Reginald Robinson Lee

  • Thread starter lindsay gordon lee
  • Start date

Inger Sheil

Member
That's a very good point, Gordon - emigration was very strong in those years, and letters and photos could be treasured by extended families. A similar point could be applied to the families of seamen - when loved ones travelled so far, particularly in the days of sail when voyages could last over a year in duration, communication such as that was a vital link to home, society and family. Those extended links are one advantage we antipodeans have, even with the notorious 'tyranny of distance'!

I'd love to know what the colour scheme is in the costume Irene is wearing!
 
The portraits are sepia so we can only guess the colours.They were probably taken especially to send to their brother who was 5 years younger than Reginald Robinson.He migrated to Western Australia with his wife in 1901 aged 26 & was a Sergeant Major in the Mounted Rifles 1/28th Battalion,seeing service in the Boer War & The Great War.He probably never saw his parents or siblings after leaving.I will try & find a good pic of R.R.Lee's brother
 
There was an interesting article in "The News" (Portsmouth)last september. At the Portsmouth premiere, in 1958, of A Night To Remember". The guest of honour was a local man, Henry Reginald Lee. He claimed to be a survivor of the Titanic. His family, up to last year, believed him to be "The" Reg Lee who was the lookout.At the premiere he said he was a cook not a lookout and his age was 77 which would have made him 31 at the sinking. A member of the family researching the history said his great uncle was a Walter Mitty character who may been a crew member but not on the maiden voyage.The family were brought up to believe be was a Titanic hero.
 
Interesting story Barry & I am fascinated by these bits that unfold.It makes better reading than a best seller.I feel the Reginald Robinson Lee we have is the right one & maybe there is a closer relative than myself that can shed some more light on his story. The piece that I read that his son was a keen amateur photographer & has archived some film is one bit I would like to know more about.The fact that R.R.Lee died approx. 12 months after the sinking is sobering,but the facts are there.
 
Arne,in answer to your questions,I believe there are some answers on R.R.Lee's profile on this site.I have his date of death as 6th August 1913,so he died as a young man having been born in 1870.I think it was Brian who posted the obituary which stated he died in the Southhampton Sailors Home,after arriving from the Kenilworth Castle,which I guess was a ship,on which he was working.My father told me R.R.Lees mother applied for assistance from the Titanic Committee but was declined.She was a widow at the time.I don,t know if he had any children & his only brother was living in Western Australia.Where R.R.Lee lived after the Titanic I do not know.
 
Was the Titanic a 'dry 'ship for the crew ?
I have received information that uncle Reginald had a serious alcohol problem as far back as January 1900
 
>>Was the Titanic a 'dry 'ship for the crew ?<<

To my knowladge, yes.

Which doesn't mean that some enterprising fellow couldn't find a way to obtain something, but he could kiss his berth goodbye if he got caught.
 
Here are a few passages from the IMM/White Star Line rule book that speak to "spirits" and the crew:


3. Company Affairs Confidential; Trading and Smuggling-- (c) No wines, spirits, or liquors of any description are to be brought on board by Officers or any member of the Crew. A search for same must be made by the heads of the respective departments as soon as possible after the ship leaves port, and any found must be confiscated and thrown overboard, and the proprietors of same logged.

4. Sales of Wines and Spirits to Crew.--Except with the special authority of the Management, no sale of wines or spirits for cash is to be made to any member of the ship's company...


-- David G. Brown
 
According to his RN records Reginald was hospitalised on the 24 Jan 1898 with Delirium Trementia .He would have been 27 years old at the time .He joined the navy in December 1887. On 1st January 1900 his report showed 'cease to be trusted where liquor is obtainable'.Over a decade later as lookout on the Titanic a 'Dry' ship he must have overcome this problem .The responsibility was huge .To me the job he & the other lookouts had was similar ,in responsibility , to that of a modern Airline Pilot.
 
This was a case where 'rules are made to be broken'. There are numerous memoirs of life at sea that suggest that members of victualing crews in particular didn't have much of a problem if they chose to partake during voyages. For the Titanic, of course, we have baker Joughin's testimony that he kept a bottle in his cabin, and a surprising frankness, perhaps, in volunteering that information at an official Inquiry.
 
According to Frederick Fleet (in an interview with Leslie Reade in September of 1964), Fleet believed that Reginald Lee was also shocked by the experience they shared the night of the accident. After leaving WSL, Lee joined the Union-Castle line and served on the Kenilworth Castle. Fleet told Reade, "he died of drink many years ago."
 
A newspaper article was sent to me in Australia by David Lee of Portsmouth(Friend but,no relation).David is related to H.R.Lee.
My Great grandparents grave in Portsmouth has been kindly put into shape thanks to a second cousin who lives there .As well as my Grandparents Reginald Robinson Lee is buried there, and the Grave is part of a guided tour of that city.
The newspaper article gives details of a guided tour & the website www.friendsofhighlandroadcemetery.org.uk for more information.
Why Reginald is buried with his parents,what happened to his marriage & whether he had any dependants is still a mystery.
 
I've read that Reginald Robinson Lee sailed back to England on the Celtic along with Quartermaster Hichens and some others after the disaster. I'm wondering why he didn't sail back right away with the rest of the crew. He did not testify before the US Inquiry and does not seem to have traveled with the others to Washington (TIP | United States Senate Inquiry | Day 4 | Testimony of Frederick Fleet, cont.):

Mr. FLEET.
Hogg and Symons are here besides me. The other three have gone home.

Senator SMITH.
Lee?

Mr. FLEET.
I do not know where Lee is. He got detained in New York.

Does anyone know why Mr. Lee left later in April on the Celtic?
 
Top