What happened to Captain H. J. Haddock?


May 8, 2001
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I had never heard the name before today, but was snooping around Parks web site and came across it. Does anyone know what happened to Titanic's first captain? Where did his career go, when did he retire, did he have a family, and did he ever give an interview or thoughts about Titanic?

What were his duties and responsabilities while on board Titanic and why such a small stay on her?

Many thanks on this new "discovery"!

Colleen
 

Pat Cook

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Apr 26, 2000
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Hi Colleen,

Here's just a bit of what I can dredge up. "'Daddy' Haddock is going to the the Olympic until 'E. J' retires on his old age pension from the Titanic", wrote James Moody to his sister (got that from Marcus' "Maiden Voyage").
Also, after the catastrophe, Captain Haddock testified at the Hearings. In fact, when Senator Smith and some of his cohorts paid a visit to the Olympic for more data it came as a complete surprise to her Captain, who immediately called up P. A. S. Franklin at the I M M. Franklin told Haddock to give Senator Smith whatever he needed (Wyn Wade - "Titanic - End Of A Dream").
And, according to Violet Jessop ("Titanic Survivor") Haddock was "himself a Royal Navy man, a lovable character and a true English gentleman of the old school". She added that later, in the WWI, he was in command of Q-boats (Royal Naval anti-submarine vessels disguised to look like merchantmen).
There is a photo of Captain Haddock on page 269 of Eaton and Hass' "Titanic, Triumph and Tragedy".
Hope this is of some help.

Best regards,
Cook
 
Mar 3, 1998
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There's a short bio on this site that begs to be filled out with more information. Any takers? I'm not a 'people' person, so I'm not right for the job.

A little more of what I know about the man...he commanded Olympic until the outbreak of war. Haddock took Olympic back to England on her last passenger run (which included the unsuccessful attempt to tow the mine-stricken HMS Audacious to a safe port) before the ship was converted for Admiralty service. Captain Hayes took command of Olympic when she came back out of the yards. At that point, Captain Haddock falls off my radar screen.

Parks
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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I'll keep an eye out for him, if you like. Wouldn't be surprised if someone has done some good background work on him. There should be a fair bit of material on him in Lloyd's Captain's Register and his CR10 entry for starters. I've come across him, of course, while looking at Oceanic and Olympic crew agreements. If you wanted to go the whole research hog there's always his BoT certificate applications etc, but I'm a bit over-committed at the moment when it comes to forking out the cash for those (he can fall somewhere behind the Californian and Lusitania officers).

~ Ing
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Ing,

It's been almost 90 years...there's no particular reason to drop everything and focus on this now. However, when you do get around to it, Haddock looks like a man deserving of research. He was, after all, the first Master of Titanic. There are those who had less to do with the ship that have received plenty of attention. How does Haddock rate compared to Fox, for instance? We know about Fox because he was loquacious, but what are we missing with the less-talkative Haddock?

Phil,

Haddock's bio is somewhat buried in the site (I only found it using the Search function). Would you consider providing a link from the Titanic crew list pages, with justification that he was Titanic's master out of the yards?

Parks
 

Mark Baber

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The New York Times, 6 October 1946

CAPT. HADDOCK DEAD, OLYMPIC EX-MASTER
---
SOUTHAMPTON, England, Oct. 5 (AP)---Capt. Herbert James Haddock, a former commodore of the old White Star Line, died today. His age was 85.

During the first World War he commanded a dummy fleet of wooden dreadnoughts and battle cruisers. As commodore he served with the Britanic, (sic) German, (sic) Cedric, Oceanic and Olympic.

Captain Haddock, a former aide de camp to the King, was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1902. In 1893 he married Mabel Bouchette of Quebec, who died in 1935.

