Thomas Andrews

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Thomas Andrews
Thomas Andrews ul.jpg
Andrews in 1911
Born
Thomas Andrews, Jr.

(1873-02-07)7 February 1873
Comber, County Down, Ireland
Died15 April 1912(1912-04-15) (aged 39)
NationalityBritish
Occupation Shipbuilder
Known forHead Designer – RMS Titanic
Spouse(s)Helen Reilly Barbour (1908 – 1912) (his death)
ChildrenElizabeth Law Barbour Andrews (1910-1973)

Thomas Andrews, Jr. (7 February 1873 – 15 April 1912) was a British businessman and shipbuilder. He was managing director and head of the drafting department of the shipbuilding company Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Ireland.

Harland and Wolff Northern Irish heavy industrial company

Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries is a heavy industrial company, specialising in ship repair, conversion, and offshore construction, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Harland & Wolff is famous for having built the majority of the ships intended for the White Star Line. Well known ships built by Harland & Wolff include the Olympic-class trio: RMS Titanic, RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic, the Royal Navy's HMS Belfast, Royal Mail Line's Andes, Shaw Savill's Southern Cross, Union-Castle's RMS Pendennis Castle, and P&O's Canberra. Harland and Wolff's official history, Shipbuilders to the World, was published in 1986.

Belfast City in the United Kingdom, capital of Northern Ireland

Belfast is a city in the United Kingdom, the capital city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast of Ireland. It is the largest city in Northern Ireland and second-largest on the island of Ireland. It had a population of 333,871 as of 2015.

Contents

As the naval architect in charge of the plans for the ocean liner RMS Titanic, he was travelling on board the vessel during her transatlantic maiden voyage in 1912. He perished along with more than 1,500 others when the ship sank after hitting an iceberg. His body was never recovered.

RMS <i>Titanic</i> British transatlantic passenger liner, launched and foundered in 1912

RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died, making it one of modern history's deadliest commercial marine disasters during peacetime. RMS Titanic was the largest ship afloat at the time she entered service and was the second of three Olympic-class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line. She was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Thomas Andrews, chief naval architect of the shipyard at the time, died in the disaster.

Sinking of the RMS <i>Titanic</i> Maritime disaster that occurred on the night of Sunday 14 April through the morning of Monday 15 April 1912

RMS Titanic sank in the early morning of 15 April 1912 in the North Atlantic Ocean, four days into the ship's maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The largest ocean liner in service at the time, Titanic had an estimated 2,224 people on board when she struck an iceberg at around 23:40 on Sunday, 14 April 1912. Her sinking two hours and forty minutes later at 02:20 on Monday, 15 April, resulted in the deaths of more than 1,500 people, making it one of history's deadliest marine disasters during peacetime.

Biography

Early life

Thomas (second from right) with family, circa 1895. Andrews Family.jpg
Thomas (second from right) with family, circa 1895.

Thomas Andrews was born at Ardara House, Comber, County Down, in Ireland, to The Rt. Hon. Thomas Andrews, a member of the Privy Council of Ireland, and Eliza Pirrie. Andrews was a Presbyterian of Scottish descent, and like his brother considered himself British. His siblings included John Miller Andrews, the future Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and Sir James Andrews, the future Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. Thomas Andrews lived with his family in Ardara, Comber. In 1884, he began attending the Royal Belfast Academical Institution until 1889 when, at the age of sixteen, he began a premium apprenticeship at Harland and Wolff where his uncle, the Viscount Pirrie, was part owner.

Comber town in County Down, Northern Ireland

Comber is a small town in County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies 5 miles south of Newtownards, at the northern end of Strangford Lough. It is situated in the townland of Town Parks, the civil parish of Comber and the historic barony of Castlereagh Lower. Comber is part of the Ards and North Down Borough. It is also known for Comber Whiskey which was last distilled in 1953. A notable native was Thomas Andrews, the designer of the RMS Titanic and was among the many who went down with her. It had a population of 9,078 people in the 2011 Census.

