Mr and Mrs Norman Chambers

John Pulos

Former Member
I am reviewing information that I have concerning Norman Chambers and Bertha Griggs Chambers. He wrote, "we started for the upper deck and coming out on the port side of the A-deck, went aft where I found the deck steward, who opened his office and gave us our steamer rugs." The Chambers then went in search of a life boat. Can I assume that "steamer rugs" were deck blankets??? that may have been used when sitting on the cold deck. Were they assigned? Chambers also spoke of his time in the lifeboat, "the passengers were so tightly packed in a standing position that the little quartermaster had great difficulty in crawling between our legs to reach the trigger amidships for releasing the falls simultaneously." Could someone please explain that to me. Thank you. John Pulos
I think Martha Stephenson also related a similar incident and called them steamer rugs. So I would definitely say steamer rugs are deck blankets.
Karl Behr wrote about the attractive middel adged man in his boat who offered him the use of his gun when he and his wife were done with it. I had a feeling he was talking about Chambers.

Ben Holme

Hi John,

I believe that second part of Chambers' account involving the "little quartemaster" refered to the incident where quaretrmaster Alfred Olivier struggled past the passengers in desperation to secure the boat's "plug" in place. Could be wrong

I believe Chambers was the man who offered the gun to Behr and George Harder was the generous man with the flask of brandy

Warm regards

John Pulos

Former Member
Thank you.
It WAS Chambers that offered the gun to Behr. Both Behr and Chambers had attended the same prep school at the time. They did not know this until after they read their first hand accounts in the October issue of their alumni magazine. Small world.
John Pulos