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Author Topic: "After you old buoy: why Brits fared worst with Titanic" -Sydney Morning Herald.  (Read 1120 times)
Zeppelin Captain
Australia Australia

Back for the memories

« on: January 28, 2009, 06:36:08 am »

Many British victims of the Titanic disaster in 1912 may have sunk with the ship because of their gentlemanly behaviour, Swiss and Australian researchers say.

After examining the economic and social backgrounds of the 2200 passengers and crew aboard the ill-fated ocean liner, University of Zurich economist Bruno Frey and colleagues from Queensland University of Technology found that the Britons on board were 10 per cent less likely to have survived than all other nationalities.

The researchers suggested that good manners, or "noblesse oblige", might have had something to do with that in the rush for the lifeboats, the Swiss news agency ATS reported.

Their as yet unpublished study concluded that social norms such as "women and children first" do survive in the kind of situation found on board the British liner for nearly three hours after it hit an iceberg.

But they also found that Americans had a higher survival rate than all the others when the Titanic sank in icy Atlantic waters.

"We were interested in how people behave when it's a matter of life and death," Frey said.

The Titanic did not have enough lifeboats and some 1500 people died when the reputedly unsinkable liner went down on its maiden trans-Atlantic voyage.

The study also found that women of reproductive age were better off, while women, as a whole, had a 53 per cent better chance of survival. But children were only 15 per cent more likely to have survived than adults.

Crew members had an 18 per cent higher probability of surviving, probably thanks to an "information advantage" and better access to resources such as lifeboats.

But fitness and cultural background also appeared to matter, while social class was a glaring factor.

The study found that wealthy first class passengers had a 40 per cent better chance of surviving than those in third class, who were segregated in cabins deep inside the hull and often struggled to reach deck.


Gentlemanly to the end. saw this and thought I should share.

Zeppelin Captain
United Kingdom United Kingdom

« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 11:42:33 am »

bloody americans, have they never heard of the much loved british pass time of Queing?

Stockton Joans:
Part time Illithid hunter
Deck Hand
Netherlands Netherlands

« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 01:16:36 pm »

wow.. never thought of that.. thanks for sharing!
Siliconous Skumins
Server Monk
Rogue Ætherlord
United Kingdom United Kingdom

« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2009, 04:07:27 pm »

Hehe, I posted this story up the other week.  Wink

« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 04:09:29 pm by Siliconous Skumins » Logged

[Server Prayer]
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Snr. Officer
United States United States

« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2009, 05:44:18 am »

Ugh...this is one of those ridiculous playing with statistics to prove some preconceived trite notion or theory. I have been a huge Titanic buff since being a child and read almost every worthwhile book on the subject. The numbers in this case do not tell the whole story and in some ways diminishes the sacrifice that many made that cold night in 1912.

For instance:

First Class accommodations located in the middle of the ship on the upper decks had immediate and easy access to the boat deck and the lifeboats.  There were 212 American First Class passengers as opposed to 45 British First Class Passengers. 62% of First Class passengers survived...naturally that will mean more Americans in that case.

Second Class staterooms were located further aft, but Second Class passengers also did have did have access the part of the boat deck at the stern.  There were 51 American Second Class Passengers as opposed to 169 British Second Class Passengers.  In this case 47% (24) of Americans survived as opposed to 41% (70) of the British Second Class passengers...a closer percentage than purported in that "study", but still means more British deaths.

Steerage or Third class passengers had rooms on lower decks and there was no immediate access the boat deck.  There has been questions over the years about hos much physical restraint was used to keep Steerage passengers away from the boat deck. There were locked gates to separate the Classes. It is documented that most of these unfortunate souls did make it topside until AFTER the boats had been launched. There were 43 Americans in Third Class as opposed to 120 British Third Class passengers.  Since only 25% of all Third Class passenger survived...once again, this means more British deaths.

The "study" does a disservice to the mostly British Crew and staff of Titanic by trivialising their sacrifice as a question of manners and the inference that they survived because they had "better" access to the lifeboats.  Many officers and seamen took their ordered posts in the lifeboats as they were supposed to take charge of the boats and serve and as rowers since they would actually know how to handle the boats.

703 Crew and Staff members died with the Titanic...most of them doing their jobs until the last possible moments. ALL 30 of the engineers and electrical engineers perished because they stayed down below at their posts until almost the very end working hard with the increasing forward list of the ship to keep her afloat and the electrical systems working and the lights on. These mostly British engineers were heroes and I think they deserve better.

Of course there were many more nationalities on board the ship as passengers and crew. Notably, there were 120 Irish passengers of which 35% survived. There were also 113 Swedish passengers of which 25% survived and 81 Syrians (yes, Syrians) of which 40% survived. Of the 30 Bulgarians aboard...none survived.

These statistics and demographics can be parsed and broken down ad infinitum.  Numbers alone cannot tell an entire story. I'm sure we will read and hear more hogwash like that study as we get closer to the centennial of the events.

New York City was the destination of Titanic and there is a memorial here for the victims of Titanic down at the South Street Seaport.  It is in the shape of a lighthouse which continues to light the way for the ship that never got here.

Sorry for being  long winded or for any grammatical errors since I was moved to answer this post rather quickly. Titanic has always been a passion of mine.

Since I believe we should all do our own research and make up our own minds about things...I have a included a helpful link below.

Victor Magnus, Magica et Machina
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