George Pelham


Former Member
My Great, Great Uncle George Pelham was part of the crew on board the ship (a Trimmer). Who managed to survive the tragedy. He was born and brought up in North East London and I am currently trying to trace this particular part of my family tree. If anyone out there has any information that may help, I will be very grateful if they could e-mail me.([email protected]).

Paul & Carol WEBB
East London, England
Hello out there.

This is the first time I have used this method of communication.

My husband and I have been researching the life of George Pelham, who was a trimmer on Titanic. I have seen recently that a deposition was sold for £4,000! We did not know that this existed, despite trying to find out about it. Does anyone know where this came from and who bought it?
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Inger Sheil

Hallo Amanda, and welcome to the messageboard section of ET! I gather than you and your husband have been largely responsible for the information posted for Pelham's ET bio entry - wonderful work so far!

Senan Molony mentioned the deposition going up for auction recently. After these depositions were made by the surviving crew in NY and the UK, copies were given to the crewmen (the copies retained from which witnesses for the British inquiry were selected have yet to be discovered - if they are still extant at all).

Most of those copies of the depositions that survive have been in family collections - e.g. Lowe's copy is still with his direct descendants.

If Sen doesn't beat me to it, I'll drop him a line to ask him to get in touch with you.

Lowe's deposition was taken for, rather than by, the Board of Trade and a copy was provided to him surreptitiously. To my knowledge, no copies of depositions taken by the BOT, such as Pelham's, were provided to the deponents.

Craig Sopin

Inger Sheil

Hallo Craig -

Many thanks for the input - I understand that you have special insight on this matter.

Lowe's deposition signed and sworn to at the British Consulate General in NY - he was among those crew whose depositions were taken before their return to the UK.

What makes you say it was given to him 'surreptitiously', and do you know by who? Pitman also had a copy of his deposition, I understand. Do you suspect that the British Consulate slipped them copies? And to what end?

I gather that you have a copy (or the original) of Eustace Snow's deposition? Do you how it came to auctioned (or how Pelham's came on the marketplace?) Do you suspect that they came from the original cache of depositions made by the crew in Plymouth? Any idea on how a couple came to be auctioned? I'm very interested, as you might imagine, because the whereabouts of these documents is a much discussed issue!

I had assumed that those we know to have survived, and which have since come on the market, were copies given to the witness in the same way that Lowe and Pitman had copies of their depositions, as - insofar as I know - the bulk of the depositions have never been located. Happy to be corrected on that point, as it offers the hope that there might be more of the original documents extant if the the Snow and Pelham deposition are originals rather than copies. I note that the Snow deposition seems to consist of handwritten entries on a form. Lowe's copy is a typewritten document (not a standard form).

Cheers -

Hello everyone, this is the first time that i have ever used this method of communication as i am a very recent convert to the wonders of the internet.
To introduce myself George Pelham was my Great Uncle, and Amanda Webb is my Nephews wife.I have some information on George's early life that i thought you would like to know.
He was one of six children having four sisters and a brother.
Thomas Walter Pelham, born 9th Jan 186(7) ???.
Ann Pelham, born 1st April 1869.
Caroline Pelham, born 26th July 1871.
George was next, born 28th Jan 1873
Elizabeth Pelham, born 26th Oct 1875.
Louisa Amelia Pelham, born 25 March 1877

ELizabeth was my Grandmother and she married a Mr James Pinkney. They had four children, and Elizabeth then had a fifth with a Mr James Shipman (my Grandfather). The children were :-
Dolly, born around the turn of the 19th/20th century and was killed towards the end of the First World War by a bomb in London. I am led to believe that she was nearing her 21st birthday, was engaged to be married, and her family lived in Shoreditch.
May Sophia Louisa (my mother), born May 19th 1910, deceased November 1994.
James (always known as boy throughout his life by his family to avoid confusion with his father also James), born late 1911, also deceased, he also died in a psychiatric hospital in his fifties. He was incapacitated by a fall on his head from an air balloon during the Second World War.
Lillian, born May 12th 1915. She is my Aunt and as you can see she has just celebrated her 90th birthday and has provided most of the information through joining her fading memory with mine, and an old Bible which was her mothers (obviously also Elizabeth).
The youngest Laura, was the child of Elizabeth and James Shipman. She was born in 1920 (june?) and is also deceased (july ?)2000.
Hi Inger-

Both Pitman and Lowe received copies of their respective depositions on the condition of "strict confidentiality" as confirmed in a May 7, 1912 letter from WSL's legal representative. I believe the copies came from someone at the consulate. The condition upon which they received them suggests that copies were not routinely provided to the crew.

