Algernon Henry Wilson Barkworth

Ian Bland

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May 31, 2009
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I found out recently that Algernon Barkworth lived around the corner from me. I used to drive past his house every day to take my daughter to school!
 

Ian Bland

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May 31, 2009
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It's a school. The house used to be owned by the Wilson Family (see Barkworths full name)
The Wilsons owned the Wilson Shipping Line, in the 19th century the largest privately owned steemship fleet in the world. Interestingly, Joseph Boxhall worked for Wilson Line later in his career.
 

Ian Bland

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May 31, 2009
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Geoff

Apologies, but that's wrong. I have checked and the Wilsons owned another house with a very similar name, rather than this one. Very sorry to mislead you. But I believe Boxhall still worked for them. I was fascinated to discover that the Wilson line owned a steamer called Titania around the same time as the Titanic. I have a drawing of her in 1911.
 

Justin Lowe

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Jun 13, 2002
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I've tried posting before but it never appeared anywhere so here's my second attempt.

Just recently Ive had some time to put together a small website with photos and information relating to Algernon Barkworth. The site isn't particularly detailed though I hope to add to it in the near future. Here is the link..

http://www.geocities.com/justinl100_1999/index

If you like it please sign the guest book.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Justin,

Have you seen a copy of:
A Swim for Dear Life: The True Story of a Titanic Survivor by Brian Edwards;
it is about the life of Algernon Barkworth
 

Justin Lowe

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Jun 13, 2002
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I've just been searching for it on the internet. Apparently it's hard to come by but I am sure when/if I get a copy it will make good reading. Thanks for telling me about it!
 
Apr 27, 2003
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Justin - I have just posted the below into Mr. B's Obit page. I hope you find something of interest?
Cheers Brian

BARKWORTH. Algernon. H. Cabin A23. Saved.
Aged 48 years. Saved in Lifeboat B (overturned) then transferred to number 12. (Died 7th January 1945).
Solicitors:- Stamp, Jackson, and Birks, 5 Parliament Street, Hull and Barkworth White, Belmont, Scarborough.

Marconigram from Titanic April 13th 1912, recd. 2.28 p.m. reads. Barkworth, Whites, Belmont, Scarborough. All well Algy.
Marconigram dated April 18th 1912 to Barkworth, Hessle, England. ''Am safe on board Carpathia - Algy''.

(From The Times, Thursday 20th April 1912)
Mr. A. H. Barkworth, of Tranby House, East Yorkshire, said he was sitting in the smoking-room when the boat struck the iceberg. He saw Mr. W. T. Stead on deck. He described how the forecastle was full of powdered ice. He noted the foremast was listing heavily to starboard. As Captain Smith was telling the women to put on their lifebelts he went down to his cabin and changed his clothes. All the boats had left his deck. He put on his life belt and fur coat and jumped overboard. While he was swimming hard to get away he was struck by wreckage and huge wave passed over his head. Swimming about, he found a boat which was rather crowded. He clutched at it and was helped on board. After that they helped another man in. Two men died after being helped into the small boat.

(From The Bridgwater Mercury, 20th April, 1912).
West Country People In The Titanic
Puddletrenthide
Mr. A. H. Barkworth brother of Mr. E. Barkworth is reported as being amongst the few men saved from the wreck.

(From the Scarborough Mercury Friday 19th April 1912.)
Hull Magistrate Reported Safe
Mother Staying at Scarborough
Mr. Algernon H. Barkworth, J.P., of Tranby House, Hessle, Hull, who was one of the first-class passengers on the Titanic, is a young man of independent means, and had booked a passage on the Titanic in preference to other vessels, largely because he was interested to see what she was like. He had intended staying in America for a month.
A brief telegram transmitted by wireless was received on Monday afternoon by Mrs. Barkworth, his mother, who is staying at Scarborough. It contained the word ''Safe'', but the relatives are still anxious to know definitely that the message was despatched after the Titanic sank.

