Mr Joseph Pierre Duquemin
Mr Joseph Duquemin , 24 , a stonemason from St. Sampsons, Guernsey, Channel Islands  boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number S.O./P.P. 752, £7 11s). His destination was Albion, New York. A friend of his, Herbert ‘Bert’ Denbury, travelled second class.
On the night of the sinking Joseph Duquemin aided the women to find lifeboats. At one point he took off his overcoat and wrapped it around a shivering seven-year-old girl (Eva Hart). He claimed that he helped others until he was waist-deep in water before turning to Bert Denbury to tell him that he was jumping. He jumped and made for collapsible D, but his friend fell victim to the suction. Joseph said that at first he was refused permission to board the lifeboat but was soon allowed on when he told the crew that he could handle an oar . Later he claimed to pull another swimmer out of the water.
News of the sinking reached Joseph’s family back in Guernsey later on that day. Joseph’s brother, Gerald, related that his mother was in severe shock and a doctor had to be sent for. Word of Joseph’s safety arrived by a telegram, which is reported to have read: "Joseph Duquemin reported safe, Ismay." The telegram and envelope are still in the hands of Joseph’s descendants. Duquemin returned to Guernsey and for months after the disaster was wracked by nightmares, hearing the screams of Bert Denbury being pulled down by the current. He also suffered badly from the frostbite in his legs, derived from his time in the water. Both his legs were amputated and he died sometime prior to 1967 in Guernsey leaving a widow. Years after his death Eva Hart visited the Duquemins in Guernsey where she told of Joseph’s gallantry and thanked his family.
Philip Hind (Editor)
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Name: Mr Joseph Pierre Duquemin
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