Douglas Spedden and Polar


David Collins


my name is David am new to this. I have been reading Polar The Titanic Bear by Daisy Spedden.
I have been trying to find out what happend to Polar afted the death of Douglas? also are there any other books about Douglas and his family or any other place I could look?

Phillip Gowan

Phillip Gowan

Hi David,
I don't think anyone has ever been able to determine what became of Polar--would be interesting to know!

Here's a little extra information about the tragedy that befell Douglas. I found this in the Bangor Daily News, Bangor, Maine, August 10, 1915, page 10. It is not a separate notice but appears under a column of local news from the town of Winter Harbor. I've left the spelling errors intact.

"A sad accident occurred Friday about 6 P.M. The 11-year-old son of F. O. Spidding was fatally injured while attempting to pick up a tennis ball in front of the Thompson cottage, in the main street. Just after he emerged from a thick shrubbery which is close to one side of the street, he collided with an automobile."

"Because of the suddenness of the entrance and the small distance, the driver, Foster Harrington, was unable to avoid a collision. The boy was picked up unconscious and carried to his home by the driver. He regained consciousness the next day but Saturday night grew worse and died Sunday morning."

As an aside, the driver who struck Douglas, Foster Harrington, was a 27 year old man who lived in Bar Harbor. After the accident he continued to live there and married and had 9 children, several of whom are still living. He held several town offices during his lifetime and was on the Winter Harbor School Board for many years and lived a happy life although his daughter tells me that he was haunted by the accident and seldom spoke about it--though sometimes in later years he would stare at the spot where the accident happened when the family drove by the site. He lived to the ripe old age of 87 and is buried in Winter Harbor.

I hope the above is of interest.

Maureen Zottoli

Maureen Zottoli

Dear Phillip,
Thanks for sharing that. How sad. I never knew the story about Douglas until now.

Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Hi Philip,

Thank you for posting that. It's very sad. I didn't know that before.

Best regards,


Steve Arnold

Thank you very much for that story, I have been very interested in the Spedden family since reading Polar, and have been very curious about the circumstances of Douglas's death. For me, the irony of this boy's death mirrors perfectly the irony of the loss of Titanic herself. According to the book, no one knows what became of Polar, but I have a theory, completely unsubstantiated. I cannot imagine that the Spedden family would have allowed Polar to simply be lost, knowing how important he was to Douglas. I would like to think that they were buried together. Considering Polar's final narration in the story, I can't imagine it any other way.

Norman Olsen

Steve, About your theory about Polar and Douglas being buried together, I have the book and cosidering the final narration that's a good possibility. I've never thought about that before. Thanks, Norm

Caroline Mendes Ferreira

Douglas was accompanied by his parents and baba. The family was returning home after spending the holidays.
After the sinking of the passengers aboard the lifeboat number 3 tried to convince a crew member in charge back those who were in the water, but had to quit because his small boat could be sucked by redemuinho created by the wreck.
Douglas remained relatively indifferent to the event in its place was because it was stated that the boy slept until dawn.

Moderator's note: This message, originally a separate thread in an unrelated topic, has been moved to this topic relted to the Spedden family. MAB]
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Robert T. Paige

There is a note that Master Robert Douglas Spedden died on 8th August 1915.
Is this the same boy that was shown spinning his top on deck of Titanic ?
I seem to remember reading that his death was the result of being struck by an automobile ?
I believe it was Ken Marschal who played the part of his father in the scene in the movie ?

robert warren

Yes it is. Robert Spedden died in a car crash. It was very tragic, his parents never had any more children. I believe his stuffed polar bear that was made famous in a kids book some 22 years ago was buried with him.The bear survived the Titanic as well. Don Lynch actually played his father. Ken Marschal played Ismay in a couple of documentaries put out by James Cameron.

Robert T. Paige

Thanks, Robert Warren-
And Yes !
I guessed it was either Don Lynch or Ken Marschal ?.....I guess I guessed the wrong one ! LOL
"Polar The Titanic Bear" was a children's book of the family's adventures on Titanic written by Margaretta "Daisy" Corning Stone Spedden.
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Eric Paddon

The other thread "Whatever Happened To Polar The Titanic Bear" contains a comment from 2006 that makes it clear that Polar wasn't buried with Douglas but had been kept among the toys in his room undisturbed by his parents for years until it was found again and in 2006 at least the story was that it was "safely locked away".