Photos of Wilde


Jun 11, 2000
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Just run the photo past the eye of a real expert on age (ie a teenager, they always know) and asked if it was a young or old person. "Old." was the definite verdict, "Very old." - so, over 50 then? And I think I can see middle-aged spread about the rear. I see what you mean about the flat hats, but it is actually quite an odd piece of headgear viewed from the rear. I don't think it is anyone significant.
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Monica wrote: "Do you think?" Thanks, Monica! I think Butt and the man nearest him are wearing two different type hats and 'X' yet another type again. The man nearest Butt is wearing a common 'cloth cap'. And, these had somewhat fuller versions as well, as I believe Bob has mentioned. Butt's cap may be peak-less, and its flat-topped crown is much too shallow, anyway, for it to be correctly described as a 'kopi'. In other words - smiles all round! - it's best described in non-Randy parlance as a 'pill-box'! And, these were worn. Mind you, rather 'Continental' and 'snazy'. And, of course one wouldn't really expect an older gentleman - such as 'X' - to sport one. His coat quite distinctly 'flares' as well; whereas that worn by 'X' does not. In fact, 'X' is wearing a quite conventionally cut naval-style overcoat with a somewhat lower hem-line. [It need not be speculated upon that Butt's coat has a 'cape-collar' or is, in fact, a cloak] Finally, I showed the photographs to an artist-illustrator (whose mentor was Fortunino Matania; also a fellow 'Hampsteadite') and his own 'view' differed very little from this one - which is, tentatively, my own.
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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quote:

But the ordinary flat caps worn by male passengers on deck came in greater variety of shape than the compact modern type - on the very next page of Browne's album there is an example which fits the bill (in the foreground of the pilot boat photo).
Looking at that one now, Bob, and I agree. The angle is slightly different - three-quarter view facing away from the viewer - but one could image it presenting a very similar outline to the mystery promenade figure.

Donald, I see your point about the headgear and would be willing to buy into the distinctions you draw between the two - although unfortunately, the field of focus doesn't bring Butt sharply into relief. Comparison is also hampered by the fact that it's a profile vs. a rear view shot. Even without clearly defined edges the crown does appear to be less broad. That the unknown figure is caught mid-stride doesn't help coat comparisons on the cut, although as I mentioned above I'm inclined to feel that the unknown man's coat is a shade longer (could be wrong on that, though). I used to do portraiture on commision and know how motion can affect any form of material draping. As I said before, I'm hanging with the idea that the odds have it this figure is not one of the 'names' on the voyage. I'm willing to be proved wrong, though - although arriving at a definite i.d. based solely on the photo itself and in the absence of other data would be a job and a half.

Monica, you're perfectly entitled to whatever frivolity you wish to indulge in regarding Mr Wilde and Mr Evans and their respective appearances! But there's someone for everyone - I know one researcher who is rather taken by Evans and finds him a very interesting figure, although I don't know if she has ever expressed an opinion on their looks. Evans was married, so hopefully his wife thought him a fine figure of a man. I'm drawn to Evans as an interesting example of a successful WSL officer, one untouched by the Titanic tragedy. At the very least, he's useful for comparative purposes when looking at the lives and careers of the Titanic's men.​
 
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ruth rose

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Hi
Given the description of this photo by FR Browne as quoted by Inger above, we can work out what time of day it was and whose Watch...has somebody got time today ?

A new article seems to be emerging here,"Hats of the Titanic"
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Randy's probably still thinking about ladies' hats, which was the last thing I caught him doing in another thread. What sort of hats the ladies wore at teatime... formal, casual, or none at all? And it's not a kepi - those went straight up from the headband, surely? Like in the French Foreign Legion.
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Monica, almost agreeing with me (apart from correcting my spelling error; which near-enough named the world's most expensive coffee!) said: "and it's not a kepi". Again - no! Neither is it a 'kepisottlegione'. It was a hard 'cadet' cap nor entirely unlike a foldable sailor's cap. An American nickname for them was 'buffalo chip'. Speaking of nicknames, I do not believe 'X' is wearing a 'newsboy'.
 