In April 1912, Captain Haddock was in command of the White Star liner Olympic en route from New York to Southampton when her sister ship, the Titanic, westward bound, while making her maiden voyage, struck an iceberg and sank in one of the greatest ocean disasters. The Olympic was 500 miles away and hastened to the rescue but resumed her course when 100 miles from the scene of the sinking when informed there was nothing to be gained by continuing to that point. For a time the Olympic wireless room acted as a sort of clearing housefor radio messages relating to the accident.

Captain Haddock was an exceedingly modest man who hated to see his name in the newspapers.

-30-

(MAB Note: Like E.J. Smith, Haddock was never officially designated as White Star's Commodore, but, also like Smith, was frequently referred to as the commodore in deference to his status after Smith's death as the line's senior commander.

Haddock commanded Olympic from April 1912 until the beginning of World War I, and was Olympic's commander during her failed effort to rescue HMS Audacious in October 1914. Olympic was then laid up, and the Admiralty placed Haddock in charge of a dummy fleet of merchant ships, stationed at Belfast. According to Mills' HMHS Britannic: The Last Titan, Harold Sanderson tried to have Haddock re-assigned in 1915, to command Britannic II when she entered service as a hospital ship, but could not succeed in convincing the Admiralty to release Haddock from his Belfast duties.

As far as I can tell, Haddock did not return to White Star, at least in a command position, after the war. I have no post-1914 reference to him in my White Star history notes, and don't recall coming across any references to him in any post-war research.)

MAB
 

Inger Sheil

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Good stuff, Mark! Particularly liked the Canadian bride. I'll have a sticky beak at Lloyds and see if he shows up in the immediate post-war era in the CR10s. Might also be worth looking at the Navy Lists to trace him there. Rather good to see a captain who had a successful career and who lived to a ripe old age.

~ Ing
 
May 8, 2001
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A Q-boat captain. I have heard some of the absolute funniest stories about the ordeals that the Q-boatsmen did to lure their enemies.

Thank you Mark for your contribution. Great stuff! That certainly helps.

So, we could have almost said that there was one other person assigned to all three besides Violet Jessop?

Thanks again everyone!
Colleen
 
J

Joanne Seiferlein

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Dear Mark,
Wow! E.J. Smith WASN'T official White Star Commodore. I seem to learn something new all the time on this subject!
 

Mark Baber

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I recently tracked down Haddock's obit in The Times (London); it's even less informative than The New York Times' obit as to his post-war life. It reads, in its entirety:

Captain Herbert James Haddock, C. B., R. N. R., formerly Commodore of the White Star Line, died at Southampton on Saturday at the age of 85.

Another puzzle: The New York Times' obit, with a dateline of "Oct. 5", says Haddock died "today"; The Times' obit, published 7 October 1946, says he died "Saturday", which would also make the date 5 October. The death notices published on the first page of The Times on both 7 and 8 October, though, say he died on "Oct. 4, 1946".

MAB
 
D

Deleted member 173198

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Hi Maek and everybody else!

Next week I'm due to call in the Libaray Archives in Southampton. I'll see what the Southampton Echo has to say, although I wounldn't be atall surprise if its a much better obituary than the London Times.

Will see!

Andrew W.
 
D

Deleted member 173198

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Hello People!

I'm afriad that I've had a bit of a disappointing morning. Yes there is an obituary in the Echo (Southampton edition) for Haddock, but the quality is extremely poor.

No sooner I got home I did phone the Echo this afternoon only to find out that there Newspaper Archives are strictly out of bounds to the general public. For obvious reasons the condition of most of the illustrated editions are in such a fragile state now.

I was just wondering if Inger Sheil could come to our aid. I am going to send a copy in the post to you Inger as well as that also applies to Mark Baber in the United States.

Moreover for those who are curious the heading comes under the title "Nelson Of The Merchant Service" Death of Former White Star Commodore. Date Saturday October 5th 1946. Unfortunately the angle of the mircofiche means, I can hardly read any of the report because this part of the obituary is situated on the right hand side (centre folding page) which has resulted that this section has kind of been chopped off on a tilted edge. Most annoying.

Ing Darlin! Please come to our rescue and see what can be discovered at Colingsdale .....Please!

