“He thought the first officer, Mr. Murdoch, shot himself..."
Frederick Harris was a 39 year old fireman from 57 Melville Road,Gosport, Hampshire England. According to Encyclopedia Titanica he was rescued in lifeboat no.14 (8.). The following account was printed in the Western Daily Mercury on Monday 29th April 1912, on his return to England:
"Frederick Harris, 57, Melville-Road, Mill-lane, Gosport, had also a graphic story to tell. When the last moment came, and it was found that all the boat[sic] were gone and the vessel was going to sink, there was wild confusion. Deck chairs, and anything that would float were seized as the men jumped overboard.
He saw the captain jump into the water and grasp a child, which he placed on one of the rafts, of which there were all too few. He did not see the captain afterwards. He thought the first officer, Mr. Murdoch, shot himself. He himself got onto a small raft, but was afterwards taken into a boat. He was half dead with the cold.
If his account is to be believed it seems that Frederick Harris was aboard the Titanic until the very end and was subsequently picked up by Lowe in lifeboat no.14 from the water. Bill Wormstedt thinks it is possible Harris "climbed onto either Collapsible A or B (the raft?). More likely, he was one of the people who were shuffled around when Fifth Officer Lowe was emptying Lifeboat 14, prior to going back to look for survivors in the water."(12.) Either way this would possibly place him aboard the ship at the time of the alleged suicide. However it must be noted that he uses the expression "thought" which does leave room for doubt.