Peuchen is this true

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,046
57
208
UK
On the subject of knives, it's always seemed strange to me that many of the seamen dealing with the lifeboats clearly didn't have one and had to call for pocket knives or razors from passengers. Was this once essential item of equipment no longer regarded as a tool of the trade, at least for emergency and accident situations?
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
283
Easley South Carolina
>> Was this once essential item of equipment no longer regarded as a tool of the trade, at least for emergency and accident situations?<<

Good question. I never had a lot of use for one since my rating seldom took me out on deck, but I always had one anyway. You just never knew when you would need it. In retrospect, it's amazing that a lot of the AB's...who of all people should have known better...forgot to bring their knives to the party.
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
Member
Dec 3, 2000
8,242
5
198
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Peuchen had a terrible time with Hichens that night, but unfortunately his conduct would be judged almost as bad as Hichens'. Later, at the inquiry Peuchen would express his disdain for Hichens' conduct.

Even though he had a document to prove that he was ordered into the lifeboat by Lightoller, his social standing and reputation were ruined, which is really the sad part of it all. I must correct you though Jonathan, his career was not affected, as he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel shortly after the disaster.
 
Apr 11, 2001
4,565
4
168
Peuchen's brother-in-law, Thomas Home, was spared the ordeal though, by being delayed and unable to sail on Titanic, although Fate caught up with him, like Alfred Vanderbilt, later on Lusitania- which Home survived. I hope he stayed off ships ever after.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
4,970
212
193
Concerning knives and the lack thereof, the deck crew signed articles in which they were forbidden to carry knives (and other weapons) without the express permission of the master. In 1912 there was very little call for ropework and the old skills of the sailing ship men were being forgotten. Appearances were more important. Also, sailors were no angels and it was felt safer to disarm them.

There would have been plenty of knives in the bosun's store but the bosun went missing. I don't know where his store was, but it may have been near the crew's quarters and hence soon flooded. There were several places marked 'store' right in the bows from the orlop deck orlop to deck D. Maybe one contained the bosun's store.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
283
Easley South Carolina
>> In 1912 there was very little call for ropework and the old skills of the sailing ship men were being forgotten.<<

A pity it worked out that way. A lot of skills were lost going from sail to steam, and it would seem that good old fashioned marlinspoke seamanship is one of them. For the most part, they're seldom needed, but when they are needed, they're needed pretty desperately. A number of people I've exchanged notes with over the years look down on the "Old Ways" as no longer needed, but they seem to forget that sometimes, the machines just don't work. U.S Naval practice among other things holds that quartermasters and anyone else in the navigation team be able to do work using sextants, star charts, stopwatchs, and logerithms and there's a reason for this.

SINS, GPS, LORAN and the like is great, but if it all goes toes up for some reason, you better be able to do it the hard way. If you can't, you're screwed!
 
Apr 11, 2001
4,565
4
168
Jason, this is all there is in the clipping on Tom Home, his quote, he was born in Coburg, Ontario, and that he worked for G. Goulding and Sons, was married to Mabel and had three children-" When she heeled over, I slid down to B. deck and at the last cry, " she is sinking " I plunged into the sea and was sucked down in the seething waters and the whirling mass of struggling people and whirling wreckage. " Maybe you can look for a fuller interview in Canadian papers.
 

John Clifford

Member
Nov 12, 2000
1,686
0
166
56
I also have a question about Major Peuchen: it is stated that, during the 1920s "....for the last four years of his life (he) lived in his company dormitory in Hinton, Alberta....".
Was this a Western Canada post for the Queen's Own Rifles?
Or was it former headquarters/regional offices for "...Standard Chemical Company (1897-1914), one of the first in the world to manufacture acetone (used to make explosives) from wood....".

It was also stated "...He also owned large forest reserves near Hinton, Alberta....". Did Major Peuchen have a living quarters near there?

I have made plans to visit the Hinton and Edmonton areas next year, and would like to see where these areas are, even if they have been, since, subdivided and developed. I also need to see where I can find out listings of the former property ownership records, either for the local county, or all of Alberta.

