The Titanic crew consisted of the captain, several officers, and deckhands who accompanied the ship on its fateful voyage. In all, the Titanic crew comprised some 885 people:
Deck Crew – Officers, Masters at arms, Storemasters and able bodied seamen.
Engineering Department – Engineers, Boilermen, Firemen and Electricians.
Victualling Department – Stewards and Galley staff.
Captain Edward John Smith
monthly wage £105
The maiden voyage of the Titanic was to be 62 year old Captain Smith’s last voyage before he retired. Smith was married with a young daughter. Very little is known about his actions on the Titanic after the collision – he was last seen on the bridge of the sinking ship. Captain Smith went down with his ship and his body was never recovered.
Chief Officer Henry Wilde
monthly wage £25
Henry Wilde was serving as Chief Officer on the Olympic but was transferred to the Titanic for her maiden voyage. Wilde was off duty when the ship hit the iceberg. He took control of the even numbered lifeboats and was last seen trying to free the collapsible lifeboats. Wilde’s body has never been recovered.
First Officer William Murdoch
William Murdoch, 39 years old, had served on a number of White Star ships. He joined the Titanic as first officer and was on the bridge at the time of the collision and gave the order to turn the ship. He helped to load women and children into the lifeboats. He did not survive the disaster and his body was not recovered.
Second Officer Charles Lightoller
Charles Lightoller had begun his sailing career at the age of 13 and had been involved in a shipwreck before. Lightoller was keen to load the lifeboats as quickly as possible and was still trying to free the collapsible lifeboats when Titanic sank. He was sucked under the sea but blown to the surface by air escaping from a vent. He managed to climb onto the overturned collapsible lifeboat B. He survived the disaster and as the most senior surviving officer testified at both inquiries.
Third Officer Herbert Pitman
Herbert Pitman was in his bunk when Titanic hit the iceberg. After helping to uncover lifeboats he was put in charge of lifeboat number 5 by William Murdoch. After Titanic had sunk, Pitman wanted to return for more passengers but others in the boat persuaded him that they would swamp the boat and they would all die. Pitman was called to give evidence during the inquiry into the disaster.
Fourth Officer Joseph Boxall
Joseph Boxall, aged 28, had been at sea for 13 years. After the collision Boxall helped to fire the distress rockets and to signal the nearby ship with a morse code lamp. Boxall was put in charge of lifeboat number 2 and like Pitman was persuaded not to return for more survivors after the ship had sunk. Boxall also gave evidence at the inquiry.
Fifth Officer Harold Lowe
Lowe was fast asleep when the Titanic hit the iceberg. When he eventually woke up, disturbed by noise, the ship was already at an angle. Lowe helped to load women and children into the lifeboats and took charge of lifeboat 14. After the cries and screams from the water had died down, Lowe put passengers from his lifeboat into others nearby before returning to pick up survivors. Lowe only found 4 people alive and one died before being rescued by the Carpathia. Lowe gave evidence at the inquiry.
Sixth Officer James Moody
James Moody was on duty at the time of the collision and took the phone call from Frederick Fleet warning of the iceberg. He helped to load the lifeboats and was last seen trying to launch the collapsible lifeboats. Moody did not survive the disaster.
Chief Baker Charles John Joughin – monthly wage £12
After the collision Joughin fortified himself with a quantity of alcohol before throwing deckchairs into the ocean for people to hold on to. As the ship neared its final moments Joughin climbed over the stern rails and ‘rode’ the ship into the ocean. He managed to reach collapsible B and because there was no more room to climb on, spent several hours in the freezing water. Joughin survived and was rescued by the Carpathia.
Lookouts Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee – monthly wage £5
Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee were on duty in the crow’s nest and were the first to sight the iceberg. Fleet radioed the information to the bridge. Fleet survived in lifeboat 6, Lee in lifeboat 13. Both men were called to give evidence at the inquiry.
Radio Operators Jack Phillips and Harold Bride – monthly wage £2.2s.6d
The two radio operators’ main duty was the sending of private telegrams for passengers. However, they also received seven iceberg warnings from other ships on the 14th of April. After the collision they were asked to send the distress signal CQD (Come Quick Disaster). The signal was changed to the new distress code SOS. After contacting the Carpathia both operators stayed at their post until water poured into the Marconi room. Bride survived by climbing onto the overturned hull of collapsible B. Phillips also reached collapsible B but died sometime before dawn.
Bandsmen – monthly wage £4.00
There were two bands on the Titanic. After the collision they grouped on the deck and played to keep the spirits of the passengers up. Some survivors state that the band played until the end and many claim that the hymn ‘Nearer my God to thee’ was the last song played. None of the bandsmen survived.
This article is part of our larger selection of posts about the Titanic. To learn more, click here for our comprehensive guide to the Titanic.