2nd Engineer Hesketh

Chris Hughes

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Feb 20, 2012
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Firstly, my great,great uncle was John Henry (Harry) Hesketh. He was not registered, baptised with, nor did he use the Christian name James. I think this fact alone says a great deal about the provenence of this photograph.

As many people are aware 'James' was an error on the part of Walter Lord who recorded crew members by their surname and initials. He made the assumption that J.H.Hesketh was James H.

I would love to know whether this is a photograph of John Henry Hesketh, there are certain facial similarities, however, it didn't come from this branch of the family and I have my doubts because the information that comes with it is wildly inaccurate.

Chris Hughes formerly Szabo Hello Ann!
 
D

Deborah Obrien

Guest
Yes Chris there are similarities in the photos we have, perhaps it is a younger version he did serve on a few white star line ships, I have just found another picture of him among some photos nanna had but not in uniform and younger and I must say the similarities are uncanny if the photo turns out not to be him
 

Chris Hughes

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Feb 20, 2012
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So what we have so far is that his name was James Unknown and he worked for the White Star Line. It would be interesting to find out who he was.
 

Chris Hughes

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I'm afraid I think that the owner of the photo didn't know that James H Hesketh never exsisted in connection with Titanic. He was an error on the part of Walter Lord which went into print.
This same photo was displayed on the 'findagrave' website some years ago with the same information about James H Hesketh. After discussion, the website administrator kindly removed it.

This is a photograph of a young man who worked for the White Star line, I have no idea who he is. The fact is that John Henry Hesketh was not known as James, he was not anyone's 'Uncle James'.
 
Jan 29, 2001
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There exist records that John H. Hesketh was also called James...perhaps by his direct family. The provenance of the image exists on the back of the image, of which information I shared previously, and will not share, an image here, for copyright violation of a privately owned image. As for your 'find a grave' mention, a site of which I frequently visit, it reminds me of Daniel Butler reporting that the French submersible Nautile was responsible for the collapse of the Titanic wreck's crow's nest. I have the video ('87) of which he *states* the, alleged, footage of the encounter, upon explaining this to him, he replied..."The video was highly edited", as many of us here on the forum...no such edit ever took place". Until you, or a direct descendant can show me the image you mention of FAG, front and back, I will continue to believe my image is John (James) H. Hesketh. After all the writing on the reverse appears to be that of a young adult, hence *Uncle James*, and dated 1910. I recall Hesketh was with Oceanic before his tranfer to Titanic...
BTW, of all the Titanic memoriablia exisiting, why in the world would someone misidentify a little known 2nd Engineer aboard Titanic?

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 
Jan 29, 2001
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Pardon me..I wrote 1910, where I should have wrote 1905. Perhaps another *student* of Titanic, maybe my friend Mr. Ticehurst can tell us where Hesketh was in '05?

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 
Apr 27, 2003
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Hello Mike - good to hear from you.
Sorry but I cant be precise about 1905 but from the list of his ships below you may? Be able to work something out?
Best of luck

Brian

Hesketh, James H. Lived at 80 Garrett Avenue, Liverpool. Occupation - Junior 2nd Engineer. 32 years old. (Born in Liverpool).
(From: Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund Booklet, March 1913)
Case Crew Number 120. Hesketh, Mrs. mother. Hesketh, two sisters. All class A dependants.
MR J. H. Hesketh entered the service of the White Star Company as engineer apprentice at fourteen years of age, and began his sea-going career as sixth engineer on the Afric. He also saw service on the Cedric, Medic, Persic and Ceufic, and was employed in connection with the salvage of the Suevic. While on board the Majestic he had charge of the refrigerating machinery and was instrumental in securing a greatly improved quality of cargoes. He was selected for service on the Laurentic, and later on the Olympic and made some useful suggestions for the machinery spaces in the Titanic. He was acting as one of the three second engineers on board the Titanic his confreres being Messrs Farquharson and Harrison. Mr. Hesketh was the youngest acting second engineer in the White Star Line and was a fine steady level-headed man. His last words as he left his home to join his ship were, ''Don't fear for me, this ship is unsinkable''. He was thirty-three years of age, unmarried, and had his residence, when at home, with his father and mother at Walton, Liverpool.
Named on the magnificent Engineer's Memorial in East Park, Southampton.
also named on the Glasgow Institute of Marine Engineers memorial.
also remembered on the London, Institute of Marine Engineers memorial.
also remembered on the Liverpool Titanic and Engineers memorial.
also there is a brass memorial plaque in the church of St. Faithful, Crosby, Liverpool, to the memory of the Chief Engineer and his Engine Room staff. .
Probate Report from GW: Hesketh, John Henry of Garnett Avenue, Kirkdale, Liverpool. Ships engineer. Administration, Liverpool 8th July 1912 to Henry Hesketh, engine driver. Effects. £447.10.0d.
 