County Down Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

County Down is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland, in the northeast of the island of Ireland. It covers an area of 2,448 km2 and has a population of 531,665. It is also one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland and is within the province of Ulster. It borders County Antrim to the north, the Irish Sea to the east, County Armagh to the west, and County Louth across Carlingford Lough to the southwest.

The Right Honourable is an honorific style traditionally applied to certain persons and collective bodies in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, some other Commonwealth realms, the English-speaking Caribbean, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and occasionally elsewhere. The term is predominantly used today as a style associated with the holding of certain senior public offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand.

Andrews with wife, Helen Barbour, and daughter, Elizabeth Law Barber Andrews Andrews Family 2.jpg
Andrews with wife, Helen Barbour, and daughter, Elizabeth Law Barber Andrews

Harland and Wolff

At Harland and Wolff, he began with three months in the joiners' shop, followed by a month in the cabinetmakers' and then a further two months working on the ships. The last eighteen months of his five-year apprenticeship were spent in the drawing office. In 1901, Andrews, after working his way up through the many departments of the company, became the manager of the construction works. That same year, he also became a member of the Institution of Naval Architects. In 1907, Andrews was appointed the managing director and head of the drafting department at Harland and Wolff. During his long years of apprenticeship, study, and work, Andrews had become well liked in the company and amongst the shipyard's employees.

Apprenticeship System of employment

An apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession with on-the-job training and often some accompanying study. Apprenticeship also enables practitioners to gain a license to practice in a regulated profession. Most of their training is done while working for an employer who helps the apprentices learn their trade or profession, in exchange for their continued labor for an agreed period after they have achieved measurable competencies. Apprenticeships typically last 3 to 7 years. People who successfully complete an apprenticeship reach the "journeyman" or professional certification level of competence.

Royal Institution of Naval Architects organization

The Royal Institution of Naval Architects is an international organisation representing naval architects. It is an elite international professional institution based in London. Its members are involved worldwide at all levels in the design, construction, repair and operation of ships, boats and marine structures. Members are elected by the council and are presented with the titles AssocRINA (Associate), AMRINA, MRINA (Member) and FRINA (Fellow) depending on their membership type. These title are usually suffixed after the name of the member.

On 24 June 1908, he married Helen Reilly Barbour, daughter of textile industrialist John Doherty Barbour and sister to Sir John Milne Barbour- known as "Milne". Their daughter, Elizabeth Law-Barbour Andrews (known by her initials, "ELBA"), was born on 27 November 1910. The couple lived at Dunallan, 20 Windsor Avenue, Belfast. [1] [2] It is known that Andrews took Helen to view the RMS Titanic one night, shortly before Elizabeth was born. After Thomas's death, Helen remarried; she died 22 August 1966 in Northern Ireland and is buried in the Barbour family mausoleum at Lambeg.

Sir John Milne Barbour, 1st Baronet JP, DL was a Northern Irish politician and baronet. As a member of the Privy Council of Northern Ireland he was styled The Right Honourable Sir Milne Barbour.

Northern Ireland Part of the United Kingdom lying in the north-east of the island of Ireland, created 1921

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in some areas, and the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments".

RMS Titanic

In 1907, Andrews began to oversee the plans for a new superliner, the RMS Olympic for the White Star Line. The Olympic and its sister ship the Titanic, which began construction in 1909, were designed by William Pirrie and general manager Alexander Carlisle along with Andrews. As he had done for the other ships he had overseen, Andrews familiarised himself with every detail of the Olympic and Titanic, in order to ensure that they were in optimal working order. Andrews's suggestions that the ship have 46 lifeboats (instead of the 20 it ended up with) as well as a double hull and watertight bulkheads that went up to B deck, were overruled. [3] [ unreliable source? ]

RMS <i>Olympic</i> transatlantic ocean liner

RMS Olympic was a British transatlantic crossing ocean liner, the lead ship of the White Star Line's trio of Olympic-class liners. Unlike the other ships in the class, Olympic had a long career spanning 24 years from 1911 to 1935. This included service as a troopship during the First World War, which gained her the nickname "Old Reliable". She returned to civilian service after the war and served successfully as an ocean liner throughout the 1920s and into the first half of the 1930s, although increased competition, and the slump in trade during the Great Depression after 1930, made her operation increasingly unprofitable.

