Side Menu: The Mystery
“Mr.Murdoch, the first officer...shot himself...Captain Smith had to pass the body of his second in command. 'He glanced at it' said the man, who claimed to be an eyewitness 'but took no further notice.' "
The Coventry Herald of May 3rd 1912 ran an interesting article from an unnamed steward that only references a suicide, but also Captain Smith's reaction to it:
There a few interesting aspects to this newspaper story. Firstly it correctly spells the name of Murdoch, and identifies him accurately as the first officer. Secondly it mentions that Captain Smith was "washed away" from the bridge once, but then returns, and has to pass the body of Murdoch which he treats with indifference. This is the first time such an account involving Smith seeing the body and not reacting to it has come to light. However, with the only idenfitication being that the "eye-witness" was a steward we cannot identify or question the source of the account. There are 6 stewards who reported a suicide or shooting. Thomas Whiteley, Albert Smith and an unnamed First-class saloon steward (in the The Liverpool Echo) mention an officer suicide. Alexander James Littlejohn, Cecil William Fitzpatrick and Walter Nicols all reported shootings.
Many thanks to Paul Lee for discovering this article.