February 28th: William Mcmaster Murdoch born in Dalbeattie (Scotland)


July 31st: Signs indentures for apprenticeship in sail
August 1st: Starts to serve his apprenticeship aboard barque Charles Cotesworth


September 30th: Apprenticeship terminates
October 3rd: Passes examination for the Certificate of Competency as 2nd Mate


August 7th: Signs on as 2nd Mate aboard full-rigger Iquique. Master of this vessel is Samuel Murdoch, his father


February 27th: Discharged from Iquique
March 23rd: Passes examination for the Certificate of Competency as 1st Mate
May 12th: Signs on as 1st Mate aboard the barque St. Cuthbert


July 29th: Discharged from St. Cuthbert
September 28th: Passes examination for the Certificate of Competency as Extra Master


April 3rd: Signs on as 1st Mate aboard 4-masted barque Lydgate


May 2nd: Discharged from Lydgate
June 30th: Joins White Star Line
August 3rd: 4th mate when White Star’s new steamer Medic departs from Liverpool en route to Cape Town and Sydney with 85 passengers on her maiden voyage. It’s also the first departure of White Star’s new service to Down Under which eventually will operate five steamers and offer a monthly departure from Liverpool to Australia via Cape Town.


Promoted to 3rd mate aboard Medic


Transferred to Runic, another ship in White Star’s Australian service, serves as 2nd mate.


March 1st: Becomes Sub Lieutenant RNR, seniority starting January 1st, 1902.


June: Transferred to Arabic, a ship on the Atlantic Run, takes part in the maiden voyage and continues to serve as 2nd mate.


Transferred to Celtic, continues to serve as 2nd mate and is listed as 1st mate for the voyages terminating in July and August 1904. Transferred to Germanic, continues to serve as 1st mate.


Joins Oceanic, White Star’s flag ship, as 2nd mate


February/March: Two voyages 1st mate aboard Cedric (Oceanic not in service then)
April 6th: 2nd mate aboard Oceanic (Oceanic back in service then)
May 9th: Promoted to 1st mate on the Oceanic


Transferred to Adriatic, continues to serve as 1st mate. Takes part in Adriatic’s maiden voyage
September 2nd: Marries Ada Florence Banks, a teacher from New Zealand. They settle in Southampton.


September 8th Promoted to Lieutenant RNR


May: Transferred to Olympic; maintains rank as 1st mate, takes part in Olympic’s maiden voyage


March 24th: Signs on as chief mate aboard Titanic. Maintains this rank during trials, the voyage from Belast to Soutampton and preparations for maiden departure
April 9th: Signs on as 1st mate aboard Titanic for her maiden voyage.
April 14th: Titanic strikes iceberg during his watch.
April 15th: Titanic sinks after collision with an iceberg. Murdoch is one of the 1,496 people who perish in this disaster. His body was never recovered.

Compiled by Susanne Störmer