Crew Picture from Latest Cummutator


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Nov 2, 2000
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George and Inger,

Terrific job on researching that long thought to be Titanic crew Pitcure!!! I was always puzzled by this picture as most of the crew didn't look enough like known pictures of them to my liking. Now, one more mystery is solved thanks to you =-)

Michael
 

George Behe

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Hi, Michael!

Thanks very much for your kind words. (I haven't received my Commutator yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing how the two articles turned out.)

Take care, old chap.

All my best,

George
 

Inger Sheil

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Thanks, folks :) Much appreciated. Monika will be grateful too (and it hasn't been a bad month for her - her Lightoller article has just appeared in the ADB, and it's a superbly solid bit of research).

I've done more work on the Olympic's officers since writing the Commutator piece (those on the Maiden Voyage and the senior deck crew on later crossings), with a particular interest in those men mis i.d'd as the Titanic's officers. Holehouse in particular has become something of a favourite - I felt almost a glow of pride when reading about how he recieved his first promotion on the Olympic, and get chuffed whenever I come across his name - as when he later served alongside Boxhall.

Like George, I'm rather looking forward to seeing how the article turned out - my copy went to my Australian address, so is currently on the other side of the world.

Next challenge is that photo in Stenson's book, with the men identified as Wilde, Boxhall, Murdoch, Blair, Lightoller etc. I believe I've got a decent time frame for it, and Lightoller and Boxhall are indeed in it. I also think I've got a name for the 'Wilde' in the shot - it's the others that pose some difficulty. Ideas and input welcome...

~ Inger
 
Nov 2, 2000
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George and Inger,

You're welcome =-) BTW, either of you know where I could find a picture of David Blair?

Thanks,

Michael.
 

George Behe

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Hi, Michael!

Unless I'm mistaken, one of the photos in the updated Stenson bio of Lightoller contains a group photo of some officers which supposedly includes Blair. I believe Earl Chapman can tell us more about this (since I don't own the updated edition of the book.) Earl?

All my best,

George
 
I

I. M. McVey

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Dear George,

I would indeed be very careful about Stenson's indentifications for the people in the photographs in his book. There are some very poor mis-identifications in the book, such as the one that supposedly shows Blair, Wilde, Murdoch, etc. The man portrayed as William Murdoch is most definitely =not= him, and Mr Stenson has actually been informed of that fact, but chose to disregard it. The man identified as David Blair is also incorrect, as is the one identified as Wilde.

George, a little more information on your above. Inger has been working on the group photograph in Stenson's book, and she has actually sent information to Earl. This originally started some time ago, when I pointed out, with great emphapsis, that the man presented as William was actually not him. We then examined the other men in the photograph, and Inger was able to discern that a number of the identifications were incorrect, and a number of us also agreed they were incorrect, when compared with known and proven photographs.

Inger has been looking at the 'Oceanic' agreements, and has a probable time window for when the photograph was taken, based on the season, and the fact that Lightoller and Boxhall actually are in the photograph. Also, Wilde, Blair, and Murdoch did not serve together in 'Oceanic' at the same time as Lightoller and Boxhall.

As for the man labelled as Wilde, he is now tentatively identified, and further work will be done to verify the new identificiation. The crew agreements also provide us with a list of candidates for assignation of identities for the other Officers in the photograph.

Inger also has an excellent photograph of David Blair drawn from the Central Register Index of Seamen, which has been useful in examining the Stenson photograph.

In addition I would like to say how much I enjoyed the 'Commutator' articles. It was with great pleasure I was able to send Inger a copy of my own 'Olympic' crew photograph, as I did not have indentities for about half the men in it.

I do regret a little bit that I did not give publication rights with it, as I am reasonably certain it is not a photograph that has been seen by the general public before. It was only my fear of plagiarism, stealing of information, and outright piracy that I took such a conservative view with the photograph.

With one web-site about Captain EJ Smith already out there consisting solely of many letters from me (wherein I shared years of research with a supposed distant relative), and another well-known site having my research up under another man's name, I am rather cautious what I do with things nowadays.

Hopefully, we will continue to see the men in these photographs given their true identities. After 88 years, it's about bloody time!

Kind regards, Ilya M
 

Inger Sheil

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Unless I'm mistaken, one of the photos in the updated Stenson bio of Lightoller contains a group photo of some officers which supposedly includes Blair. I believe Earl Chapman can tell us more about this (since I don't own the updated edition of the book.) Earl?

Hallo George -

I don't know if Earl is a member of this messageboard - I rather hope so, as he's a valued contributer to several other messageboards and forums in the on-line community. However, if you scroll up to my message on the 15 December in this thread you'll find that I mention the very photograph to which you refer :) You probably don't recall, but I brought this photograph and the problematic identifications to the attention of Earl, Parks, yourself and a couple of other individuals in a circular email when we were discussing photo i.d.s last June - I'd be happy to resend the emails if you're curious about them.

As I've discussed since with Earl, investigation of the Oceanic's agreements has revealed that Lightoller, Boxhall, Blair, Murdoch and Wilde never served aboard the Oceanic at the same time. Lightoller and Boxhall did serve aboard her together, and these two men are in the shot. Ilya is quite correct in saying that I've narrowed down the dates/crew to a certain 'window', and I had promised to email these to Earl before heading overseas. Unfortunately the chaos in my papers and notes made this - er - 'unfeasible' and it will have to wait until I return to the UK :) As I said above, I'd welcome any more information on either this photograph or the officers who served on the Oceanic.

By the way, did Earl mention to you that I believe I have some more info on the 'Lancaster' who appears in the Pitman photo?

Ilya, I do hope you'll be able to publish that superlative photograph of the Olympic's officers soon - it's a beauty. I might add here that I referred to both you and Parks in the Commutator article, although not by name. Parks' questions regarding the chief officers of the Olympic (Evans and Wilde) finally piqued my curiousity enough that I set off on one of those research tangents and called up the early crew agreements on the Olympic, and you were unstinting both with materials and feedback :) Now, if only we can 'nail' that officer who appears in all those early Murdoch photos...you know, the bloke with the moustache...?

All the best,

Inger
 
Oct 13, 2000
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George and Inger,

a somewhat tardy, but very enthusiastic congratulations on your Commutator articles. I really had to laugh at myself as for all these past years I have been looking at the photographs of Titanic's officers, and grumbling to myself that 'these guys never look the same from one picture to the next!" well, Duh. it never even occured to me to question the accuracy of these identifications.

it is this kind of intensive research with painstaking detail that the two of you (and others) are doing that makes this such an awesome time to be a part of the Titanic community.

well done indeed!
all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
 
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