Mr Frederick William Barrett, 28, was born in Liverpool. When he signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April he gave his address as 24 King St. (Southampton). His previous ship was the New York. As a leading fireman he took home monthly wages of £6 10s.
Barrett was working in boiler room 6 at the time of the collision, he felt the impact of the iceberg and then heard a sound like thunder rolling towards him as it tore along the ship's side:
A graphic story was told by Frederick Barrett a leading stoker.
ENGINEER'S BROKEN LEG
Shortly afterwards the order came from the engine room to send all the stokers up. "Most of them went up, but I was told to remain with the engineers to do any errands. Mr Harvey, Mr Wilson, Mr Shephard and I waited in No. 5 section.
According to the account given in A Night to Remember when water suddenly began to gush through the forward bulkhead Shepherd urged Harvey and Barrett to get out but Harvey rushed to save his colleague, the last thing Barrett noticed as he clambered up the escape ladder was the two engineers disappearing under a torrent of ice cold water.
Barrett's testimony to the British enquiry does not mention this scenario and actually indicates that Shepherd had already been carried to another compartment before that in which he was injured became flooded and therefore Barrett could not have seen him as he made his escape. The truth remains a mystery.
Barrett's later testimony hinted that the bulkhead that gave way may have been weakened by a fire that smouldered in the bunkers throughout the voyage:
Had it Anything to Do With The Disaster?
Lord Mersey yesterday put a striking question to Frederick Barrett, a leading stoker on the Titanic.
Barrett was put in command of lifeboat 13. At around 1.40 a.m. the boat was successfully lowered although the occupants narrowly avoided a torrent of water from an outfall in the ship's side and when it had reached the water Barrett and able seaman Robert Hopkins had to work quickly to cut the boat free from the falls as it drifted under lifeboat 15 which had begun its descent. At 4.45 a.m. Barrett brought his boat and its occupants safely to the side of the rescue ship Carpathia.
A few weeks later, on May 25, Frederick Barrett was working on the Olympic. When Senator Smith was given a tour of the Titanic's sister by Captain Haddock as part of his investigation, Haddock mentioned that one of his stokers had been aboard Titanic, and Smith then went down to the engine room to talk with Barrett and get a better impression of how conditions had been aboard Titanic in the boiler rooms at the time of the collision.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Daily Sketch, Wednesday, May 8-9, 1912
Dave Bryceson (1997) The Titanic Disaster: As Reported in the British National Press April-July 1912. Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN-1-85260-579-0
John P. Eaton & Charles A. Haas (1994) Titanic: Triumph & Tragedy, 2nd ed. Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1 85260 493 X
John Eaton & Charles Haas (1992) Titanic: Destination Disaster, Patrick Stevens Ltd. ISBN 1 85260 534 0
Walter Lord (1976) A Night to Remember. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 14 004757 3
Don Lynch & Ken Marschall (1992) Titanic: An Illustrated History. London, Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0 340 56271 4
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
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
Eric Paddon, USA
George Behe, USA
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