Was there a Titanic crewmember named Clarke who also survived the Empress of Ireland

Jan 7, 2002
Several hardcore Empress Of Ireland enthusiasts I know have insisted up and down to me that among the crew of the Empress, there was a survivor of the Titanic sinking. They tell me his name was Clark, or Clarke. Does anyone know the details, or is this just another myth, like Frank Tower?

Tarn Stephanos

Chris Dohany

Dec 12, 1999
Surviving Empress fireman William Clarke claimed in newspaper interviews that he was also a fireman on Titanic. I have had some doubts they are the same man, but I'm really not sure.

The spelling of his last name is slightly disconcerting. The surviving Titanic fireman had somewhat difficult handwriting, but appears to have spelled his name "Clark" when signing on and off. The Empress fireman, though I've not seen his actual signature, appears to have used the "Clarke" spelling.
Dec 13, 1999
Tarn, There were three Clarkes who survived the Empress disaster:

J J Clarke (trimmer)
J Clarke (ABS)
William Clarke (fireman)

It was William who claimed to have survived both sinkings, he was rescued in boat 5 from the Empress. When I was compiling the passenger/crew lists for Dave Zeni's "Forgotten Empress" I managed to get in touch with the family of William Clarke. Little is known about him with the passage of time, but one niece did say that "Uncle Billy could always spin a good yarn!" which made me wonder if indeed he had actually been aboard both ships. The Empresses crew list is somewhat hit and miss - just try looking for William Clarkes in Liverpool! It seemed to be the name of every second person!

Dec 13, 1998
Dear everybody. For the record: I have compared the signatures of surviving crewmembers from both ships (when they 'signed off'), and William Clark's signature appears on both lists. To me they look identical. All other information stated about this person seems identical as well (only the age differs a bit).

Best regards,


Marilyn-Anne Roberrts

William Clark was my Grandfathers father.
We know nothing about him other than that he named as father on my Grandfathers birth cert in 1900 and his elder brother William in 1895.

After that nothing. My Aunt is insistent that my Grandmother said Grandads father was on the Titanic. Grandad was born in Camberwell, Surrey.
I realise there is a 1 in a 1,000 chance this is our William. If you can confirm this is just family gossip I would be most grateful. Marilyn Roberts nee Clark

John Walter Clark

For attention of Geoff Whitfield.
Could you say where you contacted the relatives of William Clark. It could be that this William Clark is my Grandfather who we have not been able to trace through Public Records. It could be the key to the rest of the missing tree. Gratefully, John Clark
May 8, 2001
Welcome Marilyn. & Welcome John Walter Clark. No possibility that you are a relation to Walter Clark(no E), passenger? His uncle was Senator William Andrew Clark, a very important man out here in the Wild West in the railroad industry. Las Vegas was partially his doing, and is why it is located in "Clark County" Nevada. From what I came across one week, he married a woman named Katherine Stauffer in 1869, and she lived in Europe most of the time, and he visited in the winter I believe. They had children, though it didn't say how many. (There was a son, William Jr. out here with his dad in 1912.) She died in 1893. I have no idea if the children were grown by this time.
As Marilyn stated, it is a 1 in 1000 chance that this Clark is a relative, but that he was here in the United States and not Europe, where his wife and children were, may have thrown you. Worth passing on, just in case.
Good luck to you, and hope this helped!
Dec 13, 1998
Dear everybody, as far as I know, William Clark was born in County Louth, Ireland, about 1873 or thereabouts. I have as yet never seen an interview where he described his escape from the Titanic, other than what he said after the Empress of Ireland disaster, viz that the had had to wait for a long time to get off the ship (i e the Titanic). He was mentioned in the British Inquiry in connection with boat No 15, however.

Best regards,


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