Welsh Boxers Dai Bowen and Leslie Williams


Encyclopedia Titanica

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What is the source for stating that they paid £16 each? They travelled on the same ticket so *presumably* it was the ticket that cost £16?
 
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I bought and read the Kindle edition (much to my own chagrin) of The Ice Punch since it was the only version available in India. Well written and interesting but Brian Duncan only makes a passing mention of the Jimmy Wilde angle. I have messaged the author about it as well as the gym use; in the book, Duncan also does not believe that the boys could have had that facility.

Apart from the £16 cost for each of their tickets (very high for a single Third Class passage), David Bowen reportedly promised Charlie Barnett that they would make good use of the gym on board just before boarding in Southampton. That might just have been wishful thinking or a false belief on Bowen's part but there does exist a small possibility that Dean & Dawson, their travel agents, worked out something with White Star.

I have asked Duncan about that issue as well and will post here after he replies.
Thanks for the review. So why did they have to buy a higher ticket price. Any other reason for that? Which brings me to an other question. Did passenger liners adjust the prices in the last few days if the ship wasn't full? Seems like they should have got a lower price.
 

Arun Vajpey

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What is the source for stating that they paid £16 each? They travelled on the same ticket so *presumably* it was the ticket that cost £16?
None actually. That is what Gareth Jones appeared to allude. Unfortunately, Dean and Dawson were bought out by Thomas Cook in the 1950s and so I don't know if this can be checked.

You could be right and it may well be £16 and 2 shillings together. But even then, equating to almost $75 at the time, would it not be rather dear for Third Class?
 
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None actually. That is what Gareth Jones appeared to allude. Unfortunately, Dean and Dawson were bought out by Thomas Cook in the 1950s and so I don't know if this can be checked.

You could be right and it may well be £16 and 2 shillings together. But even then, equating to almost $75 at the time, would it not be rather dear for Third Class?
`That would be 8 pounds for each of them. I read that was the upper end for third class. Equal to $42 U.S. in 1912. Or $1156 in 2021. So yes many in third class would have found that to be a lot.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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One other possibility. It now seems certain that their original booking was on the Lusitania and not any other ship before Leslie Williams' delayed suit threw the fateful spanner in their works. It would be interesting to know what fare/class they were booked on that ship; can it be that it was a higher class that allowed them access to the gym on board (was there one on the Lusitania?). If so, that might have led David Bowen to wrongly believe that they would be afforded the same facility on board the Titanic.

Also, there is the probability that the last minute cancellation of the Lusitania tickets might have incurred a penalty. That, plus the likely higher equivalent fare for the Titanic might have resulted in a lower class booking, something which Bowen forgot to consider when he made that promise to Barnett about using the gym.
 
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One other possibility. It now seems certain that their original booking was on the Lusitania and not any other ship before Leslie Williams' delayed suit threw the fateful spanner in their works. It would be interesting to know what fare/class they were booked on that ship; can it be that it was a higher class that allowed them access to the gym on board (was there one on the Lusitania?). If so, that might have led David Bowen to wrongly believe that they would be afforded the same facility on board the Titanic.

Also, there is the probability that the last minute cancellation of the Lusitania tickets might have incurred a penalty. That, plus the likely higher equivalent fare for the Titanic might have resulted in a lower class booking, something which Bowen forgot to consider when he made that promise to Barnett about using the gym.
Good question. Had to go look up that up. Learned something new. According to article below it didn't have one. The designers originally wanted one but the company opted for a better/larger cafe instead.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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According to article below it didn't have one. The designers originally wanted one but the company opted for a better/larger cafe instead.
Thanks. If the Lusitania did not have a gymnasium at all, then the boxers must have heard (like the rest of general population) through White Star's publicity that the Titanic had. Therefore, when they realized that their booking was swapped to the Titanic, they might not have realized that the gym was a First Class only facility. That in turn might have made David Bowen make that promise about using it to train.

Unless of course, there really had been a special arrangement.
 
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Thanks. If the Lusitania did not have a gymnasium at all, then the boxers must have heard (like the rest of general population) through White Star's publicity that the Titanic had. Therefore, when they realized that their booking was swapped to the Titanic, they might not have realized that the gym was a First Class only facility. That in turn might have made David Bowen make that promise about using it to train.

Unless of course, there really had been a special arrangement.
It's possible. I know a lot of stories were made up about Titanic. But when I read things I always try to ask what would be gained by making something up. I'm not seeing much in that regard with the story. So I can't just disregard it out of hand. But I will say unless something else is found it can't be proven either. Just like a lot of other things with Titanic. Cheers.
 

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