“Murdoch arrived and, according to Thompson, drew his gun and shouted for men to stand aside and let the women ascend, adding: "I'll kill the first man up"; three men who thought he was bluffing, Thompson claimed, came up ahead of women and were promptly shot dead. ”
Able seaman "Harry Thompson" does not appear in any of the official passenger or crew lists, as far as I can presently tell. Curiously, Elizabeth Gibbon's, who references the account in her monograph "To the Bitter End" goes so far as to name the lifeboat he departed in (no.9). It seems her information is based upon the 1912 publication by Philip Gibbs entitled "The Deathless - The Story of the Titanic (Great Newspapers Reprinted Special)". The 41 page book is illustrated with photographs, line drawings and first-hand reports from survivors and lists of passengers, officers and crew who were saved, and a complete list of officers and crew serving on the ship. According to an article in Lurgan Mail, 13 April 2012, entitled "A piece of Titanic history uncovered": "The original document was pieced together a short time after the events of April 12, 1912 and as such is subject to historical inaccuracies, but is nonetheless a great first person account capturing the mood of the time."
Elizabeth Gibbon's description is as follows:
"Able seaman Harry Thompson in his interview with Philip Gibbs gives a chilling example of this combination of contempt and gunfire. Thompson claimed that he had been near a forward companion ladder designed to give Third Class emergency access to the boatdeck; he claimed he heard steerage passengers "fighting" to reach the ladder. Murdoch arrived and, according to Thompson, drew his gun and shouted for men to stand aside and let the women ascend, adding: "I'll kill the first man up"; three men who thought he was bluffing, Thompson claimed, came up ahead of women and were promptly shot dead. As Thompson was already off the Titanic in No. 9 before Murdoch fired his revolver he could have seen nothing of the sort, and obviously combined stories of the shooting at No. C with what might have been an actual incident and very real threat earlier in the night (or may not have been a real incident -the location of such a ladder is problematical).
Thompson's version made a much more dramatic tale, of course, and possibly one he himself needed to believe: Thompson admired Murdoch, telling Gibbs that the First Officer was the "real hero" of that night. The editor of the Kirkcudbrightshire Advertizer on April 26, 1912, printed a variation of Thompson's description of Murdoch stopping a rush from Third Class: "It was he who met the frightened crowd of emigrants at the head of the steerage ladder, and quelled the incipient disorder."
No guns appear in this version; merely a report that might have come from anywhere in the Empire in that time, that of a mob faced down by a solitary British officer. Like Thompson, the editor was impressed, but unsurprised." (55.)