Who travelled on the fateful maiden voyage?
The Titanic was built at a cost of around £1.5 million, in Belfast, for the White Star shipping line. She was the largest passenger steamer of her day, at over 46,000 tons, and supposedly the most up to date. Special watertight compartments made her 'practically unsinkable', claimed the owners. They also advertised the luxurious First Class accommodation, with large state-rooms, a Parisian café, a swimming pool and restaurant.
Titanic set sail from Southampton on her maiden voyage on Wednesday 10 April, 1912, calling at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown in southern Ireland before heading out across the Atlantic, on course for New York. Late on the night of Sunday 14 April she struck an iceberg and was holed below the waterline. Less than three hours later she sank. Only 705 people were rescued from over 2,200 on board.
- What clues are there from this list that this is the First Class passenger list, not the Third?
- Most of the people on this list do not have an occupation listed, why do you think this is?
- This list shows HJ Allison, his wife and his daughter. We know that JJ Astor travelled with his wife Madeline, but she is not listed beside him. Why do you think this is?
1. Look at Source 1. This is a list of passengers who were killed in the sinking.
2. Look at Source 2. This is also a list of passengers killed in the sinking.a. What countries have these people come from?
b. How many different occupations are there listed?
c. What other differences can you see between the 1st and 3rd class lists? Why do you think this is?
- Compare the two types of accommodation shown here. Write three sentences to describe the differences.
- What does this tell you about differences between rich and poor at that time?
- Which of these cabins would you have preferred to stay in? Give your reasons why.
3. Look at Source 3a and b. These are images of the Titanic's cabins in 1st and 3rd class.
- Where did most people embark?
- Which class of passenger made up the majority of those embarking at Cherbourg?
- Which class of passenger made up the majority of those embarking at Queenstown?
- Which class of passenger were in a majority of all those on board when the Titanic set off for New York?
- Look at the title of the document on which the table is based. What does this tell you about who all these steerage passengers were?
4. Look at Source 4. This is a page from a document headed 'Survey of an Emigrant Ship: Certificate of Clearance'. Use the simplified transcript to answer the questions below.
- When was it received?
- If you were the wireless operator on the Birma, how would you report this message to the Captain?
- If you were the Captain of the Birma, what would you do?
5. Look at Source 5. This is a telegram received by the Russian liner Birma.
6. The Titanic has the reputation of being a luxury ship. Is this reputation justified?
- 381 were cabin class passengers, including all the children in this class
- 270 were steerage passengers, including 26 of the children in this class
- 52 were crew
7. 705 of those on board the Titanic when she struck the iceberg survived.
Of the survivors:
What does this tell you about the safety arrangements for different types of passengers?