Is your surname McGann?

Research the McGann family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

James McGann

Birthplace: Liverpool, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Death: 1918 (35-36)
Immediate Family:

Son of Eugene Mcgann and Mary Kelly Mcgann
Husband of Catherine McGann
Father of Joseph McGann
Brother of Joseph McGann

Occupation: Trimmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About James McGann

Mr James McGann

  • Titanic Survivor
  • Born: Monday 26th June 1882 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England
  • Age: 29 years 9 months and 19 days (Male)
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Nationality: English
  • Last Residence:at 18 St. George's Place in Southampton Hampshire England
  • Last Ship: "South Africa"
  • Occupation: Trimmer
  • Engineering crew
  • First Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
  • Rescued: (Englehardt Boat "B")
  • Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
  • Died: 1918 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England
  • Reference: Englehardt Boat "B"
  • Reference: R.M.S. Titanic deck plans

Mr James McGann, of 18 George's Place, Southampton, survived the sinking. He managed to climb aboard Collapsible B after the Titanic sank.

References Colonel Archibald Gracie (1913) The Truth about the Titanic. New York, Mitchell Kennerley United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List Walter Lord (1976) A Night to Remember. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 14 004757 3

Contributors Bill Wormstedt, USA


{The Upset Boat']

Passengers: A. H. Barkworth, Archibald Gracie, John B. Thayer, Jr., first cabin.

Crew: Second Officer Lightoller, Junior Marconi Operator Bride, Firemen: McGann, Senior; Chief Baker Joughin; Cooks: Collins, Maynard; Steward Whiteley, "J. Hagan." Seaman J. McGough (possibly). Two men died on boat. Body of one transferred to No. 12 and finally to Carpathia, He was a fireman probably, but Cunard Co. preserved no record of him or his burial.


C. H. Lightoller, Second Officer (Am. Inq., pp. 87, 91, 786) :

I was on top of the officers' quarters and there was nothing more to be done. The ship then took a dive and I turned face forward and also took a dive from on top, practically amidships a little to the starboard, where I had got to. I was driven back against the blower, which is a large thing that shape (indicating) which faces forward to the wind and which then goes down to the stoke hole ; but there is a grating there and it was against this grating that I was sucked by the water, and held there under water. There was a terrific blast of air and water and I was blown out clear. I came up above the water, which barely threw me away at all, because I went down again against these fiddley gratings immediately abreast of the funnel over the stoke hole to which this fiddley leads. Colonel Grade, I believe, was sucked down in identically the same manner on the fiddley gratings, caused by the water rushing down below as the ship was going down.

I next found myself alongside of that overturned boat. This was before the Titanic sank. The funnel then fell down and if there was anybody on that side of the Engelhardt boat it fell on them. The ship was not then submerged by considerable. The stern was completely out of the water. I have heard some controversy as to the boilers exploding owing to coming in contact with salt water, by men who are capable of giving an opinion, but there seems to be an open question as to whether cold water actually does cause boilers to explode.

I hardly had any opportunity to swim. It was the action of the funnel falling that threw us out a considerable distance away from the ship. We had no oars or other effective means for propel- ling the overturned boat. We had little bits of wood, but they were practically ineffective.

On our boat, as I have said before, were Colonel Gracie and young Thayer. I think they were the only two passengers. There were no women on our overturned boat. These were all taken out of the water and they were firemen and others of the crew — roughly about thirty. I take that from my own estimate and from the estimate of someone who was looking down from the bridge of the Carpathia,

And from the same officer's testimony before the British Court as follows :

