Account by Gerald Duquemin

His brother, Gerald, of Capelle's Building Stores, Guernsey, takes up the story:

''I was only ten years old at the time the Titanic went down but I can remember very well what results the sinking brought home. We heard about it on the 15th or 16th of April but there was no news of my brother. I remember my mother was so shocked and worried we had to have the doctor - he used to come on horseback - and confined my mother to bed. We all waited for news. Mother said she had a feeling Joseph was all right but as time went by, we began to fear the worst.''

''Then on April 20th - my mother's birthday - Mr. Veal of the Vale Post Office arrived in father's building yard. Mr. Veal came himself with the telegram. He wouldn't send one of the boys. I remember my father coming towards the house with the telegram in his hands. They were shaking so much he couldn't read the words. He called to my sister to read them out. There were only five words. 'Joseph Duquemin reported safe, Ismay''.'

Gerald Duquemin still has the envelope in which the telegram arrived; the message itself is in the hands of Joseph's widow in America.

In later life Joseph Duquemin suffered cruelly. He complained of pains in his legs and had to have first the right one and then the left one amputated, leaving him a sick man. This fatal injury stemmed from the tragic night of April 15th, 1912.

Years later there was a sequel to the tragic story of the Titanic. A Beaconsfield Justice of the Peace (J.P.), Miss Eva Hart, came on holiday to Guernsey and visited the Duquemins. She came to tell them about the night Joseph had handed her his overcoat when she stood shivering on the deck of the Titanic as a girl of seven and she came to say 'thank-you' to his family.

Related Biographies:

Joseph Pierre Duquemin


Brian Ticehurst


Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) Account by Gerald Duquemin ( ref: #2228, published 12 January 2004, generated 8th April 2021 07:43:14 PM); URL :