Titanic Captain | About Captain Edward John Smith

Captain of the Titanic

27 January 1850 - the date of Captain Smith's birth (in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, England).

15 April 1912 - the date of Captain Smith's death (he died when the ship sank).

13 January 1887 - the date of Smith's marriage to Sarah Eleanor Pennington (the ceremony took place at at St Oswald's Church, in Winwick, Cheshire).

02 April 1898 - the date their daughter was born, Helen Melville Smith (Helen was born in Waterloo, Liverpool although the Smiths were then living in Southampton). Helen was the couples' only child.

13 - the age at which Smith left Etruria British School in Stoke-on-Trent and went to work, operating a steam hammer at the Etruria Forge.

1869 - the year Captain Smith first went to sea.

1874 - the year that Smith gained his Masters Certificate, allowing him to work at sea.

24 - the age at which Smith gained his Masters Certificate.

1880 - the year Smith joined the White Star Line, as Fourth Officer aboard the liner SS Centic I.

1887 - the year that Captain Smith first took command of a ship, SS Republic I.

In all my experience, I have never been in any accident of any sort worth speaking about. I never saw a wreck and never have been wrecked, nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort.

- Captain Smith, speaking 5 years before the Titanic disaster

18 - the number of White Star Line vessels commanded during his career.

43 - the number of years of experience at sea at the time Smith took command of Titanic.

32 - the number of years served with the White Star Line.

26 - the number of years experience Captain Smith had gained in traveling the North Atlantic.

The Titanic Captain Edward John Smith, depicted saving a child from the water, from a postacard published in 1912.

Above: The Titanic Captain Edward John Smith, depicted saving a child from the water, from a postacard published in 1912. This version of events is just one of many accounts from survivors. Others reported seeing him inside the wheelhouse of the bridge as it sank, whilst others claim to have seen Smith commit suicide using a pistol. No reliable account exists.

62 - Smith's age at the time of his death (some believe he intended to retire after completing Titanic's return trip, although the White Star Line had plans for Smith to command Gigantic on her maiden voyage).

Well boys, do your best for the women and children, and look out for yourselves.

- The possible last words of Captain Smith, Commander of Titanic, as witnessed by Ship Steward Brown

29 July 1914 - a bronze memorial statue of Captain Smith is unveiled in Beacon Park, Lichfield (the memorial was sculpted by Kathleen Scott, the wife of the Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott).

£740 - the original cost of the memorial.

These are just a few facts about the Titanic captain, with more to be added soon. Meanwhile, for more Titanic facts or for information on the Titanic crew please browse the main menu at the top of the page.