Master William Willie Loch Coutts


Carol Page

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My son is doing a project on the Titanic and is to research the life of Master William (Willie) Loch Coutts before he boarded the Titanic. Can anyone help or provide any information. He does not seem to be listed in the 1911 uk census. We are particularly interested in what his address was before he sailed. Any help appreciated. My son is 8 by the way.
 
May 3, 2005
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There is mention of a Miss Winnie Coutts on another post, but I am afraid it is a fictitious account. See General Titanica section for "Captain Smith found."
 

Mark Baber

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Hello, folks---

1. Five messages essentially identical to the one immediately above this one have been removed from this thread.

2. Winnie/Minnie and Willie Coutts were very real. Her biographical page is https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/winnie-coutts.html and his is https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/william-coutts.html. There are also several other threads discussing them and this thread has been moved into the subtopic containing the others. Click on the "Coutts Family" link higher up on this page to see the others.
 
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"Winnie Coutts and two children" listed among the saved : Source : Appendix I, Page 269, "The Titanic Conspiracy" by Robin Gardiner and Dan van der Vat.
 
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Mark Baber:

Thanks for removing the extra messages. For some reason when I tried to delete the message board removed all of the messages and when I tried to enter a new message the message board restored all five messages. Thanks again for clearing up my mess.

I found the references you have listed and you have saved me from making an identical posting.

That posting on another thread about the fake newspaper report (1991) about Captain Smith being found alive on a lifeboat "In a freshly pressed 1900 uniform and smoking his pipe." also contained a mention of a "Miss Minnie Coutts" as being on the same lifeboat as Captain Smith. Obviously a case of very, very yellow journalism and sloppy research in at least they did not pick a person who was not saved for the article.
 

Mark Baber

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Obviously a case of very, very yellow journalism and sloppy research

Research? From the Weekly World News??? Nah. They just make it up as they go along.

;-)
 
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>>Research? From the Weekly World News??? Nah. They just make it up as they go along.<<

I suppose I was being a bit too kind in my remarks. (The understatement of the year. ;-) I think WWN must make up everything they print. ;-)

As for "Miss Minnie Coutts" I would have to use Colonel Pickering's remark in "My Fair Lady"..."I think you've picked a poor example." That is: WWN - You should have picked a name from the known NON-survivors. If I was writing the story I would have. However either way WWN might be something to buy for the very worst in fiction.
;-(

On second thought, IMHO WWN doesn't even deserve to be called Journalism. Speaking as a former Journalism student.

If you would like another case of this read the remarks about Dallas, Texas in "Sherlock Holmes In Dallas". The author must have made up the parts about Dallas by writing at the Library at York University. :)

And there must be people who buy WWN (for reasons unknown ) and there must be people who believe the earth is flat and there must be people who believe that the moon landings were a Hollywood production filmed in the studios there, et cetera, et cetera and so forth. ;-)
 

Carol Page

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thanks have already read through the biographies of William and his family that you have here, but my son is looking for more info on his life before the Titanic. I was hoping someone may be able to make contact with William's surviving family or knew where he lived before he sailed. Bogus stories from trashy newspapers are of less interest :0)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Hallo, Carol. I'm afraid the 3rd Class passengers back in 1912 were by and large the kind of people who passed through life without leaving many traces, and even experienced researchers find it difficult to unearth much more than the brief details you've seen here in the bio section. School projects of this kind are often rather unrealistic for young children (or their mums!) - teachers take note.

We do, however, know the London address from which Mrs Coutts and her children set out for Southampton and the Titanic: 28, Wallace Buildings, Caledonian Road, Islington.
 
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Just some questions about the Coutts family.

Were they U.S. citizens returning from a visit to England or the Continent ? This would account for no listing in the U.K. census.

One account mentions they were meeting Minnie Coutt's husband in New York. This might have meant he had emigrated to New York earlier and then sent for the family to join him later.

As Bob Godfrey mentioned there are sorts of angles and difficulties in tracing persons. It seems that only the First Class Passengers, such as Colonel Archibald Gracie did much writing about their experiences concerning the Titanic.

I can think of only one book that might be considered written from a child's viewpoint :
"Polar The Titanic Bear."
 

Bob Godfrey

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Minnie was Irish born and her husband a Scot, but they married and started their family in England. As you suggested, Robert, Mr Coutts had gone ahead to find work and prepare a home for his family in Brooklyn, New York. He was an artisan - a skilled man, working as an engraver of precious metals.
 
