?
- My own boat, No. 5.

12214. What went next?
- The next one to that, this one. (Pointing on the model.)

12215. No. 3? Where were you when No. 3 was launched?
- Alongside of it.

12216. Do you know Mr. Ismay?
- No.

12217. Did you hear any gentleman, not in uniform, but in an ordinary suit, giving orders, or helping the women and children to get into No. 3?
- No.

12218. Have you ever taken any part in any boat drill?
- No.

12219. Never in your life?
- Oh, yes.

12220. Where?
- In the Union Castle Company.

12221. Did you ever see a boat's crew consisting of six firemen and one sailor?
- No.

12222. So that when six firemen and one sailor got into that, you thought it was a peculiar proceeding?
- They were ordered into it.

12223. They were ordered into it?
- Yes.

12224. Now, when you got to the water did you hear anything said by any Officer from the boat deck through a megaphone?
- No.

12225. You heard nothing at all?
- No.

12226. When you rowed away, by morning when you sighted the "Carpathia," did you hear any conversation in the boat?
- When we rowed for the "Carpathia"?

12227. When you sighted the "Carpathia," did you hear any conversation in the boat?
- No.

12228. If Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon had spoken to anyone, would you have heard him?
- I expect so, I was sitting alongside of him.

12229. Did you hear him say this: "He would make us a little present for this, and send a wire privately to our homes to let them know we were all right"?
- Yes.

12230. You did hear that?
- Yes.

12231. So you did hear a conversation?
- Yes.

12232. Who did he say that to?
- He said that to me.

12233. To you?
- Yes.

12234. (The Commissioner.) Now tell me again what it was he said to you in the boat, you know?
- In the boat?

12235. Yes; not on the "Carpathia," but in the boat. What did he say?
- He said to me he would write to our homes and our wives, and let them know that we were safe.

12236. Well, what else?
- That was all he said to me. That is all I heard of the conversation.

12237. Did you hear him say anything about giving a present to anyone?
- No.

12238. Then you should be careful how you answer, you know.

The Witness:
That is the only present I understood - this message to our homes.

12239. (Mr. Cotter.) Did you hear him make this statement; I will put the question to you again: "He would make us a little present for this, and send a wire privately to our homes to let them know we were all right"?
- No, that is not right. He said he would send a wire home; that is all I know; but as for any present I know nothing about it.

12240. Did you hear any other gentleman make a statement?
- No.

12241. In the boat?
- No.

12242. Did you receive any present when you got on the "Carpathia"?
- Yes.

12243. What did you receive?
- £5.

The Commissioner:
They each got £5.

12244. (Mr. Cotter - To the witness.) Was any statement made to you when you got the £5?
- No; he only said, "This is a little present from me." That was the only time a present was mentioned that I heard. That was three or four days afterwards.

12245. When you were rowing to the "Carpathia," what sort of a sea was on?
- A calm sea.

12246. Very calm?
- What I should call calm, yes.

12247. Did the boat rock at all?
- Not a great lot.

12248. Did she rock; did she roll?
- No.

12249. Was there anybody seasick in the boat?
- Yes.

12250. Who was seasick?
- Lady Duff-Gordon.

12251. How do you know it was Lady Duff-Gordon; you have told us you do not know her?
- I told that gentleman there (Pointing.) that I was told afterwards that it was Lady Duff-Gordon.

12252. You were told afterwards it was?
- Yes, I told that gentleman there.

12253. Was that the lady who objected to the boat going back?
- The lady that spoke of its being swamped.

12254. Was that the lady?
- Yes.

Examined by Mr. DUKE.

12255. This is Lady Duff-Gordon sitting here. Perhaps you do not know. That is the lady. Is that the one?
- I think so.

12256. You could see nobody's faces in the boat, could you?
- No, it was quite dark.

12257. You could not see this gentleman (Pointing to Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon.) could you?
- Not like I can now.

12258. (The Commissioner.) Did he offer you a cigar?
- Not me.

The Commissioner:
Did you light your cigar?

Mr. Duke:
He says "not me," my Lord.

12259. (The Commissioner.) Did you smoke?
- Did I smoke? Yes.

12260. On the boat?
- Yes, in the boat.

12261. And did the other men, the other members of the crew, smoke?
- Some of them did.

12262. Where did you get your matches from?
- Off of one of the crew.

12263. Did Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon smoke?
- I do not know, I cannot remember.

12264. (Mr. Duke.) You were out a great many hours during that night, of course?
- Till about a quarter to six, I think it was.

12265. Till about a quarter to six in the morning, and it was an intensely cold night?
- Yes.

12266. And during a considerable part of the night were various inmates of the boat lying down in the bottom of the boat to get shelter from the cold?
- Yes.

