Fred Niles


debbie beavis

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May 24, 2001
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The name of Fred Niles appears on the Board of Trade passenger list with no suggestion that he did not sail. Given the problems with the Contract Ticket List it can't be 100% certain, but seems probable, that he was the Fred Miles who received a refund and probably did not sail after all. Lester Mitcham in his excellent article Statistics of the Disaster suggests that 'Miles' may have travelled to the US on board the Cedric, leaving Liverpool on 2 May. Lester and I have been discussing this matter and, in the light of my research, which of us should post this! I've drawn the short straw. So, in case there are still questions about the identity of the Cedric passenger - there would seem to be little doubt that Fred Niles on the Board of Trade list, aged 44, 3rd Class, single man and a US Citizen, occupation 'clerk' is NOT the man who subsequently travelled to New York on the Cedric. The New York arrival manifest for the Cedric shows a man named Frederick William Miles, aged 44 and a clerk, US Citizen, married.

The British Board of Trade list shows this man not as a clerk but as an architect. Plus he was travelling in cabin class (was that first or second, Debbie? I don't have my notes in front of me)and was a married man. He was travelling on ticket number 250417. On ticket number 250416 was Paul Waller or Weller. Although one cannot assume anything from adjacent ticket numbers, these two men were travelling on tickets numbered completely out of sequence with any of their travelling companions and I suspect they were travelling together.

I hope this clears up any lingering doubts anyone may have.

Debbie Beavis
 
Jul 20, 2000
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Hi Debbie,

Small correction. In my paper I did not suggest that Frederick Miles may have sailed on the Cedric. That was subsequently suggested by another; and drawn to your attention.

It seems clear that Fred Niles of 27/780B and the Frederick Miles named on the Contract Ticket List were one and the same person. Both have the same Ticket Number. The question is did Fred Niles/Frederick Miles board Titanic? I discussed this in my paper.

Looking at the Ellis Island record I cannot tell the passenger class of Frederick Wm Miles. All we have are his personal details; including that he was a 44 year-old married clerk; a US citizen of 467 Willoughy Ave, Brooklyn, N.Y.

27/780B lists Niles as a 44 year-old Clerk; a US citizen. It does not state his marital stutus or his home address; but otherwise agrees with the Ellis Island Record.

You are mistaken to say that 27/780B lists him as single. His age is listed in the column headed: Not accompanied by Husband or Wife. All that tells us is that his wife (if he had one) was not with him.

I do not have the Board of Trade info for the Cedric. You say that Miles is listed as an architect; which means that he is listed differently by the BofT to how he is shown in the Ellis Island Records.

How have you determined whether or not Niles/Miles sailed? and that he received a refund? On 27/780B the name of Niles is ticked; which as I noted in my paper indicated that he boarded. The Contract Ticket List is merely that; a list of names and ticket numbers.

Given that 27/780B and the Ellis Island Records both list a 44 year-old US Clerk; I am inclined to the view that the entries refer to one and the same person rather than two different men.

Lester
 

Brian Meister

Member
Mar 19, 1999
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Dear Debbie and Lester,

I must admit that I am confused as to who
you are talking about. I have only recorded
Frank Miles as a third class passenger who
the BT records show as 23 years old, and an
engineer. This man travelled on ticket number
392095 from Southampton. I also have ticket
number 359306 listed for him, so I shall have
to check the ticket list once again, but I
wonder how his name became Frederick instead
of Frank.

Regards,

Brian
 
Jul 20, 2000
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Hi Brian,

Both 27/780B and the Contract Ticket List (hereafter CTL) list the 2 number you give: 392095 and 359306. While 359306 is Frank Miles; 392095 is according to 27/780B Fred Niles (perhaps to be read Miles?) and the CTL Frederick Miles. Part of the problem is that the Death Certificate Lists only name Frank Miles; so until I became aware of the existence of the CTL it seemed that Fred Niles had mistakenly been ticked on 27/780B; and had not in fact been onboard. No Passenger Lists that I have seen have ever recognized Frederick Niles/Miles as a passenger.

I hope this helps.
Regards,
Lester
 

debbie beavis

Member
May 24, 2001
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Hi Lester

Whoops, silly me! I should practice what I constantly preach to people!!! Travelling without wife does not mean single!

As we both agreed, although it can never be 100 percent certain, it seems pretty likely that they were one and the same, despite the difference in spelling. The fact that Niles is ticked on the Board of Trade list doesn't indicate boarding, it is simply part of the checking procedure and the presence or otherwise of ticks are largely irrelevant on any Board of Trade list. The Board of Trade clerk carefully entered his name as Niles, not Miles and at the moment I find no reason to doubt him. That particular clerk appears to have been employed in the offices for some time, and doesn't seem to have been prone to confusing Ns with Ms as some other clerks seem to have been though obviously we can't see the document he was copying from. The clerk who entered the names on the CTL however clearly had very great difficulty reading other people's handwriting so the fact that he wrote Miles not Niles is a very unreliable indication of what the passenger's name really was.

