Stewards on duty


Mike Poirier

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Dec 12, 1999
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It seems as though only some of the 1st class passengers were informed of danger by their stewards and stewardesses. If you read Mrs Dick's account she was warned by her steward in her cabin B20. Next door in B18 Jean and ida Hippach never received any warning. Is it possible the stewards and stewardesses did not take the warning seriously?
Another example would be the Roberts/Madill/Allen party. Even with E deck flooded, they still did not get any warning until Mrs. Robert's maid came to say her cabin on E deck was flooded.
These are just 2 examples of 1st class passengers who were not warned.
Any comments or examples?
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Hi Mike,

Good points raised here.

Many passengers later claimed that their stewards never bothered to alert them to the danger. It seems that stewards Crawford and Etches did their duty on B-deck, and a few others on A and D-decks. Henry Blank remembered his bedroom steward knocking on all the cabin doors in his area on A-deck. As he approached Blank's cabin, he saw the jewelry manufacturer had already put his lifebelt on. The steward was pleased and told him, "It will keep you even warmer sir."

Many passengers on C-deck had to find their stewards. Mrs. Potter sent her daughter and Miss Hays to find their steward to inquire of the trouble. Dr. Henry Frauenthal was annoyed that he and his wife received no notification. It so happened that the New York doctor bumped into George Widener who informed him of the accident.

I laughed when Dr. Dodge related how he went topside to find out the cause of the trouble. A bunch of crew members approached him and asked him if he knew anything about the accident. Dr. Dodge looked at them curiously and snapped back, "If there is anything wrong, it is you who should know about it more than I!"

I was curious about the Roberts/Madill/Allen party. Steward Crawford claimed that he informed them - perhaps they didn't take the situation as serious until poor Emilie Kreuchen came back with the bad news.

In general, most of the first-class passengers learned of the danger through their own investigations.

I'll gather a few more and post them here.....

Best,

Mike
 
Jan 22, 2001
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Is there any record of who Anne Elizabeth Isham's steward was, and if he survived, was he ever questioned about warning her and other passengers?

Were there any other first class passengers who were also not seen by anyone on the night of the sinking and who might have been lost because their stewards failed to warn them? I'm especially wondering about those who might have been feeling sick or been asleep at the time.
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Hi Carole,

Ann Isham's steward was more than likely Charles Cullen, who was also Col. Gracie's steward. Isham and Gracie had adjoining cabins so it is almost certain that Cullen attended to Miss Isham as well. Cullen survived the sinking but there is no record of his informing Miss Isham of the accident. In my opinion, Miss Isham was alerted to the danger but, for reasons unknown, simply never found a place in a lifeboat. Some suggest she may have been the woman seen on the boat deck refusing to leave the ship without her dog. There is no evidence to suggest that Ann Isham had a dog with her but there weren't too many others it could have been.

There were many first-class passengers whose actions aboard the Titanic remain a mystery. Many of the male victims who were traveling alone had nobody to tell their stories (ex. Brady, Crafton, Foreman, Goldschmidt, Klaber, Natsch, R.W. Smith, George Wright....the list goes on). The bodies of these men were never found so it is impossible to determine if they were ever informed of the danger or not. Some historians claim that George Wright was a heavy sleeper and may have slept through the disaster. Possibly but then again, he may have been one of the first to learn of the disaster.

Hope this helps.

Mike Findlay
 

Chris Dohany

Member
Dec 12, 1999
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If it was the same as Col. Gracie's, who was in the next cabin, then her steward was Charles Cullen. Cullen survived, but wasn't called to testify at any of the hearings. Gracie, however, did mention that after the collision Cullen was out and about assisting passengers and had helped Gracie put on his lifebelt.
 
Jan 22, 2001
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Mike and Chris:

Thanks for the information about Charles Cullen and Ann Isham. It's exactly what I was looking for. I have one more question about Ann. Is it known who reported seeing her or some other woman on the deck refusing to leave without her dog and was this reported in any newspapers? I have seen reports of passengers on other ships seeing the body of a woman in the water clinging to a large dog, possibly a Great Dane, but never anything about anyone seeing her on deck. Is there any record of such a dog being aboard?

Carole
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Hi Carole,

Many newspapers of the period mentioned that survivors remembered observing an "older woman" refusing to leave the Titanic without her Great Dane. There is no proof of this since no particular survivor (at least to my knowledge) ever described this incident.