12267. Both crew and passengers; is that so?
- I could not say whether it was both.

12268. Various people lying in the bottom of the boat?
- No, not various; only just one or two.

12269. Did you see where Lady Duff-Gordon, this lady who is sitting here, was seated while you were alongside sir Cosmo?
- I did not understand it was Lady Duff-Gordon at the time, but I think it was the lady who sat just in front of me on the next thwart in the afterpart of the boat.

12270. Just aft of you?
- Yes.

12271. You were looking aft, of course, as you were rowing, and you think she was sitting on the next thwart?
- Yes.

12272. Did you have any conversation with her?
- No, Sir.

12273. What makes you say she was the lady who spoke?
- I am not saying she was the lady who spoke.

12274. You are not?
- No, I say I am given to understand from information afterwards that that was the lady.

12275. What I want to know is whether you tell the Court that the lady who was sitting on the thwart next to you was the lady who said something about the boat being swamped?
- Yes.

12276. Are you sure of that?
- Yes.

12277. Quite sure of that?
- Yes.

12278. And that it was not the lady further along?
- Yes.

12279. Now, was not that lady, who was on the thwart in front of you as you sat, seasick during most of the time after the men first lay on their oars?
- She was seasick a little of the time in the boat.

12280. Was not she seasick at the time the "Titanic" went down?
- Yes.

12281. And lying over -?
- On the gunwale of the boat.

12282. Was that the time at which you suggest this conversation took place?
- I could not tell you.

12283. You do not know?
- No.

12284. Have you a distinct recollection about it at all?
- No, I have not.

12285. When did anybody first suggest to you that anybody on board that boat had prevented the boat being taken back towards the place where the "Titanic" was?
- I do not know when that suggestion was made.

12286. Has the suggestion been made by somebody?
- To me?

12287. Well, has it been made to your knowledge?
- It was made as I know of, by my knowledge.

12287a. Up to that time had you considered at all what took place in the boat that night?

The Attorney-General:
He does not say the suggestion was made.

Mr. Duke:
He says it was made. He said "it was made by my knowledge."

The Attorney-General:
He did not mean what you mean.

Mr. Duke:
I did not object to my friend cross -examining this Witness when he called him, but I am trying to be regular.

The Attorney-General:
I am only suggesting there was a misunderstanding between you.

Mr. Duke:
I am much obliged, Mr. Attorney.

The Attorney-General:
I will clear it up when it comes to my turn, if you will not.

12287b. (Mr. Duke - To the witness.) I understood you to say, but you will tell me if I am right, that at some time or other you understood that somebody was suggesting that the people in the boat had not done their duty. Was that so?
- No.

12288. Not at any time?
- No.

12289. Now when did the question first arise of whether there had been any conversation in this boat about going back; that is, when did it first arise as far as you are concerned?
- My version of it is this. I do not know whether you are talking about the crew, or the full boat. Are you talking about the full contents of the boat, or only just the crew?

12290. Well, you tell me in your way what the answer is?
- You put it about men refusing to do their duty.

12291. Do not think I am suggesting it for a moment. What I wanted to know was whether you heard that somebody had suggested it?
- There was a suggestion in the boat about going back by someone, who, I do not know.

12292. And then there was a reply by someone?
- There was a reply by a lady about swamping us.

12293. And you say you think it was the lady who was sitting in the thwart in front of you?
- And I heard a gentleman say it would be very dangerous to go back, and the other one replied to him it would be very dangerous to go back, we would get the boat swamped.

12294. Were they sitting in front of you?
- Right in front of me.

12295. Do you know there were two passengers, neither of whom was Sir Cosmo, sitting between you and Symons, Men passengers?
- No; Sir Gordon was alongside of me.

12296. But from somewhere in front of you two passengers said it would be dangerous, and they thought the boat would be swamped?
- Yes.

12297. That was not Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon?
- No.

12298. I want to ask you about this matter of money. Did you hear a conversation as you were coming towards the "Carpathia" about the men having lost everything they had?
- Only their clothes.

12299. Yes; but was somebody saying the men had lost their kit, and it would not be replaced, as you were nearing the "Carpathia"?
- Not that I know of.

12300. You did not hear it?
- No.

12301. Then it is no use my asking you about it. Was there anything said on the "Carpathia" that the £5 apiece was intended to enable the men who had been sent in the same boat with Sir Cosmo and his wife, to replace their kit?
- Not that I know of.

12302. You did not hear that?
- No.

Examined by Mr. LAING.

12303. Just one question. When you were ordered into this boat, how long did you stay before you were lowered away?
- We stayed a little while, I could not say what time it was, not properly.

12304. Were there any passengers on that deck that you could see when you were lowered away?
- Not near that boat.

(The Witness withdrew.)