John Collins (Scullion)

Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
As far as I can remember my grandmother spoke of 3 family members from Ireland. App, Cora, and Charlie Collins.That would have been a great discovery to add to my family tree.
John Collins' father was named James; AFAIK, John Collins did not have a sibling by any of those 3 names and his wife was Mary. Children were named Benjamin, Hugh and Mary - so it is likely that you are not a direct descendant. BUT, they were large families and for all you know James Collins' - John's father - might have had a sibling or other relative who is your ancestor. Worth digging into it IMO.
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
I was consulting my notes and comparing the information therein with Collins' testimony at the American Inquiry. Slightly contrary to what the Children of the Titanic article says, Collins arrived at Lifeboat #16 while it was still being loaded with Moody and Wilde in charge. He helped with the latter part of the loading and hoped to be allowed to go in it himself but it was Wilde (a few years later, while a WW1 POW in Germany Collins told Woods, a fellow prisoner, that it was the 'Senior officer, the one next to the Captain') who stopped him since there was already more than enough crew men on board.

Collins did not seem to know the identity of the steward who was holding one of Alma Palsson's children, just like Collins was. While it is difficult to be certain, it did not sound like the 'old hand' steward that he had befriended during the voyage and who told Collins that his allocated Lifeboat was #16 (See Titanic Inquiry Project). In those final minutes, Collins, the other steward, Wennerstrom, Alma Palsson and the 4 children were caught by the wave caused by the sudden lurch. Only Wennerstrom and Collins survived from that little group; Alma Palsson, her 4 children and the other unnamed steward were lost.
 
Dhugal Robertson

Dhugal Robertson

Member
My name is Dhugal Robertson my Grandmother was Mary McKee she had 4 children and my mother is Roisin Robertson.
We have just found this thread and are happy to answer any questions. Unfortunately my uncle who posted further up has passed away we have lots of past photos, details and medals.
Please feel free to contact and ask questions.
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
My condolences on your uncle's passing. May he rest in Peace.

Between 1985 and 2002 I did a lot of research on John Collins and during the course of this, spoke several times on the phone with Mrs McKee in the mid and late 1990s. She did not know her father well as he died when she was very young but passed on some bits of information from her older brother who was living in the USA at the time. She was going to send me his contact details but unfortunately we lost touch when she moved from "Tir Na Nog" - I think that was what her house was called. We moved ourselves in 1997. I understand she later moved to Spain before passing on herself.

I have got most of my information from another source, a descendant of a man named Woods who was a fellow POW in Germany with John Collins during World War 1. John shared his Titanic experiences with fellow POWs but it was Woods who took a keen interest and chronicled some of John Collins' statements. The two men remained friends for several years after the war, right down to 1930s. If you have any first hand information about John Collins' Titanic experiences I would be interested to know.

Collins was only 17 years old on the Titanic, his first ship. He helped in the loading of Lifeboat #16 and at one stage thought he would be allowed to go on it but reportedly was told by the senior officer ("one next to the Captain") that he was not required to help. Later in the sinking he was trying to help a woman and one of her children to reach Collapsible A when the 'wave' washed them all over. We think it might have been Alma Palsson and her children; another steward and Wennerstrom were also involved. One of the last things that John Collins recalled was Murdoch - whom he knew by sight - washed overboard by the wave with several others. John himself lost his grip on the child and almost drowned but somehow managed to swim to the overturned Collapsible B and was hauled up.
 
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Patricl Corbett

Patricl Corbett

Member
My name is Christopher Collins. I am from North Carolina USA. I Remember my grandmother telling me her great grandfather was from Belfast Ireland and also family of ours lived in Dublin Ireland. When I saw this it just makes me wonder...
Hello Chris. I am Patrick Corbett. My great grandmother was John's sister Elizabeth, born Elizabeth (Collins) Woodcock. She was actually born on 16 May 1884. Her daughter was Elizabeth (Woodcock) Comey, my grandmother. They lived in Dublin, where my Ma, Philomena (Comey) Corbett was born and raised, still living. I was born and raised in Dublin, but I live in Chicago now.
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
What I learned from my research into John Collins suggested that when Wilde and Lightoller arrived at the port aft lifeboats at about 01:15 am (after the 'firearms meeting'), Moody had almost completed loading of lifeboat #16 with Collins as one of the crew who helped. Lowe was close behind with Lifeboat #14 and so Lightoller took over supervision of the partially loaded lifeboat #12 while Wilde sort of supervised all three. Collins reportedly hoped that he would be allowed to go in Lifeboat #16 but Wilde refused as there was enough crew already on board. Collins identified Wilde as "the officer next to the Captain"; also, he was aware of the only Scottish Officer on board - Murdoch. During his POW time, Collins repeatedly told his audience how the "Scots Officer" was one of several knocked overboard when the "wave" resulting from the Titanic's sudden lurch downwards just after 02:15 am hit them. At the time Collins himself was holding a child - very likely one of Alma Palsson's children - but the wave tore it from his grasp as he went under. When he surfaced, he could see no one and swam for a bit before being hauled on board the overturned Collapsible B.
 
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