Inger Sheil

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Rose, I remember standing on shore at night not too from when that photo was taken, staying at a friend's vacation house. We could see fireworks in the distance over Southampton, and soon afterwards a blaze of light as the Aurora made her way down the Solent on her maiden voyage.

There has been a bit of discussion as to how much delay was caused by the near-collision, but Murdoch was probably still OoW at the time the photo was taken (although someone may want to jump in with another estimate). His Watch was from 10.00 - 2.00, although at the time (as discussed above) the ship was not yet in open water and both Smith and Bowyer would have been on the bridge.

Junior officers had a staggered watch system. On 10 April, Pitman and Lowe were on 12.00 - 4.00 pm. As it was sailing day, however, the other officers could expect to be busy as well.

At least the mystery promenader doesn't seem to have been wearing a Tam O' Shanter, as recently popularised at BTS conventions by Pat Cook!
 
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On hats, I give up. There's just too many. Kepis, kopis, multitudes of flat caps, toppers, bowlers, officers' caps, possibly Sally Army or Swedish Army - they all wore hats. And now, Tam O Shanter's .... it's too much for the ordinary person, isn't it? Let Randy sort it out.
 
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ruth rose

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Thanks Inger for sharing that very evocative description of Aurora.
On that theme - I went to the naming of the QM2 in January and was in a small tender right beside her as the queen named her...fireworks were going off...will never forget that.
Have just read how Murdoch was OOW ,though not in command, during Olympic/Hawke incident too.
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Inger - too! - has tired of hats! [As Elaine Stritch would say: "Does anyone still wear a 'hat'?"!] Yet - on this thread or moved - how about an attempt to identify the Titanic 'sailor' in the photograph with Archie Butt and Jack Odell? I have - as hinted - serious reasons for believing some common agreement might be reached - well, almost reached! - on this one: the identity of the crewman Fr Browne photographed.
 

Inger Sheil

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Nah, Donald - I haven't tired of the thrilling, enthralling world of hats...I'll have to drop a line to Randy to see if he wants to throw his own into this particular discussion! I've got my own range of American Civil War kepis, British merchant marine peaked caps and the odd Aussie Akubra hanging around...and that's just the blokey hats.

I think there have been a couple of noms for the crewman in the photo - who is your money on? (As ever, I tend to hedge my bets, sit on the fence, and go with the most cautious and conservative approach to i.d.ing).

Sounds like that was a great event, Ruth. My father was front row centre at the launch of the Oriana as part of the press corps - I must get the photo scanned and posted one of these days, as he's almost as prominant as the christening bottle.
 

Pat Winship

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Is there any possibility that Hugh McElroy could have been in that location at that time? The chap in the picture seems to have a similar size and build.

Pat W.
 

Chris Dohany

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I agree with Bob that the crewman in the Odell/Butt photo could be Olliver, or perhaps Perkis, either way I believe he is a QM. His uniform indicates he holds a different capacity than the other ABs.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Chris, Perkis is one man I ruled out - he had a physique more in the Homer Simpson tradition! From other photographs it seems that there wasn't much of a dress code for the deck crew - I think what this particular man is wearing was probably a leftover from service in the Royal Navy.
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Frank has asked Pat: "Which picture are we discussing?" and Inger has asked me: "who is your money on?". I'll gamble, Inger, that the central, main figure in Fr Browne's photograph taken on A-deck and just beneath the bridge is Thomas Jones.
 

Pat Winship

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May 14, 1999
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Frank, we're talking about Father Browne's photo of a man, seen from the rear, walking along the starboard side of A-deck, heading aft. He's wearing a uniform overcoat and cap. He's a tall, somewhat heavy-set fellow.

Apologies for the late reply, we've just moved, and I haven't been keeping up as well as usual

Pat W.
 
Dec 31, 2003
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My sincere apologies to you, Pat - and also to Frank - for misunderstanding what would have been the correct answer to his question: "Which picture are we discussing?". The train of thought had just gone into a siding, and it then took me ages afterward to find my place again in order to answer Inger's query regarding my contender for crewman in the other (beneath-the-bridge) photograph also taken on A-deck.
 

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