The Titanic engineers were the highest paid of the crew. This reflected their education and technical experience required to operate and maintain the engineering machinery. The engineer’s pay would have been in the range of £9-£10 per month.
As we know all 25 engineers with ten electricians and boilermakers were lost as a consequence of them remaining below decks in the engine and boiler rooms, battling to keep Titanic afloat. The self-sacrifice of these men ensured generators continued to function providing power and light till just moments before the ship sank.
13 leading firemen [stoker foremen] and 163 firemen [stokers] were delegated to Titanic whose pay would have been respectively £6.10 & £6.00 per month. Their shifts would have been four hours on, eight hours off, due to the boiler room’s heat exceeding a temperature of 120 degrees fahrenheit. What exhausting labour this must have been.
There were 73 trimmers [coal trimmers] who were the poorest paid, £5.10 per month, with also the least desirable job. They worked inside the coal bunkers located on top of, and between, the boilers. The trimmers’ job was to, with shovels and wheelbarrows, move the coal around the bunker to keep it level, and to shovel the coal down the chute to the firemen below stoking the furnaces.
Finally there were 33 greasers, who worked in the turbine and engine rooms alongside the engineers; they were paid £6.10 per month, and were also responsible for maintaining and supplying oil and lubricants for all mechanical equipment.
White Star’s behaviour towards its employees showed little compassion, and the tragedy did not divert its focus from the bottom line. Those who survived Titanic found that their pay was computed up to 02.20am on April 15th when the sea overwhelmed the ship. As for those who did not survive the sinking of Titanic and whose families attempted to access compensation, the White Star Company’s solicitors were diligent in their attempts to avoid any payment.
A memorial to the 244 engineers, firemen, trimmers and greasers who lost their lives as a consequence of the sinking of Titanic is situated at St. Nicholas Place, Pier Head, Liverpool, the ship’s port of registry. The memorial was constructed c.1916. The obelisk memorial stands 14.6m tall and although it is most strongly associated with R.M.S. Titanic, its dedication was broadened to include all maritime engine room fatalities incurred during the performance of duty in WW1.
Tags: sinking of Titanic