Thomas Andrews

by Joseph from Selden

Thomas Andrews is a hero. I chose him as my hero because he was ambitious, unselfish and remained calm when he was put in a situation where nearly everyone around him was in pandemonium. Also, he worked hard from his childhood to design the most famous and luxurious ship ever constructed. He also set his own welfare aside to help others, even if that meant giving his life. For that, I see Thomas Andrews as a hero.

Thomas Andrews was born in Comber, County Down, Ireland on February 7, 1873. He died on April 15, 1912 in the RMS Titanic disaster. He was born to Parents Thomas Andrews who was part of the Privy Group Council of Ireland (a political group), and Eliza Pirrie whose brother owned the Harland and Wolff shipbuilding Company (the company Thomas Andrews Jr. would eventually work for). In 1884, Andrews attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. At age sixteen, Andrews began an internship at Harland and Wolff Shipbuilding Company. He would go on to become a shipbuilder there.

Thomas Andrews was a very hard worker. In 1901 he completed his apprenticeship at Harland and Wolff. That year, he became a part of the institution on naval architects which is a group of representatives from different ship building companies. In 1907 Andrews was appointed the head of the draught department at Harland and Wolff. Andrews' work was always well done and he had become very liked amongst the companies employees.

In 1907, Andrews began to oversee the design of the Titanic and Titania's sister ship Olympic. Along with William Pirrie and Alexander Carlisle the ships were designed. The construction of the ships began in 1909. To make sure the ship was as perfect as humanly possible, he familiarized himself with every last detail of both ships. He did this on all ships he designed. Finally, on April 2, 1912, the ships were delivered to the White Star Line.

Even after the ships were delivered, Andrews was not done with his work. He helped in organizing the placement of last minute details such as carpeting, furnishings and decorations. He knew where everything on the ship was supposed to go. In the last few days before the voyage, he would frequently attend meetings with engineers, owners, subcontractors, and officials. Also, he gave tours and was frequently answering questions.

Andrews was a part of a group of shipbuilders that would go on the maiden voyages of all the new ships. While on board, Andrews was constantly taking notes about the ship in his notebook that he carried everywhere. In addition to that, he helped crew members get used to the new ship. The voyage had been going wonderfully. In fact, on the morning of April 14, 1912, Andrews made a remark to a friend onboard saying that Titanic was "as nearly perfect as human brains can make her." Unfortunately, he and everyone else onboard had no idea that, that night, the voyage of Titanic would come to a disastrous end.

On the night of April 14, 1912, while Thomas Andrews was sleeping in his stateroom, Titanic struck an iceburg on the starboard side. This was at 11:40pm. and Titanic had only two hours and forty minutes left before it would sink. After the collision, Captain Edward J. Smith summoned Andrews to assess the damage. He realized that the ship would sink no matter what they did. Fully aware of the short time he had, Andrews began searching staterooms and urging passengers to put on their life belts and get up to the lifeboats. He did not try getting himself to a lifeboat. Andrews was last seen staring at a painting of Plymouth Harbour in the first class smoke room. Thomas Andrew's body was never found.

Thomas Andrews was a hero to be because he was determined and hard working. More importantly though, I look up to him because he realized the danger and still went back to help passengers. He could have been one of the first people on a lifeboat but he put the safety of others before his own. A hero is a person who inspires you and is someone you look up to and Thomas Andrews did both of those these. He is a hero.

Page created on 10/26/2008 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 10/26/2008 12:00:00 AM

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