Talk:Edward Smith (sea captain)

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—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:55, 10 April 2010 (UTC) "Had Smith survived, he would have commanded the Gigantic (Titanic's second sister ship) in two years on its maiden voyage."
What is the source for this, I had always found that the Smith was going to retire after the Titanic. MechBrowman 16:10, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)

I agree with MechBrowman. Smith was going to retire after Titanics maiden voyage to spend more time with his wife and teenaged daughter. Gigantic, later named Britannic, was commanded by Captain Charles Barcklett (Not to sure on the spelling of 'Barklett').
Of course Britannic was commanded by another captain (as Captain Smith perished in the Titanic disaster), but that he planned to retire is nothing but a myth. It was stated as late as April 9th 1912 that Captain Smith would be in charge of the Titanic until White Star Line had completed "[a] larger and finer steamer". --SincereGuy 12:21, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
I have found a couple of modern sources that refer to quotes that Smith made that he was going to retire. While there is uncertainty (there may have even been uncertainty in his mind...or he may have been telling the press one thing, and his wife another!), I think it is inaccurate to call it a myth, so I've revised the text slightly. Akradecki 16:57, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
And what were their sources? Just because a myth is widespread doesn't make it true.--SincereGuy 19:50, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Is there any way we can get some more sources on this man?--Bobthebuilder89 06:35, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Sure...go to your local library and start doing research! AKRadeckiSpeaketh 15:05, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Improper link?[edit]

After Smith's name, there is a link to the ambigious page RD. However, that page doesn't appear to include this meaning of RD. It seems like it should be un-linked or that page updated with the proper meaning. Adduce 16:09, 2 March 2007 (UTC) On closer inspection, it occurs later in the article. I'll make the update. Adduce 16:14, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. Even though it does explain it later, you're correct, the link should go to the right place, not a DAB page. I've fixed it now. Akradecki 03:37, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

The link to "biographical information on Edward Smith" does not work. (talk) 10:54, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. The linked article can be found on, but the same content is also at so I've replaced the link with one to that site. Charivari (talk) 23:19, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Date of death?[edit]

It says that his date of death is April 15, but the Titanic sank on April 14. Shouldn't his date of death be April 14? [[User:SPARTEN II|SPARTEN II] 06:07, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

The Titanic struck the iceberg on 14 April at around 11:40 PM and did not sink till around 2:20 AM on 15 April 1912 so Captain Smith's date of death would be 15 April 1912.Sundrops55 03:33, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Titanic Smith.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 02:46, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

yacan1:no really if you READ it, it says that he died around 2:00 Am after midnight that night,and that means it would be the 15 when the boat started to sink on the 14th. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yacan1 (talkcontribs) 18:29, 15 March 2008 (UTC)


Someones gotta change this "The Discovery of the Titanic, he claims that Captain Smith went into the bridge to await his fate at 2:13AM, three minutes before the final sinking"

I have read that book many times and now where in it does it say that. Besides, saying the time Smith apparently did that as 2:13 am is rediculas as the entire bow section of the ship had broken away before 2:13 am and I feel pretty confident that when it did, IT TOOK THE BRIDGE WITH IT.

That sentence not only is false but sounds completely obserd. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:11, 16 March 2008 (UTC)


Although commonly referred to as White Star's Commodore, Smith never held that title, which went unused from 1887, when Hamilton Perry was sacked, until 1922, when it was resurrected for Sir Bertram Hayes when Majestic II entered service. In addition, in the Merchant Marine, a commodore had no authority over other commanders and they did not report to him; all commanders, including the Commodore, reported to the marine superintendents at their various ports. Mab819c (talk) 07:11, 9 November 2011 (UTC)


There are some strange edits on this page. In the 'Hawke Incident' section someone has added 'He was awesome.' and under his picture someone has added 'Notes BEQUEATHING TO HIS COUNTRYMEN THE MEMORY & EXAMPLE OF A GREAT HEART A BRAVE LIFE AND A HEROIC DEATH ۞ (¯`·._.¤ BE BRITISH ¤._.·´¯) ۞' I don't want to edit it because I'm not a regular but I hope someone else will get around to it. -- (talk) 01:38, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

These have been fixed, see here and here. Nobody would have criticised you for removing the first one, because it was a nonconstructive addition. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:10, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
And the second one is a pack of lies. Very far from reality! (talk) 03:38, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Details of Smith's actions[edit]

It seems that Smith was simply trying to do his best that night. In fact, he was extremely busy during the entire evacuation. Here are several accounts of his actions. I have tried to put them in chronological order.