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Hello Carol - you may be able to glean a little from the below - note the (Haddington) Scottish connection.
Minnie Trainer Coutts was born in Ireland on February 2, 1876 and died in Maplewood, New Jersey on February 29, 1960.
Wife of William Coutts who worked in Brooklyn as an engraver. The family were following him.
Insurance claim B191. Property $576.60c.
(From The Emergency and Relief booklet by the American Red Cross, 1913).
No. 91. (Irish). A mother 37 years of age, with two children 9 and 3 years old, coming to join her husband in Brooklyn, lost five cases of household goods. She was not injured. The husband, employed as an engraver, earns a fair salary but assists his aged mother in Ireland, and was unable to furnish his home without assistance. ($750).
(Minnie Treanor Coutts (pronounced Cootz-not Cowtz), was born in Monaghan, Ireland on February 2, 1876. She married William Coutts who was born June 20, 1876 in Haddington, Scotland. They were the parents of two sons, William Loch Coutts and Neville Leslie Coutts.
William preceded his family to the United States and Minnie and the boys all survived the Titanic sinking.)

Cheers Brian
 

Mark Baber

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died in Maplewood, New Jersey

New Jersey, eh? Something to add to the "To do" list for the next of my infrequent trips to the Newark Public Library. I will advise, but probably not anytime soon, if there are any available local obituaries.
 
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Hello Mark - This might save you a journey - Cheers Brian

(Taken from the Newark Evening News, Monday, February 29, 1960)
MRS. COUTTS DIES
Survived 1912 Titanic Sinking
Mrs.. Minnie Coutts of 38 S. Pierson Rd., Maplewood, a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic in the North Atlantic, died today at her home after a long illness. She was 84.
Mrs.. Coutts and her son Neville, with whom she lived, were among the 704 persons rescued when the Titanic, on its maiden voyage, went down after hitting an iceberg April 14, 1912. More than 1,500 persons lost their lives.
Neville was 3. His mother was bringing him to this country from Ireland. His father, the late William Coutts, had settled in this country earlier and had sent for his family after establishing a jewellery business in New York.
Recounted Events
Three years ago on the anniversary of the sinking of the ship, Mrs.. Coutts recounted the events of the tragic sinking at a family gathering.
"We were in the lower deck cabin and the two boys--another son, William Jr., has since died--were sound asleep. I felt a jar and I knew something was wrong because suddenly it was so quiet. I got the boys up--Neville hated to get up--dressed them and put their life belts on."
"The boys didn't know what it was all about. I wasn't afraid for myself, but I was afraid they would be afraid."
Given Life Jacket
Mrs.. Coutts recalled that there was no panic on her deck, nor was there any commotion. She took her sons to the top deck where the crew was preparing life boats. She didn't have a life jacket, but a British officer approached her, took his off and put it on her with this observation: "You will remember me."
Mrs.. Coutts and her sons were in the life boat several hours before they were picked up by the Carpathia.
Besides Neville, Mrs.. Coutts is survived by two grandchildren. The funeral will be at 1 P.M.
Wednesday at Litwyn & Litwyn, 801 Springfield Ave., Irvington.
 

Mark Baber

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Not quite save me a trip, Brian---I visit there irregularly in any event as Titanic and non-Titanic research matters pile up---but certainly cut down by one the list of microfilms I need to requisition. (Newark had several daily papers in 1960, and although The Evening News is one of the ones I would have looked for, there are others as well.)

Thanks for the info.
 
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>>died in Maplewood, New Jersey

New Jersey, eh? Something to add to the "To do" list for the next of my infrequent trips to the Newark Public Library. I will advise, but probably not anytime soon, if there are any available local obituaries<<

If Mr. Coutts worked in Brooklyn or New York (City) Maplewood, New Jersey would appear to be a good place for a residence and commuting to work.

>>Mrs.. Coutts recalled that there was no panic on her deck, nor was there any commotion. She took her sons to the top deck where the crew was preparing life boats. She didn't have a life jacket, but a British officer approached her, took his off and put it on her with this observation: "You will remember me."<<

It would be interesting to know the name of the officer.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Hildur: Yes, Minnie's given name was Mary.

Robert: The man who gave Minnie his life jacket is more often described as a steward. The term 'officer' can be misleading, as it was common back then to refer to any company employee as an officer of that company, just as we still refer to any policeman or woman as a police officer. Also there were many crew members who wore a uniform very like that of a deck officer, including the pursers' clerks.
 
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Bob:
>>Robert: The man who gave Minnie his life jacket is more often described as a steward. The term 'officer' can be misleading, as it was common back then to refer to any company employee as an officer of that company, just as we still refer to any policeman or woman as a police officer. Also there were many crew members who wore a uniform very like that of a deck officer, including the pursers' clerks.<<


Was there any reference to this incident in "A Night To Remember " ? (Either in the book or in the movie ?)
 

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