(Newscutting from Evening Banner, Bennington, (Vermont), April 26, 1912.)
Left C. C. Jones Leaning Upon Titanic Rail.
Rescued Passenger Brings Word of Lost Superintendent
A. H. BARKWORTH OF ENGLAND
Tells of Acquaintance Made With Bennington Man on Steamship's First and Last Trip.
The first information relative to Charles C. Jones, the superintendent of the J. C. Colgate estate, who lost his life in the Titanic disaster, was published in the New York Sun yesterday in the course of the narrative of A. H. Barkworth, an Englishman who jumped from the doomed steam ship, kept afloat by means of a plank, afterwards climbed into a capsized boat and lived to be rescued by the Carpathia.
Following is the story of Mr. Barkworth's experience as published by the Sun:
''While part of the experiences of A. H. Barkworth, a survivor of the Titanic, have been told it has been only part. Mr. Barkworth is an Englishman, a Justice of the Peace, and his home is at Tranby House, Hessle, East Yorkshire. He was just running over, he said to spend a vacation, partly in making a trip on the biggest ship in the world. Mr. Barkworth was found yesterday morning in the lobby of the Imperial Hotel patiently smoking his mutational pipe while he awaited the coming of A. W. Mellor, another survivor.
''Mr. Barkworth explained that Mellor had been a second cabin passenger, whom he had taken into his stateroom on the Carpathia. Mellor had a terrible experience while the ship was sinking in being hit by a wave that rushed over the forward deck and swept him against a stanchion. He had a foot frozen and his other ankle was seriously injured. He used to be a valet for Sir Frederick Schuster and was coming over here to better himself, having saved up a little money, and Mr. Barkworth said yesterday he had been looking after him and hoped to see him with a job before he himself went back to England.
''Coming over I made the acquaintance of two most agreeable chaps said Mr. Barkworth. One was a chap named Jones, who was a sort of farmer, he told me, up in Vermont. I think he had once lived in England for he could imitate the Dorset shepherds to perfection. The other man was A. H. Gee. He was coming over to take a job as manager of a linen mill near Mexico City. I was discussing in the smoking room with them late on Sunday night the science of good road building in which I am keenly interested. I was going down, but somebody said they were going to set back the clock at midnight, and I stayed on as I wanted to set my watch. When the crash came somebody said we had hit an iceberg, but I didn't see it. I went down to my stateroom and got a coat and a life preserver and came back on deck.
To tell the truth, I didn't think about getting into a lifeboat, and the boats were all gone before we realised the condition of the ship was so serious. Jones and Gee were looking over the side. I learned swimming at Eton and made up my mind if it came to the worst I would try my luck in the water. When the ship gave the first dip we all went aft. I remember somebody shouted: 'Go gently!' as if a sudden shift of weight would have disturbed the ship's position.! Well, I had read somewhere that a ship which is about to sink gives a premonitory dip, and when the Titanic did that I simply chucked my despatch case, containing all my money and some papers, into the scuppers, Jones and Gee were standing by, with arms on the rail, looking down,. I imagine they were preparing for death. I saw nearby Howard Case, the manager of the Vacuum Oil Company in London. I said something to him.
'' 'My dear fellow, ' he replied, 'I wouldn't think of quitting the ship. Why, she'll swim for a week.' And calmly lit a cigarette.
'' 'This was not reassuring to me. I had had enough of the Titanic. So I climbed upon the rail, holding on to a stanchion. I was afraid to dive, because the water was full of steamer chairs and other things. I should say the distance then from the rail to the water was some thirty feet. I simply stepped off.
'' 'I cannot recall that I had any sensations as I went down, but when I struck the water it seemed terrifically cold. I went under, and I must have had my mouth open at the time. For I came up, spiting out salt water. I struck out away from the ship, for I feared the danger of suction. Then all of a sudden something hit me a terrific wallop on the nose. It put that organ out of use for three days. But it was my salvation, for what had hit me was a plank, and it helped me to keep afloat. Well, I swam and swam, and finally I managed to reach a capsized boat, to which a lot of men, one of them young Jack Thayer, were clinging. For a time we knelt on the bottom of the boat, and then someone suggested our legs were getting benumbed and we had better try to stand. So we huddled together and all except two managed to get into a nearly erect posture. We were on there five or six hours. Two men just behind me died. One of them slipped overboard, but we managed to keep the body of the other one. It is extraordinary how under such circumstances you lose your horror of the dead. The death of these two men didn't seem to make any particular impression upon any of us.
'' 'I have read several accounts of how the band played while the ship went down 'Nearer My God to Thee'. I do not wish to detract from the bravery of anybody, but I might mention that when I first came on deck the band was playing a waltz. The next time I passed where the band had been stationed, the members of it had thrown down their instruments and were not to be seen. But I shall never forget the fierce jarring notes of that waltz they played''.

(From The Brighton Argos, Friday 19th, 1912)
''Mr. A. H. Barkworth, of Tranby House, East Yorkshire, said he was sitting in the smoking room when the boat struck the iceberg. He saw Mr. W. T. Stead on the deck. he described how the forecastle was full of powdered ice. He noted that the foremast was listing heavily to starboard. As Captain Smith was telling the women to put on their lifebelts, Mr. Stead went to his cabin and changed his clothes. All the boats had left his deck. He put on his life belt and fur coat and jumped overboard. While he was swimming hard to get away he was stuck by wreckage, and a huge wave passed over his head. Swimming about he found a boat which was rather crowded. He clutched at it and was helped on board. After that they helped another man in. Two men died after being helped into a small boat.''
To reiterate, these have been presented to me as original, unpublished material, having reposed in an attic in Peoria, Illinois until early last month, and reportedly discovered by a friend of the family cleaning out an attic...

