Mr Samuel James Metcalfe Hocking

Mr Samuel James Metcalfe Hocking, 36, was born at 3 Fore Street, Devonport, Devon, in 1876, the son of Mr William J H Hocking (a house decorator) and Mrs Elizabeth G Hocking. His siblings included: Horace, William, Jack, Earnest, Thomas, May, Jane, Ethel, and Mabel. There were 14 in all.

"Jim" Hocking's wife was named Ada and they had 2 children, Dorothy and Frank Hocking. Jim Hocking was a confectioner by trade; the Kelly's Directory for 1910 shows his shop to be located at 103 Fore Street, Devonport, Devon, whilst he and his family lived nearby at 3 Fore Street.

Hocking boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger (ticket number 242963, £13). Travelling alone, his destination in the USA was to have been to his brother Mr Thomas Hocking who was living at 98 Liberty Street, Middletown, Connecticut. It was planned that his wife and 2 children would join him there at a later date.during the early part of the journey he befriended newly-married Cornish couple John Henry and Sara Chapman of St Neot.

Hocking wrote a letter to his wife dated 11 April 1912, it was posted at Queenstown.

My Dear Ada

Just a few lines as I hear we are calling at Queenstown, Ireland and they will also take letters and we are just off there now. 7.30am.
It is a lovely morning with a high wind but no heavy seas, in fact it has been like a millpond so far but I expect we shall get it a bit stiffer in the Bay of Biscay if this wind continues. This will be the ship for you, you can hardly realise you are on board except for the jolting of the engines that is why it is such bad writing.
I am longing already for you to have a trip. I wish it had been possible for us all to come together, it would have been a treat. I have fallen in with a young couple from Liskeard named Chapman. He has been home for six months holiday and got married and now they are now going out together. He like myself worked for his father but could not get on with him, so I am pleased I have met someone nice, in fact you don't meet anyone rough second class. I have a bunk to myself which is pretty lonely but still I would rather be alone than have a foreigner who I could not talk to. There are two beds in a bunk and a couch so when you come out, and I hope it will not be long, you will be able to manage with the two children splendid.
I hope you are keeping alright, also the kiddies. I suppose they ask for me? You must get out a good bit and the time will pass quicker. Tell Penn his fags are my only comfort and I am smoking a few!
Write me a few lines to 98 Liberty Street, Middletown, Conn, USA and I shall get it when I get there. I turned in at 10 o'clock last night but could get no sleep owing to the rattle of water bottles, glasses and other things too numerous to mention, so I was glad to get up at 6 o'clock, but I suppose I shall soon get used to it.
Don't forget to address letters J Hocking c/o Mr I Hocking. [sic]
Now dear Ada I must draw to a close as we are getting pretty close to Queenstown and I am afraid of missing the post, so with lots of kisses to you and the children, and best respects to Mabel and all at home.

I am your ever loving husband. Jim xxxxxxxxxxxx x divide these between the three.

Everybody tells me I shall not regret the step I have taken so buck up and we shan't be long.

Hocking died in the sinking, his body, if recovered, was never identified.

The administration of his estate was completed on 21 August 1913. His effects, totalling £70.0.0d passed to his widow, Mrs Ada Hocking.

Descendants of Jim Hocking
Steve Coombes, UK
Chris Dohany, USA
Brian Ticehurst, UK

Articles and Stories

Probate Report


Titanic Disaster, Westcountry Passengers and Crew

Western Morning News  (1912) 


1901 Census - Devonport, Devon



  • Leave a comment

  • Help improve this biography

  • Link and cite this biography

    (2015) Samuel James Metcalfe Hocking Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #455, accessed 30th July 2015 07:09:44 AM)

    URL :