Does anyone know the locations of these places??

I just need to convince the Mayor of Toronto to send out a "specially chosen City Delegate", to Alberta, to help me with my research.
grin.gif
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
Member
Dec 3, 2000
8,242
5
198
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Hi Shelley,

Thank you for that info, that helps. I'll see what I can dig up.

Hi John,

I haven't been able to find much research on Peuchen's property in Hinton, but I'm hoping his great great nephew has some info for me.

"I just need to convince the Mayor of Toronto to send out a "specially chosen City Delegate", to Alberta, to help me with my research."

I'll think he'll approve that.
wink.gif


Best regards,

Jason
happy.gif
 
G

Gavin Murphy

Guest
J (and others),

You (at least J) are from TO and may be interested in this. A few years ago (1995-96?)Hugh Brewster (Madison Ave. Press) did an article on Peuchen in TO Life. If you track it down it may fill in some gaps.

G
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
Member
Dec 3, 2000
8,242
5
198
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Hi Gavin,

Actually I have that article already, but thanks for posting it.
happy.gif
Hugh's article appeared in Toronto Life in May 1997, then a year later it was in the Titanic Commutator.

It's excellent and well written, so I've gotten a lot of my research from it.

Best regards,

Jason
happy.gif
 
Apr 11, 2001
4,565
4
168
Jason- Canada newspapers come through! Here's the newspaper article with Tom Home's brief account:

"I saw the torpedo coming, watched it, and did not turn to run away until it hit. The explosion threw up water and splinters in showers. I was struck twice on the heel and on my left leg. My foot is still swollen, so that I have not been able to get away from here. However I am one of the very fortunate. After the explosion, the ship listed and I limped around to the port and high side. There were a few excited ones, but they were easily controlled. The worst was when relatives parted- mothers and their babies. You can see how natural that would be. One the whole that would be quite natural. It was remarkable how cool the passengers were. I went down to my cabin ( B-32 ) but could not find a lifebelt. The steward met me and told me she would be alright. He got me a lifebelt from another stateroom and I went on deck again with it in my hand. I did not feel any fear while I was standing. A woman told me she could not find her baby and asked if we would be saved and where the lifebelts were. I told her we would be alright and gave her my belt and tied it on to her. I said, ' You are alright, go and look for your baby. ' Poor woman, few found them again on this earth. Such a strange calmness with it all. No hope. She was sinking, yet no fear. A young lady came and spoke to me about the terrible deed as calmly as if we were in the saloon and yet in a few minutes we were to go down. At the last moment when she was disappearing I slid down to the side near the water. There was a scream and I plunged with others to find ourselves in a seething mass drawn down by suction, but not too deep to rise, and down and down, again and again, to seize anything. Sometimes a foot, but everyone trying to rise but not knowing by what ladder they climbed. Strange as it may seem, I thought how cosy it was under the water and was surprised I did not feel the shock, yet without hope of coming to the surface. But I came up and struck out to get away from the mass of floating debris and grasping hands. I found a box, a man climbed on and about six clung to it a long time. I do not know how long I hung on, but I felt I could not last and a woman told me she could not hang on longer. I determinded to get away so I asked a man to shove me a floating lifebelt. He did so and I told one of the men on the box to reach with an oar and put it on himself. I struck out on two spars and presently founc the Cuban counsel ( Julian de Ayala ) in two lifebelts, one in front of him. I asked him if he could spare it, but the poor fellow could not swim and was acting frantically. I suppose at that moment if the ship had come up under him again, he would still think he had to struggle. I did not think he would last long but he is still alive and without a brusie. I came to a floating corpse with a belt that could help him no further, so unfastened the front, cut the lower straps near the knots at the back and managed to get it on with a struggle, for by this time I was feeling it a good deal, and then held on as long as I could, realizing that I had gone my limit and that it was only a matter of moments. I knew no more till I found myself in a bunk with strange surroundings. They had picked me up for dead in a small boat and trasferred me to a tug."