Herbert Stone's Disappearance and George Stewart's Obituary from Archive Newspapers.

Julian Atkins

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Hi Jim,

Look at the photo of Glenn, Thomas, Evans, Gibson, STONE, Ross, Groves, Stewart outside the Drill Hall. Stone is clearly the short fat person with moustache.

It is the same STONE in the pics taken on The Californian's previous voyage, as in Harrison's book 'Titanic Myth'. There is not a shred of doubt that Stone had served with Captain Lord on the previous voyage.

Actually it is Groves who has a 'tarted up' uniform in the March 1912 pics, not Stone, same as Groves wore a very well fitted tailored suit with cane to the British Inquiry!

In the same pic, Gibson either has his braces buttoned up too high, or has a very short pair of trousers that also don't match his jacket.

Only Groves and Stewart wear proper suits, as opposed to a mis-match of jackets and trousers - to the British Inquiry.

The pic of Captain Lord attending the British Inquiry is not particularly flattering, but he is wearing quite a nice double breasted suit and holding a tightly furled umbrella.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Julian Atkins

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Anyway, the crew lists for the voyages are what are important for The Californian as to served with who and when, and I can't find out where they are now!

They were in Cardiff in the 1960s, (and local to me), but no longer!

Is anyone still in contact with Inger Sheil?

And can anyone provide a lead as to where The Californian crew lists now are?

Cheers,

Julian
 

Seumas

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We know that Stone did the previous voyage to down south in the USA from Liverpool, plus Groves and Stewart, with Captain Lord on The Californian, due to photographic evidence.

Inger Sheil apparently some years ago had all the crew lists for The Californian. Apparently they were costly to obtain as per Reade when they were at Cardiff, but they are not there anymore.

I would quite like to see them. To see whether ships carpenter McGregor sailed home from Boston, and whether Groves did a further voyage with The Californian. It would tie up quite a few loose ends.

I don't know where the crew records are these days.

Cheers,

Julian
I'd try the National Archive's first just on the off chance that they have something.

According to the NA's own website they only hold ten percent of crew lists from British ships between 1861 and 1938.


Despite the title saying 1918, the page actually covers 1861 onwards.

If they are not at the NA then another place to enquire at would be the National Maritime Museum who I believe also have their own collection of crew lists.

Halo an sin. Seumas! Or should I say, howzitgawn?

It should be remembered that the 3rd Mate's (or 3rd Officer in posh passenger ships) Watch on a merchant ship was actually the Master's Watch. This was a follow-on from the days of sail when often as not, ships did not have a 3rd. deck Officer of any kind. It was so even in my day.
Very often a 3rd would be uncertificated. I know of at least 2 ships... a cargo ship about the size of Californian and the biggest (at that time) tanker in the world, both of whom had uncertificated 3rd mates.
At the age of 18, I was temporarily promoted to 3rd Officer when our 2nd was sent ashore with the DTs ( a result of the N,. Atlantic convoys experience he couldn't shake) and the then 3rd was promoted to 2nd. I was senior Apprentice at that time.
On the other hand. on Anchor Line passenger ships, which I served on. the minimum certificate for a Deck officer was 2nd Mate (FG) and that was the 4th Officer.
It is very possible that Gibson was uncertified.
Madainn mhath Jim.

Thanks for that. I always thought that you needed official certificates to become even a junior officer. That's interesting.

I guess that's how Robert Hitchens ended up becoming a third officer on a tramp steamer without having any certificates. He was an uncertificated officer but it was all above board.
 
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Jim Currie

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Crew lists and agreements are also held in a number of other archives. The National Maritime Museum holds 10% of agreements and crew lists for the periods 1861-1938 and 1951-1976.

The rest, approximately 70% of the crew lists and agreements for 1863-1938 and 1951-1976, were transferred to the Maritime History Archive in Canada.

You will need the ship's Official Number to access these records. This can be found on the Certificate of Registry or on a crew member's Discharge Book.
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hi Seumas,

Yes, that's the pic of them outside the Drill Hall. A motley crew!

I shouldn't read too much into the above pic, apart from assessing the standard of the individual's clothing which I consider quite legitimate...

However, I couldn't help but notice that Evans is 'eye-balling' Groves, and Groves is nonchalantly looking at Evans. Gibson also seems to be looking at Groves or Stewart with some kind of surreptitious smile - with his trouser braces either too tight or an ill fitting (short) pair of trousers with 'turn ups', and about the worst double breasted jacket imaginable!

Groves clearly has a well tailored 3 piece suit, and that cane. Clearly the most well-dressed of the ensemble in the pic.

According to Leslie Reade, all the crew lists for The Californian survived as he had them from Cardiff, but did not provide the details except for the 5th April voyage. Leslie Harrison also had them. The consensus (in considering them) was that Captain Lord did not have officers who would not sign on with him again, but regularly did voyages with him.

