Unaccounted for survivors


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Mar 3, 2001
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One of my favorite survivors over the years was Rosa Abbott simply because of her elusiveness following the disaster. I remember the excitment and anticipation I felt waiting for the article to be published when she was finally located. This leaves me wondering just how many other survivors vanishd without a trace following the disaster? Does anyone have an estimation?
 
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Timothy Trower

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Amanda,

I don't know the answer to your question, but if you would post it on the www.Titanic-Titanic.com message board, Phil Gowan would very likely see it and be able to give you more than an estimation.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>This leaves me wondering just how many other survivors vanishd without a trace following the disaster?<<

Probably quite a few. The bios here on ET tend on the whole to be rather brief, if only because the people who went out on that ship had little interest in fame. The 712 who made it to New York alive were lucky to still have their lives and just wanted to get on with them.

Agreeing with Tim that Phil Gowan would be a good guy to ask since he's done some truly awesome research in this area.
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 12, 1999
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Hi Amanda
You might want to pick up a copy of Brian Ticehurst's book on memorials. You can reach im on this messageboard. The book lists people and where they are buried. Quite a laborous task and he thanks everyone who helped him... Too bad not all researchers are like that. Yes, Bob Bracken worked hard to present all the data regarding Rhoda Abbott in the article on ET and Voyage. He's on vacation, but you can email him through the www.titanicinternationalsociety.org website and he will probably be able to give you an idea of what you are looking for.
Mike
 
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patrick toms

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the people who were drowned on the titanic,and their families who suffered especially the crew whose widows and children got no compensation and their relations want to forget about this tragedy,so no one knows their story,in my case my grandmother was given a pension for life as my grandfather was one of five who were both passengers and crew,lionel leonard on the ship,his name was andrew john shannon and is now not just a statistic but owing to my research is now not lost,but remembered as i have named the shannon ulster titanic society after him the first titanic society in n.ireland.
Pat toms president shannon ulster titanic society
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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Patrick, I can't let this statement go.

"the people who were drowned on the titanic,and their families who suffered especially the crew whose widows and children got no compensation."

Here are the facts in brief.

Dependents of the deceased crew were paid up to 300 pounds under the Workmen's Compensation Act. Most payments were prompt and undisputed.

Dependents of the postal workers were looked after by their employers.

Dependents of the musicians were not looked after, other than by charitable appeals, which raised plenty of money for them.

Dependents of deceased passenger, and those who lost property claimed in the civil courts.

In the USA, payments of up to $50,000 were made in an out of court deal.

In Britain, we know of four 100 pound payments made after White Star was found negligent in a civil court. We know that other claims were made after this, as some claimants in the USA withdrew their US claims so they could claim in Britain. I've never seen the records of these claims, which were settled out of court, as negligence was already proven. The files may have been destroyed, perhaps when Cunard and White Star combined, or merely in a routine cleanup.

Add to this the enormous amounts paid out over many years by the British and American charitable funds and the dependents didn't do all that badly.
 

Hilary Popple

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May 28, 2003
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You're right there Dave - my grandfather always told me that after the initial few months of terrible poverty immediately following the disaster, the family were better off financially than they'd ever been and this continued for many years, until all the children were independent. As has been mentioned elsewhere, several of them also had apprenticeships paid for by the Relief Fund.
 
Oct 3, 2007
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Hi, Arthur Nichols went down on the Titanic but does not appear on any passenger or crew lists. He was married to my grandmother. We know all about his life and his family - he was going to America to visit his sister - but we just don't know his status on board. The correspondence to my grandmother from the White Star Line has long since disappeared, although I remember seeing it as a small child. Any ideas?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Hallo, Mary. There was an A D Nicols working on the ship as a 3rd Class steward. His wife's name was Edith and he had a sister called Jesse, both of whom received help (as dependents) from the Titanic Relief Fund. Do those names fit?
 
Oct 3, 2007
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Bob, That's wonderful! His wife was indeed Edith Louise (formerly Cannell - nee King). Not on official crew lists so is the information you have accessible? He had various sisters including Jessie.

Where do I go from here?

Thanks and regards, Mary
 

Bob Godfrey

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Mary, the steward's wife's name was indeed Edith Louise or Louisa (and the sister Jessie Agnes). A D Nichols is listed, but his full name might not have been known until now - many thanks for providing it! Here's his signature, age (34), birthplace (Warwick) and address on the signing-on sheet for 3rd Class 'victualling crew':

121323.jpg


His biography page on ET is here:
https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/biography/2021/

As you can see there's very little known, and this is generally the case with rank & file crew members, but other members here may be able to provide more. I daresay you can tell us a lot more than we can tell you about Arthur and his family, and any information would be appreciated. Do you perhaps have a photograph?
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Oct 3, 2007
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Hi, Further to message above I discounted the A D Nichols shown on the crew lists as being the wrong one. Mine was born in Camberwell in 1866 which is quite different. He and Edith lived in Belvedere, Kent, where Edith was a publican.
 
