Third Officer Herbert John Pitman


Does anyone have any information about the immediate family of this crew member. According to the records, he was born and buried in Somerset which is where my family are from. Apparently he was not married at the time of the titanic, but does anyone have any knowledge and names of any brothers / sisters / children?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Mark Pitman
Mark - I have just added the below to Mr. Pitmans main entry.
I hope it helps?
Cheer Brian

PITMAN, HERBERT JOHN. Saved in Lifeboat number 5. Lived at Castle Cary, Somerset. Occupation - 3rd Officer. Died 3, February 1961 aged 84. 34 years old. (Born in Somerset). Ship before the Titanic was the RMS Oceanic.

Marconigram sent on 17th April 1912 to: W. Taylor, Castle Cary, Somerset.
''Safe. - Bert''.

(From The Castle Carey Visitor April, 1912)
The loss of the Titanic has been keenly felt in Castle Cary: as apart from its being a National Disaster, there were a number of Caryites on board. Mr. Sam Herman, for many years a butcher in the town, and for some years proprietor of the Britannia Hotel, and who had lately resided at Smallways, with his wife and two daughters were among the passengers: having just left Cary to join a brother of Mrs. Herman's in the States.
A lad named George Sweet, only 15 years of age, who worked with Mr. Herman, was also with them and although news arrived of the safety of Mrs. and the Misses Herman, it is almost certain that Mr. Herman and George Sweet perished with the ill-fated vessel. Great sympathy is felt for Mr. and Mrs. Sweet the parents of the lad.
Another Caryite was Mr. H. J. Pitman, brother of Mrs. W. Taylor, and a very anxious time was spent by Mrs. Taylor and her friends, till the news of Mr. Pitman's safety came to hand. Mr. Pitman, who was born at Sutton Montis, and is 34 years of age, was third officer on the ill-fated liner; and has spent some sixteen years in the mercantile marine. Prior to joining the White Star Company's Service, four years ago he served in the Blue Anchor Line. He left Castle Cary a month ago after a short holiday to take up his appointment on the Titanic. Previously he had occupied the position of third officer on the Oceanic. He is at present being detained in New York to give evidence. Feeling reference were made at all the places of worship in the town on the Sunday following the disaster, the Dead March being played in the Parish Church in the morning. Mrs. Taylor has been collecting for the Daily Mirror Fund, and the Misses L. and M. Payne for the Daily Telegraph Relief Fund - the total amount being £20.

(Appeared as witness number 45. at the British Titanic Enquiry on the 13th day, questions 14911 - 15304, pages 325 - 333 recalled on the 14th day, questions 17018 - 17040 page 379).

(From The Bridgwater Mercury, 20th April, 1912).
West Country People In The Titanic
Castle Cary
The third officer was Mr. H. J. Pitman of Castle Cary, who was reported yesterday (Thursday) to be amongst the officers saved, having presumably been in charge of one of the boats containing the women.

(From The Brighton Argus, 24 April, 1912).
Mr. Pitman, the third officer, who confirmed the statement that only two boats were lowered at the Board of Trade inspection.
He did not see any ice before the disaster, but knew a wireless warning had been received. After the receipt of the warning a special look out was ordered. After the collision he met Mr. Ismay, who told him to get the women and children into the boats and assisted him in doing so. Witness left the ''Titanic'' in a boat containing 40 people although it would have held 60.
When the ship disappeared, he heard cries of distress and ordered the men to row in that direction. Passengers demurred, however, and he yielded to their importunities. The cries continued for an hour.
The witness, who appeared distressed, gave no further explanation as to not going to the rescue of the drowning people. He bore out Mr. Boxhall's statement regarding a strange vessel which declined to answer the ''Titanic'' signals.

(From The Bristol Times and Mirror, April 27th, 1912).
Titanic's Third Officer an Old Merchant Venturer
Mr. H. J. Pitman, third officer on the Titanic, who was one of the four officers saved from the wreck is an West Countryman, being born at Castle Cary, in Somerset. His age is 34, and he received the shore part of his nautical training in the navigation department of the Merchant Venturers' Technical College, under Mr. E. F. White, passing in May 1900 his examination as second mate, in June 1902 the examination as first mate, and qualifying as master mariner in August 1906.

(From page 226 of The Night Lives On).
Third Officer Pitman decided his eyes weren't good enough for a deck officer, and shifted to the Purser's Section, and spent the rest of his seagoing days shuffling paper.

(Newscutting Daily Telegraph, 18th December 1961).
Death notice. Herbert John Pitman. At Pitcombe, Bruton, Somerset, aged 84. A survivor of the Titanic disaster; was third officer on the liner, which sank in the Atlantic in 1912 after striking an iceberg on her maiden voyage.
Pitman, Herbert John. Third Officer. Buried in the Parish Church, Pitcombe, Somerset. The Inscription reads In Love We Remember. Herbert John Pitman M.B.E. 1877-1961. Merchant Navy 1895-1947 Rest In Peace. 3rd Officer S.S. Titanic 1912.

