As the Titanic sank beneath the Atlantic waves in 1912, three words summed up the stoicism and bravery of the liner’s doomed crew. They were uttered by a group of officers on encountering a senior colleague on the boat deck, only too well aware of the fate that awaited them. “Goodbye old man,” they said and shook hands, minutes before being washed overboard.
An account of this final encounter is included in a letter from Charles Lightoller, the Titanic’s most senior surviving officer, who had been detailed to command the final lifeboat. As he sailed back to England two.
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