The storekeeper with Hemming


Arun Vajpey

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Some 6 or 7 minutes after the Titanic collided with the iceberg, Lamp Trimmer Samuel Hemming was woken on his bunk bear the bow by a loud hissing noise. Going forward towards the forecastle to investigate, he was met and accompanied by one of the storekeepers billeted on E-deck. The men discovered that the hissing noise was due to rapid displacement of air through the space holding the anchor chain, which in turn occurred due to the forepeak tank rapidly filling with water. The men reported this to Chief Officer Wilde as he came by moments later.

But who was the storekeeper who accompanied Hemming? Many Titanic accounts (including my favourite On A Sea Of Glass) identify him as young Frank Prentice and yet Prentice, who survived to give many interviews over the years, never appears to have mentioned this particular incident. Hemming also survived but I do not know if he ever mentioned who was with him during that inspection.

On ET here, the storekeeper with Hemming at the time is conjectured to be John Foley. He too survived the sinking but I do not know of any interviews later.

Can anyone throw some light on this?
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Thank you. At 46, John Foley was twice as old as the 23-year old Prentice. I am sure that Hemming and probably Haines would have remembered the storekeeper with them even if they did not know his name at the time. I wonder if either of them had a chance to discuss that incident later.

>>>>>>>Boatwain Haines was there too<<<<<<< I had missed that detail before and looked Haines up after your post. It says on ET that Albert Haines was "standing under the forecastle deck" when the Titanic struck the icerberg. He appears to have heard but not seen the berg from his position.

I wonder if the man on the forecastle deck at the time of the collision in Cameron's film is supposed to be Haines. If so, he is shown in a position a deck higher than where he actually was.
 
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