(April 20th 1991 newscutting).
1912 Disaster Recalled.
Titanic mementoes are sold
The Personal possessions of a Castle Cary man who was one of four officers to survive the sinking of the Titanic were the most interesting lots at a recent London auction.
The sale by Onslows was held on the 79th anniversary of the disaster.
The items belonging to Herbert John Pitman, Third Officer on the ill-fated liner, included an inscribed brass Thunderer whistle, which was expected to fetch between £700 and £1,000 and sold for £3,410.
The total value of Mr. Pitman's collection alone was £12,474 - more than twice the estimated value of all the lots in the special Titanic auction.
There was also a telegram sent from the rescue ship the Carpathia, which said simply: ''Safe - Bert.'' This remains in the family for it was bought by a great nephew, Mr. Andrew Pitman, who lives in Kent, for £250.
Mr. Pitman, who was 34 at the time and died in the late 1950s left his collection to a relative.
Other items in his personal collection, all of which sold well above the estimates, included photographs - the one above made £1,210 - studies of the Titanic collapsibles and lifeboats, pictures of icebergs and rescue ships and the interior of the liner, a souvenir film programme, books, magazines and related ephemera.
Mr. Pitman died in 1961 and is buried in the Parish Church Cemetery, Pitcombe, Somerset.
On April 17th 1998 at Onslows Auction, at the Hilton National Hotel, Southampton the following lot sold for: Lot 73 for £280.
Herbert J. Pitman Third Officer on the Titanic, his warrant certificate of member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) dated June 1946, with accompanying letter dated 13th March 1948, both in original envelope, and programme and invitation card to Dedication and Unveiling of Submarine Service, Royal Naval, Airborne and Special Air Service Memorial Westminster Abbey, May 1948 with related press cutting (6).

MBE awarded March 1946.
Purser SS Mataroa of the Shaw, Savill and Albion Company Ltd.
Awarded for long and meritorious service at sea and in dangerous waters during the war. He served as a Purser for the company for 20 years, transporting large numbers of troops during World War 2. At all times he proved conscientious and capable, giving loyal and devoted service.
His father was Henry Pitman. He had a brother, William Henry Pitman
His sea career in chronological order...
Served with James Nourse Ltd. 4 years as an apprentice, 5 as a deck officer.
Served Blue Anchor Line (U.K. to Australia) for one year as a deck officer.
While employed with Blue Anchor he obtained his Masters Certificate.
Served with he Shire Line (U.K. to Japan) for 6 months as a deck officer.
Served with White Star 5 years prior to joining Titanic.
His ship just before Titanic was Oceanic.
Sometime after the sinking he married Mimi Kalman. She pre-deceased him
some time before he died.
He died of a Subarachnoid haemorrhage.
In April 1998 at Sothebys Auction in London Several Lots pertaining to Third Officer Herbert J. Pitman were sold.
Lot 261A his group of medals made £4,370.
Lot 261B a manuscript detailing his experiences - did not reach reserve.
261C A silver cigarette case believed to have been given to Mr. Pitman by the Goldbergs - fellow survivors in lifeboats number 5 - made £920.
261D A typed transcript of Herbert Pitman's account of the disaster for use at the Board of trade enquiry made £460.
261G A collection of telegrams, letters, postcards and newspaper relating to Herbert Pitman and the Titanic disaster made £1,265.

(From The Shepton Mallet Journal (2/3/00))
Rediscovered postcard strengthens link between town and Titanic
Castle Cary's connection with the world's most famous shipping disaster has been strengthened still further. This is because a New Forest pensioner has discovered a postcard found on the ship, which was to be sent to the wife of a local butcher.
Ronald Baldwin, aged 89, first came across the card in the 1930s, when he bought a pile of books for a shilling. Among them was a mysterious postcard from the doomed ship he had found amongst them. Simply signed Bert, it had puzzled him down the decades, so he decided at last to root it out from an old shoe box and identify the writer from among the 2,200 people who set sail on the ship from Southampton in April 1912. The postcard was addressed to Mrs W H Taylor, Castle Cary, so Mr Baldwin travelled from his home in the New Forest to the town's library to search through 1912 copies of the local newspaper. He eventually discovered that Mrs Taylor was born Ida Mary Pitman - sister to Titanic third officer Herbert John Pitman, who lived in the town and is buried at nearby Pitcombe. He checked the handwriting with the British Titanic Society, which confirmed it was identical to Pitman's copper-plate style.
Now the historic postcard, bearing a close-up of the Titanic nearing completion in Belfast, is expected to sell for \'a32,000 when it is auctioned by Wiltshire firm Henry Aldridge and Son at the society's annual convention in Southampton on April 14.
Mr Baldwin said: "I am fascinated by Sherlock Holmes, which prompted me to put on my deerstalker and go on the trail of Bert all those years later. Actually, there was a whole postcard album among the bundle of books. It must have belonged to Mrs Taylor because there were lots addressed to her in Castle Cary. But I was not interested in postcards and the album has long since disappeared. I just kept a few that were to do with the Titanic and forgot about them for decades."
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: "If only he had kept the whole album - it would probably be worth a fortune.'

Inger Sheil

Hallo Mark -

Jemma Hyder and I have some genealogical (including family) and career data for Pitman - I'll see if I can dig it up for you.

(Thanks for posting all that, Brian!).
Hi mark pitman this may sound silly i was looking at the Antiques Roadshow and low and be hold a lady had a black and white photo of 4 members from the Titanic
names where
Charles Lightoller
Harold Lowe Joseph Boxhall
Herbert John Pitman have a look at it hope this helps you please let me know if that has helped you in anyway regards paul put this into youtube and watch it
Antiques Roadshow Bowood House skip till you come to 52.10