Passenger Photograph

Mar 20, 2000

By chance I have come into an old photo with almost no information at all and what there is of it, is confusing. Hopefully some of our resident experts can help.

The picture is a group shot of three Titanic survivors taken in later years - I'm guessing from around the time of the 20th Century Fox film Titanic or MacQuitty's A Night to Remember? No date is given. But they appear to be at some event.

The people are identified as -

"First class Titanic passenger Miss Edith Russell and her lucky pig are joined by Mr. Reginald Burgess, the ill-fated ship's Assistant Chef, and Mr. Edward Ryan, another passenger."

I thought Burgess' first name was Charles and that he was a baker, not a chef.

Has anyone a clue as to the correct identity of this man as well as where this picture might have been taken and when?

I'd scan the image if I could. It's small and yellowed at the edges but the reverse is still bright white and there is a caption (see above)attached on a square of cream paper at the lower right edge and a hand-printed code number in purplish ink on the top left edge ("JH-114B"). These seem to indicate the image originated from a news service, possibly a newspaper?

A friend found it tucked inside a copy of one of those old 1912-issued Titanic books and sent it just this week! How odd. She didn't know I was working on an article on Edith Russell and had no idea, till I told her, what very good timing she has!


Pat Cook

Apr 26, 2000
Hey Randy!

When I read your note my mind immediately went back to Walter Lord (how often does THIS happen to you?). Sure enough, in "A Night To Remember", in his acknowledgment section, he writes (about speaking with survivors):

"The deep feeling in Baker Charles Burgess', whenever he discusses the Titanic, reveals the intense pride of the men who sailed her."

Hope this is of some help.

Best regards,

Chris Dohany

Dec 12, 1999
That is a nice photo. I've only seen it once, republished in the Post-Cameron Titanic craze, so I can't attest to the date or source. The identification is correct, Mr. Burgess' given name was indeed Reginald, though he is referred to as Charles in ANTR, and as you point out he was not the assistant chef, but rather a baker.