Death of Smith[edit]

Now, and for the last time. Somebody keeps modifying the section about Smith's fate when the Titanic sank. This or these people, in the effort to make 'official' the cinematographic image of Smith locking himself in the bridge and going down to the ship, kept repeating like parrots the account by Robert William Daniels of seeing Smith locking himself in the bridge and dying there, while they kept cancelling all the more reliable evidence from other survivors - including the enquiry testimony of the second radio officer Harold Bride, not one of the thousands of far-fetched newspaper accounts given by passengers like Daniels - that Smith may instead have jumped into the sea just before the bridge was submerged, and possibly even nearly reached collapsible B (notice: I say possibly, and indeed I wrote in the article that Smith's fate will remain uncertain, while these people states their theories as facts). They deem all these account, including an inquiry testimony, as "apocryphal", while the only certainly apocryphal accounts are those of Smith carrying a child to collapsible B, not merely reaching it before to die. And if we want to remain in theme of apocryphal accounts, let's talk about the account by Daniels, to which they desperately cling: it is not even certain that Daniels was really still aboard when the ship sank, and IF he was, he was in the extreme stern (newspaper account by the fireman Thomas Patrick Dillon, which is also the only source that placed Daniels aboard - many Titanic historians are instead convinced that he was already in a lifeboat by this time, see, and there is no way he could have reached the extreme stern if he was near the bridge when it began to flood, because from that moment to the moment the Titanic sank only five minutes or so passed, and there is no way he could have walked up the slanting deck for al the length of the ship. Moreover, all the survivor accounts (see enquiry testimonies! are unanimous in saying that the fore end of the boat deck, where the bridge was, was submerged in a very quick and violent manner, like a "tidal wave" had struck it: it had not flooded slowly like Daniels said. One more unjustified modify to that section and I will notify them for vandalism. Excuse me for being so rude but this has been repeated for nearly a year and without those people ever making a justification or asking anything, just erasing everything goes against what they state. --Olonia (talk) 12:36, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 4 February 2014[edit]

In the last paragraph of the 'RMS Titanic‍ '​ section, please change:
1996 TV miniseries   -to-   [[Titanic (1996 TV miniseries)|1996 TV miniseries]] (talk) 01:01, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Done thanks, NiciVampireHeart 12:21, 4 February 2014 (UTC)


Since the article states that he was promoted to 'Commander', shouldn't the honorific prefix in the infobox be changed (from Captain to Commander)?  Possibly with the link: [[Commander (Royal Navy)|Commander]]  — Near the bottom of the article there is the text from a plaque where he is name begins with the honorific Commander, as well as the town hall tablet:  This tablet is dedicated to the memory of Commander [sic] Edward John Smith... — but this includes the "[sic]". This "error" (if it is) needs to be clarified somewhere in the article. ~: (talk) 04:15, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 March 2014[edit]

At the end of 2nd paragraph of Bigger commands sub-section, please add {{cn|date=March 2014}} following: ... promotion to Commander.
See previous discussion for explanation. (talk) 17:06, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Done{{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 17:25, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 May 2014[edit]

The year of death for the wife of Captain Smith should not be 1912, per this wikipedia article. Below, in the family section, it states that Sarah Eleanor Smith was hit and killed by a taxi in London in 1931, so her year of death was not 1912, but 1931. (talk) 06:04, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: 1887-1912 are the years of marriage, cf. Template:Infobox person, not birth year and death year of Sarah Eleanor. Sam Sailor Sing 08:23, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Daniel Allen Butler on Smith's fate[edit]

I have added in the words of Daniel Allen Butler from his website saying that the shutters on the wheelhouse window would be closed at night for help with the bridge officers' night vision, and so that could explains why Hemming did not see Smith when he went in the bridge. I have also corrected the name of the book which makes the claim that Bride may have mistaken Smith for Lightoller. I added in the claims that Captain Smith was the officer who allegedly committed suicide.

Also, I removed the Captain Smith biography because it comes from a old unfinished website that make make 'official' the cinematographic image of Smith locking himself in the bridge and going down to the ship.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

You do need to cite your source for the Daniel Allen Butler quote, but clearly the automatic process was mistaken in regarding your edit as "vandalism". I've made a report and reverted the article back to your version. If anyone else changes it, it will be a human editor. By the way if you wish to continue editing, as I hope you will, you may do well to open an account: anonymous edits are regarded as more likely to be malicious - this is not always fair but it's the result of long experience: Noyster (talk), 09:57, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Smith's actions[edit]

I am deleting the following;

"Captain Smith, aware that there were not enough lifeboats for all of the passengers and crew, appeared to have become emotionally paralyzed by indecision as he began to realize the enormity of what was about to happen. He did not issue a general call for evacuation, failed to order his officers to load the lifeboats, failed to supervise and coordinate the evacuation effort, did not adequately organize the crew, withheld crucial information from his officers and crewmen, and gave sometimes ambiguous and impractical orders; in one example in an hour after the collision, Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall was still unaware that the ship would sink."

This is just one of those often repeated myths accepted as hearsay; the truth is that Smith was quite active from all eyewitness accounts in overseeing the loading and launching of the boats. There is no evidence he suffered a breakdown or became paralyzed by indecision. The truth is that Captain Smith was extremely busy during the whole evacuation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 16:20, 4 December 2014 (UTC)