Harold Thomas Cottam

Harold Thomas Cottam

Harold Thomas Cottam

Mr Harold Thomas Cottam was born on 27 January 1891 in Southwell, Notts, the eldest son of William Cottam (builder) and his wife Jane. Harold had four younger brothers.


Marconi Electronic Systems, Courtesy of Jemma Hyder, UK

He attended Minter Grammar School and later studied the Marconi wireless system in London. Harold was the youngest ever graduate from the GB school of telegraphy, finishing when he was still 17. He went to sea straight away, but later returned to shore to work at one of the shore stations belonging to the Post office. He returned to sea aboard the White Star Liner Medic, on the Liverpool to Sydney run. He made two round trips before transferring to the Carpathia in February 1912.

On 14 April 1912 Cottam was aboard the Carpathia. He was waiting for an answer from the Parisian before going to bed. He was bending down to untie his shoelaces when the message came in. He rushed to tell Captain Rostron who immediately ordered the Carpathia turned around. As the Carpathia steamed back to New York Cottam worked with Titanic wireless operator Harold Bride to transmit messages from the survivors to to their relatives 1.

Cottam served on the Raith Castle in January 1919, the Orsoba in the same year and in the Chira in 1921.

Harold married Elsie Jean Shepperson in 1922 and they had four children, two boys and two girls, William, Jean, Sybil and Angus. Angus died in the late 1960's but not in Vietnam as has been quoted by some sources. William lived in the USA, Sybil in Canada and Jean in Australia.

Harold Cottam died in 1984.

Notes
1. Rumours that Harold continued a friendship with Harold Bride via radio in later years seem unfounded, Harold's own nephew can never recall him owning such apparatus.

References and Sources
General Register Office Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth
General Register Office Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
Wreck Commissioners' Court, Proceedings before the Right Hon. Lord Mersey on a Formal Investigation Ordered by the Board of Trade into the Loss of the S.S. Titanic

Credits
Jemma Hyder, UK

Pictures

Harold Cottam

(1912) 

HAROLD COTTAM

 
Bride being taken from Carpathia

(1912) 

BRIDE BEING TAKEN FROM CARPATHIA

 
WIRELESS OPERATOR H. T. COTTAM

(1912) 

WIRELESS OPERATOR H. T. COTTAM

 
Harold Cottam

(1912) 

HAROLD COTTAM

 

Articles and Stories

Harold Bride Resting

New York Times  (1912) 

HAROLD BRIDE RESTING

 
Excuse Sending ... Am Half Asleep

Titanic Research  (2002) 

EXCUSE SENDING ... AM HALF ASLEEP

 
Harold Cottam

The Times  (1984) 

HAROLD COTTAM

 
BOY WIRELESS SAVED THEM

New York Times  (1912) 

BOY WIRELESS SAVED THEM

 
NO WIRELESS ORDER TO HOLD BACK NEWS

New York Times  (1912) 

NO WIRELESS ORDER TO HOLD BACK NEWS

 
ACCUSE WIRELESS OPERATOR

New York Times  (1912) 

ACCUSE WIRELESS OPERATOR

 
NO ALARM FELT WHEN STEAMER FIRST STRUCK

Washington Times  (1912) 

NO ALARM FELT WHEN STEAMER FIRST STRUCK

 
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    (2014) Harold Thomas Cottam Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #2460, accessed 22nd December 2014 12:01:21 PM)

    URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-biography/harold-thomas-cottam.html