Titanic's Boat Train Driver?


Aly Jones

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Dec 15, 2019
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At the current moment, I'm trying to find out if I have any possible connection to officer widle's sister - officer Wilde's sister married a Mr. Jones . Although I highly doubt that I am, whilst doing so, I came across another possible connection to the Titanic.

My Dear Aunt is still in connection to her and my dads family - they all English BTW, she kindly received information on my dads side of the family etc... The fathers side of the family.

Please See below.

"Have found some old pics of my Dad’s family I thought you might like. First one n left, your great grandfather Edward Jones. Don’t have his birth or death info yet. I do know that he was a Locomotive Engine Driver. Middle pic, your grandfather (my dad) Arthur William Henry Jones born July 10, 1924, died Feb 13, 1979. "

End Quote.
I do have my dads family photos on hand.

One of those images with my great grand father states they were living in London, owned a house in London. I'm not sure ( still waiting on more information) that my great grand father was born in London.

I can only presume atm that my great grand father was born around 1890-( going by that his son was born 1924) Which would make him 21 years of age in 1912 driving locomotives from London.

There is a chance that my great grand father could had been one of those locomotives drivers that took Titanics officers , crew and passengers to the Titanic in south hampton from London.

I still need more information which I will request from my aunt, but if by any chance anyone would know where I could find information on who were the men that drove those Titanic trains In April 1912?. I would be very much grateful to you.

Thank you ☺️
 

Kas01

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If you could find things like pay stubs or other things, you might be able to figure out which railway he worked for. Here in the States that depends largely on which railroad and whether or not that railroad kept employee record archives. For British railways I'm not sure if employee records would have made it into the nationalization period or not, or how they would be organized. My guess is that your great-grandfather, if he ran Southampton boat trains, would be listed either as part of the LSWR, Southern Railway, or Southern Region, depending on how those records were organized and if they were retained in the first place.
 

Aly Jones

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Dec 15, 2019
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Hi kas 01.

Thank you so much for your information. You've been a great help.

I'm waiting on a response from my aunty if whether if he was a train driver or a engineer in london. I think he was a train driver. Also, I will ask her in whether he drove for lswr, southern railway, southern region. Someone in my family must know what company he work for and where he drove too. If she found anything exciting, ill report back.

Thanks again :)
 

Julian Atkins

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Sep 23, 2017
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Hello Aly,

The Public Record Office at Kew has extensive records of railway staff. Also, what is left of the British Railways Board also has extensive records.

If your great grandfather Edward Jones was born around 1890 he would have retired around 1955. His railway records should be available.

However, in 1912 he would have been around 22 years old, and in the UK, steam locomotive drivers would have been much older than 22. He may have become a driver later on in his career.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Julian Atkins

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Sep 23, 2017
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South Wales UK
Hi Aly,

Your great grandfather might possibly have been a fireman on steam locomotives at the time of the Titanic disaster employed by the LSWR. If he retired in about 1955 his railway record card would be with what remains of the British Railways Board, and if he was a passed fireman in 1912 this would be shown on his 1955 card, and if he was on boat train workings (quite a prestigious and 'senior link' job) he would no doubt be based at Nine Elms loco depot at the time. As I understand it the Waterloo- Southampton Docks boat train specials were a Nine Elms depot 'top link' job.

Also, the 'railway press', principally the UK 'Railway Magazine', might have further details reported at the time. It is not something I have investigated myself.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Kas01

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May 24, 2018
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Julian, on pre-grouping railways, was there ever an extras board similar to American practice, where engine crew could sign up to replace regulars on short notice if they called in sick or missed work for whatever reason? It might not show up in records with regards to Aly's great-grandfather, but it's entirely plausible that he could have been working the extra board in 1912.
 

Julian Atkins

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Sep 23, 2017
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Hi Kas01,

Yes, it was possible for this. You had 'spare turns' in the UK ie a replacement loco crew to cover any link in the roster if one or both of the crew didn't turn up for work on the day due to sudden illness etc.

The records that survive would show when and where Edward Jones worked and at what grade. There would be no surviving records of shifts worked on specific dates; trains worked; but these details might be in the Railway Press at the time for the Titanic boat trains, which I have not investigated.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Aly Jones

Member
Dec 15, 2019
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Australia
Hi Julian and kas01.

I really wish if both could help me find out more with this information I've received, since the 2 of you know how to research, even though it's not your job. I've never done anything like this in my life, researching some history.

Got a message back from my aunt- it reads -

Hi Aly, I have found out that grandad’s name was Edward Jones, He was married when he was 23 to Lily Welch on 23.5.1915. He died on 9.12.1953. He was a fireman on the trains when he married. His father’s name was John Johnson Jones. Lily’s father’s name was Frances Welch.
My cousin, Penny Roffey just sent me this info when she found their marriage certificate. Hope this helps. Xx

You two are right about my great grand dad being a train fireman at that age.

And thank you for showing interest with my story .
 

Julian Atkins

Member
Sep 23, 2017
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South Wales UK
Hi Aly,

If your cousin has found your great grandfather's marriage certificate, she ought to be able to add the addresses where they lived, and Church location in London for the marriage.

Then you can do a 1911 UK census return.

From the information you have supplied via your cousin it appears that your great grandfather died quite early in retirement. I am quite confident that his railway records will have survived if he stayed on the railways until retirement age. Accessing the railway records is currently 'difficult' due to lockdown in the UK, but you ought to be able to access the 1911 census returns easily.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Aly Jones

Member
Dec 15, 2019
407
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63
Australia
Hey guys.

Have more info.

Hi Aly, More info. Edward Jones’s address on marriage certificate is 37 Edmund St, London, and address at death was 25 Grafton Place, Cricklewood, London. Hope this is helpful xx
 

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