The Elderly Couple Photo On Aft A Deck


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Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Perhaps she's a ghost?
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Cheers

Paul

 
Mar 20, 2007
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There is not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that here we see Frank and Anna Warren of Portland, Oregon. Having studied the photographs supplied on their ET biography pages, I've concluded that the physical similarities are too striking to be coincidental. Furthermore, this pair are obviously in their late fifties or early sixties, just as the Warrens were at the time the 'Titanic' sailed. As they boarded at Cherbourg on the evening of 10th April, and as Father Browne took this photograph en route to Queenstown early the next day, the evidence seems to me to be overwhelming and conclusive.

I find it amusing that some board-members have speculated that the couple are interlopers from second-class - an argument that seems to be based on Mrs Warren's rather unexciting choice of costume! Yet, as I've pointed out on another thread, no Edwardian lady (no matter how wealthy or fashionable) would have sported Parisian couture for an exposed and windy walk on deck! The ensemble we see in this photograph - thick overcoat, scarf and hat - was in fact eminently practical for the time and place.
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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I won't be as emphatic as you, Martin, but it would be quite a coincidence for the strollers to both bear striking resemblances to a married couple on the ship. The man's face doesn't have the sternness of the photo on Mr W's ET page but that's just a matter of expression. If it is Mr. Warren, he'd trimmed his beard since the bio page photo, which was also an improvement. The woman has a warm face, very similar to Mrs. Warren's. One thing that leaves a question mark for me is that the woman appears to have very dark hair, whereas Mrs. Warren was gray-haired.
 
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sashka pozzetti

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I love a puzzle. I think the woman could be Mrs Warren, but on the bio page it looks like she has a dimpled chin that is not in the ship photo. Mr warren looks a bit different to me, as his eye sockets are quite angled. Are there other pictures of them somewhere?
 
Mar 20, 2007
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Yes but...I've seen countless casual photographs of even my closest friends looking nothing LIKE themselves! The fleeting expressions people wear when 'papped' (as the Warrens were by Father Browne) bear little or no resemblance to those assumed for formal portraits (such as those featured on the ET biography pages).

Beards can be closely trimmed or allowed to go wild. William T. Stead - who has also been named as a candidate for the gentleman in this picture - experimented with both styles. A portrait of him with a flowing, Karl Marx-like configuration of facial hair has little similarity to a portrait of him with a natty goatee. As for the question of variation in colour...personally, I'm more than happy to attribute this to the natural light and the fact that the photograph is obviously in black-and-white. Or maybe Anna Warren was in fact DYEING her hair in the spring of 1912?

Say what you like - the 'mystery couple' are mysterious no longer. Say hello to Mr and Mrs Warren!
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Martin,

My money is still on R. W. Smith and Mrs. Nichols. As per Craig Stringer's post above:

>>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.

There is also mention of them in the correspondence between Browne and some other fellow cross channel passengers.

The woman looks too young to be Mrs. Warren. Also, the hair on the photo is far too dark to be any shade of grey - the man next to her has a grey-ish beard and it has clearly turned out that way on the photo.

Regards,

Daniel.
 
Mar 20, 2007
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Since we'll never actually know for sure, we can only speculate. I'm frankly astonished that the opinions given above vary so widely and, indeed, so wildly. I have absolutely no trouble in believing that this lady is in late (very late) middle age...yet, back in 2004, Donald wrote that 'the lady is not 40 and the gentleman is not 60'!

Does Mrs Warren in fact have white hair in the 'kit-kat' portrait supplied on her ET biography page? Admittedly, she does seem to have greyed significantly around the sides but she is still very dark on top! And I feel we could safely attribute the very appearance of grey hair to a studio spot-light.

As a matter of interest: have you ever seen a photograph of Mr Smith or Mrs Nichols?
 
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sashka pozzetti

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Any views on what looks like a cleft in her chin on the ET profile?

The photograph is a bit odd. They dont quite look right, as they both seem to be walking forward, but would hit each other if they did.
 
