George Frederick Bull


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Brian King

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I have just read on a site selling a dish originally manufactured for the Titanic, that George Frederick Bull was supposedly the last person to leave the ship before it sailed. He was a friend of Reginald Barker, a purser who went down with the Titanic but whose body was never recovered

Can anybody confirm this ?

The site where it is mentioned is www.arthurprice-us.com
 
Dec 2, 2000
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That might be tricky. I checked the crew lists including the list of discharged crew which can be accessed HERE. Mr. Bull's name doesn't appear anywhere. The odds are very good that your sources information is bogus. There's a lot of that going around.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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Steve Santini, where are you? I'm sure I've heard this tale before and that you know all about it. I understand that Bull was not part of the crew, but claimed to have taken off various items before Titanic sailed.
 

Steve Santini

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Nov 29, 2000
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I'm right here Dave!
Bull was indeed not part of the crew and there is NO CONCRETE EVIDENCE at all to show the man was ever on the ship let alone "the last man to leave her". And, BTW, since Bull was said to have worked for WSL in Southampton, we have to ask ourselves, "What was it about the Titanic that made this man trot down the gangway loaded to the teeth with everything from dinner plates, to bon bon dishes, to bud vases, etc?" Did he know in adbvance the ship was going to sink? Why did this guy not take a similiar quantity of items off of say, the Olympic? Or, ANY other WSL ship???? In my opinion, the items said to have been taken off of Titanic by "Mr. Bull" are complete rubbish and a total fabrication. As for the current replica dish offered by Price from the original dies used to fabricate the ones they supplied for Titanic, I have had someone contact Price and ask them if they have any paper trail showing any order for products from either White Star Line or Stoniers of Liverpool. My source tells me there are no such papers to be found. Furthermore, we have not seen any silverplate item made by Price in Titanic's debris feild, nor have I, or any other collector I know, ever seen a silverplate item made by Price for ANY WSL vessel. As for the mention on Prices' site that the dish they have recreated would have been available on board for purchase by passengers as a momento of the voyage, well... that does not seem quite right either. The only momentos of the voyage were located for sale in the barber shop of Titanic and all of those were not of the quality of the Price item. In fact, although many souvenir metallic items sold in WSL barber shops appear to be silver plated, this is not so. It is not a pure silver plate but is in fact an inferior and cheaper nickle/silver electroplate. Items made for Price would have been TOO GOOD for this purpose. Here is what I think has happened. I think someone mislead Price into thinking they had created wares for Titanic by showing them an authentic period Price made silver item engraved with the word "Titanic" or "Titanic: A la Carte" or whatever, (perhaps a bud vase or similiar object), and produced the "Bull Story", (which is all it really is), about the guy taking items off Titanic , and "Voilla!", suddenly there are replicas to be sold and money to be made! I do not think the Price Co. has done anything wrong intentionally; rather, I think they were tripped up by a person who may have had an alterior motive which involved perhaps having Price go on the record as saying they made items for Titanic so that one or more of this persons alleged "artifacts" could suddenly become "authenticated" by the original maker. Just my opinion, but a very well researched and informed one at that. Regards, Steve Santini.
 
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Brian King

Guest
Thanks Steve for the info.

Although I wasn't sure where it is said that George Bull "..trot down the gangway loaded to the teeth with everything from dinner plates, to bon bon dishes, to bud vases, etc".

I though he just happened to be the last person to leave the ship prior to departure. As he only died in 1969, I assumed his account would have been recorded and verified.

Regards,

Brian
 
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Brian King

Guest
Hi Kyrila,

What makes you so certain that George Frederick Bull was lying ?

Regards,

Brian
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Better yet, what makes you think Mr. Bull was telling the truth? You might want to check out what Steve Santini had to say on this matter. You might also want to check out the crew lists which can be accessed on the index page. The comings and goings of crewmembers was the sort of thing that was closely documented on official papers.

You'll notice that Mr. Bull's name appears nowhere.

If he wasn't telling the truth about being on Titanic, what else might he be less then honest about?
 

Steve Santini

Member
Nov 29, 2000
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Hello all,
It may be of interest to note that a set of 3 medals, belonging to a man who was a superintendant for White Star Line in Southampton in 1912, recently sold in the UK for a staggering 25,000.00 pounds. Where this becomes interesting is that it was claimed in a media item done on the sale of these medals, that THIS man was the last man to leave the Titanic before departure. So, now we have this guy getting off the ship last AND also Mr. Bull. Seems rather fishy to me. I must admit, to claim such a thing makes a great story and would probably only serve to enhance the value and desirablility of any "for sale" object associated with such an individual. Regards, Steve Santini
 
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Andrew Bennett

Guest
Bull was a White Star Employee, but not a Titanic Crew member - I have his discharge papers, revolver etc. That is why his name is not on the crew lists. Part of his job was to organise coaling, check Passenger lists which is why he was one of the last people to leave her. How he came into possession of bud vases etc., I would not claim to know.

Now his history

Bull started life working for the coal board but having moved to Southampton wished to work on Ocean liners, he took a pay cut to join the American Line. He sailed to America on several occasions and his Discharge book indicates he served with Captain Smith (which I have) aboard the Adriatic. This line was incorporated with the White star line in 1907.

In 1908 Bull moved to the drawing office in Southampton and at some point married Clarissa who had been in charge of that office.

In 1911 a national coal strike affected the shipping lines, so that by March 1912 the Titanic was not able to undertake the first sailing to New York due to the fuel shortage. Bull and others sailed to Wallasey to obtain coal by force. This was achieved but Bull sustained injuries and returned to Southampton and left the ship to go to Southampton General Hospital.

He subsequently rose to become purchasing manager and was based in London and Manchester. During the 1930s business slumped and he had the idea of taking Scholar educational trips. Papers survive listing him as the organisor aboard the SS Dorric.

During the war years Bull won an award for turning shipping around in record time in Manchester. Some documents from that time exist as well as his hat, briefcase and named suitcase.

An existing original photograph shows Bull, McPherson and Sir Percy E Bates at Bulls retirement ceremony in 1947 where he received the Coal Strike pistol in a Titanic Flare pistol box which was used aboard the ship but taken onto a lifeboat when it contained a flare pistol.

Bull's son Douglas was contacted by a Cunard official and many items relating to the Titanic and his service were passed to the company archive. Some remaining photographs and artifacts were bought privately from the family.
 

Elly

Member
Mar 11, 2018
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I have a family album from the Bull family. I am almost sure that this is George frederick bull.
 

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