107 #74: Captain Smith of Titanic advised those on board near the end to ‘be British’

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FALSE. Although this is engraved on his memorial and featured in many films, it’s just another myth popularised by the British press at the time. Titanic’s passengers were drawn from all over the world and Captain Smith was an experienced transatlantic captain and a cosmopolitan, sophisticated man. Had he been prone to this type of jingoistic statement, he certainly wouldn’t have been so popular with the prominent Americans and Canadians who preferred to travel on ships he captained and to dine with him while on board. If he had said ‘Be British’ to anyone, it would have been to the crew, but not one member of the crew remembers him saying this.

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