There were over 900 of a crew on board Titanic
, ranging from the officers who took command of the various watches or shifts right down to glass washers and galley staff. In between were engineers, deck staff, pursers, stewards, restaurant staff and postal staff. Just over two hundred crew members survived the Titanic disaster
Senior Crew Onbaord the Titanic
At the top of the tree, directly under Captain Edward J Smith
were the Chief Officer, Henry Wilde and First Officer, William Murdoch. Murdoch was on duty when Titanic struck the iceberg. Wilde and Murdoch were experienced officers; Wilde had been in charge of Titanic’s sister ship, Olympic before being moved to be chief officer of Titanic’s maiden voyage. The Captain, Wilde and Murdoch were all lost in the disaster and their bodies were not recovered. The most senior crew member to survive was second officer, Charles Lightoller. He got away from the sinking ship in one of the collapsible Englehardt life rafts.
Staff & Crew Onboard the Titanic- Keeping the ship on the move
Those responsible for actually making the ship move were on the next rung of the ladder in the ship’s crew hierarchy. They included assistant engineers, deck engineers and the engine room crew who stoked the boilers, brought the coal to the engine room and kept the fires lit. An assistant deck engineer would earn between £9 and £10 per month.
Feeding the Passengers
Next were the victualling department including bakers, butchers, cooks, porters, pantrymen and storekeepers. The job of keeping over a thousand titanic passengers
fed and looked after fell to this department. Working alongside were the restaurant staff including stewards, waiters and wine waiters. Many of these staff were Italian and few lived to tell of their experiences. For first class passengers, White Star aimed to provide the same standards of service as the best Parisian restaurants so those serving in the first class restaurant would be experienced and highly trained.
Within the crew there were many random jobs which do not fit into a particular category. Titanic and Olympic were the first ships to have facilities such as swimming baths, Turkish baths and squash courts which meant that attendants and instructors had to be employed to staff these areas. There were also the members of the orchestra, the Marconi radio operators
and various cleaners.