107 #76: Titanic’s Marconi operators knocked a stoker unconscious and left him to die

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Titanic

TRUE. Bride and Phillips did overcome a stoker who was attempting to steal Phillips’ lifejacket. Bride referred to this incident in his testimony at the British inquiry:

16774: ‘Have you made a statement at any time that you found Mr. Phillips being attacked or his lifebelt being removed?’

‘Someone was taking the lifebelt off Phillips when I left the cabin.’

16775: ‘Do I understand you to state that you thought it was a stoker who was taking this lifebelt off Mr. Phillips?’

‘I presumed from the appearance of the man that he was someone in that line of business.’

16776: ‘This would have been a few minutes before you left the room?’

‘Yes.’

16777: ‘Was he dressed in stoker’s gear?’

‘Yes.’

16778: ‘Do I understand that you hit him, or what?’ ‘

Well, we stopped him from taking the lifebelt off.’

16779: ‘“We,” you say?’

‘Yes.’

16780: ‘I understood the report was that Mr. Phillips was engaged at this time with his work?’

‘Yes.’

16781: ‘Sending messages; and that you forced this man away?’

‘Well, I forced the man away and it attracted Mr. Phillips’s attention, and he came and assisted me.’

16782: ‘Is your recollection of this matter very clear?’

‘It is fairly clear.’

16783: ‘Would you know the man again if you saw him?’

‘I am not likely to see him.’

16784: ‘You are supposed to have hit him?’

‘Well, I held him and Mr. Phillips hit him.’

16785: ‘Mr. Phillips hit him?’

‘Yes.’

16786: ‘That is the difference between what you say and what I read. You are absolutely positive on this question?’

‘I am positive on it, yes.’

Nothing more is known of what happened to the man, although if he was only knocked unconscious it is possible he would have been brought round by the seawater as it reached the wireless room. Bride and Phillips didn’t leave this room until about 10 minutes before the Titanic sank, so it’s not surprising there’s no mention of what happened to the man after he was overpowered by them. The incident was not pursued further at the inquiry after it was ascertained that it was Phillips, who did not survive, rather than Bride, who actually hit the man.

If you’d like to read the full book of101 Things You Thought You Knew About The Titanic…But Didn’t!, or any of my other books on Titanic, please visit my Author Page on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/tim-maltin/e/B005LNHYEQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_1

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