Officers of the RMS Titanic
Last Photograph of the Some of the Officers and Complements of the RMS Titanic. Reading from left to right:—Captain E. J. Smith. Dr. W. F. OLoughlin. First Officer W. M. Murdoch and Purser H. W. McElroy. GGA Image ID # 1055351a2b
The Titanic's officers were no novices and were well trained in the knowledge of this and all other dangers of the sea. From the Captain down, they were the pick of the best that the White Star Line had in its employ. Our Captain, Edward J. Smith, was the one always selected to "try out" each new ship of the Line and was regarded, with his thirty-eight years of service in the company, as both safe and competent.
Officers of the Titanic
- Captain, Edward Charles Smith, held an Extra Master’s Certificate
- Chief Officer, H. F. Wilde, held an Ordinary Master's Certificate
- First Officer, W. M. Murdoch, held an Ordinary Master's Certificate
- Second Officer, C. H. Lightoller, held an Extra Master's Certificate
- Third Officer, H. J. Pitman, held an Ordinary Master's Certificate
- Fourth Officer, J. G. Boxhall, held an Extra Master's Certificate
- Fifth Officer, H. G. Lowe, held an Ordinary Master's Certificate
- Sixth Officer, J. P. Moody, held an Ordinary Master's Certificate.
Surviving Officers With Their Signature: H. G. Lowe, H. J. Pitman, C. H. Lightoller, and J. G. Boxhall, nd, circa 1913. GGA Image ID # 170cacce4c
A complete listing of the Officers of the RMS Titanic who were part of the Deck department. Rank, designations, and certificates of competence were also included for all officers.
NEW YORK. April 17.- Captain E. J. Smith, Into whose hands the passengers on the Titanic entrusted themselves on the voyage which will never be forgotten In the list of great sea disasters, had followed the sea from his boyhood.
Henry Tingle Wilde was not considered a man given to flights of fancy. A tall, powerfully built man, just thirty-eight, he too had worked his ranks from a ship's apprentice in the old square-rigged ships, through the ranks until his appointment as chief officer of the Olympic in May 1911. The White Star Line's management held him in high regard, and Captain Smith valued his skill and experience.
Thirty-nine year-old William McMaster Murdoch, with an "ordinary master's certificate" and a reputation as a "canny and dependable man", had climbed through the ranks of the White Star Line to become one of its foremost senior officers.
One of the most wonderful escapes from the Titanic was that of the second officer, Mr. Charles Lightoller, whose evidence before the Senatorial Committee in New York was of great importance. On the night of the disaster he was in charge of the ship until 10 p.m., when he was relieved by the first officer, Mr. Murdock.
The 34-year-old Third Officer Herbert J. Pitman. Pitman, though rather short in stature, was an imposing figure with his pronounced mustache. He was also an extremely capable officer with sixteen years of experience at sea.
Joseph G. Boxhall, although selected as the fourth officer on the Titanic, actually held the highest maritime certificate of extra Master since 1904.
Harold Lowe ran away from home at age 14, going on schooners and eventually working on square-rigged sailing ships. From there, he went to steamships while earning his certificates. For five years, Mr. Lowe had worked the West African coast routes before joining White Star Line about 15 months before the Titanic disaster. While with the White Star Line, he was the third officer on the SS Tropic, third on the Belgic, before becoming the fifth officer on the Titanic.
The foregoing evidence establishes quite clearly that Capt. Smith, the master; Mr. Murdoch, the first officer; Mr. Lightoller, the second officer; and Mr. Moody, the sixth officer, all knew on the Sunday evening that the vessel was entering a region where ice might be expected.