Let’s start off this blog with a man we all know & love.
Thomas Andrews (7 February 1873 – 15 April 1912).
Born: Comber, Northern Ireland.
Married: Helen Reilly Barbour in 1908
Children: Elizabeth Law Barbour Andrews (born in 1910)
Ticket No: 112050
Cabin No: A36
Andrews’ uncle Lord Pirrie, was the principal owner of Harland & Wolff in Belfast, Ireland. When he was 16, Andrews started out as an apprentice in the company for five years, working his way up and eventually moved up to become managing director & head of design & drafting department. Andrews was the lead designer for RMS Titanic. He was head of the 9 man Guarantee Group that sailed on Titanic on her maiden voyage, making critiques & notes for improvement on the ship & helping out the crew with difficulties. He knew the ship better than anyone, it was not only the pride and joy of Belfast, but his as well. Andrews was a well-liked man by all who knew him. He originally requested to have as many as 64 lifeboats on board the ship, but was overruled. His wife & daughter were left at home in Belfast while he sailed on Titanic. In his last letter to his wife, he expressed satisfaction with the ship, stating “The Titanic is now about complete and will I think do the old Firm credit tomorrow when we sail”.
When Titanic hit an iceberg on 14 April 1912, Andrews hardly noticed the collision, and only heard of it when Captain Smith sent a message requesting his presence. Andrews toured the ship with Captain Smith, & finally gave the grave news that the ship would sink in no more than 2 hours. He spent the last hours of his life searching the decks for passengers, advising them to go up on deck and put lifebelts on. He knew the ship did not have enough lifeboats for everyone on board, so he urged as many people as he could to get in the lifeboats to fill them. He was last seen in the first class smoking room by the painting “Plymouth Harbor”, his lifebelt next to him, staring at his ship.
Andrews’ father received a telegram on 19 April 1912, “INTERVIEW TITANIC’S OFFICERS. ALL UNANIMOUS THAT ANDREWS HEROIC UNTO DEATH, THINKING ONLY SAFETY OTHERS. EXTEND HEARTFELT SYMPATHY TO ALL.” His body was never found.