Saturday, February 27, 2010
Daniel Buckley Jr. was born on September 28, 1890 to Daniel Buckley Sr. and Abigail Sullivan in County Cork, Ireland. He boarded the Titanic at Queenstown on April 11, 1912, but before he left, he had a party with his friends. At the party, he is said to have sung "When the Fields Are White with Daisies, I'll Return." These 3 friends were traveling with him on the Titanic. On April 14, 1912, he was in his 3rd class bunk when the Titanic struck an iceberg. The Titanic was designed to withstand only 1-4 compartments flooded. The iceberg opened up 6. This doomed the Titanic. Daniel Buckley was in the bow when the iceberg struck and made as Daniel later said, "a grating noise." Daniel got right out of bed with water just barely in the cabin. He tried to wake up his fellow bunk mates who did not listen to him at first. But, they got up too realizing the situation and all 4 got dressed. Presently, stewards came by, shouting "All up on deck! Unless you want to get drowned." He left the cabin, shutting the door behind him. He made his way upwards through the maze of passages and hallways. He had to face some obstacles however. When he got up to one of the stairs, he found it blocked with other 3rd class passengers. The way was blocked by a steward. One man tried to get past the steward, who angrily shoved him back and locked the gate. One of the men broke the lock saying that if he got a hold of the man that locked them down below, he'd throw him into the ocean, and all of them made their way up including Daniel Buckley, leaving the floor at the bottom of the stairway leading to the gate just slightly beginning to flood. Daniel somehow found his way up to the Boat Deck. He realized that other people had lifebelts on. He felt sorry, and went back to his cabin to get a lifebelt. He made his way down, passing boys and girls. The some of the girls were excited, but others were crying with boys consoling the girls and assuring them that nothing was wrong. All were trying to get up to the Boat Deck as fast as possible. Daniel was stopped from going any further, at a flooded stairway. Realizing that he couldn't get back to his cabin and that he especially couldn't get neither his possessions nor his lifebelt, he made his way back up again. He and several other men jumped into Boat 13, but the officer threw them out. He was crying, when a woman suddenly threw her shawl (he claimed it was Madeline Astor, but it was more than likely Mrs. Appleton) over him, and he snuck into the lifeboat. It was lowered, but they had difficulty cutting the falls. Descending right above them, was Boat No. 15. they cried out to those on deck, and they stopped the descent. They finally cut the falls and were able to get away. Daniel Buckley survived, after seeing the Titanic's stern rise up, and the lights go out. Then, he said that he heard a thundering loud noise (which we now know was the ship breaking up). He awoke on the decks of a ship, which a fireman told him was the Carpathia. The fireman also told him he though that the Titanic sank by a boiler explosion instead of an iceberg (we are certain that it was an iceberg). Daniel Buckley later wrote an account of the disaster in a letter. Several movies use Daniel Buckley's account, and show stewards fighting panicking, angry, and mobbing 3rd class passengers. According to Daniel's account compared to other 3rd class accounts, this only happened in at least one or two places. Many stewards actually unlocked many gates to allow 3rd class passengers up to the Boat Deck. However, the hallways were complete mazes and many unfortunately got lost and either never made it up at all, or were too late when they got up to the Boat Deck to get into a lifeboat like the Goodwins. It is possible that several gates were missed, and I do believe Daniel's account that there was a steward that tried to keep the passengers down for some reason or another. He also gave an account before the U.S. Senate Inquiry (see 3rd link below). Daniel Buckley went on to join the US Army (he was an Infantyman). He fought in WWI and was killed. He was buried in Cork, Ireland.