Titanic captain's link to Christchurch

Titanic captain Edward John Smith. Photo / AP
Titanic captain Edward John Smith. Photo / AP

The captain of the ill-fated RMS Titanic played in a cricket match in Lyttelton 22 years before the vessel sunk on its maiden voyage.

The discovery comes almost a century after the ocean liner sunk in the north Atlantic Ocean in April 15, 1912.

Christchurch archive researcher Lemuel Lyes found Captain Edward John Smith was twice bowled out for a duck in a cricket match played in the town on February 19, 1890, according to an old match report in the Christchurch Press.

Captain Smith, then 40, twice failed to score, bowled by the Lyttelton Cricket Club's Mitchell and then by Hawkins.

Captain Smith was in the port town in 1890 aboard the Coptic.

Mr Lyes told the Press he could not believe the captain of the famous vessel had sailed into Christchurch.

"As far as I'm aware, I've never seen any reference to it," he told the paper.

"I knew from earlier research that Smith captained the Coptic, and I put two and two together that there was a decent chance he came to New Zealand waters."

Captain Smith was among 1,517 who lost their lives when the Titanic struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

- Herald Online staff

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