But where those crew lists are now I really don't know. As I stated, Inger Sheil, had them some years ago. I have also done an online search of the National Archive without finding the crew lists.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Jim Currie

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Hi Julian, is this the one ?

View attachment 44931
I know Seamus. However, I was talking about the picture below which is purported to be the Officers of the Californian. Check-out the relative heights.
californian's Officers..jpg


Now compare the uniform of the man standing on the left above, with the man standing on the left in this next photograph. Ignore the sleeve lace But note the position of the button above the lapel.
officers-ship-carpathia-440056-o.jpg

Finally, in the following blow-up of the first photo, note the cap badge of the Stone lookalike. It is not a Leyland Line cap badge as worn by Captain Lord, his is a Company House Flag surrounded by gold oak leaves. Might the Stone lookalike be wearing a Marconi Company cap badge?
Blow-up.jpg
 

Scott Mills

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Hi Rob,
I am not aware of any other personalities involved in 'Titanic' suffering such problems except poor old Fred Fleet who hanged himself (though it is not something I have researched myself, and there may be other examples).
I believe that Hitchens made more than one attempt on his own life, never succeeding in killing himself.

One should also be cautious of linking Stone's mental breakdown in 1937 with anything to do with Titanic and 'The Californian Incident'. However, the incident in 1937 does suggest a certain susceptibility on Stone's part towards what would now be termed 'mental health' problems.
I suspect that you are right, without any familial evidence to the contrary I would assume a position which takes the simplest answer as the most logical. His letter home stated he did not have a good experience on the Calcutta run, and had lost weight. Given that, I would assume the simple answer is that any breakdown he may have had was related, in some way, to the circumstances that were contemporary to the 'mental breakdown', and thus list work related stress as the probable primary contributing factor.

Even many of the suicides of Titanic's survivors and crew cannot be chalked up in whole to the experience on Titanic. For example, Jack Thayer's suicide followed the death of his son during the Second World War, while Fleet's suicide followed the loss of his wife. Hitchens, on the other hand, at least going by the story his niece gave to the Telegraph in 2008 or 2009, is on record as having lived the remainder of his life constantly wracked with guilt over Titanic; so perhaps you could attribute his suicide attempts to Titanic's foundering.

Now having said that, a story told by his niece roughly 70 years after his death is hardly firm evidence that this was the case.
 
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Harland Duzen

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A bit late to some parts of this conversation, but...
Anyway, the crew lists for the voyages are what are important for The Californian as to served with who and when, and I can't find out where they are now!

They were in Cardiff in the 1960s, (and local to me), but no longer!

Is anyone still in contact with Inger Sheil?

And can anyone provide a lead as to where The Californian crew lists now are?

Cheers,

Julian
A bit late to this question, but if this hasn't been tried, have you tried contacting Inger Sheil using the ''Private Conversations" page on this website?

Also sorry if this is a silly question, but how did the Californian's crew list end up in Cardiff for a time? Were they just moved from Liverpool or London?
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Jim,

I don't know what you are getting at here!

If anything, it is Captain Lord and Stewart, in the March (could be very early April) 1912 pic who both have a cap badge that appears not to be a Leyland Line badge.

If you look at the pics in Reade, there are 2 pics on the next page of Captain Lord wearing 2 types of cap which of the badge resemble what STONE was wearing.

Harrison has 2 pics; clearly taken at the same time. The first is the original of your enlarged shot of Stone. The second is of the exact same group but with the 2 girls (sisters) on the laps of Captain Lord and Stewart (which is also in Reade).

The notion that Stone did not serve as 2nd Officer, with Groves being 3rd officer, on the voyage prior to 5th April 1912, is nonsensical. It is clearly Stone and Groves in the pics of the previous voyage.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Jim Currie

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A bit late to some parts of this conversation, but...


A bit late to this question, but if this hasn't been tried, have you tried contacting Inger Sheil using the ''Private Conversations" page on this website?

Also sorry if this is a silly question, but how did the Californian's crew list end up in Cardiff for a time? Were they just moved from Liverpool or London?
Hello Harland.

The Register of was transferred from the Board of Trade to the Ministry of Shipping in 1939 and to the Ministry's successor, the Ministry of War Transport in 1941. In the same year it moved from London to Cardiff. If I remember correctly, it was located at Llantrisant Road, Cardiff. Also, if i remember correctly, the bulk of the records were sent to Canada for safe keeping during the Blitz.
 
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Seumas

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I guess we're lucky these important records survive at all then !

A shame they didn't manage to get the British Army personnel records from WW1 over the sea to Canada for the duration, 60% of them were destroyed during the Blitz.when the old now defunct PRO got bombed. A devastating loss.
 

Jim Currie

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Hi Jim,

I don't know what you are getting at here!

