Bruce Ismay – callous coward, or courageous survivor?
The myths surrounding Bruce Ismay, Chairman and Managing Director of the White Star Line, almost all centre on allegations of his cowardice. He was vilified for escaping the sinking ship, while fellow passengers drowned.
However it seems that Ismay helped with loading and lowering several lifeboats and according to his testimony, only entered a half-filled lifeboat when that boat was actually being lowered and no other passengers were in the vicinity. His reputation was further besmirched by claims that he had ordered Captain Smith to make a record crossing. His real fault was that he survived.
Ismay was exonerated by the British Inquiry for his actions but he never really recovered from the stigma of Titanic.