Looking for information on Matt Freeman


Jeff Young

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Mar 18, 2005
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First of all I am new to this board and came across it trying to find out information on a passenger of the Lusitania by the name of Matt Freeman. He was suppose to be a boxing champion but I cannot find any information on him. If anyone knows anything about Matt Freeman I would like to hear it as I am thinking about writing an article on him for a boxing website I write for if I can find enough information. Thanks.

Jeff Young
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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Hello Jeff
as of 1955- Matt Freeman was living in Miami Beach, Florida at 1042 Michigan Avenue. He was 59 in 1955. Hope that helps
Mike
 

Jeff Young

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Is it possible that he may have went by a different name. The reason that I ask is I found a passenger list that did not have his name on it. Also I cannot find any information if he was considered as a professional boxer. There is a great boxing site that does not have him listed, so that also made me think that he may have went by another name.

Unfortunately for internet searches there is a punk rock bassist named Matt Freeman, so that is all that ever comes up on the searches.
 

Jeff Young

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It also brings me to another question and that is how accurate is Diana Preston's book Epic Tragedy. That is where Freeman's name was mentioned and that he was a boxing champion. I have read two other books on the Lusitania when I wrote a paper on the sinking for a college class and after reading Preston's book it was the first time I had heard of Freeman.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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I have just looked and he is in the index of the Hoehling & Hoehling book: The Last Voyage of the Lusitania. (1956/57) Page references 93, 110, 113, 130.
Matt Freeman, amateur lightweight boxing champion of England.
With quite a bit of detail about his survival. He struck his head on a lifeboat as he dived overboard.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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You could e-mail Hildo Thiel. He is one of the authors of the web-site I mentioned and has also posted frequently on E-T about the Lusitania. There is a thread Lusitania Passenger List. Hildo may know why Matt is not on the Passenger List.
I would be interested in the answer.
 

Mike Poirier

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Jeff
Matthew Freeman was a crewman- that is why he is not on the passenger list. I've havn't actively sought his date of death. Perhaps you could call the Miami Beach Library to see if he is in their death index from 1955-1960?
Good luck!
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Jeff,

Thanks to the information supplied by Michael, I found Matt on the web-site I listed above:
FREEMAN, Mr. Matthew. He is listed as a Waiter.
 

Mike Poirier

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Jeff
There is also the possibility that Freeman may have moved back to England and died there. As of 1955, he had only lived in the US for 8 years. There were a number of survivors that decided to move home and then died.
 

Jeff Young

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I contacted a boxing commentator that was Muhammed Ali's fight doctor. He lives in Miami Beach, so maybe he has some information on Mr. Freeman. If he does I will tell you what he says.
 

Jeff Young

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Just an update. Mr. Pacheco did not know anything about him, but he did give me a number for a boxing historian that knows a lot about the professionals and amateurs of that time frame named Hank Kaplan. I will be giving him a call tomorrow. Mr. Kaplan also lives in Miami Beach.
 

Jeff Young

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I spoke with Mr. Kaplan today, and even though he did not know anything about Mr. Freeman he did add another thing that I now have to find out. When I told him what I was looking for, he thought I was talking about two other boxers that he said were onboard the Lusitania. He could not remember their names, but said they were stokers or something like that and went down with the ship. He also said that they were from Ireland. So now I have other things to research as well.

He told me that he read an article about these two gentleman from the 1920's in a publication of Boxing News of England. The search continues.
 
Apr 25, 2001
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Matthew Freeman was indeed a crewman on the ship, not a passenger. He was a waiter. There are two Matthew Freeman listed in the Social Security Death Index who might be the Matthew Freeman from the Lusitania, but I really don't know whether either of indeed is the one from the ship.

Peter
 

Jeff Young

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Mar 18, 2005
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Currently I am going through old newspapers at the local college here in Arkansas. I found some interesting things from the 1915 editions of the Arkansas Gazette, like while the stories of the sinking were appearing in the paper, one of Rita Jolviet's shows was playing in Little Rock. There was a story on the sinking and right beside the story was an AD promoting the show.
 

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