Canadian Titanic passengers


Feb 14, 2011
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Im interested in learning about all the Canadians who sailed on board Titanic. To date, I have the Alan Hustack and Alan Ruffman books as my best accounts of the Canadian connections. Do any of the Canadian Titanic historians here (Steve Santini, Alan Hustack) know of any other books dedicated to the Canadians on board? I could swear a new book on the Canadian passengers came out within the past year, but Im not certain....

One thing that amazed me was that Arthur Peuchen was looked upon with scorn by many of his fellow Canadians for years, or so some historians have toild me. Why? By all accounts. Peuchen behaved in a most heroic fasion? Of course if it were a case that he was the first to agree he was a hero, i could understand why a lack of modesty might foster resentment against him. But in my view, Peuchen was a hero.

Regards

Tarn Stephanos
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I think that Major Peuchen's so-called "crime" was the same as Ismay's and that of quite a few other men; he was indescreet enough to survive. By the standards of the day, a scandal in some circles. Can't say as I agree with it either.

Climbing down the falls to a lifeboat dangling above the ocean in the middle of the night with the prospect of falling into freezing water does not qualify as a cowards act in my book. Far from it! They needed an extra hand in the boat, and the man stepped up to the plate when nobody else did.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Richard Paola

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Nov 17, 2001
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Tarn, i believe you are referring to the recent book by Cris Kohl entitled "Titanic - Great Lakes Connection"...it is an excellent book which traces many Canadian passengers, as well as those who were destined around the Great Lakes area. It includes many rare photos, i would recommend it.
As far as Peuchen goes, yes, i've seen similar accounts of social scorn...even Peuchen himself took precautions upon boarding the Carpathia by asking Lightoller for written proof that he was indeed asked to assist in the lifeboat. But as Michael mentioned, any gentlemen that survived in a lifeboat probably would have ultimately paid some price of ridicule, regardless of how "brave" he may have been. Interestingly, Peuchen's experience ended up as one of the most documented of all passengers...he appears in the lifeboat photos, and his wallet was found in the debris field with incredibly preserved contents.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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There is more to the Peuchen story which may explain why he was looked upon with scorn. I'm not 100% familiar with the story, but in general, he was quick to accept the position to help out but proved useless in the lifeboat, and complained about not being able to row and was somewhat of a nuisance in the boat. Various women in boat 6 complained about him after.

I don't know if he set out to do a good thing but was unable to or if he used his yaht experience as an excuse off the ship and to save his life. If I'm wrong, people please correct me.

Daniel.
 

Richard Paola

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Nov 17, 2001
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Daniel, i believe it's more widely known that Quartermaster Hitchens was the one being the nuisance in boat 6. But i do recall hearing some accounts that Peuchen was the type to bend the truth perhaps;
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Damial said; "I don't know if he set out to do a good thing but was unable to or if he used his yaht experience as an excuse off the ship and to save his life."

Danial, I don't know if anyone can offer a really good answer to this one. According to the material here on ET, boat 6 left around 12:55am, and I have to wonder how many people appriciated the trouble the ship was in. As Violet Jessop said, "Nobody appriciated the seriousness of the thing" Peuchen himself asserted that he did not realise the ship was sinking until he saw it from the vantage point of the lifeboat.

If this is true, then I would see it as a vindication of sorts. One does not leave the percieved safety of the ship for something as chancy as an open boat out on the ocean on a dark freezing night lightly. Somebody in the boat did call for help, and Peuchen was the chap who stepped forward. Nobody else seemed eager to take the job. Clambering down those falls was a gutsy manuever IMO. Hell, I'm not sure I could have done that myself.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Just for the record, the cheif criticisms levelled at Peuchen did not concern his decision to leave the ship. As Michael correctly points out, most were ablivious to the danger at this time. Peuchen's fellow Canadians rather took exception to his alleged failure to properly acknowledge the role of the women in boat #6, whilst exaggerating his own efforts. He was also overtly crticial of Capt. Smith which doubtless raised a few eyebrows.

Hope this helps,

Regards,
Ben
 

Alan Hustak

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Jul 25, 2007
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I quote from the Toronto Mail - "Peuchen talked too much. He put himself in the position of a man who had to defend himself before the reason for the defense was apparent. He said he was a yachtsman to get off the ship; had it been a fire, he would have said he was a fireman." In addition, Peuchen was envied because of his business dealings with Sir Harry Pellat, the man who built Casa Loma. Toronto at the time were suspicious of people who guilty of conspicuous consumption - and until he lost it all, Peuchen was insufferably arrogant...No tarn, there is no new Titanic/Canadian book - but I hope to revise and update mine next year.....
 