Mar 20, 2007
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There is nothing 'odd' about this picture at all - it is merely a snapshot. The couple could be turning towards one another...walking away...about to jump overboard...we'll never know! The movement of one split second can look very strange when isolated and captured on film. Have you ever seen photographs of people dancing?

I'd agree that, in her portrait, Mrs Warren does appear to have a pronounced dimple in her chin. But are you sure this lady doesn't? The scanned image above is very small. I have a copy of Father Browne's 'Titanic' album at home, featuring a much clearer version of this picture - I'll need to study it closely when I next return home! I'll say it again, I wouldn't set too much store by the shape of Mr Warren's beard, since that would naturally have changed from week to week.

The fact that the couple so obviously occupy the same space suggests strongly that they are a couple - or acquainted, at the very least.
 
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sashka pozzetti

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I would definitely agree that the couple seem to be acquainted. it would be great if there was a bigger clearer version of all the pictures.

I don't agree that the picture isn't a bit odd. There is no one else in view (is there more of this picture) but they are walking straight into each others paths. It might be that they are pretending to walk though, as part of the composition that Father Browne wanted, as both have their feet more or less on the ground. Just a suggestion.

I presume that asking if I have seen pictures of people dancing is a rhetorical question! ?

I am unsure about Mr Warren, the man in the only picture I can see has hollowed cheeks and looks rather thin with a scrawny neck, unfortunately I don't know when it was taken, so it could be him having plumped up a bit.

It would be interesting to see pictures of the other couple suggested above. We could have an ET line up of suspects! :)
 
Mar 20, 2007
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I don't see what you mean by 'odd'. They are simply standing! The Warrens wouldn't have 'pretended' to walk purely for the benefit of Father Browne and his camera (although this theory would be entirely plausible if they were being filmed...)

Mr Warren, gazing astern, is less aware of the camera than his wife, who is looking straight into the lense. You missed my point about the dancing. As I keep saying, a gesture might LOOK peculiar when isolated and captured for prosterity but that doesn't mean the couple here were about to turn cartwheels!
 
S

sashka pozzetti

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Are we looking at the same picture? :)

The man's rear foot is raised at the heel, and the woman's feet are one in front of each other. Just try standing like that If you don't agree, that's fine, it just that it seems so obvious to me. Anyway it isn't relevant to identification.

The reason I asked about the dancing, is because of course I have seen pictures of people dancing, who hasn't? (well with obvious exceptions such as the blind!)

I hope someone has some pictures of these other two. I tried googling and came up with nothing.
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Richard Wiliam Smith and Mrs. Nichols have retained my vote as a the leading candidates for the A-deck "couple".

I first considered the Warrens as early as 2000 (have I been here that long?!), but upon inspection of a much clearer photograph of Frank, courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society, I'm now inclined to rule them out. Mrs. Warren, too, seems quite a misfit for the evidently younger women in Browne's photo. Stead is an option, but only just; only if he lost a fair bit of weight and face-furniture.

Most others, including the camera-shy Silveys and Spencers (not Mrs), can be ruled out pretty conclusively through pictorial evidence, although I still haven't seen any portraits of Martin Rothschild or Emil Taussig.

All the best,
Ben
 
Mar 20, 2007
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'The man's rear foot is raised at the heel, and the woman's feet are one in front of each other. Just try standing like that If you don't agree, that's fine, it just that it seems so obvious to me. Anyway it isn't relevant to identification.'

Alright, so maybe they ARE in movement...I suspect that they have just walked arm-in-arm along the enclosed promenade and have now emerged onto the open space at the tail-end of A-deck. There they separated and Mrs Warren (for I still maintain that it is she!) turned to look over the port side. Mr Warren, gazing aft, is simulating indifference to the presence of Father Browne and his camera as he prepares to walk to the rail to survey the well-deck and poop. Mrs Warren, turning back, is surprised by Father Browne and looks somewhat quizically into the lenses...

Oh, this is all conjecture and speculation! If Ben has seen another, and better, photograph of Frank Warren than the one supplied on his profile page, then he is in a much better position to comment, one way or another, than I. But, to me, the similarities to BOTH Warrens are very striking. I realise it is all in the eye of the beholder - but IS this lady really so young?
 
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