I have no reason to doubt that the Board of Trade clerk was very certain when he entered the name on the BT27 list that the name was Niles and not the very much more common name Miles.

So I can't find anything yet to alter my opinion that Fred Niles, clerk, who bought then cancelled his 3rd class ticket for Titanic is not the same person as Frederick Wm Miles, cabin passenger and an architect, on board the Cedric. The only things they have in common as far as I can tell from the Board of Trade lists, are their age and the fact that they were both US citizens. Their names, occupations and class of travel are quite different.

But as far as looking for proof, I'll leave that to the experts! All I can do is look at the evidence before me, and base my opinions on that. Let's hope that eventually some more information will come to light which may solve this one way or t'other. In the meantime I shall stick to my views that these are two different men!

All the best

Debbie
 
Jul 20, 2000
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Hi Debbie,

My thanks for your added comments. Your reasons for concluding that Titanic's Niles/Miles was not the same person as Cedric's Frederick Wm Miles are now clearer.

Lester
 

debbie beavis

Member
May 24, 2001
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Hello Brian

As Lester explained, and to add a couple of comments - we were discussing:

Fred Niles on BT27780B who became Frederick Miles on the CTL, a clerk, USC, on 3rd class ticket number 392095 who appears to have had a refund and therefore presumably did not sail

Then you mentioned:

Frank Miles on BT27/780B, engineer, who incidentally became Frank Mills on the CTL, on 3rd class ticket number 359306 who sailed and died.

And finally there is:

Frederick Wm Miles on the Cedric, in BT27/754 on 2nd class ticket number 250417, architect, USC. The US arrival manifest recorded him as a clerk, but somehow, somewhere, as far as the White Star Line and the Board of Trade were concerned, he was an architect! He was possibly travelling with Paul Waller (250416)

I would not normally suggest that two persons on adjacent ticket numbers were definitely travelling together and indeed I wouldn't do so in this case. All I would say with regard to Miles and Waller is that their tickets do not exactly 'fit' for the Cedric and I suspect that they may have been travelling together.

I presume F W Miles from the Cedric would be traceable as we have full name and an address, but what of plain Fred Niles? He doesn't seem to have entered Ellis Island later, but that doesn't prove anything - all we have is his age and the fact that he'd been in England for at least one year.

Best wishes

Debbie
 

debbie beavis

Member
May 24, 2001
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Hi Lester

If you would like a copy of the page from the Cedric list showing F W Miles, give me a shout (and your address) and I'll forward one to you.

All the best

Debbie
 
Jul 20, 2000
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Hi Debbie,

Thanks for the offer. I take it you mean the BofT entry?

I'm still puzzled as to why you say Niles/Miles received a refund. The fact that he is on the CTL indicates that WS did not believe that his ticket had been cashed in. Since you believe that Niles/Miles was not the same individual as Frederick Wm Miles; is there not the alternative possibility that Niles/Miles sailed and died and that his name has been omitted from Titanic's Death Certifiate Lists - 9/920/201 and 100/250?

Lester
 

debbie beavis

Member
May 24, 2001
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Hi Lester

Fred Niles's refund is clearly noted on the Contract Ticket list. Some of the amount he originally paid was ( not surprisingly) held back to cover expenses. So, as far as I can determine, this must mean that he did not sail so I am not quite sure where any doubt lies!

Just a further note.. the Contract Ticket List is a financial record of tickets sold. Anyone who bought then cancelled a ticket should be shown - or rather the transaction should be shown...if the transaction (and refund?) is not then it is an irregularity!

All the best

Debbie
 
Jul 20, 2000
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Hi Debbie,

You say: "Fred Niles' refund is clearly noted on the Contract Ticket list ......" WHERE?

As far as I am aware his name is not on the CTL. The name of Frederick Miles is.

Also as far as I am aware no names of any passengers who cancelled and received refunds appears on the CTL. That is not by my understanding the nature of the document. Can you please refer me to the name(s) of any such passengers.

Lester
 

debbie beavis

Member
May 24, 2001
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156
Hi Lester

OK, the _name_ Fred Niles is not noted on the CTL! However in our conversations on the phone, by email and on this message board, I thought we were pretty much agreed that (in the absence of absolute proof of course) Fred Niles and Frederick Miles were one and the same! As far as I am concerned Fred Niles received the refund. The fact that his name was (probably) recorded as Frederick Miles on the CTL doesn't change that!

As for the full explanation and analysis of the Contract Ticket List inluding other passengers who did or didn't receive refunds, read my book! It's due out on 1 March!!!!

All the best

Debbie
 
Jul 20, 2000
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Hi Debbie,

Yes we agree that 27/780B's Fred Niles and CTL's Frederick Miles were one and the same person. But I still do not see any note of his fare being refunded or the names of any of the other several dozen passengers who were booked to sail but did not having their refunds recorded within the CTL.

It would be appreciated if you could refer me to the entries within the CTL rather than saying wait for my book.

Lester
 

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