Mystery of Bert's Titanic Postcard

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Philip Hind
Staff member
Member
Titanic postcard picture L

Postcard message contains clues to the identity of an unknown crewman....
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
I'll throw a spanner in the works. Why assume the postcard is from somebody on Titanic? Anybody could buy a postcard. Notice that he is sending 2/6 for Easter. Easter fell well before Titanic sailed, so when was the card sent? Where are the address and stamp?
 
William Oakes

William Oakes

Member
Could It be Bert Pittman?
He would have been on board at that time getting ready for the maiden voyage.
Just my 2 cents...
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
No way! Herbert Pitman was an educated officer. The card is from a semi-literate man, who has been doing some unpleasant drudgery. As I say, why assume the card is from somebody on Titanic?

The card itself is one of many rushed into print in 1912, with Olympic standing in for Titanic and the common error about her displacement.
 
William Oakes

William Oakes

Member
I'm so sorry to enflame your passions....
It was just a thought.
Sorry to have started a 3rd world war with my feeble 2 cents.
 
J

Jane55

Member
I took the remark 'Didn't have time to write before' as he didn't have time to write before Easter. I'm going to assume he bought the postcard on the ship as he was so busy working on board and he was sleeping on board for the night, and why buy a postcard from a ship he wasn't working and sailing on? I'm also going to assume he wasn't married, or at least the postcard doesn't sound like he was writing to a wife, maybe Mother and Father and sisters? Was Bert Pittman married? Wish we knew the address this postcard was found in. I do like a mystery. :)
 
William Oakes

William Oakes

Member
I'll throw a spanner in the works. Why assume the postcard is from somebody on Titanic? Anybody could buy a postcard. Notice that he is sending 2/6 for Easter. Easter fell well before Titanic sailed, so when was the card sent? Where are the address and stamp?
I don't see how you read all of that into a postcard.
Semi-litterate?
Drudgery?
Some ginormous assumptions from a few lines on a postcard.
 
J

Jane55

Member
Ok, I've cracked it. I think it's Albert Hector Crisp. He married a widow called Florence late 1911 and she had two little girls from her previous marriage, (P/O was for 'the girls'). He joined the ship in Belfast on 01/04/1912, before Easter, which was on 07/04/1912, so P/O WOULD have gotten to them on time. He gave his address as 37 Macnaughten Rd, Bitterne, Southampton. I've looked at the 1911 census and Florence was at that address, not just with her daughters, but her parents and brother and sister as well. Her Mother's name is Mary (Name on the postcard is Mary, not May). So, that would explain why he started his message to 'All' and not just his wife's name. It was a bit of a housefull. Plus, when he asks if Mary was happy, that could be because Florence was pregnant with Alberts baby, so could be why he asks if she's happy. Unfortunately he died and his body was never found. So anyway, I'm convinced it's him.
 
J

Justin Charles Patterson

Member
.
It is strikingly odd that the tear goes through the ships profile on the post card in almost the same area of the ship were the breakup occurred in real life.
Considering the value of this postcard I dont think a person with post wreck discovery knowledge would have torn it in half much less tried to repair it afterword's with scotch tape. The yellowing discoloration to the damage and the repair tape indicates that it occurred at a time when it was widely believed that the ship sank in one piece, which leads one to believe that it wasn't done by someone before the wreck was discovered to demonstrate or prove a point about the sinking and break up.
Rationally I dont think it was an ominous premonition just a bizarre coincidence. After dismissing any intentional motive, however the thought that the random location and the type of damage to the ship profile in mimicking what really happened feel disturbingly eerie to make you wonder why the hairs on the back of your neck are now standing up.
 
Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
That is not a postcard of the Titanic. Have look at "A" deck forward end.
 
Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson

Member
The Olympic is on the postcard and not the Titanic. They do look similar tho.
 
Gordon Mooneyhan

Gordon Mooneyhan

Member
I don't see how you read all of that into a postcard.
Semi-litterate?
Drudgery?
Some ginormous assumptions from a few lines on a postcard.
I would assume semi-literate from the spelling errors on the postcard; here/hear for example.
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
Crisp's last ship before boarding the Titanic on its maiden voyage was the Olympic.
The Olympic is on the postcard and not the Titanic.
Can it be that Crisp had an Olympic postcard with him and used it? I know that the caption says Titanic but that card might have been printed when the Titanic was almost - but not quite - complete; so, they might have used the Olympic's profile to print a "Titanic" card to meet the demand when the Titanic's maiden voyage arrived. They must have hoped that not too many people noticed the minor differences and that might indeed have been the case if the Titanic had not sunk and become famous.

By the way, IMO that handwriting is not that of a semi-literate man but of a reasonably well educated one. The spelling and grammatical errors might have been because the writer was in a hurry or slightly dyslexic.
 
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