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“I’ll Stay and Take My Chances”: Clarence Moore

"I'll Stay and Take My Chances": Clarence Moore

Clarence Moore left his home of Washington D.C. in March of 1912 with a singular goal: to get himself a whole lotta dogs.

Clarence was an accomplished man of business and a famed equestrian in the United States. According to the New York Times report dated April 16, 1912, "Socially he is one of the best-known men in Washington."

Clarence Moore had traveled across to England on this leisure trip in order to purchase foxhounds for the Loudoun Hunt at the brand new Rock Creek Hunt Club, which was back home in Virginia.

Per an interview with a member of the Rock Creek Hunt Club, published April 18th, 1912, "Clarence Moore was the most daring horseman I have ever seen, and yet one could not call him reckless. He knew every phase of fox hunting, which was his greatest hobby."

So, after purchasing 50 pairs of foxhounds, he and his manservant, Charles Harrington, booked First-Class passage back to America on Titanic. Clarence had originally intended for the hundred dogs to travel with him on Titanic, but ultimately elected for alternate passage for them.

Clarence and Charles boarded in Southampton, sans canines.

Clarence Moore’s dear friend, Major Archibald Butt, had also boarded Titanic that day. Archie, being a military aide to President William Howard Taft, was a fellow Washington elite. They sometimes played golf together.

Archie had arrived to the dining saloon promptly after boarding, it is said, in order to permanently reserve a table for the voyage—for himself, Clarence, and Archie’s housemate, painter Francis Davis Millet, who would board later in the day at Cherbourg.

The three men would have adjourned to the Palm Room following their meal, and likely played a hand of cards before retiring.

Clarence would spend his evenings on board with Archie and Millet, typically playing a game of whist well into the dark hours of the evening.

After lunch in the afternoon of Sunday, April 14, Clarence Moore and Archie Butt took a stroll about the promenade, despite the stark and sudden chill that was keeping so many other passengers indoors.

When Titanic struck the iceberg, Clarence was awake and at whist yet again with Archie, joined by William Carter and Harry Widener. Theirs was not the only party at card-playing; in fact, the group shared the room with professional card sharps such as George Brereton, who admitted to actively seeking a victim at the time. It is reported that Clarence Moore had at some point been indulging the tables in his personal tales of the West Virginian wilderness--especially his feat in guiding a newspaper reporter to an interview with Captain Anse Hatfield, of the notorious Hatfield & McCoy feud.

According to Archibald Gracie, the group seemed entirely engrossed and initially unbothered by the curious goings-on.

Clarence and Archie are reported to have stuck together as the sinking progressed, providing calm and steadfast reassurance to those women who were reticent to enter lifeboats. According to a number of survivor accounts, both men stood “in an unbroken line” with others who declined to enter lifeboats.

Repeatedly, Moore refused to take a place in one of the boats, the survivors who saw him say. His friend, Butt, knew that he was an oarsman, in fact, he realized that Clarence Moore could do most anything any true sportsman could, so he requested Moore to man an oar in one of the last lifeboats to leave the ship.

“No, major, I’ll stay and take my chances with you; let the women go,” Moore said to his companion according to Robert William Daniels, one of the survivors... “And he evidently stuck with Butt until death took them both,” said Mr. Daniels. “The two men jumped at the eleventh hour and were lost.”

Colonel Archibald Gracie also offered praise for the conduct of Major Archie Butt. It is reasonable to deduce that Clarence Moore aided similarly in the company of his friend.

Returning to a description of the scenes immediately after the Titanic crashed into the mammoth iceberg, Colonel Gracie told of the heroic work of Major Butt, John Jacob Astor, Clarence Moore, Jacques F. Futrelle, H. B. Harris, and other men, who stood aside in obedience to the law of the sea that the woman and children might live...

My last view of Major Butt---one that will live forever in my memory---was with that brave soldier coolly aiding the officers of the boat in directing the disembarkation of the women from that doomed ship. The recollection of him that is seared into my very brain is impressed by his last assertion of that manliness and chivalry so peculiarly his, that stately demeanor so well known to all Washingtonians. He died like the soldier and brave man he was.

It was reported that Clarence Moore and Archibald Butt jumped ship together "at the eleventh hour" as Titanic's boilers exploded.

The public eagerly awaited news of the famous Americans who were presumed lost in the sinking of the Titanic, particularly Major Butt, Clarence Moore, and other societal and affluent paragons such as John Jacob Astor.