An order was given to cut the lashings of the other Engelhardt boats. It was then too late as the water was rushing up to the Boat Deck and there was not time to get them to the falls. He then went across to the officers' quarters on the starboard side to see what he could do. Then the vessel seemed to take a bit of a dive. He swam off and cleared the ship. The water was so intensely cold that he first tried to get out of it into the crow's nest, close at hand. Next he was pushed up against the blower on the forepart of the funnel, the water rushing down this blower, holding him against the grating for a while. Then there seemed to be a rush of air and he was blown away from the grating. He was dragged below the surface, but not for many moments. He came up near the Engelhardt boat *'B" which was not launched, but had been thrown into the water. The forward funnel then fell down. Some little time after this he saw half a dozen men standing on the collapsible boat, and got on to it. The whole of the third funnel was still visible, the vessel gradually raising her stern out of the water. The ship did not break in two, and could not be broken in two. She actually attained the perpendicular before sinking. His impression was that no lights were then burning in the after part not submerged. It is true that the after part of the vessel settled level with the water. He watched the ship keenly all the time. After she reached an angle of 60 degrees there was a rumbling sound which he attributed to the boilers leaving their beds and crashing down. Finally she attained an absolute perpendicular position and then went slowly down. He heard no explosion whatever, but noticed about that time that the water became much warmer. There were about those on the Engelhardt boat *'B, several people struggling in the water who came on it. Nearly twenty-eight or thirty were taken off in the morning at daybreak. In this rescuing boat (No. 12), after the transfer, there were seventy-five. It was the last boat to the Carpathia. The next morning (Monday) he saw some icebergs from fifty to sixty to two hundred feet high, but the nearest was about ten miles away.

After the boats had left the side of the ship he heard orders given by the commander through the megaphone. He heard him say: "Bring that boat alongside." Witness presumed allusion was made to bringing of boats to the gangway doors. Witness could not gather whether the orders were being obeyed. Said he had not been on the Engelhardt boat more than half an hour before a swell was distinctly visible. In the morning there was quite a breeze. It was when he was at No. 6 boat that he noticed the list. Though the ship struck on the starboard side, it was not an extraordinary thing that there should be a list to port. It does not necessarily follow that there should be a list to the side where the water was coming in.

Harold Bride, junior Marconi operator in his Report of April 27th to W. B. Cross, Traffic Manager, Marconi Co. (Am. Inq., p. 1053), says:

Just at this moment the captain said: *'You cannot do any more; save yourselves.*' Leaving the captain we climbed on top of the house comprising the officers' quarters and our own. Here I saw the last of Mr. Phillips, for he disappeared, walking aft. I now assisted in pushing off the collapsible boat on to the Boat Deck. Just as the boat fell, I noticed Captain Smith dive from the bridge into the sea. Then followed a general scramble out on to the Boat Deck, but no sooner had we got there than the sea washed over. I managed to catch hold of the boat we had previously fixed up and was swept overboard with her, I then experienced the most exciting three or four hours anyone can reasonably wish for, and was, in due course with the rest of the survivors, picked up by the Carpathia, As you probably heard, I got on the collapsible boat the second time, which was, as I had left it, upturned. I called PhilHps but got no response. I learned later from several sources that he was on this boat and expired even before we were picked up by the Titanic' s lifeboat (No. 12). I am told that fright and exposure were the causes of his death. So far as I can find out, he was taken on board the Carpathia and buried at sea from her, though for some reason the bodies of those who died were not identified before burial from the Carpathia, and so I cannot vouch for the truth of this.

He also gave testimony before the American Inquiry (pp. no, 161) :

This boat was over the officers' cabin at the side of the forward funnel. It was pushed over on to the Boat Deck. It went over the starboard side and I went over with it. It was washed off and over the side of the ship by a wave into the water bottom side upward. I was inside the boat and under it, as it fell bottom side upward. I could not tell how long. It seemed a life time to me really. I got on top of the boat eventually. There was a big crowd on top when I got on. I should say that I remained under the boat three- quarters of an hour, or a half hour. I then got away from it as quickly as I could. I freed myself from it and cleared out of it but I do not know why, but swam back to it about three-quarters of an hour to an hour afterwards. I was upside down myself — I mean I was on my back.