Andrew Maheux

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Dec 4, 2000
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Could someone tell me more about the passengers that were bound for Ottawa Ontario Canada, as I live there and would like to research them further.

Thank you,

Andrew M.
 

Alan Hustak

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Jul 25, 2007
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They are elusive. All of them were in third class. There was a journalist, Novel Mansour and a Hanna Mansour. Marina Assaf is the best known - she had a store on Broad St.There was also Solomon Khalil. Most of them were Syrians from a village of Kfar Mechi.We also think that Gustave Lesureur, the Cardeza's servant came from Ottawa. That's about it.
 

Andrew Maheux

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Dec 4, 2000
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To answer my own question, I now know that Marianna Assaf later returned to her country where she died. The store on Broad street was in business for about 10 years, starting from around 1909 to about 1920. I have a better estimate date at home. Broad street is located in the LeBreton Flats which at one time was full of business. But around 1963 they tore down all the buildings, houses and businesses that were there, and was left empty until now, where they have started a redevelopment project of the area.

Just thought anyone might be interested.

Andrew Maheux
 
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Miguel Eyheramendy

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Hello. I'm Spanish and I'm 58. So, forgive my spelling mistakes. I'm really interested about Titanic and I know that British was the most common nationality on board Titanic. But I also know that on Titanic were two Argentines, Finnish people, Swedish, etc. But I want to know about Canadians. Can you give me some name about Canadians on board Titanic??.... THANK YOU!. Franco Miguel from Spain.
 

John Clifford

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Mar 30, 1997
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Hi Miguel.

I know that there were a few noteworthy Canadians on board the ship.

My list is not, likely, all-inclusive.

Anyway: some of the Canadians on board were:
1. The Hays Family: Railway magnate Charles Hayes, along with his wife, Clara, and their daughter, Orian Davidson, and son-in-law, Thornton;
2. Mr. Vivian Ponsonby Payne;
3. Miss Mary Anne Perreault;
4. Colonel Arthur Godfrey Peuchen;
5. Hudson J.C. Allison, and his wife, Bess, as well as their children, Lorraine and Trevor;
6. Emma Bliss;
7. The members of the Fortune Family: Mark and Mary, and their children: Ethel, Alice, Mabel, and Charles;
8. Hilda Slayter;
9. Charles Wright; and
10. Vera and Albert Dick.

All but Charles Wright were traveling in 1st Class; therefore, there are probably many persons whose names I missed.
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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Actually, the Mr. Wright in first class was from Halifax, Nova Scotia and, thus, Canadian. Miss Bliss was a stewardess (didn't know she was Canadian) and Hilda Slayter was in second class.

Mr. and Mrs. Hays and Mrs. Allison were all American by birth but had put down roots in Canada and so can certainly be counted as Canadian, IMO.

Other Canadians in first class were Mrs. Baxter, her son Quigg, and her daughter, Zette Douglas; Thomas McCaffrey, Mr. Graham, JJ Borebank, Harry Molsom, J. Hugo Ross, and Thomson Beattie.

In second class, there was William Harbeck. Mathilde Weisz lived in Canada, but I'm not sure where she was from originally. Bertha and Bessie Watts and the Harts were among numerous passengers on their way to settle in Canada (though, unlike the Harts, the Watts actually made it). I know there are a bunch I'm missing...

[Moderator's Note: This message and the two immediately above it, originally posted as a separate thread in "General Titanica," have been moved to this pre-existing thread discussing the same subject. MAB]
 
Mar 20, 2007
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I'm very ignorant: on another thread, I asked a question about the relative numbers of British-Canadians versus French-Candians aboard the 'Titanic' but received no response. Helene Baxter, together with her son and daughter, were (I believe) French speakers. Were the rest of the first-class Canadians of British extraction? Thornton Davidson, I know, was the son of Sir Charles Peers Davidson, Chief Justice of the Quebec Supreme Court...this might SOUND very English - but isn't Quebec in French territory?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Emma Bliss was Swiss-born and resident in England in 1912. So she wasn't a Canadian on the Titanic, but she did emigrate years later. Paul Mauge, the restaurant clerk, was another crew member who later emigrated to Canada. But two others were Canadian-born - W McCastle (fireman) and William Ryerson (steward).
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Martin, if your interest extends to the lower orders then Phillipe Wiseman was possibly the only Canadian travelling in 3rd Class. I don't know where he was born, but his home was in Quebec and his own first name, along with those of his wife and children, suggest a French Canadian family.
 

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