Titanic Tall Tales


Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,592
979
388
65
Too much whisky was probably how his story about the surviving the Titanic and being a British spy all started !
My, my! That from a Scotsman! ;)

While we are on the subject, what's your favourite brand out of interest? I know Jim likes Highland Park.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Seumas

Member
Mar 25, 2019
720
401
108
Glasgow, Scotland
My, my! That from a Scotsman! ;)

While we are on the subject, what's your favourite brand out of interest? I know Jim likes Highland Park.
I hate to be a let down but I'm actually a non-drinker, Irn-Bru is my tipple.

My Gran has told me about her uncle, a Liverpool Irishman, who swore that the best cure for insomnia was "five woodbines and a large glass of The Famous Grouse before bed". Oh dear :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Nov 14, 2005
2,307
1,201
308
Aye, it was obviously made up to grab the readers attention.

I'd like to know who it was that said it because I've defiantly read this somewhere before I just can't remember the name, I'm pretty sure it was by a male passenger.

There are two fake survivors I'd love to find out more about .....
Aye, it was obviously made up to grab the readers attention.

I'd like to know who it was that said it because I've defiantly read this somewhere before I just can't remember the name, I'm pretty sure it was by a male passenger.

There are two fake survivors I'd love to find out more about .....

Samuel Harper: Claimed to have drank a bottle of whisky and swam to safety. Also claimed to be a confidante of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and an agent of the British secret service. It is a fact that ACD was friends with a lot of "odd" people to say the least !

Professor Glenthorne: Listed in Oxford newspapers as having been a pianist with the ships orchestra. I do wonder if this was actually a prank by students at Oxford University pulled on one of their "dons" ?
I've never heard of any long guns being on Titanic. Not doubting your post. So much was made up. If you or anybody find that article would be interesting to see. I guess it's possible some of the passengers might have had a hunting rifle or shotgun in their baggage but never seen any of the insurance claims mention any. If the crew had rifles that would of been reported by many. Probably a reporter just inserted that into the story.

Samuel Harper: Claimed to have drank a bottle of whisky and swam to safety. Also claimed to be a confidante of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and an agent of the British secret service. It is a fact that ACD was friends with a lot of "odd" people to say the least !

Professor Glenthorne: Listed in Oxford newspapers as having been a pianist with the ships orchestra. I do wonder if this was actually a prank by students at Oxford University pulled on one of their "dons" ?

I've never heard of any long guns being on Titanic. Not doubting your post. So much was made up. If you or anybody find that article would be interesting to see. I guess it's possible some of the passengers might have had a hunting rifle or shotgun in their baggage but never seen any of the insurance claims mention any. If the crew had rifles that would of been reported by many. Probably a reporter just inserted that into the story.
"I've never heard of any long guns being on Titanic. Not doubting your post. So much was made up. If you or anybody find that article would be interesting to see. I guess it's possible some of the passengers might have had a hunting rifle or shotgun in their baggage"
I ran across this looking for the article you were asking about. The site is kind of vague as to the story on this. As in did he have it his luggage or just a shotgun he owned. But they are using the Titanic angle to sell it. I don't know why anyone would want a deactivated shotgun. I thought shotguns were ok to have in England.
 

Seumas

Member
Mar 25, 2019
720
401
108
Glasgow, Scotland
"I've never heard of any long guns being on Titanic. Not doubting your post. So much was made up. If you or anybody find that article would be interesting to see. I guess it's possible some of the passengers might have had a hunting rifle or shotgun in their baggage"
I ran across this looking for the article you were asking about. The site is kind of vague as to the story on this. As in did he have it his luggage or just a shotgun he owned. But they are using the Titanic angle to sell it. I don't know why anyone would want a deactivated shotgun. I thought shotguns were ok to have in England.
It definitely wasn't on board with him. The Duff Gordon's luggage is all at the bottom of the sea. A wealthy outdoorsman like him probably owned a dozen or more such guns.

On your other point, yes licensed shotguns and hunting rifles are perfectly legal to own in England (and Scotland and Wales) but there is not a big "gun culture".
 
Nov 14, 2005
2,307
1,201
308
It definitely wasn't on board with him. The Duff Gordon's luggage is all at the bottom of the sea. A wealthy outdoorsman like him probably owned a dozen or more such guns.

On your other point, yes licensed shotguns and hunting rifles are perfectly legal to own in England (and Scotland and Wales) but there is not a big "gun culture".
Yes. I figured that was the model of what he might he might have had while on the ship. Or maybe one he had on his estate back home. It sounds like the press treated him as badly as they did Ismay. I've seen video's of the hunting in Scotland. So I thought it was ok. I remember some years back the press caught the Queen or the Queen mother ringing some pheasants neck that somebody bagged and people threw a fit. But she was like go pound sand.
 

