The journal of one of the Titanic societies published a very extensive article on the postal clerks not many years ago and I think it included information that supported the theory that some of these men were lost while attempting to save the mail. Others here will know more details.
Being two of the postal clerks bodies were recovered (March and Woody), I strongly suspect that they were NOT trapped below, while moving the mail. I would think that the body of one trapped below, would have went down to the bottom inside the ship.
In my opinion, of course. There is no hard evidence that I am aware of to say they were trapped below.
Didn't Jessop indicate that she saw at least one of them on-deck? Operating from way back in memory here, of course - must check it. I'd be absolutely intrigued to see the evidence that some of them were lost while trying to save the mail - these would constitute some of the earliest deaths then, one assumes, if this did indeed happen?
>>I'd be absolutely intrigued to see the evidence that some of them were lost while trying to save the mail -<<
So would I as I've seen this assertion penned in at least one book. Don't remember the title but it may not matter as there was nothing to indicate the source of the claim. It's just there. While I wouldn't be surprised if somebody was trapped inside early on, I don't think the space flooded so quickly that these people couldn't get ahead of it befor it overwhelmed them.
The Smithsonian opened a great museum in 1993 (The National Postal Museum) located in the City of Washington Post Office Building adjacent to to the renovated Union Station at Massachusetts Ave. and Columbus Circle. "Posted Aboard Titanic" is a popular exhibit featuring five large oil paintings of each of the American and British Postal workers. These paintings were based on a special feature in TIS' VOYAGE. Bill Gwinn's image was created, due to lack of a photo on descriptions.Other exhibited items include: From Oscar Woody: 5 postal "facing slips stamped with his name, (personal effect bag #167) from Mackay-Bennet, personal letters, travel orders, his pocket watch, Masonic dues card, Masonic pocket knife and his keys and watch fob. John Starr March: pocket watch stopped at 1: 27, William Gwinn: his travel commission, James Williamson: a letter from his mother, Eleanor, in response to a letter of condolence from the British Postmaster General over the loss of her son, John Richard Jago Smith: a poignant letter from his father to the British Postmaster General who wrote that if his son "had not stuck to his duty in trying to save the mails, he might have had a chance to save himself." There are numerous other items of interest including a prop life jacket form Cameron's film, a regulation 1912 mailbag, and photographs of the ship. Voyage 33 has an article by Robert DiSogra about the exhibit. To view the exhibit online go to
The following photos come from a cemetery marker dedication and what would turn out to be a family reunion for relatives of John Starr March-many members of whom did not realize their connections to each other and Mr. March. The lady pictured is Joan Drake, who is holding some artifacts of her famous relative, including his ring. The marker was a very rewarding project of TIS, which not only focused attention on the postal workers, but reunited many of Mr. March's family.
Wow, Shelly, the gravesite sure doesn't look like that now; I was there a few weeks ago and my photos are now on March's summary page. As you can see, there's now a substantial number of plants, shrubs and the like in front of the headstone, obscuring most of it.
Just out of curiosity, when were these photos take?
I need to look back through old VOYAGE issues Mark, but I think it was 1993 on the stone dedication. That was a good issue about the postal workers which I hope will appear soon here under research articles. The irises were planted about a year later and seem to have taken over.