A Romance Of The Titanic

The Courier


A photograph of several Titanic crew survivors which appeared in  the “Saturday Post,” a sister publication of the “Courier” has been the means of discovering the whereabouts of a wondering son of Dundee, and also of relieving the anxiety of a Dundee household.

The circumstances of the case read like a romance.

Twenty four years ago James Rattray was born in a tenement house in the east end of the city. James’ parents were hard working, industrious Dundonians, and there was something of a nomadic nature in the family which could account for the romantic disposition which seemed part of the boy’s nature. The spirit developed with his years, and a restless, roving, and to a certain extent ambitious nature would not let him settle down to the ordinary life of a landsman.

At an early age he ran off to sea, and at intervals of one or two years he would appear at the door of his home, as if he had only been out for a short walk. “Good son though he was,” said his mother, “Jim never sent the scrape of a pen all the time he was away.” He would work away quietly at home for a month or two, and then one morning he would go out, to all appearances to work as usual, but when he did not return at night the family knew “Jim had gone off to sea again.”

It is about two years ago since he was home, and his folks had no idea where he was, although, when the news of the Titanic disaster came to hand, his mother had a feeling that her son was on board. The list of survivors was anxiously scanned by the excited parents, but, although the names of Jas. Rattray was not on the list, there was a name which he had been known to use.

The matter aroused considerable anxiety in the home in Victoria Road where the Rattrays reside. One night recently a neighbour brought in a copy of the “Saturday Post,” and asked if MRs Rattray knew anyone on a photograph of Titanic survivors taken at Southampton. “If that’s no’ my son, I never had a son,” exclaimed the excited mother.

Copies of the photograph have been shown to acquaintances of the missing son, and everyone is convinced that the man smiling at the end of a group of firemen is James Rattray, of Dundee.

To make assurance doubly sure, the relatives of the missing man are to communicate with the shipping officials at Southampton.


Note: There was no James Rattray on the Titanic


Gordon Steadwood

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