Chris Hughes

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John Henry Hesketh was my great grandmother's brother, my grandmother's uncle. He was named for his paternal and maternal grandfather's John Hesketh and John Griffith, and for his father Henry. He was known to his immediate family and to his fellow engineers as Harry. He was not known to anyone as James.

We have nothing to prove and I will not add anything further to this discussion. As for why anyone would want to misidentify a little known 2nd Engineer aboard Titanic, if I had a pound for everyone who wanted a connection to Titanic, I would be very wealthy indeed. I've had to make my family tree on ancestry private. People will twist their trees into pretzels to try and get a connection, they will change names on their tree, anything. It's rather sad.

It matters very little to the immediate family what people on this forum say about him. We don't have an obsession about Titanic, I rarely visit this forum because, if I do, I see this kind of thing.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Chris, you won't find many here who don't support you. Most of us believe that the man in question was indeed called John and that the name James was used in error on a number of documentary sources back in 1912 and in others since.

I can't offer any theories about the identity of the man in Michael's photo, but I would suggest that there might be clues in the uniform and cap badge. As far as I know Hesketh's career as an officer was entirely with the White Star Line (see Brian's post above), but is the man in Michael's photo wearing a WSL uniform and cap? I think not - the cap badge and arrangement of tunic buttons are quite different.

Chris, can you please confirm whether or not the other small photo I posted earlier in this thread is John Hesketh? He's certainly wearing the right uniform!
 
Jan 29, 2001
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I beg to differ, and I was happy to read Deborah Obrien's last post...*...the similarites are uncanny if the photo turns out to to be him". A photo of her nanna's...not in uniform and much younger. I am drafting a letter To: Ms. Obrien as we speak...I will be more than pleased to share an image of the reverse with her at this time. So let's find out were J.H. Hesketh was in 1905...

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 
Jan 29, 2001
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For the record...Find a Grave website has no Hesketh's whatsoever, so Chris's stating that the same photo of mine was seen on the FAG site, but edited, owing to family matters...I just find that hard to believe, understanding that my all-time favorite Baseball star, Roberto Clemente, has a page on FAG...and too his body was never recovered.
So, show me something tangible regarding this FAG Hesketh page...

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 

Chris Hughes

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Feb 20, 2012
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Bob, the photo uploaded by you on 29 Oct 09 was also used by The Institute of Marine Engineers Guild of Benevolence in their commemorative brochure published in 1992.
I think we can safely assume it’s Engineer Hesketh!

Regarding Michael’s photo, once again referring to the above mentioned brochure which is a tribute to the engineering staff, the cap badge does not look like that of an engineer with WSL.
Chris
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Note that Michael's photo is also there (see 'photos' tab). And that one also is said to be sourced from the Hesketh family.
 
Jan 29, 2001
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Thank You Bob, I did attempt in vain to find the image. I'll print a color copy of the *front only* image and compare it to mine, which is currently in safe-deposit.
Too bad the donor did not show an image of the reverse.
So, if the image is not Hesketh...as Deborah said the similaritys, are yes,...uncanny! But, I thought Chris said the image was removed from the site?

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 
Jan 29, 2001
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And so...my apologies to Chris. However, like Deborah stated, it looks to be a younger Hesketh. It will be great to find out where Hesketh was in 1905? Or...perhaps a forensic detective is needed ;-)

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 

Chris Hughes

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Feb 20, 2012
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I've just looked at the findagrave link sent by Bob and I see that the Sydenham photograph is still there. I was assured that it would be removed so I'll be contacting the site owner again.

I think my cousin Deborah is possibly not aware that our grandmother contacted Walter Lord shortly after 'A Night to Remember' was first published. She maintained that he promised to correct the name when the book was reprinted. This didn't happen. For the last 15 years I've been contacting websites who have him listed as James because it's the least and the only thing I can do for him. I just feel he deserves to be known by his correct name. As you may have gathered, I do get very fed up sometimes.

As soon as I knew the Sydenham photograph had James Hesketh written on it, I was 100% confident that it wasn't Engineer Hesketh. As for similarities, this can be deceptive and it's not enough to prove anything.
 
Jan 29, 2001
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This is where it gets weird...I made it to my safe-deposit box in time, and lo and behold, my photograph is the one pictured on the FAG site. The Hesketh cabinet photo therefore made it from the Sydenham family in England, to a collector in Cananda (He collected Civil War & Titanic)), and onto my recently deceased Antique (Carson Art & Antiques) proprieter, who purchased the image exclusively for me :) So, I have decided to *share* the front and back on my Facebokk page tomorrow. I still feel it is a younger Hesketh, could he be dressed in an apprentice attire? The facial features are *twin-like* if it is not J.H. Hesketh.

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA