Fourth Officer Boxhall

Date of birth: 23rd March 1884
Place of birth: Kingston-upon-Hull (Hull), Yorkshire, England
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Marjory Beddells
Crew position: Titanic's Fourth Officer
Date of death: 25 April 1967
Cause of death: Cerebral thrombosis, aged 83

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Fourth officer Boxhall

Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall

Age: 28
Height: 5'9" (175.26cm)
Complexion: Dark
Hair Colour: Dark brown
Eye Colour: Dark brown
Other: None

Notes: :Boxhall's height is described as 5 ft 8 (1903), and 5 ft 9 (1905/1907). He had a dark complexion, dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. In fact several of his applications simply read "dark", "dark", "dark". His Ellis Island records (1919-1923) state 5' 8" and that he weighed 154 lbs.

Biographical Information:


Joseph Boxhall came from a family of seafarers in Hull, Yorkshire and was also the most senior surviving officer to witness Titanic's collision with an iceberg and inspect the damage in the forward lower decks including a flooding mail room. In an action-packed night between collision and Carpathia, he was involved in waking the off-duty officers, plotting the position for the distress call, firing distress rockets, using a lamp to signal Morse code to a mystery ship, put in command of lifeboat no.2 which he rowed around the stern and then abandoned an attempt to take more people from a gangway door, then lay close by as the ship sank and did not return for survivors. His lifeboat was the first to be rescued by the Carpathia. He feel ill with pleurisy during the US and UK inquiries and later went on to become the technical advisor to the 1958 film "A Night to Remember."

But many questions remain about his night on Titanic: how did he simply forget about the ice warning from the Caronia on April 14th, only remembering when prompted by other surviving officers? Where was he when the lookouts rang the warning bell -having tea in his cabin while still on duty as he later admitted? Why was his sinking position so inaccurate? Why did he ignore people at the gangway doors despite being ordered by the Captain to go there?