Seumas

Member
Mar 25, 2019
720
401
108
Glasgow, Scotland
Another Titanic Tall Tale with an intriguing wee mystery behind it is that of Alan McRae.

In the town cemetery of Aldinga in South Australia there is a family gravestone dedicated to the McRae family. On it is listed one Alan McCrae ("1889-1912 Missing SS Titanic").

No such man is listed among the ship's passengers or crew.

There was a second class passenger Gordon McRae, an Australian (from Sydney NSW) who was aboard and perished. However, Australian Titanic researchers have found no link between Gordon McRae and Alan McCrae. This was not a case of mistaken identity.

So just who on earth was Alan McCrae and why did his family come to falsely believe he was a victim of the Titanic disaster ?

The answer to this one interests me.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,592
979
388
65
Another Titanic Tall Tale with an intriguing wee mystery behind it is that of Alan McRae.

In the town cemetery of Aldinga in South Australia there is a family gravestone dedicated to the McRae family. On it is listed one Alan McCrae ("1889-1912 Missing SS Titanic").

No such man is listed among the ship's passengers or crew.

There was a second class passenger Gordon McRae, an Australian (from Sydney NSW) who was aboard and perished. However, Australian Titanic researchers have found no link between Gordon McRae and Alan McCrae. This was not a case of mistaken identity.

So just who on earth was Alan McCrae and why did his family come to falsely believe he was a victim of the Titanic disaster ?

The answer to this one interests me.
I think I have found the answer Seumas.

Alan McRae (only one 'C' in the surname) was born in Aldinga, South Australia on 19th March 1889 and died in the same place on 5th April 1912, 5 days before the Titanic even sailed out of Southampton. He was the son of Colin McRae and Mary Pomeroy and had nothing to do with the Titanic. Looks like someone made a mistake on that gravestone.

Arthur Gordon McCrae (2 'C's in the name) was a Sydney man who led quite an interesting life. He appears to have trained as a mining engineer and worked in Africa and Siberia. While in Siberia he became engaged to the daughter of the local mining manager. Her photo is on his ET bio but not her name. Arthur McCrae was a genuine Second Class passenger on board the Titanic and died in the sinking but his body was found by Mackay-Bennett taken to Halifax and he is buried at the Fairview Cemetery.

There does not appear to be any connection between the two men. As you can see, the surnames are slightly different.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Nov 14, 2005
2,307
1,201
308
Another Titanic Tall Tale with an intriguing wee mystery behind it is that of Alan McRae.

In the town cemetery of Aldinga in South Australia there is a family gravestone dedicated to the McRae family. On it is listed one Alan McCrae ("1889-1912 Missing SS Titanic").

No such man is listed among the ship's passengers or crew.

There was a second class passenger Gordon McRae, an Australian (from Sydney NSW) who was aboard and perished. However, Australian Titanic researchers have found no link between Gordon McRae and Alan McCrae. This was not a case of mistaken identity.

So just who on earth was Alan McCrae and why did his family come to falsely believe he was a victim of the Titanic disaster ?

The answer to this one interests me.
That is interesting. Somebody must have believed it to go to the trouble of having the headstone made.
279-1.jpg
 
Last edited:

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,592
979
388
65
Regarding Alan McRae, he was only 23 years old when he died on 5th April 1912. The date of death is correct on all genealogy sources and so he was definitely not on board the Titanic. That is also confirmed by the fact that Alan McRae does not appear on any passenger or crew lists of the ship.

Other then the erroneous mention about his non-existent Titanic connection on that gravestone, it also says that Alan went "missing". I wonder what that meant? If he died at 23, it must have been an illness or accident; I have e-mailed one of the memorial managers asking for any record of a cause of death. But if he had really gone missing on that day and never to be found, I wonder if someone got him mixed-up with another Australian and genuine Titanic victim Arthur McCrae?
 
Nov 14, 2005
2,307
1,201
308
Regarding Alan McRae, he was only 23 years old when he died on 5th April 1912. The date of death is correct on all genealogy sources and so he was definitely not on board the Titanic. That is also confirmed by the fact that Alan McRae does not appear on any passenger or crew lists of the ship.