White Star Line British shipping company

The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, more commonly known as the White Star Line, was a British shipping company. Founded out of the remains of a defunct packet company, it gradually rose up as one of the most prominent shipping lines in the world, providing passenger and cargo services between the British Empire and the United States. While many other shipping lines focused primarily on speed, White Star branded their services by focusing more on providing steady and comfortable passages, for both upper class travelers and immigrants. Today it is most famous for the innovative vessel Oceanic of 1870, and for the losses of some of their best passenger liners, including the wrecking of RMS Atlantic at Halifax in 1873, the sinking of RMS Republic off Nantucket in 1909, the infamous loss of RMS Titanic in 1912 and that of HMHS Britannic while serving as a hospital ship in 1916. Despite its casualties, the company retained a prominent hold on shipping markets around the globe before falling into decline during the Great Depression, which ultimately led to a merger with its chief rival, Cunard Line, which operated as Cunard-White Star Line until 1950. Cunard Line then operated as a separate entity until 2005 and is now part of Carnival Corporation & plc. As a lasting reminder of the White Star Line, modern Cunard ships use the term White Star Service to describe the level of customer care expected of the company.

William Pirrie, 1st Viscount Pirrie Irish shipbuilder

William James Pirrie, 1st Viscount Pirrie, KP, PC, PC (Ire), was a leading British shipbuilder and businessman. He was chairman of Harland and Wolff, shipbuilders, between 1895 and 1924, and also served as Lord Mayor of Belfast between 1896 and 1898. He was ennobled as Baron Pirrie in 1906, appointed a Knight of the Order of St Patrick in 1908 and made Viscount Pirrie in 1921. In the months leading up to the 1912 Titanic disaster, Lord Pirrie was questioned about the number of life boats aboard the Olympic-class ships. He responded that the great ships were unsinkable and the rafts were to save others. This would haunt him forever.

Andrews headed a group of Harland and Wolff workers who went on the maiden voyages of the ships built by the company (the guarantee group), to observe ship operations and spot any necessary improvements. The Titanic was no exception, so Andrews and the rest of his Harland and Wolff group travelled from Belfast to Southampton on Titanic for the beginning of her maiden voyage on 10 April 1912. During the voyage, Andrews took notes on various improvements he felt were needed, primarily cosmetic changes to various facilities. However, on 14 April, Andrews remarked to a friend that Titanic was "as nearly perfect as human brains can make her."

On 14 April at 11:40 PM, the Titanic struck an iceberg on the ship's starboard side. Andrews had been in his stateroom, planning changes he wanted to make to the ship, and barely noticed the collision. Captain Edward J. Smith had Andrews summoned to help examine the damage. Andrews and Captain Smith discussed the damage to the ship shortly after midnight after Andrews had toured the damaged section of the ship and received several reports of the vessel's damage. Andrews determined that the first five of the ship's watertight compartments were rapidly flooding. Andrews knew that if more than four of the ship's forward compartments flooded, it would inevitably sink. He relayed this information to Captain Smith, stating that it was a 'mathematical certainty', and adding that in his opinion, the vessel had only about an hour before it completely sank. He also informed Smith of the severe shortage of lifeboats on board the ship.

As the evacuation of the Titanic began, Andrews tirelessly searched staterooms telling the passengers to put on lifebelts and go up on deck. [4] Several survivors testified to have met or spotted Andrews several times. Fully aware of the short time the ship had left and of the lack of lifeboat space for all passengers and crew, he continued to urge reluctant people into the lifeboats in the hope of filling them with as many people as possible.

Death

Andrews was reportedly last seen in the first-class smoking room, although this has been disputed. SmokeRoom.jpg
Andrews was reportedly last seen in the first-class smoking room, although this has been disputed.

Andrews was reportedly last seen by John Stewart, a steward on the ship, at approximately 2:10 a.m., ten minutes before the Titanic sank into the Atlantic. Andrews was standing alone in the first-class smoking room staring at a painting, Plymouth Harbour, above the fireplace, arms folded over his chest, his lifejacket lying on a nearby table. [5] [6] [7] The painting depicted the entrance to Plymouth Sound, which Titanic had been expected to visit on her return voyage. [8]

Although this has become one of the most famous legends of the sinking of the Titanic – published in a 1912 book (Thomas Andrews: Shipbuilder by Shan Bullock) and thereby perpetuated – Stewart, in fact, left the ship in a lifeboat at approximately 1:40 a.m., [9] half an hour before his reputed sighting of Andrews.

There were testimonies of sightings of Andrews after that moment. [9] It appears that Andrews stayed in the smoking room for some time, then continued assisting with the evacuation. [9] At around 2:00 a.m., he was seen back on the boat deck. The crowd had begun to stir, but there were still women reluctant to leave the ship. To be heard and to draw attention to himself, Andrews waved his arms and announced to them in a loud voice. [10] Another reported sighting was of Andrews frantically throwing deck chairs into the ocean for passengers to cling to in the water, though he may have been mistaken for chief baker Charles Joughin, who survived the sinking and reported doing the same thing. [11] He then headed towards the bridge, perhaps in search of Captain Smith. [10] Andrews was last seen leaving the ship in its final moments. His body was never recovered.

On 19 April 1912, his father received a telegram from his mother's cousin, who had spoken with survivors in New York: "INTERVIEW TITANIC'S OFFICERS. ALL UNANIMOUS THAT ANDREWS HEROIC UNTO DEATH, THINKING ONLY SAFETY OTHERS. EXTEND HEARTFELT SYMPATHY TO ALL."

Legacy

Unionist mural in Belfast commemorating Thomas Andrews 12 July 2012 parade, Belfast 09.JPG
Unionist mural in Belfast commemorating Thomas Andrews

Newspaper accounts of the disaster labelled Andrews a hero. Mary Sloan, a stewardess on the ship, whom Andrews persuaded to enter a lifeboat, later wrote in a letter: "Mr. Andrews met his fate like a true hero, realising the great danger, and gave up his life to save the women and children of the Titanic. They will find it hard to replace him." A short biography was produced within the year by Shan Bullock at the request of Sir Horace Plunkett, a member of Parliament, who felt that Andrews' life was worthy of being memorialised.

In his home town, Comber, one of the earliest and most substantial memorials for a single victim of the Titanic disaster was built. The Thomas Andrews Jr. Memorial Hall was opened in January 1914. The architects were Young and McKenzie with sculpted work by the artist Sophia Rosamond Praeger. The hall is now maintained by the South Eastern Education Board and used by The Andrews Memorial Primary School. An Ulster History Circle blue plaque is located on his house in Windsor Avenue, Belfast.

Today, the SS Nomadic is the sole surviving ship designed by Andrews. [12]

Asteroid 245158 Thomasandrews was named in his honour in 2004. [13]

Portrayals

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. NationalArchives.ie
  2. Ulster History Cycle Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Thomas Andrews – A Talented Designer That Met With A Tragic Fate". Titanicuniverse.com. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  4. ( Mark Chirnside 2004 , p. 163)
  5. Eaton & Haas 1994, p. 155.
  6. ( Walter Lord 1998 , p. 113)
  7. ( Mark Chirnside 2004 , p. 177)
  8. The painting is often incorrectly shown on television and in movies as depicting the entrance to New York Harbor.
  9. 1 2 3 On a Sea of Glass: The Life & Loss of the RMS Titanic by Tad Fitch, J. Kent Layton & Bill Wormstedt. Amberley Books, March 2012. pp 321-323
  10. 1 2 (in English) « The sinking of the Titanic », Thomas Andrews Shipbuilder. Consulté le 21 avril 2011
  11. British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry Day 6 – Testimony of Charles Joughin, Titanic Inquiry Project. Retrieved on 5 November 2017.
  12. https://www.nomadicbelfast.com/history
  13. Levy, David. "Asteroid Named for Titanic Designer Thomas Andrews". Encyclopedia Titanica . Retrieved 22 September 2017.