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8:40am Thursday 3rd May 2012 in Letters
Sir – In answer to Mike Gould’s letter (April 26) I would like to correct a couple of points.
The theory that Titanic and her sister, Olympic, were switched was not demolished by Steve Hall and Bruce Beveridge in their book. If anything the reverse is true, the only solid evidence put forward being the straight-fronted wheelhouse on the wreck.
Casual examination of the builder’s drawings for these ships shows both with straight and curved-fronted wheelhouses that were little more than wooden sheds, easily altered and hardly constitute solid evidence. To date, I have not been successfully challenged on a single fact put forward in my Titanic books.
Mr Gould has clearly done some research but I would suggest he reads the transcripts of the inquiries into the loss of the Titanic in detail and with an open mind.
As for the loss of Titanic being “the beginning of the end to an era of social and technical hubris”, were that true we would never have had Concorde and ships such as Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. There were many heroes aboard Titanic, but very few survived. A number of survivors made themselves out to be heroes, but the available facts show their true colours.
For example, one of these removed a 17-year-old boy from a lifeboat at gunpoint before boarding it himself. Not my idea of heroic behaviour. All the ship’s engineers, responsible for keeping lights on and pumps working were true heroes, as were the band; all perished.
Passengers who stood back to allow others into the boats were also heroes. I have never denigrated those who behaved bravely. Nor do I consider that they died as the result of insurance fraud in any way diminishes them. The insurance fraud is a proven fact, which any serious researcher should know. Mr Gould is welcome to contact me.
Robin Gardiner, Headington