The auctioned depositions of Snow and Pelham (both originals) were recorded by hand by the same BOT examiner in Southampton. They were apparently discovered by a descendant of the examiner's housekeeper, who consigned them to sale.

Perhaps the examiner found the information provided by these and other crewmen to be redundant and decided to make souvenirs of them. Or perhaps they were misplaced. In any event, at least two depositions almost certainly weren't turned into the BOT.

Once I locate the U.S. Senate Inquiry exhibits I'll work on finding the rest of these!

Good to talk to you.


Inger Sheil

G'day Craig - many thanks for that additional information. I'd very much like to trace who was responsible for providing the copies to the officers. Formatting is interesting - Lowe's copy of his own statement is unsigned, although a space is left for signature and a blank space for day next to month/year. That suggests to me that the deposition was either a verbal or handwritten statement that was transcribed in the accepted format and presented to him for signature and dating.

There are a few errors that one would not expect Lowe to make. For example, it commences 'My name is Harold Godfrey Lowe. My home is Pennrallt, Bormouth, England'. In the signed version for the Consulate, I would expect him to have corrected 'Pennrallt', 'Bormouth' and 'England'.

Unfortunately any surviving correspondence connected with this document doesn't seem to have survived (although it may turn up in family papers). He also had a copy of his 1913 statement to the WSL's legal representatives in Liverpool.

Perhaps the examiner found the information provided by these and other crewmen to be redundant and decided to make souvenirs of them. Or perhaps they were misplaced. In any event, at least two depositions almost certainly weren't turned into the BOT.
Certainly a tantalising prospect - the idea that some of the 'missing' manuscripts (whether deemed redundant, irrelevant or mislaid) might likewise be extant.

Once I locate the U.S. Senate Inquiry exhibits I'll work on finding the rest of these!
Best of luck with that mission - even statements from crew who did give testimony would make very interesting reading. To read further testimony from those who didn't appear at either inquiry would be fascinating, particularly as our priorities are not always the same as those seeking information for the British Inquiry!

Thank you again for your observations and information.​

Inger Sheil

Hallo Sylvia - welcome to ET and to the internet!

Thank you for that additional information on Pelham's family tree - it will be of great interest to crew survivors. Perhaps you could send it along to Phil Hind, the owner of the website, for inclusion in Pelham's biography on this site?

Cheers -

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Hi Aunt Sylvia,

Nice to see that you are taking the electric interweb in your stride.

Inger, I have written to Senan but have received no reply so far. This deposition was like a bolt out of the blue! We have been asking if such a document existed and was told that any depositions that were taken, were probably thrown away.

I would love to see a copy of it, it is genuine as his signature is on it and this matches other documentation that we have.




Former Member
Hello Craig,

Sorry to but in as I know this conversation is turning out to be rather interesting, especially for my cause.

If you don't mind I need to ask you a two questions Craig.

Briefly, part of my project is compiling all the entries pages dealing with the Titanic Relief Fund - Southampton Committee.

I don't have my file or notes handy at the moment but roughly at the introductory pages of Book 2, there's something which has caught my attention and obviously focuses upon other major incidence's noted down with Book 1. For the record, Book 1 in the collection doesn't survive. To make matters worst, the separate paperwork for Book 2 which did include a vast array of reports from the Mansion House were all destroyed during the mid-sixties. Only three originals survive, the fourth, officially belongs with Book 3.

However, I noticed you mentioned the words in your post at 5.04am >>>> the same BOT examiner Southampton.

May I ask the following:-

Who was that examiner from Southampton?

Was he Phillip Curry or someone else?

Thanks in advance.

Andrew Williams
Southampton area

Inger Sheil

Hallo Sylvia -

Have you tried the direct upload facility that Phil has installed? I'd be happy to do it for you if you haven't had success with it.

Cheers -