Letter by Mr. Algernon Barkworth of Yorkshire, England. Dictated to Mrs.
Francis because his hands had been frozen.
I was sitting in the smoking room with my friends when we heard a grinding sound which caused the ship to tremble . . . Engines seemed to stop. Walking out on deck, through the smoking rooms' veranda, deck A, the first person I saw was Mr. T. Stead and I asked him what he had seen. He said "an iceberg had ground against the starboard side" I went forward and noticed the forecastle filled with pieces of ice which had fallen from the friction of the ship against the iceberg.
The forecastle made a heavy list to the starboard. I was there found by several friends and we went up to the boat deck and heard the order given to put on our life belts. We returned to our cabins and put them on and went up again on deck. Again, I noticed that the band was playing a waltz tune. Soon afterwards we went to see the boats lowered. The escaping steam making a deafening sound, women and children were put into the boats first. When most of the boats had left the ship, she began to list forward. By this time I had decided that the only thing to do for saving my life was to (indecipherable) ...with my two best friends, I climbed up on the boat deck railing and dropped about thirty feet into the sea. I had on a fur coat with the life belt strapped on the outside. When I came up, I swam for all I was worth to get away from the sinking ship.
Coming across a floating plank, I rested upon it. Looking over my shoulder I saw the Titanic disappear with a volley of loud reports so I swam slowly around and came luckily up on an overturned lifeboat. I climbed up on this at this time. The screams of the drowning was most terrible. Several more people climbed up the stern of our boat, which was now full. We 'competed' to keep everyone else from gathering upon. We drifted until daybreak when we sighted the Carpathia about five miles off. Shortly after we got near to the Titanic lifeboat which rescued us from our perilous position. With daylight, a strong breeze arose which threatened to submerge us. When we were rescued the water was up over our knees. We had two dead men on our stern, one of which fell off. The other one was taken aboard the Carpathia and was afterwards buried. When taken aboard, we were treated most kindly.

Dr. A Barkworth, Yorkshire, England..
Dictated to Mr. Francis because his hands were frozen. On medical stationary of Dr. Blackmarr. Confirmed on Collapsible B by "Unsinkable" which also mentioned his fur coat making him look like "some waterlogged sheepdog"

(From The Hull Times 1912) - (Died 7th January 1945).
Death of Mr. Algernon Barkworth
Mr. Algernon H. Barkworth a well- known figure in Hull and east Riding public life, died on Sunday at his home at Tranby House, Hessle, at the age of 80.
For 35 years a member of the east Riding bench, Mr. Barkworth retired from the position of chairman in may last year.. At one time he was a member of the East Riding County Council, and since 1903 was a justice of the peace.
A bachelor, Mr. Barkworth travelled to many parts of the world in his younger days, and was aboard the Titanic when she sank on her maiden voyage.
Very proud of his ancestry, which has been established in Hessle for about 200 years, he resided in the house which was built by his great grandfather.
Many warm tributes were paid by his colleagues when the announcement of this resignation from the bench was made. Ald. E. C. S. Stow said: ''He is a gentleman if ever there was one - a type which is fast dying out''.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Justin,

It shows on Amazon.co.uk
A Swim for Dear Life: The True Story of a Titanic Survivor
Our Price: £9.95
 

Justin Lowe

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Jun 13, 2002
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Thanks for the message Brian, it was fascinating to read the newpaper articles. What a great surprise! When I get time would you mind me adding them to my little site? If you do mind, then no worries, I just thought they would make it more interesting and would allow me to expand on the titanic theme a little.

I know of someone who collects old photos of Hessle so am hoping he might have some interesting photos that could be included.

I ordered the book, am hoping there are some copies lurking somewhere. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for looking that up for me Lester!
 
Apr 27, 2003
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Thanks for the message Brian, it was fascinating to read the newpaper articles. What a great surprise! When I get time would you mind me adding them to my little site?

No Problem - Best wishes Brian
 

Justin Lowe

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Jun 13, 2002
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Algernons Grave

I had some spare time today so decided to try and find Algernon's Gravestone. He isn't buried at Hessle as one would expect but in the nearby village of Kirk Ella where his family also resided. He shares the "plot" and headstone with his sister Evelyn.

Follow the link...

http://www.geocities.com/justinl100_1999/index

There is a link on the main page which will take you to the photos I took.

I'll be posting some new photos of Tranby House shortly.
 
Apr 27, 2003
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Justin - Many thanks for the above information about Mr. Barkworth - I have just updated my Memorials book with the information and that is memorial number 968 and I have put your name in the Contributors list.
Very best regards - Brian
 

Justin Lowe

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Jun 13, 2002
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I got the book from an internet site. "A swim for dear life". It was interesting, giving a little insight into Algernons life and what happened to his infamous fir coat, it was a bit sad hearing of its demise. The rest of the book was basically about the sinking of the ship, pretty much common knowledge but nontheless still interesting and was worth buying.

According to the book the car in the photograph was called "Dixie", thats either the name he gave it or its model name, its an american roadster and must have been quite famous locally. I don't suppose there were many of those being driven around the country lanes of East Yorkshire back then!

All the best - Justin
 
Mar 14, 2006
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I was helping my 7 year old daughter prepare some information for a school project here in New Hampshire, where I now live when I discovered your fascinating site and have enjoyed reading the information about my great, great uncle Algie. For several generations The Barkworths have dined out on their connections with this otherwise unremarkable country gentleman. As a small boy, one member of the family remembers meeting Algie towards the end of his life and, noting that his hands felt very cold, was sure that they had remained so ever since his exposure in the north Atlantic!