Articles ran in newspapers with the 1912 equivalent of clickbait:

"Clarence Moore, Who May Have Lost His Life, Well Known in Capital."

"Moore's Partners Give Up Hope of Hearing From Him."

"Mrs. Moore Awaits Word from Husband."

Neither Clarence nor Major Butt survived. And their bodies were never found.

Clarence's wife, Mabelle, was repeatedly described as prostrate with grief "about Mr. Moore, who was aboard the Titanic and whose death seems certain."

Their conclusions have not been communicated to Mrs. Moore, who is prostrated.

Yesterday, Mrs. Moore attempted to make arrangements to have a steamer sent out to aid in the search for the lost and was only dissuaded with difficulty by friends of her husband, who assured her that everything possible was being done to save passengers, give the survivors comfort, and to obtain a complete list of the names of the survivors.

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“True Distinction and Refinement of Soul”: Edward Austin Kent

"True Distinction and Refinement of Soul": Edward Austin Kent

Edward Austin Kent was born in 1854 in Bangor, Maine. He graduated from Yale in 1875, and moved on to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. 

He returned to the United States in 1877, and undertook an impressive and extensive architectural career. In his chosen hometown of Buffalo, New York, he contributed to the landscape.

By 1912, at 58 years old, Edward was on a multi-stop European tour that included both France and Egypt. He had designs to retire when he returned to America.

And although he was invariably ready to begin that peaceful chapter of his life, he delayed his voyage home just a little longer—so that he might sail on the maiden voyage of the brand new Titanic.

Edward boarded as a First-Class passenger in Cherbourg on the evening of April 10, 1912. 

On board, he immediately fell in with the elite circle of writers spearheaded by Colonel Archibald Gracie. They referred to themselves as “Our Coterie.” Colonel Gracie wrote the following regarding the fated night of April 14, 1912.

That night after dinner, with my table companions, Messrs. James Clinch Smith and Edward A. Kent, according to usual custom, we adjourned to the palm room, with many others, for the usual coffee at individual tables where we listened to the always delightful music of the Titanic’s band. On these occasions, full dress was always en regal; and it was a subject both of observation and admiration, that there were so many beautiful women—then especially in evidence—aboard the ship.

© Excerpt from "Titanic: A Survivor's Story," by Colonel Archibald Gracie. 1912.

It was the gentleman’s decency at the time to offer companionship to women traveling alone. And because Edward was a bachelor, he and another member the Coterie, Hugh Woolner, took it upon themselves to offer accompaniment to Mrs. Helen Churchill Candee. 

Mrs. Candee was 59 years old and an accomplished writer. She had been in Europe conducting research for her work-in-progress, called “The Tapestry Book,” when her daughter reached out to tell her that her son, Harry, had been in an accident, and urged an expedient return to the United States.

In her account of Titanic, Helen also described the Coterie in the First-Class Lounge.

At dinner, two hours later, the scene might have been in London, or New York, with the men in evening jackets, the women shining in pale satins and clinging gauze. The prettiest girl even wore a glittering frock of dancing length, with silver fringe around her dainty white satin feet.

And after dinner there was coffee served to all at little tables around the great general lounging place, for here the orchestra played.

Some said it was poor on its Wagner work, others said the violin was weak. But that was for conversation's sake, for nothing on board was more popular than the orchestra. You could see that by the way everyone refused to leave it. And everyone asked of it some favorite hit. The prettiest girl asked for dance music, and clicked her satin heels and swayed her adolescent arms to the rhythm.


How gay they were, these six. The talkative man [Colonel Gracie] told stories, the sensitive man [presumed to be Edward Austin Kent] glowed and laughed, the two modest Irishmen forgot to be suppressed, the facile Norseman cracked American jokes, the cosmopolitan Englishman [Hugh Woolner] expanded, and the lady (the writer, Helen Churchill Candee] felt divinely flattered to be in such company.

The evening was presumably brought to a close shortly thereafter—until the iceberg strike.

Hugh Woolner wrote of the immediate alarm felt by the men in his vicinity.

…We sort of felt a rip that gave a sort of a slight twist to the whole room. Everybody, so far as I could see, stood up and a number of men walked out rapidly through the swinging doors on the port side, and ran along to the rail.

Soon thereafter, Helen Churchill Candee found herself wearing a lifebelt and rushing up on deck with Hugh Woolner, who had immediately set out to search for her.

The pair encountered Edward Austin Kent on the Grand Staircase.

She pleaded with him to take valuable tokens, reportedly because she believed that he had a far stronger chance of surviving than she, and because Edward was in possession of pockets. Upon her insistence, Edward accepted an ivory-and-gold cameo miniature of Mrs. Candee’s dear mother, and a flask of brandy. 

Edward, along with Woolner and another gentleman of the Coterie, escorted Mrs. Candee to Lifeboat 6, which was being launched off the port side by Second Officer Charles Lightoller.

When Colonel Gracie found Edward, he asked after the well-being of Mrs. Candee. He said, “She is safe and in a boat, Mr. Gracie.”

While Edward’s actions after the launch of lifeboat 6 have never been detailed, accounts attest to him continuing to assist women into lifeboats with haste. Mrs. Candee last saw him at his dapperest, standing unflustered at the rail and waving.

It is reported that Edward Austin Kent never left Titanic. The sea closed over him 2:20am.

He did not struggle or flounder.

Word of the sinking was reaching shore as the lifeboats were still in the water. But there was no word of Edward.

And so, on April 21, his bereft sister Charlotte published the following in the New York Sun.

TO SURVIVORS OF THE TITANIC—Information of any kind concerning Edward A. Kent during voyage of the Titanic will be gratefully received by the family. CHARLOTTE M. KENT. The Lenox. Buffalo, N. Y.

Mrs. Candee’s daughter Edith replied to Charlotte’s plea via letter. Therein, she detailed her mother’s encounter with Edward on the Grand Staircase, although it appears that Edith (or Helen) moved the set piece to the boat deck for dramatic effect.

On April 27, the First Unitarian Church, which Edward had himself brought to life, held a service for Edward. Every seat was filled.

Reverend Richard Boynton, at a pulpit adorned with both a large floral wreath and an anchor, made this remark among many eulogizing Edward.

Edward Austin Kent, with his brother, William Winthrop Kent, of New York, gave us one of his best in designing and erecting this building. It is fair that we all believe to judge a man by works, So judged, we must accord Mr. Kent true distinction and refinement of soul.

That same day, the crew of the Mackay-Bennett sent out a telegram listing those bodies which had been recovered.

Edward Austin Kent’s was among them. And in his pocket still, were Mrs. Candee’s effects.


CLOTHING - Grey coat; dress suit pants.

EFFECTS - Silver flask; two gold signet rings; gold watch; gold eye glasses; gold frame miniature of "Mary Churchill Hungerford"; knife; a pocket books; 48 francs, 75; 2 studs, one link.


Edward’s corpse, along with all those onboard the Mackay-Bennett, was brought into port at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Edward's cousin and brother-in-law were there to receive his remains.

He was laid to rest in Buffalo, and the miniature and flask were eventually returned in sadness to Mrs. Candee.

The chairman of the Royal Institute of British Architects issued his condolences, lauding Edward as "the very best type of American gentlemen."

Edward Austin Kent’s headstone is engraved as a testament to his kind and quiet courage.


As Helen stated years later about the loss of her male companions on board Titanic, “We all love a gentleman… Time has nothing to do with effacing that.”

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“We Must Get Them Into the Boats”: Colonel Archibald Gracie IV

"We Must Get Them Into the Boats": Colonel Archibald Gracie IV

Archibald Gracie IV was the All-American sort of American.

He was born in Mobile, Alabama, in January of 1858. At the onset of the American Civil War, his father defied his Unionist family and in 1862, he became a general in the Confederate Army. He was killed while he was looking through a spyglass at Petersburg in 1864, when an artillery shell exploded in front of him.

The young Gracie wasn’t yet 6 years old when his father died, and that same year, was sent to boarding school in New Hampshire. Gracie IV grew up to attend (but not graduate) from West Point and become a colonel in the 7th New York Regiment.

Archibald Gracie IV.


Colonel Gracie ended up on Titanic after a solo trip to Europe to decompress; he had spent 7 years writing a book about the Battle of Chickamauga, which his late father had been in.

Gracie spent his time as one would expect a dapper gentleman of stature to, and we know a great deal about how he occupied himself thanks to his account of the sinking, written shortly after the disaster in 1912.

And did he enjoy himself.

During the first days of the voyage, from Wednesday to Saturday… I had devoted my time to social enjoyment and to the reading of books taken from the ship’s well-supplied library. I enjoyed myself as if I were in a summer place on the sea shore, surrounded with every comfort—there was nothing to indicate or suggest that we were on the stormy Atlantic ocean.

