Harold Bride

I unearthed some odds and ends from the basement today while home recovering from the hospital trip. Thought some bits could be of interest. The first letter is from the Ministry of Defence (London) Bride served on SS MEDINA in 1913, and HMS MONA'S ISLE in 1918-19. He also served aboard HAVERFORD, LUSITANIA, LAFRANC and ANSELM before he went to TITANIC. The naval historian who researched this for me, AJ Francis, went on to say that "although Bride was a merchant seaman, and may well have served in the Royal Navy or the Reserves during WWI, he does not appear to have been a commissioned officer." Another note I received about 20 years ago says " Harold Bride spent the last years of his life at Provon Hall, Stepps. on the ouskirts of Glasgow, Scotland and died April 29th, 1956 in the hospital at 133 Balmoral Road and was cremated after a private funeral. His wife, Lucy Johnstone Bride (nee Downie) died in 1973, aged 83 in Prestwick, Scotland. The other bit, I forget where it came from ,but it is typed without a signature and states Bride was born near Catford Kent, son of Arthur Larner Bride and Sarah, had 3 brothers, Frank, Arthur and Edwin and one sister Marie Cecile whom he called "Sissie." The family had lived since 1901 at 58 Ravensborne Avenue near Bromley not far from the Shortlands station. The house was called "Crofton's" Harold went to Beckenham Secondary School , then at 14 onto Clapham to attend the Technical Wireless Institute which later became the School of Wireless Telegraphy. In 1910 he annoyed the neighbors by putting up a wireless aerial in the back yard. In 1911 he obtained his certificate from the Marconi school (Liverpool) in radial telegraphy and went to sea in the Haverford and other ships(mentioned above). After Titanic, he returned home and was met at the Baltic by his father on May 18th. A neighbor, at the time a little girl,(Mrs. Thompson) remembered Harold's hair had turned nearly white. He became a local hero and his grammar school extolled its policy of mandatory swimming lessons. His wartime Royal Navy Reserve record lists him with these titles: R.N.R., W.T.O. W.T.S. 483. His father died in 1922, the family then moved to 69 Park Hill Clapham and later to Telford Avenue Streatham. Later his mother moved away to live wth her son Frank. Bride married a Scottish schoolteacher Lucy and the couple moved to Scone where they lived in Stormont House on the main street. Bride found odd jobs, working as a traveling salesman and still maintaining his love of wireless- he had his own transmitter and had contacts all over the world.
 
Found one more bit- apparently Harold never spoke much about Titanic, his nieces Kathleen and Christina and nephew Robert found out about his involvement from old newspaper clippings and references in the family Bible. There was also a postcard of Titanic sent by Bride to the family prior to the ship's Southampton departure. Harold and Lucy had 3 children: Lucy, Jeanette and John. Bride was by all accounts a strict father and all the children were required to attend church every Sunday. Little Lucy bcame a nurse and moved out to the Orient, Jeanette a schoolteacher who for a time worked in Ethiopia before returning to teach in Scotland, and John went to Oxford after WWII and went to work for the Forestry Commission. He went on to work in Nigeria where he was killed in a car crash which may have been an ambush. The remaining members of the family remember Harold as "small and tubby with very curly hair and a pronounced Scottish accent. .. extremely jovial and loved a joke." This ends the letter -I'm sorry to say the signature on the letter is blurred and I cannot recall who furnished these recollections!
 

Jemma Hyder

Former Member
Hi Shelley,

I recently found a contact in Scotland that contradicted the tales of Bride's reluctance to talk about the disaster. He had a copy of his testimony which he took around to a friends house to look over from time to time.

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Hi Jemma- yes- I guess he was reluctant to speak to press and family, but not to close friends. I also have an account that for a joke he hid Christina's doll, and made a little hanging gibet for it?!!! I guess she thought it was funny- odd huh? The writer of this letter is a Mr. Pladdys. I have never been an expert on survivor or crew, nor plan to be, but Bride has always been my fascinating favorite figure and have named my ginger cat for him! Am now trying to unearth a letter I had back in 1976 about a man named Kleindeinst whose daughter claims HE was the first to get the signal from Titanic on his home set in Massachusetts. Anyway, the cellar is getting cleaned!
 
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