Oct 3, 2007
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Mmmm - that looks okay. Those grave inscriptions match up to the information I have. I can understand why someone would knock 10 years off their age! Can't understand why they would change their place of birth though. Immediately after the sinking Edith reverted to her former married name so perhaps there was an estrangement.

Arthur had 7 sisters, Jessie was the youngest. Although he and Edith only married in 1907 it could be that they were already leading separate lives by 1912. Arthur and Edith had no children but Edith already had a young family. There is still a surviving niece in her 90s in New Zealand but sadly her memories of those early family stories are greatly impaired.

I am curious about this Welfare Fund you mentioned, is there any more pertinent information on there?

Regards
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Chopping off several years for the age column was a very common practice for both passengers and crew. Likewise, some of the teenaged crew members added a few years! Birth locations are very often inaccurate. I've noticed when researching my own family history that many people don't know for sure where they were born and assume it to be the place of which they have the earliest childhood memories. Sometimes they've guessed right, but often they're wrong. And a person will often name different locations in different census returns.

The Relief Fund accounts provide the names and relationship of recipients (as given above) and the amounts allocated. As A D Nichol's wife was provided for, it's unlikely that the couple were estranged. As far as I know there were no dependent children in the picture, but we have a couple of Relief Fund specialists here who may post more detailed info.

Since we have a coincidence of both first and middle names for the wife and also the rather uncommon name Jessie for the sister, A D Nichols does seem still to be the most likely contender.

From another posting, the full inscription on the gravestone is as follows:

In loving memory of Frederick George eldest and much loved son of George & Louisa Nichols, died 8/4/1899 in his 35th year
George Nichols father of the above died 27/2/1900 aged 76
Arthur Nichols, lost his life on the Titanic 15/4/1912 aged 46
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Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Adding the gravestone inscription to what else is known, the most likely family in the 1881 census is that of George and Louise Nichols, who were living at 81 Albany Rd, Camberwell. George was a currier, who gave his age (perhaps optimistically!) as 47. Their children include Frederick (the eldest son, then aged 17), Arthur (a bookbinder aged 15) and Jesse (aged 6). Other children are Alice (the eldest daughter and a schoolteacher), Emily, Henry, Minnie, Clara and Leonard (the youngest).
 
Oct 3, 2007
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Our Arthur was at one time an insurance agent at the time when he met a pretty little widow who owned a pub....! He was perfectly literate and managed to remember where he was born for the 1901 census. He was a Londoner from a family of Londoners, none of whom, right back to 1841 census, had ever been anywhere near Warwick! I reckon he was a chancer and Warwick is a total red herring. As you say this must be the right one for the family names. Thanks for the info written on headstone. Mystery solved, or is it....? Regards
 
Oct 3, 2007
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In your experience would it have been usual for someone relatively inexperienced to have been taken on such a prestigious voyage? Although Arthur may well have had some catering experience (I seem to remember he worked as a waiter in his youth..not sure)at the pub at Belvedere, he couldn't have had much sea-going experience. At the time of his marriage in 1907 he was certainly nothing to do with shipboard life.

There's a part of me that can't quite believe this is the same man, wrong birth year, wrong place of birth, no middle name etc. Still, logically speaking it must be him. Guess we just have to take it on trust. It does look, though, that he was being deliberately devious.

Obviously if he and Edith had children they would have been my mother's half brothers or sisters so we know that this was not the case. Edith's children all went to Licensed Victuallers' Boarding Schools.

Although Edith was a publican in her own right as were her parents and grandparents before her, perhaps the Titanic funds did help her as by the time she died she managed 3 pubs in the London area!

Incidentally Bob, that 1881 census entry is the right family.

Regards
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Though so many pieces of the puzzle seem to fit, I'd still have to say "not proven". Warwick remains a problem. Looking at the handwritten record it's hard to read the word as anything else. The clerk who wrote it might have misheard the place name, but I can't think of any part of Camberwell or of a broader area of London that sounds anything like 'Warwick'. We'd also have to consider why a white-collar worker married to a publican would be attracted to the dreary, low-paid occupation of ship's steward - especially in 3rd Class where the tips are minimal! But he wouldn't have needed to be vastly experienced to sign on for the Titanic - some of the stewards were teenagers.

If your Arthur's marriage certificate shows no middle name or initial that certainly suggests that he didn't have one. But you have the evidence of the grave memorial that he did go down with the Titanic. If you can wait, the 1911 census returns go public in 4 years time. That should reveal where Arthur and Edith Nichols were located and what he was doing for a living just one year before the Titanic sailed. In the meantime, I'm hoping that other members might come up with something (Brian T, are you there?).
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