Excerpt from "Titanic: A Survivor's Story," by Archibald Gracie, 1912 (reprinted by Sutton Publishing, 2008.)

During his time on “this floating palace,” Colonel Gracie offered his services to a group of women traveling alone. This was a common practice at the time, to escort unaccompanied ladies to ensure their safety and well-being.

Colonel Gracie also spent a great deal of time with Isidor and Ida Straus, whose story of tragic devotion is easily the most famous of all the couples on board Titanic.

Colonel Gracie and Isidor were both armchair historians, and they made a hobby out of discussing the American Civil War, as they had both been affiliated to the Confederate cause. Gracie lent Isidor a book about Chickamauga—his own book, naturally.

Isidor returned it with gratitude to the Colonel on Sunday, April 14, 1912.

Isidor Straus, taken on February 6, 1906. From the George Grantham Bain Collection, courtesy of the Library of Congress.


Gracie was also an esteemed member of an impromptu and exclusive club called “Our Coterie,” a group of seven writers, including Hugh Woolner and Edward Austin Kent, who met every day. It was essentially Titanic’s Finer Things Club.

On Sunday morning, Colonel Gracie spent a concentrated amount of time exercising, and made a point to take advantage of Titanic’s many athletic facilities, including the gymnasium, the racquetball court, and the heated swimming bath. The latter activity clearly caused him some mental anguish as he thought back on the sinking.

When Sunday morning came, I considered it high time to begin my customary exercises… I was up early before breakfast and met the profession racquet player in a half hour’s warming up, preparatory for a swim in the six-foot deep tank of salt water, heated to a refreshing temperature. In no swiming [sic] bath had I ever enjoyed such pleasure before. How curtailed that enjoyment would have been had the presentiment come to me telling how near it was to being my last plunge, and that before dawn of another day I would be swimming for my life in mid-ocean, under water and on the surface, in a temperature of 28 degrees Fahrenheit!

…Such was my morning preparation for the unforeseen physical exertions I was compelled to put forth for dear life at midnight, a few hours later. Could any better training for the terrible ordeal have been planned?

Excerpt from "Titanic: A Survivor's Story," by Archibald Gracie, 1912 (reprinted by Sutton Publishing, 2008.)

This was hardly Colonel Gracie’s only moment of irony within his written narrative. He also wrote of returning a book to the First-Class library, and remarked, "How little I thought that in the next few hours I should be a witness and a party to a scene to which this book could furnish no counterpart."

Gracie was awoken by the collision with the iceberg. He testified to hearing the ship’s steam sound off. He also felt the engines cease, though it was only “slight.”

All through the voyage the machinery did not manifest itself at all from my position in my stateroom, so perfect was the boat. I looked out of the door of my stateroom, glanced up and down the passageway to see if there was any commotion, and I did not see anybody nor hear anybody moving at all; but I did not like the sound of it, so I thought I would partially dress myself, which I did, and went on deck.

I went on what they call the A deck. Presently some passengers gathered around. We looked over the sides of the ship to see whether there was any indication of what had caused this noise. I soon learned from friends around that an iceberg had struck us.

Presently along came a gentleman… who had ice in his hands. Some of this ice was handed to us with the statement that we had better take this home for souvenirs. Nobody had any fear at that time at all.

Colonel Gracie went about assisting people into boats—including the ladies that he had made his special charges—and was witness to some of Titanic's most noted partings, including those of the John Jacob Astor and his pregnant young wife. Gracie was also one of those who tried to persuade Mrs. Straus to part with Isidor and get into a lifeboat, but she refused.

I had heard them discussing that if they were going to die they would die together. We tried to persuade Mrs. Straus to go alone, without her husband, and she said no. Then we wanted to make an exception of the husband, too, because he was an elderly man, and he said no, he would share his fate with the rest of the men, and that he would not go beyond. So I left them there.

Unsurprisingly, Colonel Gracie did not take to a lifeboat.

He spent most the sinking assisting Second Officer Charles Lightoller in filling lifeboats and providing those passengers with blankets.

Gracie was also vital to the launch of the so-called "collapsible" lifeboats, handing over his penknife to help cut the boats free from the roof of the officers quarters. They successfully loosed Collapsibles A, C, and D.

But as they worked frantically on Collapsible B, the bridge dipped; Gracie and his friend, who he had been with for most of the ordeal, moved toward the stern. Caught in the crowd of passengers, the water rushed up to meet them.

Colonel Gracie jumped with the wave and grabbed for the bottom rung of a ladder, and pulled himself onto the roof.

