Fireman William McQuillan

I have some additional information on William McQuillan from research into him and his Northern Ireland crewmates that I have never published.

He and wife Margaret had only been married for six years at the time of the sinking, but early on in their marriage had suffered the nightmare of sudden infant death. It was a boy, lost at three months, I believe.

They tried again, of course, and joy was unconfined when Margaret gave birth to a daughter, Annie. The little mite made it past the critical waymarker of her first birthday, and a short time before William embarked on the Titanic the couple celebrated the arrival of another baby, James.

Margaret, according to her 1911 census return, worked at home as a linen spinner. It was boring, repetitive work, but we can see that it brought in vital extra money now their family was well underway.

And then death struck a second time.

The family was subsequently awarded total damages of £238 and sixteen shillings for the loss of their main breadwinner after an action in Belfast Recorder's Court.
Thanks Boz for the notice of the newspaper article. I have sent it to my brother-in-law, whose hobby is genealogy, in hopes that he might discover a link between Wm of Titantic fate and his wife, and myself.
Mr Standart, thanks for your scholarly input. I did a little straw-poll of 3 randomly picked passers-by who, not being McQuillan's family (like myself), would fall into your 'just about everyone in the whole world' category.
Surprisingly, they knew nothing about the existence or location of William's grave! Perhaps you need to refine your research.

Quite why the White Star Line did not inform the family still perplexes.
I suspect it was connected with the British Edwardian Establishment's regard for the life of a working man, particularly an Irish one. They had a lot of bereaved families of paying customers to deal with and I guess those of the crew's took second place.
And what would the grieving widow want with his Fireman's papers and shaving gear?
Let's save the postage.
Does anyone know the truth?
Ironically , the existence of William's shaving brush and soap, minus the razor has led to a fantastic bit of detective work by Senan Molony 'William McQuillan- the mystery blade-donor?' that, I am convinced, is a credible last-sighting of my relative.
How many were saved on that lifeboat thanks to his razor?
Cordially and not without irony,
Nigel Pollock
PS The Belfast-Southampton Engineering Crew List
showing William incorrectly as W. McMillan and that has him as the only one from the 250 man list as signing on on 20th Feb, over a month before everyone else, is, I'm reliably informed, in this respect 'manure'.
>>Perhaps you need to refine your research. <<

Errrr...that wasn't meant to be taken literally. However, it still strikes me as odd that the family was the last to find out where the grave is located. They should have been first.
Hi Jason,
You are certain Micheal doesn't need to refine his research because you think you know what he was referring to???
How? While this is a touching display of Moderator solidarity, it doesn't really advance the sum of human knowledge.
That you then proceed to 'refine' Micheal's sample population from "just about everyone in the whole world for the past 93 years" to "the Titanic Community" is obviously contradictory.
As for your 'Titanic Community' concept, I think it needs you to start another string to explore it fully.
I was hoping for more fact-based opinions, particularly from Moderators, rather than these nebulous musings.
For instance, what journey did William's personal effects take after the body identification ? I think that more recently they were part of an exhibition in Halifax.
Do you know if and when the Belfast Telegraph or the Ulster News Letter ever publish a list of the bodies recovered and buried ?
Do there exist telegrams from the White Star Line to bereaved crew families informing them of the fate of their men? Or how was this handled? That kind of thing.
Otherwise what are your opinions based on?
More in hope than expectation,
Nigeel, you're waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy overthinking the problem. I wasn't prsenting any sort of peer-reviewed scientific statistical analysis and made no pretense of doing so. What I used above was a figure of speech that's in fairly common usage. Moderator solidarity has nothing to do with it, and none of my colleagues have hestitated to point it out to me when I'm mistaken. (Nor should they.)

Being a moderator doesn't give either Jason or myself any special insights on any one person, especially since our respective interests tend to differ. Jason has an interest in Canadian nationals who were aboard the ship, whereas I'm a technical/forensics guy.

With that in mind, you might want to consider doing your own research on the questions you just asked. I'm not saying that as a cheap sort of slam either. There are a lot...and I do mean a lot...of Titanic passengers and crew who are surprisingly obscure and about whom very little if anything is known. There may be somebody here who has the information you seek, or you could potentially be the first one to dig it up depending on where you search.

While this is a touching display of Moderator solidarity, it doesn't really advance the sum of human knowledge.

You couldn't be more further from the truth. There is no "Moderator solidarity" present here and it doesn't exist anywhere else on this board. If one my colleagues is incorrect about something, I won't hesitate to point it out and they've done the same in return.


That you then proceed to 'refine' Micheal's sample population from "just about everyone in the whole world for the past 93 years" to "the Titanic Community" is obviously contradictory.

I didn't refine anything nor does it contradict, so you're reading way too much in my post. I posted what I felt regarding Michael's statement, nothing else.

As far as your questions go, I don't have the answers you seek. Perhaps you should conduct your own research, before you take other people to task on this.​
Hi there regarding William's daughter Annie.. she was a very dear family friend of mine and adopted auntie.. she moved to Glasgow and lodged with the McKinnon family in Tollcross and also served in the Wrens. She lived in Tollcross for many years working as a cook in various places in Glasgow.. she then moved to Torphin Crescent In Greenfield Glasgow where she lived until her death from cancer some 10 years ago.
William was my great-uncle. My gran died without knowing that her brothers' body had been re-covered. Can anyone explain why the bodies were not re-patriated? Also, does anyone know whether the identification photographs still exist?
Nigel, that makes us family as my Father, James McQuillan (sister Marjorie Wilson - from the BBC article) was his grandson.