Wessel Adrianus Van der Brugge was born in Delfshaven, Rotterdam in the Netherlands on 17 October 1873.
He was the son of Adrianus Van der Brugge (1843-1881) and Catherina Volbers (b. 1839), both natives of Delfshaven who had married in 1867.
Wessel was one of at least nine children, several of whom died in infancy, and his known surviving siblings were: Martinus (b. 1869), Cornelia (b. 1879) and Johan Adriaan (b. 1881).
When he signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April, he gave his local address as the Sailor's Home, Southampton and his previous ship as the Tamar. As a fireman he could expect monthly wages of £6.
Wessel Van der Brugge died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
Wessel's siblings had apparently become concerned over a period of time regarding his whereabouts. In October 1911 his sister Cordelia Kalff wrote a letter to the foreign ministry of Holland, asking where her brother might be and she was told that he was on his way to South-America. In May 1912, Cornelia received news from the consul-general of Holland in London, that her brother was on an English ship bound for Santos, Brazil.
On 16 August "The Royal Mail Steam Packet Co." told the consul that Wessel appeared in Southampton on 23 March 1912. Ultimately, on 31 August 1912, Cornelia was told by the police that her brother died in the sinking of the Titanic. In disbelief she wrote a letter to the consul in London on 1 September to ascertain the truth. The consul replied and confirmed the news to her by a notice of the Board of Trade from 23 July 1912, which asked to whom the estate of Van der Brugge (worth £1, 4s) should go to. In October 1912 his siblings received the money. On Van der Brugges "Account of Wages and Effects of a Deceased Seaman" from 7 May 1912 only his outstanding wages of £1, 4s are listed. Unlike his English colleagues, who received a half month's salary as bonus.
References and Sources
Particulars of Engagement, 1912 - PRO London BT 100/259
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Edward P. De Groot (1996, 1998) Titanic. De Alk B.V.
Gavin Bell, UK
Günter Bäbler, Switzerland
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Bill Wormstedt, USA
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