The body of a woman with her arms clasped around a "shaggy dog" does hold up - however there is no record of just who this woman was.

I have a hunch the woman may have been Mary Mack, whose body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett. Unfortunately, records do not indicate anything about her being found with a dog.

There remains the possibility that the group of victims in which the woman who was seen clinging to the dog may never have been recovered by any of the recovery vessels.

Hope this helps.

Mike Findlay
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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I have often wondered if the woman observed was not Elizabeth Rothschild with her Pomeranian. She may have initially refused to leave without the dog until persuaded into boat #6 by her husband. She certainly gave the impression of being fiercely devoted to her pet on the Carpathia. Certainly, I have never seen any report of a great Dane being on board. Airedales were about as large as they got on this particular voyage :)

re George Wright: It has been suggested that Wright was assigned to an E-deck cabin as he was a commercial traveler. If this was the case, then I doubt he slept through the collision. E-deck passengers, whatever class, would have experienced a considerable jolt upon impact, and on the starboard side this would have been further amplified. Hence, it is likely that Wright was alerted to the danger at an early stage if his cabin was situated in that quarter.

Just some thoughts...

Regards
Ben
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Hi Ben,

Good observations.

Elizabeth Rothschild carried her dog into the boat without any notice until the following morning. I highly doubt Lightoller would have permitted this. I also think some of the more vocal survivors who were in boat #6 would have taken notice of this. Of course, it is a possibility since we don't know too much about the Rothschilds on the night of the sinking.

Regarding George Wright - you are probably right. Personally, I do not believe Wright slept through the disaster. I'm sure he was promptly informed of the accident if he didn't learn for himself. Friends recalled he was a heavy sleeper and this added to the possbility that he never awoke from his slumber since his body was never found. Again, a possibility but over 80 first-class men were never found - including many who were seen on the boat deck shortly before the end.

Just my two cents worth...

Best,

Mike Findlay
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Tracy,

Great Danes are not shaggy dogs, that's true. However, it's possible that the breed of dog was incorrectly reported by the newspapers, or perhaps the survivors who remembered this incident didn't know what type of dog it was.

The mystery deepens.....

Mike Findlay
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Mike!

On reflection, the boat #6 woman must have been a highly vocal bunch! I'd imagine Mmes Brown, Candee, Meyer and Smith in particular would have been quick to pass critical comment on the dog's presence in the boat! It's a pity that the Rothschilds were something of an enigma during the voyage. Other than steward Ray, their shipboard acquaintances also remain a mystery. Perhaps they were both of retiring nature.

I believe that many of the elusive single men traveling in first class occupied cabins on E-deck.

Yes I agree - many passengers who remained on deck to the last were not among those recovered later. The Wideners, John Thayer and Clinch Smith spring to mind as examples. On the subject of the recovered bodies of male first class passengers, do you have any thoughts regarding the identity of body #39? I brought this up in a thread last year and with the help of other board members, I was able to narrow this down to four; Harry Widener, Vivian Payne, Benjamin Foreman and Daniel Marvin.

Sorry to divert from the main topic, but any thoughts?

Warm regards
Ben
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Hi Ben,

Yes, the Rothschilds are quite an enigma - at least regarding their Titanic experience. Mrs. Rothschild did not speak to the press about her experiences but bits and pieces of her ordeal trickled down to surviving relatives who have filled in some of the missing gaps. She was devastated by the loss of her husband but found comfort in her religious faith and charity work. A resident of Watkins Glen, NY, still remembers her taking him on many rides in her Packard automobile and giving him quarters to buy ice cream in the summer for him and his friends.

Most of the single men probably did have cabins on E-deck, but then again, some may have been on A deck as well.

Regarding body #39, I must say that I don't know who it might be. The description leaves few details to say for sure. It very well may have been Widener, Payne, Foreman or Marvin, but then again it may have been another passenger altogether. Unfortunately, the body was buried at sea which prevented relatives of these families (who were all in Halifax awaiting news) from making positive identification. We may never know.

Best,

Mike
 

Ben Holme

Member
Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Mike,

Thanks for the information concerning the Rothschilds. There are a number other couples whose on board actions remain a mysery; the Silveys, Spencers, Holversons and Chaffees to name but a few. Perhaps they formed a little coterie!
Would you happen to know what became of Martin Rothschild's leather clothing manufacturing business following his death?

