Mr Edward Martin Hendy, 39, was born in Freemantle, Hampshire1 the son of Thomas Martin Hendy (1837 – 1918) and Mary Watts (born 1840)2
By the age of 18 Edward was already going to sea. In the 1891 census he is listed as a mariner, as his father had been before him.
Edward married Sophia Alice Dommett in 1899. In the 1901 census they are listed as living together (Edward, listed as a ship's steward) in Shirley, Southampton. Edward and Sophia had six or seven children of whom four were surviving at the time of the Titanic sinking.
He initially signed-on to the Titanic in Belfast for her delivery trip to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 21 Paynes Road, (Southampton). As a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. His last ship had been the Olympic.
Whilst aboard the Titanic Ted sent a letter to his wife written on the back of a menu.
S.S. Titanic. Queenstown,
Dearest, We got away all right at last. We thought there was going to be a another collision when [the] New York broke all her ropes as we were passing her. The suction from this ship. Everything went off all right, glad to say. I'm feeling pretty good, hope you are and also the little ones. heaps of love [?] from your loving [?] Ted
Hendy died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
Shortly after the sinking, Sophia moved to a little terrace house in Vaudrey Street, Shirley, that was left to her by an aunt3.
The loss of her husband on the Titanic devastated Sophia and she had difficulty coping with her children; Norman, Dorothy, Rose and Reginald.
A fund was raised to support the widows and help with apprenticeships for the children. A visitor provided goodies such as Ovaltine, Horlicks and Marmite to families needing help. The amount of financial support that Sophia received was very small so she lived the rest of her life in near poverty.4
The eldest boy, Norman, was sent to live at the Southampton Seaman's Orphanage, then went to sea and eventually became a ship’s officer. During the Second World War he was on one of the fleet of small boats that rescued soldiers from the beach of Dunkirk. Dorothy trained as a shorthand typist then married and moved to the north of England. Rose was a successful amateur actress and appeared in many performances in the area but her career was cut short by her early death at the age of 21 from TB. Reginald Thomas was set to carpentry. He worked for Hampshire Car Bodies in Totton that, after the war, became an important manufacturer of fire engines. He was for many years a part-time fireman in the Totton Fire Brigade.
Toward the end of the Second World War Sophia'a daughter-in-law was bombed out of her house so went to live with Sophia in Vaudrey Street. She helped Sophia to cope but by 1950 she needed long term care so was moved to Ashurst Lodge, near Lyndhurst. She died there in 1953, at age 79 and was still talking about her Teddy as she called her husband lost on the Titanic.
She is buried in Totton at Eling Church cemetery.
- A birthdate of 31 Aug 1872 has been given (Ancestry.co.uk) but the source is uncited. The birth was registered in the 3rd quarter (Jul,Aug,Sep) of 1872. When he signed onto the Titanic he gave his age as 38.
- He had several siblings including: Thomas William Hendy (born 1863), Albert Henry J. Hendy (1864-1934), Clarissa Mary Hendy (born 1867), Alice Helena Hendy (born 1870), Daisy Louise Hendy (1879), Edith Lilian Hendy (born 1882) and Florence Ethel Hendy (born 1884).
- Vaudrey Street was near the Southampton Eye Hospital but was demolished with the re-development in the 1950’s.
- From mansion House Titanic relief Fund booklet, March 1913 - Number 434. Hendy, Sophia Alice, widow. Children: Dorothy; Norman Edward; Florence Rose; Reginald Thomas. All class D dependants.
References and Sources
FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 (Based on General Register Office Records)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
Letter and photograph provided by descendants of Edward Hendy.
Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Agreements and Crew Lists, Series III: Titanic. BT 100/259 and 100/260. The National Archives
Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Registers and Indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Passengers and Seamen at Sea. BT 334/52 and 334/53. The National Archives
1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 Census
Southern Evening Echo, 17 April 1962
Julia Beaudoin, Canada
Dave Fredericks, UK
Brian Ticehurst, UK
Andrew Williams, UK