Could Henry Wilde [or the Master at ARMS] be recovered without identification?


George GJY

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Jun 9, 2015
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The description of this unidentified corpse mentions:
NO. 160. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 42. - HAIR, DARK.

CLOTHING - Blue suit; no boots.

EFFECTS - Razor; brush; necktie; 1 penny; bracelet.

PROBABLY A SAILOR.
And here is Henry Wilde's personal appearance:
Age: 39
Height: 6'1" (185.42cm)
Complexion: Dark
Hair Colour: Dark brown
Eye Colour: Blue
Other: None
Could this be either the body of Henry Wilde or more likely the Master at Arms or older sailors? The body might be buried at sea as it was too ordinary [sailor-like], but is this hypothesis possible [if we could discount the possibility of one having a more distinctive appearance or committing suicide]? Granted, Wilde might be the less likely candidate, but is this still possible? Also, the Cameron movie seems to have him floating in the water upright, with a lifebelt [he applied it in reality] and a whistle taken by Rose, which suggests a good recovery position. [It might be inaccurate, but still possible].
In running through the descriptions of those found and what effects they had on them, none seems to immediately suggest itself as being one of the three lost senior deck officers (four if we include Smith), but there is always that slim possibility.

Moody and Murdoch had been on watch, so would have been wearing their uniforms. There is, one supposes, that slight chance that they had removed their jackets towards the end while working at the last of the of the boats, although there is no indication of this in the data that is extant. One wonders what Wilde was wearing, as he wasn't due to come on watch for some time after the collision. Lightoller didn't take the time to dress fully, but Lowe (who woke so much later) took the time to throw on his uniform.
Inger, I think it's quite possible that Murdoch and/or Moody removed their bridge coats for the same reason as Lightoller, but I agree that they would not have shed their jackets - they didn't have the benefit of Light's sweater! Wilde, on the other hand, could well have entered the water, like Lightoller, with no means of identification.
Would the sort of clothing be appropriate for officers when not wearing uniforms? And, could he have lost his moustache or shaved it, if it was true? But, did he have one in the first place?
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Would the sort of clothing be appropriate for officers when not wearing uniforms? And, could he have lost his moustache or shaved it, if it was true? But, did he have one in the first place?

How did someone lost his mustache?
Wilde was shaved on Olympic so very likely he was too on Titanic. He was wearing his uniform, very unlikely that he would have not been recognized as an officer.
 
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The Chief Officer uniform is marked with three epaulettes on the wrist, instead of four for the Captain, indicating he was one rank below the captain. The salvagers of the Mackay-Bennett knew this, and they would have recognized the epaulettes.

There is no description of epaulettes on body #160, which doesn't mean there were none. If there were epaulettes on the uniform, there must have been only one, otherwise it should have been noted because the number of epaulettes determines the rank and thus helping identification.
 

George GJY

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Do you think that this could be a sailor? Or the Master At Arms King as he was unaccounted for during and after the sinking. I still tend to think that there are 2 sailors with ages close enough to 40. Could this be one of the older sailors [probably Davis, aged 39]? And, could this be moved to the unidentified bodies section if appropriate? I'm still convinced that it was a deck crew member.
 

George GJY

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By the way, how likely could he dispose his uniform while in the water or the last minutes of the Titanic as he was last observed clearly working on Collapsible C?
 
Mar 18, 2008
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He was also working at Collapsible D (which left after C) and I think a fireman mentioned him helping at one of the collapsible boats (most likely A).

The age written by the recovery ships was only estimated and not the real age. Depending on the condition of the body, weather conditions etc. some appear older than they really were.
 

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