The Titanic disaster: Pt.3
On board her maiden voyage were 8 representatives from Harland & Wolff taking the trip as a shakedown voyage to assess her performance and be on hand to make any repairs and plan any refinements to her design following its inaugural journey bearing fee-paying passengers. These were known as the ‘guarantee group’ and its presence is still standard practice for maiden voyages today.
This particular group consisted of 5 engineers, a plumber, draughtsman, and a joiner. They accompanied Thomas Andrews but unlike he, a first-class traveller, the group was listed in second class as; William Parr, Roderick Chisholm, Anthony Frost, Robert Knight, William Campbell, Alfred Cunningham, Frank Parkes and, Ennis Watson; none of which survived. The US Inquiry, however, did not include the ship’s 5 postal clerks at all on their list. Also, 4 crewmembers from the American Line and 8 Chinese sailors travelling on board the Titanic to connect with their own ships upon arrival in New York was listed in third-class although still ate and lived with the crew of the Titanic. These adjustments bring the estimated number of crew on the maiden voyage to 908.
Survivor figures also tell a different story. The British inquiry’s total for the number of survivors is 711 (adding 6 first-class passengers to the list of 705 recorded by Rostron aboard Carpathia). The US inquiry gives 706; the Board of Trade 703; Titanic survivors agree 775; and White Star Line 803, perhaps in optimism, however, revised their figure on 9 May 1912 to 757. As the survivors were rescued by only one ship – Carpathia – the accepted figure is somewhat indisputable; 705, the number Rostron recorded following rescue: filing his complete and detailed report confirming 201 first-class, 118 second, and 179 third-class passengers, joined by 207 surviving crew.
Finding out exactly how many people died on the Titanic is even more difficult. The Board of Trade initially listing the toll amounting 815, but later revising to 1,503: 123 in first-class, 169 second-class, 523 in third, and crew of 687. The British inquiry set its calculation for the toll at 1,490; the US inquiry 1,517. The revised figure for the casualties due to crew missing from the Muster List gives 1,523, made up from 136 in first class, 153 in second, 533 third-class, and a crew of 701.
The most probable figures, again not taking into account the deserter, for those on board the Titanic and therefore who subsequently died.