HEROIC PRIEST MET FATE LIKE SOLDIER
William E. Byles of Pacific St.
COMING TO MARRY BROTHER.
Priest Was to Have Performed Ceremony
"My brother was a priest, and I cannot see if it was true that hundreds drowned when the Titanic went down, how he could have been saved. It was his duty as a priest to stay to the last. He knew his duty. He must have gone down with the ship."
Speaking thus, a pathetic faith in a great heroism, William E. Byles of 124 Pacific street, told this morning that he had abandoned all hope that his brother, the Rev. Thomas R. D. Byles of Ongar, in Essex, England, would be among the survivors of the White Star Line's proudest steamship. And with this giving up of hope by Mr. Byles, the end was marked to the joy of the occasion that was bringing the priest to these shores, where, on Saturday, he was to have officiated at the marriage of his brother to Miss Katherine Russell of 119 Pacific street.
Mr. Byles is the head of the W. E. Byles Company, Ltd., of 90 Wall street, Manhattan. Associated with him is another brother, Laurence M. A fourth brother, W. Hunter Byles of Omaha, Neb., arrived in New York on Monday night, prepared to greet the brother from England, and whom none of them had seen for more than a year, and to be on hand for the wedding on Saturday.
"We had been worried," said W. E. Byles this morning, "but the White Star Line officials called me on the phone at my office at 4:30 Monday afternoon to tell me that all the passengers--everyone of them--had been transferred to other steamers. We were able to give Hunter full assurance that Thomas had been saved. Then that night came the dreadful word that the first news had not been true. It has been awful--dreadful, since then. Don't you think it possible that there may still be some survivors picked up by the fishing fleet that is known to have been near the Titanic when she went down?"
Mr. Byles said that he and his brothers had spent all their hours yesterday and until 1:30 o'clock this morning; seeking a final list of those saved at the White Star offices. But in all anxiety, Mr. Byles had no word of recrimination because of the false news of hope that had been first given him. He explained that he knew the demands on the wireless, and believed that the word: "Virginia is towing Titanic," had come because an "is" had been omitted from a query that had been sent out from many wireless stations.
At the same time, Mr. Byles stated that from his own experience, he believed the Titanic must have been going at top speed, despite the fog and icebergs, when she foundered.
"I came over myself not so very long ago," he said, "and our best run was made on a day when we were going through fog on the banks thick enough to cut with a knife."
Mr. Byles did not know this morning whether or not the marriage that was bringing his brother to this country would be postponded.
Father Byles and the three brothers who think him lost are nephews of Sir W. P. Byles, M.P. Their grandfather was William Byles, founder of the Yorkshire Observer. Father Byles was born a Protestant, but was converted to Roman Catholicism while a student at Oxford University. He was ordained in 1903 at Rome, and was 42 years old.
THE BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE - Wednesday, April 17, 1912
This is the first publication of this
article since April 17, 1912.