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September 21, 2012

Ill-fated Titanic’s captain had failed navigation test first time

London:The captain of the ill-fated Titanic ship is believed to have failed his navigation test. However, Edward John Smith, who famously went down with the ship, was eventually given the all-clear and he received his Masters Certificate in February 1888, the Telegraph reported. He is among the well-known seamen to appear in The Great Britain, Masters and Mates Certificates 1850-1927, which were published on the family history website Ancestry.co.uk. Captain Smith was born in 1850 and worked at a forge before joining the White Star Line in 1880 as the Fourth Officer of the SS Celtic, before becoming Captain of the Republic in 1887. Actor Tony Robinson of TV’s Time Team made the shocking revelation while launching the newly accessible records in London . “It is believed that Captain Smith, who was eventually the man in charge of the Titanic when it sank, failed his exams the first time round because he did not have sufficient navigating skills,” he said. Smith’s certificate was finally issued from the office of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen in 1888. “By the Lords of the Committee of Privy Council for Trade, Certificate of Competency as EXTRA MASTER to Edward John Smith. “Whereas it has been reported that you have been found duly qualified to fulfil the duties of Master in the Merchant Service, we do hereby, in pursuance of the Merchant Shipping Act 1854, grant you this Certificate of Competency,” it reads. Despite his early difficulties, Smith became known as the “millionaires’ Captain” as his reputation for reliability was such that the wealthy would sail only with him.

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