Yes, A-deck was probably a great deal fuller than the cave list would suggest. Dr. Brewe, for example was almost certainly in an outside A-deck cabin.

Regarding body #39. Harry Widener and Daniel Marvin seem like potential candidates as both are dark-haired and near enough to the estimated age. Also, Harry Widener was almost certainly wearing evening dress as the ship was sinking. I have never seen photos of Foreman or Payne so their "claims" are more tenuous.

Best Wishes,

Ben

P.S Sorry to divert wildly from the main topic!
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Hi Ben,

I wish we knew more about the Silveys aboard the Titanic but the others have surfaced from the memories of fellow passengers.

While we don't know much about the Spencers on board, and during the sinking, we know that this was the couple who gave Steward Etches a difficult time when it came to being warned of the danger. They wouldn't open their stateroom door much to the irration of Steward Etches.

Mary Holverson spoke to the press about her experiences but was vague about the journey - just went on to say how they thought it such a lark to be returning on the Titanic's maiden voyage. She spoke about the sinking but left much to desire in terms of what lifeboat she departed in. Some researchers place her in boat #8 but this is speculative.

The Chaffees were part of the group that were waiting near boat #4 for much of the time the boat was being prepared. Mrs. Chaffee left behind a very good account of the sinking which described much of what she and her husband experienced during the voyage. Unfortunately, she does not mention any particular survivor by name (except Mrs. Astor, of course), but then again, it's possible this couple from North Dakota did not form a close bond with any of their fellow passengers.

Regarding Martin Rothschild's clothing manufacturing business, I'm sorry to say that I don't know what became of it although the building is still standing here in Manhattan. I believe he had a business partner who probably assumed full control after Martin's death on the Titanic.

I will try to find out more information about this for you.

Regards,

Mike Findlay
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Mike,

Thankyou for your offer to find out more information regarding Martin Rothschild. Most appreciated!

I forgot to mention that the Spencers' actions were not entirely mysterious. Etches even gives a physical descriprion of the couple, which is useful. Personally, I think they must have realised the serious nature of the collision shortly after Etches' knocking and boarded boat #6. I would place them on this boat because, otherwise, there would be simply too few people to occupy the boat, based on the photo taken from the Carpathia. Regarding their acquaintances. It seems likely that William Spencer "compared notes" with Harry Widener during the voyage as both were bibliophiles.

Regarding Mary Holverson. It's a shame she gave little indication as to any shipboard acquaintances she may have made on board. No doubt both would have recognised a few familiar names or faces, being residents of New York city. This may sound strange but I would place Mary Holverson in boat #8 (or at least an early port side boat) based on Alexander's body description. He appeared to have stashed a great deal into his pockets during thr sinking. Those in the immediate locality of boat #8 appeared to be among the most aware of the ship in the distance. Alex H. may have noticed this and/or overheard the captain's orders about landing passengers etc and then returned below to get together as much possesions as he could, ready for a possible transfer to the other ship which, tragically, never arrived. To further my point, Gracie alerted Astor to the distant ship at boat #4. This could account for the large amount of money found on his body later.
But as I often do, I digress:)

It's highyly possible that the Chaffees, Rothschilds and Silveys kept themselves to themselves during the trip. The first two are potential candidates for the Fr. Browne photo, in my opinion.

Finally, we ought to add John and Florence Cumings to our list of elusive couples in first class. Also, George Rosenshine and Maybelle Thorne.

Warmest regards
Ben
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Mike & others,

Do we know which stewards/stewardesses were assigned to A Deck staterooms apart from Wareham, who attended to Edith Russell, and Mrs. Stap, who supposedly looked after Lady Duff Gordon?

Or were the assignments based on a different system? For instance Sarah Stap claimed to have looked after Mrs. Astor as well who was on B or C Deck? I'm thinking this was perhaps because Stap had more experience dealing with well-known ladies and so came highly recommended?

If it was Mrs. Stap to whom Lady Duff Gordon referred so glowingly in her book, then this woman was a real delight and so one can well imagine her being in demand among the ladies in first class.

Randy
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Randy,

I'm guessing/hoping your still lurking!!

Steward Etches was in charge of cabins A-36 and A-37 occupied by Thomas Andrews and Fr. Francis Browne respectively.

Hope this helps

Reagrds
Ben
 

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