I've wondered about this as well. I believe the Strauses have been outruled; I think it may be the Crosbys.
Speaking of passengers whose photographs were taken onboard, I just recently found out that the man we see standing in front of the gymnasium door on the boat deck is American writer Jacques Futrelle. He is listed in Robert Ballard's book as an "unknown" passenger. He is named, however, in Leo Marriott's "Titanic."
I sometimes wonder who else we see in the photographs taken onboard the Titanic during her voyage; especially the Fr. Browne photo showing lunch in the dining salon on 11 April. Has anyone identified anyone in that photo; I'm aware it's very distorted?
Check out the Fr. Browne photo of an elderly couple thread in the "Archive: Passengers and crew" forum. It was a very interesting discussion and Senan Molony's suggestion of Dr. Arthur Jackson Brewe had the most merit, IMO, although I'm still trying to find a picture of Richard William Smith who was travelling with Mrs. Nichols. Still not sure about the woman...
I don't think they were the Strauses - the A-deck couple (especially the woman) are younger. The same applies to the Crosbys. Capt. Edward did not have a beard, and Catherine was considerably older than the A-deck woman.
That's what I said as well! I personally think that the man and lady are R. W. Smith and the Mrs. Nichols! However I don't have photos of either of them, so I might be wrong and would love to be proven right or wrong, so that we can either put and end to this, or rule out a further 2 passengers.
Frank Browne was acquainted with R. W. Smith and with Mrs. Nichols, and so were the Odells. According to info I have from Craig Stringer, Smith and Nichols were traveling together as far as Queenstown, where Nichols would get off and Smith would sail on. So it's not unlikely that the couple *might* be them - which is my opinion anyway.
PS. I’m very surprised that with all the research gone into those that were on the Titanic that night, so little effort has been put into the cross channel passengers! Although some of the Cherbourg bound passengers are more mysterious than Mrs. Nichols, it was only recently that I found out that “Mr. Nichols” was actually a “Mrs.” How this mistake came about I don’t know, as even on the BOT boarding lists for Southampton she is still listed as a “Mr.”
Actually, I seem to recall it was your suggestion that originally got me thinking along those lines! although I can't remember where I read that Smith and Nichols were travelling companions - may have been Craig's post.
I'd be interested to know your source for their acquaintance with Brown and the Odells?
Unfortunately, it appears that Smith was not at all prominent in Streatham or the South London region as there appears to be no record of him in the contemporary local papers (either that or I didn't look hard enough!), and I didn't find a birth certificate! I did happen to notice however, that several "Nicholls" are buried in the local churchyards there.
I, too am surprised that relatively little research has been conducted in regards cross-channel passengers - and it's not a short list! The couple could easily be two of the lesser-known cross-channel passengers. I say this, because there are very few "full journey" passengers that have not already been ruled out!
On the subject of Fr. Browne's photos, I am attempting to put a few names to faces in the "Waterloo" photograph in which William Waldorf Astor can be seen sporting a bowler hat. Any thoughts on this one?
I'd love to put names to the faces standing in the background, such as the man doing something with his camera and others standing around him. Some of these people may well have been seeing passengers off, so putting names to their faces would be almost impossible. At the moment I have no suggestions for any of these people.
As for the acquaintance of all these people, this was pointed out to me by Craig, look on pg.106 of the Fr. Browne photo book, in the letter from Mrs. L. Odell, April 20, 1912:
"We have wondered so much whether the gentleman friend of the lady who came ashore with us at Queenstown is saved, as we do not know his name."
The saddest thing is that these letters have been lost in a fire. I had written to E. E. O'Donnell asking about the letters, and in his reply he informed me that these letters have been lost in a fire. He was away that night. The loss of the letters pales in comparison that the gentleman next door lost his life.
I don't think that the photo could be of anyone Cherbourg bound. If I'm correct the photo was taken in the morning of April 11, 1912, after which the only stop was Queenstown where Browne disembarked.
Another tidbit from Craig, although he originally believed the correct spelling may have been "Nicholls" it was actually "Nichols" so the cross channel list does have it correctly. Anyway, Craig knows the details so much more than I do, he's done some research into this.
Thanks for the additional information and references on Mrs. Nicholls and her acquaintances.
I have only very vague suggestions for the W.W. Astor photo, one being Capt. Crosby for the old man in the central foreground (his clothes/hair/posture are similar to the man in the Spedden/spinning top photo). I hadn't realised that the gentleman with the dark moustache was adjusting his camera!
Good point about the Cherbourg bound passengers. This narrows down the number of potential candidates quite considerably.
I'd be interested to know if any of these Cherbourg/Queenstown passengers ever wrote an account of their breif voyage. Perhaps even Mrs. Nicholls recorded her experiences?
This again comes from Craig. From some newspaper account that he found mentioning Mrs. Nichols and her trip on the Titanic, it says she had written a (detailed?) letter to her mother. So something "might" be somewhere, unless it has fallen victim to the ravages of time. I'd love to know of any other accounts (other than Fr. Browne) that might have been written by the cross channel passengers. I know that the little Lenox-Conyngham girl did write a letter (on Titanic) and an account in later life, which can both be found in the Titanic Voices book.
I have only just discovered this thread, and so join late in the day. Daniel has told you much about Mrs Nichols. I still have not managed to trace the letter she wrote home, that was mentioned, without details, in the local papers. Mrs Nichols, Emily, came from Retford in Nottinghamshire, and married Frederick John Nichols. She was acquainted with the family of Richard Smith, and he was accompanying her as far as Queenstown, where I understand Emily was to join her husband.
I have done some delving into the cross-channel passengers, uncovering quite a bit about them, although some are still just surnames on a list.
Anyway, hope the extra details are of interest.
I thought I would pick up on Ben's point about how many cross-channel passengers left accounts. From my own research I have found that very few left any detailed memories of the Titanic. In 1912 only a few, some four or five, were mentioned in local papers, and then without speaking to them.
I understand that Lily Odell left some momentoes, which she gave to a niece in 1957. One of the other cross-channel passengers did have some poor quality photo's taken on the ship, but they have been lost in the intervening years.
One passenger I have a name for is Mr Henry Swaffin Walten, apparently an American in Europe on business. Years ago I found a reference to him, but have since mislaid it. Perhaps someone out there has the same information and can confirm it?
The thing about this photo that is most impressive is that its a double exposure. Faintly visible are the wicker chairs of Charlotte Cardeza's promanade, and a tableful of flowers. Is there any computer technology that could develop that ghostly double exposure?
Here's another Titanic photo mystery that I think might have been solved by Father Browne. The mystery photo -- of a man walking aft along A-Deck promenade while Titanic was leaving Southampton -- has often been identified as Capt. Smith. It is highly unlikely that the Capt. would not be on the bridge at this time. Another photo that Browne took clears this up for me. There's a photo of a man standing at the extreme forward part of A-Deck promenade chatting with other passengers. The man is wearing the same dark overcoat and lid hat that appear in the mystery picture. The man in the second photo is identified by Browne as Maj. Archibald Butt. So I am of the belief that the mystery figure is in fact Maj. Butt. After having his chat forward, he is moving aft. You can almost imagine him deep in thought, tormented about the feud between is good friends President Taft and future President Wilson.