Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Sinking of the Titanic

The sinking of the Titanic in the early hours of 15th April 1912 was a disaster that shocked the world. The ship was on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York when it hit an iceberg.

This desperate telegram was sent by Jack Phillips, the wireless operator, as the Titanic started to go down. No ship was close enough to arrive in time to help. The second document here is a page from the list of passengers who died.

RMS Titanic was the largest ship in the world when it was built and was launched in a blaze of publicity. It was designed to be ‘unsinkable’, but when the iceberg pierced its hull the damage was fatal. As the Titanic started to take on water, the order was given to evacuate the ship. Jack Phillips’s telegram reached the Russian steamer, SS Birma. It bears the Titanic’s code name (MGY) and reads: ‘We are sinking fast passengers being put into boats’.

There were only enough lifeboats to save about half of the 2228 passengers and crew. People who ended up in the freezing ocean waters could not last long. This meant that over 1500 people died in the disaster, while only 705 people survived. Jack Phillips went down with the ship.

list of drowned passengers
Some of the passengers who died were very rich and famous. However, this list names some of the 721 third-class passengers who perished. Passengers’ chances of survival largely depended on the class in which they were travelling. Women and children travelling first and second class were given priority for getting into the lifeboats and most of these were saved. First-class passengers as a whole fared the best, with about 60% surviving. Only 25% of third-class travellers were rescued.

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