Stuart Collett

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Brandon Whited

Monsterous fish coming near the lifeboats is something entirely new to me, too.

That was a very fascinating bit of information, George. I have an interest in sea serpents and cryptozoology, and I love hearing about sightings like that. Where did you hear about Rostron's sighting?

George Behe

Hi, Brandon!

It's mentioned in Rostron's autobiography. Our hero was an officer on board the Campania when the vessel passed within fifty feet of a large, unknown marine animal; its neck rose eight or nine feet out of the water and was a foot thick at its base, while the animal's head kept turning back and forth as it surveyed its immediate surroundings. Rostron was so amazed by this unexpected sight that he exclaimed to a fellow officer, "It's alive!"

(Yes, the sea still has a few mysteries for us to solve. . .) :)

Brandon, have you read Heuvelmans' seminal work on unknown marine animals? Also, are you a member of the ISC? (I used to be a member but let my membership lapse a few years ago.)

All my best,


Brandon Whited

Hey George,

Thanks for the information. What Rostron saw sounds like your stereotypical sea serpent. No, I'm afraid I haven't read that. The I.S.C. sounds really great, but as of now I'm not a member. I've just had this fixation with unknown creatures of the deep, especially lake monsters, since I saw a special on the Discovery Channel a few years back called Loch Ness Discovered; you might have saw it, too.

Arne Mjåland

Some time ago I wrote about this remarkable survivor on this board.
Auburn Daily Advertiser har long articles him 19 20 and 24 April 1912 about him in addition to the one I mentioned.
According to the article of April 19 Sidney left Carpathia in New York to meet his parents in Port Byron.
Also his brother Thomas, student at Syracuse University went to see him.
According to the article April 20 Sidney got into the lifeboat because he said: "I am in charge of those two ladies".
In the newspaper article April 24 it is announced that Sidney was going to preach in Auburn May 4, a sermon which would be based on the ships disaster. Sidney would preach only on condition if that if any collection was to be taken, it would be for the benefit of the Titanic survivors. But his friends insistetd that he should share in the collection taken, because he had lost his money, his library, which contained many religious works collected during his lifetime as an evengelist.
I am wondering why not anybody had written a book about Sidney, who started to preach in London streets from he was 12 years old.
The Colletts are linked with the nobility of England. The family coat of arms bears the motto of hope . Sir Richard Collett was an uncle og the Port Byron clergyman. (Sidneys father) In the reign of Edward VI a Collett was twice Lord Mayor of London.

David Ross

*bump* Does anyone know if this is the same Sidney Collett who wrote "All About the Bible" and other books on Christianity? My copy of "All About the Bible" is undated, but must have been published some time between 1904 and 1936.
Brian J. Ticehurst

Brian J. Ticehurst

David - I dont know the answer to that question but the following might help you:

COLLETT, MR. STUART. Saved in Lifeboat number 9. Booking Agent:- Mr. Boulton, Upper Holloway, Road, London, N. UK.
Died 8th May 1941. Is buried in the cemetery at Hendon, London. There is no known stone.
(Death Notice from The Times May 10th 1941)
Collett. - On May 6, 1941. Sidney Collett beloved husband of Ruth Collett passed peacefully away. Memorial service at Talbot Tabernacle. Bayswater. London. May 13 at 2.30. Interment Hendon Cemetery at 3.30. (Foreign papers, please copy).
(From The Emergency and Relief booklet by the American Red Cross, 1913).
No. 81 (English). Theological student, 25 years of age, coming to finish his studies, lost his books and baggage and suffered from exposure. He is obliged to work his way through school. ($300).
Marconigram sent 18th April 1912 to: Boultons, Upper Holloway, London. ''Inform friends safe Carpathia, arrange Baggage insurance. - Collett.''
Marconigram sent 18th April 1912 to: Collett, Baptist Parsonage, Port Byron New York. ''Safe Carpathia. - Sidney''.
Marconigram sent 18th April 1912 to: Cook, William Jewell College Liberty, Missouri. ''Safe Carpathia. - Collett.''
(From The Reading Observer, 20th April, 1912, page 5).
Inquiries made at the local shipping offices by a Reading Observer' representative elicited the fact that there were no Reading people among the passengers. Several local residents had friends and relatives on board. Mr. Stuart Collett, nephew of Mrs. Thomas Huntley, of London Road, Reading, was travelling by the ill-fated vessel to join his parents at Port Byron. Miss Marion Wright, daughter of Mr. Wright, of Yeovil, who formerly lived in College Road, Reading, was on her way to New York to be married.
The names of Miss Marion Wright and Mr. Stuart Collett appear in the list of survivors.
(From Guernsey Evening Press, April/May 1912)
Boy Preacher from Cobo, Guernsey.
Uncle Mr. D. Nicolle, Gele, of Castel, Guernsey.
Going to c/o M. E. Collett, Port Byron, New York, USA.
Booking Agent Mr. Boulton, Upper Holloway Road, London.
Mr. Stuart Collett.
Mr. Stuart Collett, the Boy Preacher who conducted a mission at Cobo some time ago, was among the survivors. A telegram announcing his safety was received by his uncle in London, and copy of it was transmitted to Mr. D. Nicolle, Gele, Castel, Guernsey.
16th April 1912.
(From The East Kent Gazette, Saturday May 4th, 1912).
A reference to Miss Buss is made in the Toronto Daily Star of April 20th, as the following extract will show:-
''Special to the 'Star' by a staff reporter - New York, April 20th - What happened at the regular Sunday service on board the Titanic on the day of the ship's doom? Many have asked that question, but the answer is only now being supplied, and the man who tell of it is a young theological student by the name of Stuart Collett, from North London. On the fateful day he assisted the Rev. Mr. Carter, also of London, in a hymnal and prayer service on the Titanic. At this service Miss Wright played the piano and sang three solos, which were ''There is a Green Hill far away'', ''For Those in Peril on the Sea'' and ''Lead, Kindly Light'', after which the Rev. Carter prayed.
There were 35 at the service, and after the prayer they sang ''Now the Day is Ended''. Shortly after they felt the crash of the ship against the berg and scrambled to the decks to find the crew manning the lifeboats.
''Young Collett, said he assisted Miss Wright and Miss Buss to the lifeboat and after explaining to the crew about to man it that the young women had been entrusted to his care, he was allowed to enter the lifeboat with them.
''When Collett met his brother here the first thing he did was to take a small Oxford bible from his pocket and hand it to his brother. It was given to him by his brother when they last parted, with the admonition that he hand it back next time they met.

David Ross

I've since found out that "All About The Bible" was first published in the UK in 1905 under the title "The Scripture of Truth." But I still haven't been able to determine whether this author was the same person as the Titanic survivor.

steve collett

My name is Steve Collett, and I've just joined the group today.
With the absence of a great deal of family history, I searched the web and found out about Sidney Collett on the Titanic.
I find it quite a coincidence that my father, Harry Clifford Collett, came from the same area of London (Islington), and shared the same birthday - 8th January (although it was 33 years later, 1920).
If anyone knows more, please feel free to post, thanks!


I was a neighbor of his brother, Thomas Collett of Parsifal Place, Bronx, New York and heard stories of Sidney and viewed a piece of his life vest from the Titanic. I would appreciate any information that you could provide about his death in l941. Was it war related?