It is estimated that there were between thirty and forty on the boat; no women. When it was pushed over on the Boat Deck we all scrambled down on to the Boat Deck again and were going to launch it properly when it was washed over before we had time to launch it. I happened to be nearest to it and I grabbed it and went down with it. There was a passenger on this boat; I could not see whether he was first, second or third class. I heard him say at the time that he was a passenger. I could not say whether it was Colonel Gracie. There were others who struggled to get on; dozens of them in the water. I should judge they were all part of the boat's crew.

I am twenty-two years old. Phillips was about twenty-four or twenty-five. My salary from the Marconi Co. is four pounds a month.

As to the attack made upon Mr. Phillips to take away his life belt I should say the man was dressed like a stoker. We forced him away. I held him and Mr. Phillips hit him.

J. Collins, cook (Am. Inq., p. 628) :

This was my first voyage. I ran back to the upper deck to the port side with another steward and a woman and two children. The steward had one of the children in his arms and the woman was crying. I took the child from the woman and made for one of the boats. Then the word came around from the starboard side that there was a collapsible boat getting launched on that side and that all women and children were to make for it, so the other steward and I and the two children and the woman came around to the starboard side. We saw the collapsible boat taken off the saloon deck, and then the sailors and the firemen who were forward saw the ship's bow in the water and that she was sinking by her bow. They shouted out for us to go aft. We were just turning round to make for the stern when a wave washed us off the deck — washed us clear of it, and the child was washed out of my arms. I was kept down for at least two or three minutes under water.

Senator Bourne: Two or three minutes?

Mr. Collins: Yes; I am sure.

Senator Bourne: Were you unconscious?

Mr. Collins : No ; not at all. It did not affect me much — the salt water.

Senator Bourne: But you were under water? You cannot stay under water two or three minutes.

Mr. Collins : Well, it seemed so to me. I could not exactly state how long. When I came to the surface I saw this boat that had been taken off. I saw a man on it. They had been working on it taking it off the saloon deck, and when the wave washed it off the deck, they clung to it. Then I made for it when I came to the surface, swimming for it. I was only four or five yards off of it. I am sure there were more than fifteen or sixteen who were then on it. They did not help me to get on. They were all watching the ship. All I had to do was to give a spring and I got on to it. We were drifting about for two hours in the water.

Senator Bourne: When you came up from the water on this collapsible boat, did you see any evidence of the ship as she sank then?

Mr. Collins: I did, sir; I saw her stern end.

Senator Bourne: Where were you on the boat at the time you were washed off the ship?

Mr. Collins: Amidships, sir.

Senator Bourne : You say you saw the stern end after you got on the collapsible boat?

Mr. Collins: Yes, sir.

Senator Bourne: Did you see the bow?

Mr. Collins : No, sir.

Senator Bourne : How far were you from the stern end of the ship when you came up and got on to the collapsible boat?

Mr. Collins : I could not just exactly state how far I was away from the Titanic when I came up. I was not far, because her hghts were out then. Her lights went out when the water got almost to amidships on her.

Senator Bourne: As I understand it, you were amidships of the bow as the ship sank?

Mr. Collins: Yes, sir.

Senator Bourne: You were washed off by a wave? You were under water as you think for two or three minutes and then swam five or six yards to the collapsible boat and got aboard the boat? The stern (of ship) was still afloat?

Mr. Collns: The stern was still afloat.

Senator Bourne: The lights were burning?

Mr. Collins: I came to the surface, sir, and I happened to look around and I saw the lights and nothing more, and I looked in front of me and saw the collapsible boat and I made for it.

Senator Bourne: How do you account for this wave that washed you off amidships ?

Mr. Collins: By the suction which took place when the bow went down in the water. There were probably fifteen on the boat when I got on. There was some lifeboat that had a green light on it and we thought it was a ship, after the Titanic had sunk, and we commenced to shout. All we saw was the green light. We were drifting about two hours, and then we saw the topmast lights of the Carpathia. Then came daylight and we saw our own lifeboats and we were very close to them. When we spied them we shouted to them and they came over to us and they lifted a whole lot of us that were on the collapsible boat.

view all

James McGann's Timeline

June 22, 1882
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Age 35