If anything, it is Captain Lord and Stewart, in the March (could be very early April) 1912 pic who both have a cap badge that appears not to be a Leyland Line badge.

If you look at the pics in Reade, there are 2 pics on the next page of Captain Lord wearing 2 types of cap which of the badge resemble what STONE was wearing.

Harrison has 2 pics; clearly taken at the same time. The first is the original of your enlarged shot of Stone. The second is of the exact same group but with the 2 girls (sisters) on the laps of Captain Lord and Stewart (which is also in Reade).

The notion that Stone did not serve as 2nd Officer, with Groves being 3rd officer, on the voyage prior to 5th April 1912, is nonsensical. It is clearly Stone and Groves in the pics of the previous voyage.

Cheers,

Julian
Julian, officer signing-on to a Leland Line ship were by legal agreement, required to purchase and wear Company Uniform. They also agreed to transfer to any other ship in the conglomerate of Companies of which Leyland line was a part. I can show you proof of that if you wish.

The Officer in the photograph is not wearing Company uniform. In fact, he is not wearing any recognisable naval uniform.
If that photograph was taken on the boat deck, it was not the boat deck of the Californian, since she had radial davits and
For a start-off, Stone is about an inch taller than Groves and that is rubbish. As I said earlier, Stone is wearing the wrong cap badge and a non standard naval uniform. In addition, his hat is too small for his head and does not have a white (summer) cover.
Then look closely at Lord's uniform jacket. There is a mysterious gold epaulette button on his right breast adjacent to his right lapel.
Now look closer at the uniforms... the two on the left are sharply defined the two on the right look like that came from another scene.
Then there is Lord's sleeve lace. In the the "boat deck!" picture, Lord has the 4 narrow bands of a senior captain. However, in the following classic photograph he is much younger, and sports the 3 broad bars of a junior captain.
Lord 3.jpg


• Three straight stripes, with a fourth "looped" executive curl, top stripe denoted the rank of Captain.

• Two rows with a third looped (executive curl) top row denoted a Chief Officer, or the Captain of a smaller vessel.

• One row with a second looped (executive curl) row denoted a First Officer.

• Second Officer and lower were denoted by a single row of looped (executive curl) braid.

• Captain was also allowed to wear a wide row of gold braid down the length of each pant leg (on the outside edge.)

Now compare the above with your earlier group photograph:

californian's Officers..jpg



In the above photograph, Lord is sporting the braid of a senior captain and looks older.
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hi Jim,

Let's refer to Leslie Harrison's 'Titanic Myth' as he has both pics of the same group in the same location at the same time and the same "spyglass". Seated, Captain Lord then Stewart from left to right, then standing behind Stone then Groves from left to right. Harrison has the second pic of the two girls on Captain Lord and Stewart's laps. The 2 girls have a direct link to p.38 of Harrisons' 'Titanic Myth'.

In both pics Captain Lord has gold braid on his cap peak, and your 4 rings on his cuff with the fourth ring having the loop to which you refer.

Only Captain Lord has a white cover or top to his cap. Stewart doesn't, neither does Groves, and neither does Stone.

Note that Groves has quite a different cap to the others - so your same argument applies equally to Groves in respect of caps! (Groves has a hat with a flat top).

If you look at the pic of the ensemble with the 2 girls, Groves is taller than Stone.

I totally agree Stone has an ill fitting cap.

I cannot see any 'rings' on Stewart's jacket cuffs.

Ok, lets take this on a bit. You have suggested it isn't Stone in these 2 pics in Harrison's 'Titanic Myth'. Personally, I find the resemblance of Stone of the pic outside the Drill Hall to be conclusive! It clearly isn't Evans, the only Marconi operator on The Californian since the Marconi equipment was fitted to The Californian, and as Captain Lord was removed (suspended) as Captain to make way for Captain Masters for The Californian's next voyage, the date of these 2 pics must be the voyage previous to 5th April London to Boston voyage. See again p.38 in 'Titanic Myth'.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Scott Mills

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Ok, lets take this on a bit. You have suggested it isn't Stone in these 2 pics in Harrison's 'Titanic Myth'. Personally, I find the resemblance of Stone of the pic outside the Drill Hall to be conclusive! It clearly isn't Evans, the only Marconi operator on The Californian since the Marconi equipment was fitted to The Californian, and as Captain Lord was removed (suspended) as Captain to make way for Captain Masters for The Californian's next voyage, the date of these 2 pics must be the voyage previous to 5th April London to Boston voyage. See again p.38 in 'Titanic Myth'.
Okay, Jim is far more an expert than me, but what about the discrepancy in boat davits?
 

Jim Currie

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Hi Jim,

Let's refer to Leslie Harrison's 'Titanic Myth' as he has both pics of the same group in the same location at the same time and the same "spyglass". Seated, Captain Lord then Stewart from left to right, then standing behind Stone then Groves from left to right. Harrison has the second pic of the two girls on Captain Lord and Stewart's laps. The 2 girls have a direct link to p.38 of Harrisons' 'Titanic Myth'.

