Albert F Caldwell

Jun 4, 2004
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A few years ago I came across some pictures of my grandparents and uncle taken in May, 1912 which I supplied to Encyclopedia Titanica for their biography pages. This lead to correspondence between a number of discussion group participants about the Caldwell family. One message informed me that my grandfather's watch had been sold in the late 1990s at an auction of Titanic memorabilia.

A few days ago I recalled that message and tried an online search to determine whether my grandfather's watch had been sold at auction and the selling price. Although I was unable to find the selling price, I came across the text of an article about the auction which contained the following line:

Other hot items included a watch given by passenger Albert Caldwell to a crew member to ensure places on a lifeboat for him, his wife and son.

Prior to his death, I had a number of conversations with my grandfather about the Titanic. Although he never mentioned giving his watch to a crewman, he did refer to getting permission to find the crew of lifeboat 13 on the Carpathia so he could thank them. I suppose that would have been the time when he could have given a crewman his watch.

Beesley's account of the circumstances surrounding the Caldwell family's departure on lifeboat 13 (last paragraph of Chapter III) suggests that there was little time for my grandfather to barter for seats for himself and family. I have noticed that unsubstantiated, snippets of information sometimes, over time, become accepted as fact. Therefore, I wonder whether anyone can supply any further information about this "bribe".

[Moderator's Note: This message, originally posted as a new thread in the "Passenger Research" main topic, has been moved to this newly-created subtopic which collects the existing threads about the Caldwells. MAB]