So the ship went down.

And Gracie with it.

Down, down I went: it seemed a great distance. There was a very noticeable pressure upon my ears…

Just at the moment I thought that for lack of breath I would have to give in, I seemed to have been provided a second wind, and it was just then that the thought that this was my last moment came upon me. I wanted to convey the news of how I died to my loved ones at home. As I swam beneath the surface of the ocean, I prayed that my spirit could go to them and say, ‘Goodbye, until we meet again in heaven.’

Finally I noticed by the increase of light that I was drawing near the surface. Though it was not daylight, the clear star-lit night made a noticeable difference in the degree of light immediately below the surface of the water... Looking about me, I could see no Titanic in sight. She had entirely disappeared...

What impressed me at the time that my eyes beheld the horrible scene was a thin light-gray smoking vapor that hung like pall a few feet about the broad expanse of sea that was covered with a mass of tangled wreckage.

Excerpt from "Titanic: A Survivor's Story," by Archibald Gracie, 1912 (reprinted by Sutton Publishing, 2008.)

Gracie grabbed a hold of a wooden crate and found his way to--of all lifeboats--Collapsible B, which had floated away upside down when Titanic's deck was submerged.

By Gracie's estimates, there were approximately a dozen men on top of the capsized boat when he managed to pull himself aboard, and about a dozen followed him. All in all, Gracie guessed there were about 30 on Collapsible B.

The boat was kept afloat by an air pocket that inevitably diminished as their weight bore down and the night wore on; multiple survivors speak of the water washing over them.

No one could move. And it was this precarious situation, as the lifeboat sank deeper, that caused the survivors on Collapsible B to deny other survivors who swam near.

Colonel Gracie turned his head away, lest he be begged and made to refuse. There are reports of men being beaten away with oars. And a report, supported by Gracie and another survivor, that a man who was told off replied with, "All right, boys; good luck, and God bless you."

With the morning came the swell of the sea, and the air pocket within leaked. Second Officer Lightoller, the ad hoc leader of Collapsible B and the highest-ranked officer to survive, arranged for the men to stand and shift their weights to counteract the swells.

By the time they were rescued, the water was up to their knees, and multiple men had died.

The recovery of Collapsible B by the crew of the Mackay-Bennett.


Colonel Gracie had to drag himself into Lifeboat 12 when they pulled up alongside Collapsible B. Per his account, there was a dead man in the boat, whose identity has never been determined. Gracie said that he tried desperately to revive him, but it was in vain.

On board Carpathia under a pile of blankets, Colonel Gracie found his body and legs had been cut; he had, it turned out, also sustained a wound to his head.

He was graciously nursed by other survivors, including Frederic and Daisy Spedden, as well as their son’s nursemaid Elizabeth Burns, who provided him with warm drinks. He made a point of thanking them in his manuscript.

Colonel Gracie testified in the resulting Senate Inquiry and set immediately to write a book about the sinking. It is, as you have seen, extraordinarily detailed. He spent a considerable amount of time performing research, curating peer survivor accounts, and determining who was in each lifeboat.

But however bombastic he seems in his writing, the truth is that Colonel Gracie’s vitality, if not his life, was lost to Titanic. He was a diabetic, and the hypothermia he suffered took a severe toll on his health.

At only 54 years old, Colonel Archibald Gracie died on December 4, 1912.

…The members of his family and his physicians felt that the real cause was the shock he suffered last April when he went down with the ship and was rescued later after long hours on a half-submerged raft. The events of the night of the wreck were constantly on his mind. The manuscript of his work on the subject had finally been completed and sent to the printers when his last illness came. In his last hours the memories of the disaster did not leave him. Rather they crowded thicker

His final request was that he be interred in the same clothes he had worn when Titanic sank.

Colonel Gracie's funeral was widely reported. Multiple Titanic survivors were in mournful attendance, including Jack Thayer, a seventeen-year-old who had also survived the night on the back of Collapsible B.

Col. Archibald Gracie's final wish that he be buried in the clothes he wore
when rescued from the sinking Titanic was carried out when he was laid to
rest in Woodlawn cemetery, New York city [sic], yesterday.

The obsequies were held in Calvary church and among those present to pay the
last tribute were many of his fellow survivors from the doomed liner,
including Mrs. John Jacob Astor, Mrs. Edward W. Appleton, Mrs. J. B. Thayer,
and her son, J. B. Thayer, and Mrs. J. J. Brown.

Colonel Gracie’s last words were, “We must get them into the boats. We must get them all into the boats.”


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First-Class Athletic Facilities


Titanic's gymnasium was accessible from the boat desk, adjacent to the second funnel. It was outfitted with elaborate equipment, especially during an era in which exercise was more of a hobby, or a quaint way to pass some time.

It would seem that prior to sail, it was open for exploration by both genders and other classes of passengers. But once Titanic departed Queenstown, it was a first-class exclusive, and was used separately by ladies and gentlemen.

The gym was the domain of Thomas McCawley, a spry moustache master always seen at his post, and always wearing his white flannels and plimsolls (canvas athletic shoes), the primmest and dapperest Edwardian fitness instructor you could ever imagine.

Colorized version of photo of Titanic's gymnasium, taken by Robert John Welch for Harland & Wolff.


The gym was available for a shilling a ticket, which would be paid, of course, to Chief Purser Hugh McElroy prior to use, and would be good for one session.

The gym was exclusive to the ladies from 9am to noon, children 1pm to 3pm, and the men 2pm to 6pm. Tom McCawley was said to be precise to the minute in opening the gym for these scheduled shifts.

The gymnasium was equipped with punching bags, Indian clubs, stationary bicycles with giant red meters for monitoring one's progress, a rowing machine, and mechanical horses. It was also installed with an "electric camel", which mimicked the back-and-forth motion of a camel ride when sat upon, and which was lauded as "good for the liver."

Lawrence Beesley, a second-class passenger, on the stationary bicycles with an unnamed friend. originally published in London Illustrated News, April 20, 1912.


There was a racquetball court presided over by instructor Frederick Wright on G Deck with an entrance on D Deck, and an observation gallery on F Deck. That would set you back two shillings for one half-hour of play.

Titanic also boasted Turkish baths, which offered massages, shampoos, and electric baths. The central feature was the Cool Room, and it was decorated in a lavish Arabic style--all teak wood, green and blue tiles, a marble fountain, and a scarlet ceiling with guilded beams and hanging lanterns. It was littered with lounges, folding chairs, and Damascus tables.

In 2005, they rediscovered the Cool Room in a remarkably preserved state. Because it had flooded early on, and its location was deeper inside the ship, it was largely protected from damage when the bow crashed into the seabed. And because it's so far within the ship, hungry microorganisms can't really get at it, so the woodwork, stained glass windows, and even the recliners are still recognizable.

Illustration of the Cool Room of the Turkish Baths on R.M.S. Olympic, which was Titanic's elder sister.


To most people, the most delightfully ironic of Titanic's fitness features was a heated saltwater swimming pool, (or "bath," as they referred to it).

It was 30x14ish feet and was tiled in blue and white. It also had a marble staircase descending into the water; this was because the water was 3 feet below the lip of the pool, to try to prevent water from sloshing out with the motion of the ship. There were shower stalls and changing cubicles along its side.

Swimming pool of the R.M.S. Olympic, which can be discerned from Titanic's due to the presence of a diving board.


The swimming bath was open only to First Class, of course; the use of a swimming suit was included in the fee of a shilling.

It was the second of its kind ever put to sea; the first was that of RMS Olympic, and the only notable difference between it and Titanic's was that Olympic's swimming bath had a diving board, while Titanic's was absent of the same. This was decided upon because the sloshy water made the diving end shallower than it appeared, and it caused a hazard to passengers.

First-Class survivor Colonel Archibald Gracie used the swimming bath to his great enjoyment. He took a refreshing swim on the morning of April 14, 1912--and later mused upon the irony of the same, stating he probably wouldn't have enjoyed it so much if he had known the next swim he was about to take.

Archibald Gracie IV, Titanic survivor who used the swimming bath on April 14, 1912.


The swimming bath was across the hall from the Turkish baths, but within the wreck, it is blocked by a watertight door. Given the relatively immaculate state of the Turkish baths, it is assumed the pool is in similarly excellent shape.

The gymnasium was a central location during the sinking; many people who rushed to the boat deck found themselves too cold while waiting for lifeboats, and crowded into the gymnasium for warmth.

It was here that John Jacob Astor was witnessed slitting open a life-vest with his penknife, to reassure his young wife about the buoyancy of cork. A few passengers peddled on the stationary bikes to keep warm.

And the entire time, Mr. McCawley manned his post. When asked about a life-vest, he declined to wear one; he insisted it would inhibit his swimming once the ship went down.

Thomas McCawley died in the sinking. He was 36 years old.



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