In both pics Captain Lord has gold braid on his cap peak, and your 4 rings on his cuff with the fourth ring having the loop to which you refer.

Only Captain Lord has a white cover or top to his cap. Stewart doesn't, neither does Groves, and neither does Stone.

Note that Groves has quite a different cap to the others - so your same argument applies equally to Groves in respect of caps! (Groves has a hat with a flat top).

If you look at the pic of the ensemble with the 2 girls, Groves is taller than Stone.

I totally agree Stone has an ill fitting cap.

I cannot see any 'rings' on Stewart's jacket cuffs.

Ok, lets take this on a bit. You have suggested it isn't Stone in these 2 pics in Harrison's 'Titanic Myth'. Personally, I find the resemblance of Stone of the pic outside the Drill Hall to be conclusive! It clearly isn't Evans, the only Marconi operator on The Californian since the Marconi equipment was fitted to The Californian, and as Captain Lord was removed (suspended) as Captain to make way for Captain Masters for The Californian's next voyage, the date of these 2 pics must be the voyage previous to 5th April London to Boston voyage. See again p.38 in 'Titanic Myth'.

Cheers,

Julian
Julian. In the the picture... have you ever considered it as an early photo-fit? i.e. heads superimposed on separate photographs and brought together as a group. There is so much wrong with that photograph. The most glaring mistake is the figure of Captain Lord.
The sleeve braid is absolutely wrong for the Leyland Line. On Californian he would have looked like this:
Lord at leyland.jpg


Instead, Lord is wearing the sleeve braid of a senior captain of the Nitrate Producers Steamship Company Ltd. and looks like this:
Lord at Latta.jpg


Note the principal differences:
1. In the first photograph, he is wearing the square-rig working uniform of the Leyland Line.
Note the broad gold bands... standard RN width.
2. In the second photograph, he is wearing the narrower MN bands, typical of a British Shipping Company of the day. On later years, the loops were discarded in favour of a center diamond. He is also wearing a bow tie and high, formal collar in the Harrison picture and the one above.
 

Jim Currie

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Okay, Jim is far more an expert than me, but what about the discrepancy in boat davits?
Hello Scott.
I had never seen the photograph used By Senan Maloney on his book cover. I saw the round "lightening" hole in the structure to the right of the picture. Not a porthole so what is it? A Lifeboat davit? I also see what looks like a lifeboat over the shoulder of the Groves figure.

Having looked at the two photographs, I am even more doubtful as the their authenticity. Groves has been re-arranged, but Stone hasn't and the sitting ones have most certainly been photo-shopped and as I point out, the uniforms are completely wrong. Where are the stripes on the other seated figure?
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Jim,

I can only speculate and try to be objective.

And to avoid any confusion I am here referring to the 2 pics in your post 57 above.

In your post 57, the first pic (with the wrong 3 cuff rings) is remarkably similar to a shoulders above pic of Captain Lord in Leslie Reade's book, if not the same 'shoulders up'.

I won't rule out your suggestion that your first pic in post 57 has been 'put together', as I do not know the source of the near full length pic you show as pic 1.

All I will say is there are a number of pics on a Google images search of Captain Lord that attribute pics to his later service with Lawther Latta and show him wearing '3 rings' on his cuffs.

However, to suggest that the late May/very early April 1912 pics the ensemble of Stone, Groves, Captain Lord, and Stewart (as per the 2 pics in Leslie Harrison's book) have been tampered with is something I find very difficult to comprehend.

I am not too sure your second pic in your post 57 of Captain Lord is after he left Leyland Line and after he joined Lawther Latta. That high stiff collar without 'wings' (ie a wing collar) is quite unusual, and seems to be something Captain Lord adopted as part of his own 'dress' ie his choice of shirt and collar whilst a Captain in the Leyland Line. He also seems to have been fond of a bow tie for himself whilst a Captain of the Leyland Line. I find this interesting. A high stiff collar without 'wings' was quite uncomfortable to wear, and rather old fashioned by 1912. It was not something Rostron or Smith wore in 1912.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Andrew

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An interesting discussion to follow.

Re. the group photo:
The angle of the sun on their faces & the shadows are all consistent (slightly different on Groves, as he's tilting his head a bit), indicating this is a genuine 'un-shopped' photograph.
When heads get plonked on different bodies, facial shadows are normally the first giveaway.

(Not sure what reason there would be for photo-shopping anyway? A lot of Titanic/Olympic construction photos were doctored in various ways, but I don't think they had they technology in 1912 to implant people or transpose heads onto bodies).

They were clearly all there together at the same time, so the various discrepancies & oddities must have other explanations.