“I saw First Officer Murdoch, of the Titanic, shoot himself. It was Murdoch who was on the bridge when the ship struck… Murdoch put a pistol to his right temple and fired. I saw him do it. And I saw him drop…."
As yet not found on any crew lists. According to Sinking of Titanic, Eyewitness Accounts Albert Smith was “one of the number of six members of crew of the sunken liner who manned boat No.11” (33.) . Interestingly, this statement ties in with a list of occupants in No.11 as found in The Wall Chart of the Titanic, which includes exactly six ‘saloon stewards,’ though none with the name Smith. They are: Jacob William Gibbons, Frederick Hartnell, Charles Donald McKay, Alfred McMicken, Edward Wheelton and F.Terell (38.). It is possible that “Albert Smith” was a pseudonym used by one of these men. We maybe can eliminate one of the stewards, Edward Wheelton who later testified at the U S Senate Inquiry "about the bravery exhibited by the First Officer, Mr Murdoch. He was perfectly cool and very calm." Or was he trying to offset previous remarks made by his fellow stewards (or himself) in the press about Murdoch's suicide? No other information located to date other than he was a steward.
According to Sinking of Titanic, Eyewitness Accounts Albert Smith was “one of the number of six members of crew of the sunken liner who manned boat No.11, which carried fifty women and no men other than a half dozen necessary to row it to safety” (p.177 (33.) ). Lowered at approximately 1:25am, Smith’s observations would consequently have been witnessed at some distance from the liner, although it must be remembered that No.11 was -according to many estimates- overloaded, making it difficult for a quick escape. Since Officer Murdoch loaded and ordered the lowering of No.11, it is possible that Smith would have been familiar with his identity.
Albert Smith’s eyewitness testimony is described in The Atlanta Journal of April 21, 1912 -and recounted in Sinking of Titanic, Eyewitness Accounts- as “perhaps one of the clearest stories of the disaster” and reads thus:
“From the time that the first boat pushed off,’ he said ‘until ten minutes before the Titanic sank, the band was playing. They played light music, waltzes and popular airs at first. The last thing they played was ‘Nearer, My God to Thee’. The voices of the men on board joining in the singing came perfectly over the water. It was so horrible it was unbelievable. You kept thinking you would wake up. I saw First Officer Murdoch, of the Titanic, shoot himself. It was Murdoch who was on the bridge when the ship struck…. the Titanic broke, snapped in the middle and the boilers blew up and the engines dropped with a frightful noise. She sank practically in two pieces, broken directly in half. There was little or no swirl or intake. I do no think any of the boats were drawn down. Murdoch stood on the promenade deck when the last boat pushed off. Captain Smith had taken charge of the bridge. Murdoch put a pistol to his right temple and fired. I saw him do it. And I saw him drop…” (Sinking of Titanic, Eyewitness Accounts, p.177-179 (33.))Smith gives accurate information regarding when members of Titanic’s orchestra began playing and the type of music they played. He correctly states that Murdoch was on the bridge when the ship struck and is also one of many who reported that the ship broke in two and that there was “little of no swirl or intake” when it finally foundered –against popular opinion. In particular, his description of the ship breaking in two provides testimony as to his accuracy, since it was accepted that the ship went down in one piece until the wreck was discovered in two sections in 1985. In addition, his statement that No.11 carried “fifty women” and “half dozen” men is validated by Titanic & Her Sisters Olympic and Britannic which states that No.11 “contained between 55 and 60 survivors; of these, most were stewards, stewardesses and second class women and children” (p.332 (3.))