Other then the erroneous mention about his non-existent Titanic connection on that gravestone, it also says that Alan went "missing". I wonder what that meant? If he died at 23, it must have been an illness or accident; I have e-mailed one of the memorial managers asking for any record of a cause of death. But if he had really gone missing on that day and never to be found, I wonder if someone got him mixed-up with another Australian and genuine Titanic victim Arthur McCrae?
If you find something let us know. I'm interested in it now. I never heard of it before this thread. When I searched his name that pic came up. So I posted it in case someone might be interested. But I agree with what you said. It sounds like another family tale that got believed to be true by someone.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,592
979
388
65
If you find something let us know
Will do.

To complicate matters a bit, there was a "one 'C'" McRae on board the Titanic. This was William Alexander McRae, a Fireman of Scottish-English parentage but no known Australian connection. William McRae also died in the disaster.
 
Nov 14, 2005
2,307
1,201
308
Will do.

To complicate matters a bit, there was a "one 'C'" McRae on board the Titanic. This was William Alexander McRae, a Fireman of Scottish-English parentage but no known Australian connection. William McRae also died in the disaster.
Ok thanks. I will check out the bio's. I was wondering when that headstone was put up. It looks pretty new to me.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,592
979
388
65
Steven (and anyone else interested), I have received some interesting information about Alan McRae of Aldinga, South Australia - the Titanic passenger who never was.

I have received an e-mail from Erinna Boyce, the Librarian at Aldinga Library, City of Onkaparinga, South Australia.

It seems that Alan McRae was a sailor and was in England in the early part of 1912. He signed up as a fireman on board a ship named Student (name to be confirmed) that sailed out of Liverpool to Colon, Panama on or around 18th February 1912. While in Panama, McRae fell ill (no details at this time) and was eventually discharged on 16th March 1912. It is uncertain whether he remained in Panama and died there on 5th April 1912 (which my source thinks is likely) or whether he managed to return to Aldinga while still alive to die there. She also has no information on whether McRae died in Panama and his body was shipped to Australia posthumously. Therefore it is not clear where Alan McRae is Resting in Peace but my source thinks that it is possible that the name of the gravestone could be just a memorial.

As for the non-existent Titanic connection on the Aldinga gravestone, we think it is an error by someone who mistook Alan McRae for genuine Titanic victim and fellow Australian Arthur McCrae, a second class passenger.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Nov 14, 2005
2,307
1,201
308
Steven (and anyone else interested), I have received some interesting information about Alan McRae of Aldinga, South Australia - the Titanic passenger who never was.

I have received an e-mail from Erinna Boyce, the Librarian at Aldinga Library, City of Onkaparinga, South Australia.

It seems that Alan McRae was a sailor and was in England in the early part of 1912. He signed up as a fireman on board a ship named Student (name to be confirmed) that sailed out of Liverpool to Colon, Panama on or around 18th February 1912. While in Panama, McRae fell ill (no details at this time) and was eventually discharged on 16th March 1912. It is uncertain whether he remained in Panama and died there on 5th April 1912 (which my source thinks is likely) or whether he managed to return to Aldinga while still alive to die there. She also has no information on whether McRae died in Panama and his body was shipped to Australia posthumously. Therefore it is not clear where Alan McRae is Resting in Peace but my source thinks that it is possible that the name of the gravestone could be just a memorial.

As for the non-existent Titanic connection on the Aldinga gravestone, we think it is an error by someone who mistook Alan McRae for genuine Titanic victim and fellow Australian Arthur McCrae, a second class passenger.
Ok thanks for the info. Good research. Getting the names mixed up does make sense. Especially since they both died in the same month as Titanic. Being that he was in Panama at that time could have been one of the many tropical diseases. That was big problem in that area during those days. The memorial does make sense also. Would someone ship a body half way around the world in 1912? Again, thanks for the info. Cheers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,592
979
388
65
And thank YOU Steven for confirming the existence of that ship named Student (T & J Harrison, Liverpool) in which Alan McRae sailed to Panama and very likely took ill and died there on 5th April 1912. RIP.

The inscription on the Aldinga gravestone about him is almost certainly a memorial only and someone added the non-existent Titanic connection in error.
 

Attachments

  • AM1.jpg
    AM1.jpg
    947 KB · Views: 20
  • AM2.jpg
    AM2.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 23
  • AM3.pdf
    59.2 KB · Views: 18
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Nov 14, 2005
2,307
1,201
308
And thank YOU Steven for confirming the existence of that ship named Student (T & J Harrison, Liverpool) in which Alan McRae sailed to Panama and very likely took ill and died there on 5th April 1912. RIP.

The inscription on the Aldinga gravestone about him is almost certainly a memorial only and someone added the non-existent Titanic connection in error.
I'm always amazed that such obscure documents such as these still exists. So many have not survived over the years. Thanks for posting them.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads