Fred Fleet's Grave


Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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The removal of the wreath and the placement of the binoculars are not necessarily connected. And are those (quite expensive) glasses really intended as a joke? Or maybe as a sincere message to Fred that the world understands he was not to blame.
 

Jake Peterson

Member
Mar 11, 2012
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Iowa, USA
If 1500 people hadn't lost their lives, that would actually be kind of amusing.

Anyway, it was later determined that binoculars are only good for viewing something close up, not initially spotting it.
 
Jan 27, 2011
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My own problem with the prank is that Frederick Fleet is said to have been suffered guilt over the sinking and his own survival when so many perished.


I agree, and what a inconsiderate thing to do. Some of you might have noticed some of my posts in the past, but I have always had a big place in my heart for Fred. First even if this person is trying to show some weird sort of respect, to me, thats just like a big slap in the face to Fred. I am sure if he was still alive the binoculars nor even the headstone would be something that Fred would personally choose. If somebody wants to show respect that is fine, but do it in the right way, (placing flowers and wreathes along with just visiting the grave) would be the proper way to show respect. With what I know about Fred's life, with all this Titanic hype going around right now, he would be one that would be as far away as possible from it all.
 

Adam Went

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Apr 28, 2003
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I don't understand how anyone thinks the desecration of any grave is a funny business. It is especially bad for Fred though since he certainly did suffer so much for it through his life and ended up committing suicide. The only redeeming factor is that the sort of person or people who would do this is in a very small minority. Luckily the grave itself wasn't damaged by the sounds of it, i've seen people hoon around graveyards in cars before and skid over peoples graves and/or break headstones. Like Jake said, in Fred's case, if it wasn't so serious, it would be slightly amusing.....
 

RHeld

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Mar 27, 2012
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It's not amusing, IMO, and whoever did this -also IMO- defines the term "nutbag."

Poor Frederick Fleet ... suffered in life, mocked in death.
 

VillageJen

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Apr 18, 2012
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I'm going to go with the theory that it was meant in a spirit of goodwill. More of a "Don't feel bad, sir. You weren't provided the tools of your job."

Somebody went to some effort to do this (not that I think it was a wise thing to do). I'd like to think that it was someone who sympathizes with Fleet, not someone who blames him.
 
Jan 27, 2011
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I'm going to go with the theory that it was meant in a spirit of goodwill. More of a "Don't feel bad, sir. You weren't provided the tools of your job."

Somebody went to some effort to do this (not that I think it was a wise thing to do). I'd like to think that it was someone who sympathizes with Fleet, not someone who blames him.



Probably somebody who knows nothing about Fred's life or a lot of stuff that he had been through. If they really did know Fred they would have known that he wanted nothing to do with Titanic and that he put a lot of blame on himself and I am sure he wouldn't appreciate some random person coming up and putting a set of binoculars with a mocking note on his grave. Again, if somebody wants to show respect you need to do it the right way, (moment of silence, flowers, wreathes.) I would say that this person probably got a few minutes of fame that they were searching for, sadly.......
 
What is one person's way of showing respect might not be another's. The man signed off "Luv Francis". How do we know he wasn't a descendant of a friend of Fred's or a member of the family, someone who loved him and felt he was terribly wronged? This might have been a simple way to tell Fred that it wasn't his fault. Please remember it was The Sun newspaper sprawling their usual garbage. I would like to meet the person who laid the binoculars and ask them their side of the story.
 
Having looked at some more of the articles I see that wreaths were taken from the plot. If this was done by the person who laid the binoculars then that is bad. Having been to another cemetery close by while tending to a grave I spoke to the groundman there and he said that kids often come and take flowers and tokens from the cemeteries. Perhaps the two are not related.
 
Apr 26, 2012
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To be honest, I was at his grave at 9.30am Saturday morning of the 14th April. There were so many wreaths and flowers, and we placed our own daffodils beside them (one on top of the headstone). And then, underneath all the flowers, were these binoculars. I was speechless. My friend and I couldn't speak for sometime afterwards as we read the note attached to them. It was beautiful, and I felt so deeply touched. It had obviously been there for some time as the note was weathered. What the Sun posted in the newspaper is complete rubbish. In the photo they were white roses (wilted too, I might add) by the grave... and no wreaths. Right. Well, there were no white roses of the weekend of the Titanic 100th anniversary. And Certainly not when these binoculars were placed. The roses were red. I have pictures to prove it. I posted on the Sun's website, but funny enough they did not post my comment. Or my friends. I wonder why? Also, if that picture had been taken recently, and the wreaths stolen, where were my daffodils? Surely a "ghoul" would overlook them?! Idiot trashy paper. What they did was desecration, not what Francis did.
 
I can believe what The Sun did. The paper is a rag and a comic and this is tame to what that it is capable of. Thank you for posting your message LittleWaterlilly. Frederick Fleet has a fine stone. Robert Hichens has a pauper's grave - just a patch of soil in a cemetery in Aberdeen. He deserves better. Looks like it will take an awful lot of pushing to get him a stone and get through all the red tape but with the help of a kindly benefactor and a very persistent great granddaughter, it will be done.
 

VillageJen

Member
Apr 18, 2012
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Thank you, LittleWaterLily. I'm glad to learn that this time I wasn't off base to assume the best intentions of someone. It was kind of you to take flowers to Frederick Fleet's grave. Very thoughtful.
 
Apr 26, 2012
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I've been trying to get the truth out there about the article, but The Sun were having none of it! It was the most memorable experience I've ever known. We will remember him. :)

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My friend and I are trying to track down where his wife Eva is buried, but no luck so far.

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Jake Peterson

Member
Mar 11, 2012
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Iowa, USA
Logically, Eva should be next to her husband. Unless they replaced the headstone, and forgot to put her name on it, or something. That Fleet headstone looks relatively new, not 45 years old.
 
Jan 27, 2011
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We have to remember that Fleet at one time had a pauper's grave, it wasnt until 1993 that the Titanic Historical Society decided to place that gave stone there, they paid the bill for it. Since Eva passed first, I am quite curious as to why Fred was not buried next to her, from what I hear Fred's grand children and probably great grandchildren have nothing to do with Titanic, that might not be the easiest answer to find. I would love to find out more about Fred's life besides the basics as like I mentioned I have always really thought a lot of him and had a special place in my heart for Fred. I agree that the Sun paper is trash and that they do make up lies, I just for some reason can't help but feel that it might have been with good intentions but at the same time I feel like it was kinda a slap in the face. Personally, if I ever get to visit Fred's grave I will pay my respects with a moment of silence and flowers. Sally, I loved your book on your great grandfather and I am so glad that you found his grave. I wish you the best on trying to get a headstone for it, I would love to visit it as well someday.
 
I'm so glad you enjoyed the book Michael. I have always felt for the underdog even back when I was seven years old and the only Asian girl in our school called Nasrat was being bullied. I took her under my wing and in time she invited me to her sister's wedding and I've never eaten curry like it. I have great feelings for Hichens, Lee and Fleet and I stand by what I said before. I believe the hand written note was a genuine offer of sympathy from a friend. We have a mason from the 'granite city', Aberdeen costing up a stone and should be blasting an image of Titanic on to it. Our benefactor is very kind and I have no doubt we shall be able to get the paperwork sorted out soon enough. I'm keen to get back up to Scotland. It's a remarkably beautiful country.
 

kiwijulz

Member
Apr 28, 2012
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New Zealand
Hi Michael, I am a descendant of Fred Fleet, his Mother and my great great grandfather are siblings. I am not sure which parts of his story you know but here is a summary.
Fred was abandoned by his mother when he was born, he was brought up in orphanages/workhouses and foster homes. When he was 3 his mother emigrated from Liverpool to Boston to make a new life in Massachusetts with her then boyfriend, William Burnett. They married 3 years later and had a daughter Elizabeth. Fred never knew the identity of his father, although I have my suspicions that Mr Burnett could be he, as Fred's Mother Alice had been to the USA 3 years before????? I am currently trying to evidence base my suspicions. Fred's only happiness was his wife Eva and starting a family of his own, they had a daughter Dorothy Frederica Eva Fleet who died in 1979. Eva and Fred had been living with Eva's brother in law Phillip , and after Eva's death ( which Fred was understandably distraught by) Phillip evicted Fred and Fred was on the streets ( homeless) , after a while on the streets Fred made his way back to the house, and it was there that sadly he took his own life and hung himself on the washing line where his brother in law ( nice chap??) found him. I believe that Dorothy was living in Southampton at that time ,married with a daughter, so I don't understand why in 1965 Dorothy couldn't or wouldn't help her dad and that is something else that I am trying to find out.Some information that was passed on to me said that a letter that Fred had written to a friend told the friend that Fred was having trouble at home, I know no more than that at this stage. I believe that Fred now has grandchildren and great great grandchildren in the Southampton area, I would love to be able to communicate with them, to see if I can get some answers and find out what Fred was like a person. I believe the brother in law Phillip never married. I , too, hold a special place in my heart for Fred. May he be allowed to rest in peace.
 

kiwijulz

Member
Apr 28, 2012
2
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New Zealand
To the person blaming Fred for the loss of lives and saying binoculars only good for close up ( have you looked in the dictionary?)

The inquiries (US & UK) ascertained that Fred was not to blame, and as we all know he was the first to sight the iceberg , and alerted the fact by his call of 'iceberg right ahead"
The inquiries also proved that the ship was going too fast, had ignored light flash warnings from The California etc etc

It was proven that Fred was not too blame, he saved women and children , and got them safely to the Carparthia.

A Fred descendent. Please let him rest in peace.
 

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