Best wishes

Andrew W.
 

Mark Baber

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In the (17!) years since we last discussed Capt. Haddock, I've added some new items to my notes concerning the years after he left Olympic in October 1914. Some of what follows is discussed above, some not.

31 October 1914: Lord Fisher becomes First Sea Lord and "at once" contacts Olympic's commander Herbert Haddock, makes him a Commodore and appoints him to command "the finest fleet of dummy wooden 'Dreadnoughts' and Battle Cruisers the world had ever looked on." In his memoirs, published in 1919, Fisher will write of Haddock that "if ever there was a Nelson of the Merchant Service he was," and that if Fisher had remained First Sea Lord "he would have been Sir Herbert Haddock, K.C.B., or I'd have died in the attempt." (Source: Fisher's Memories.)

19 December 1914: When Baltic II (Capt. J. B. Ranson) arrives in New York, an unnamed passenger tells The New York Times that Olympic's former commander, Herbert J. Haddock, is overseeing the creation of a fleet of dummy warships at Belfast. He further reports that this supposedly secret fleet is made up of requisitioned and purchased merchant ships, including White Star's Cevic, which are being loaded with concrete to make them lie lower in the water and then fitted with wooden guns and turrets to resemble war ships. The passenger claims to have asked Haddock about the dummy ships, only to have him respond "Hush! It is a secret." (Source: The New York Times, 20 December 1914.)

20 March 1915: When Lapland arrives at New York, reporters are told (by whom is not clear) that the fleet of dummy warships built under the supervision of White Star Capt. Herbert J. Haddock has sailed from Belfast on a secret mission. It is unknown whether Haddock sailed with the fleet and, except that he is not in Liverpool, "nothing is known in shipping circles there about his movements." In addition, passengers report that after leaving Liverpool Lapland was chased by a submarine in the Irish Sea; Capt. Bradshaw denies that the ship was chased, but does report observing a British destroyer apparently engaged in a gunfight with a U-boat. (Source: The New York Times, 21 March 1915; New-York Tribune, 21 March 1915.)

2 September 1915: White Star is notified by the British government that Olympic, laid up since last November, is being requisitioned for use as a troopship. Because the Admiralty will not release Herbert Haddock, Olympic's peace-time captain and White Star's first choice for command, from his duties at Belfast as head of a fleet of dummy war ships, Bertram F. Hayes will be appointed as Olympic's commander and will serve in that capacity throughout the war and after. (Sources: Chirnside's RMS Olympic: Titanic's Sister; Hayes' Hull Down.)

3 October 1915: The New York Times reports on White Star Capt. Herbert Haddock's service as commander of a "dummy fleet" of merchant ships (Cevic among them) masquerading as warships. The ships are made to resemble battleships and cruisers "by means of wood, paint and putty," the Times reports, and are then dispatched to decoy German warships and deter U-boat activity. British Admiral John Jellicoe is said not to have recognized the fleet as "dummies" when he encountered it last November and the sinking of the German cruiser Blücher in January is attributed to the activity of Haddock's command. (Source: The New York Times, 3 October 1915.)

18 December 1915: Information reaches New York "from reliable sources in London" that the fleet of dummy warships created by Harland and Wolff and commanded by White Star's Capt. Herbert Haddock has been disbanded. (See tomorrow, 20 March and 3 June.) The thirteen surviving ships of that fleet (including Cevic, which will soon be owned by the Admiralty, see 19 January) have had their fake guns, turrets and funnels removed at Glasgow or Belfast and been reassigned to other duties. (Sources: The New York Times, 19 December 1915; de Kerbrech's Ships of the White Star Line.)

2 February 1916: White Star commander Herbert J, Haddock, 55, resigns from the company's service. Olympic's prewar captain, Haddock has been on Royal Navy service since November 1914, until recently, see 18 December, as commander of a fleet of dummy warships. (Source: Haddock's White Star officer record.)

17 July 1916: In recognition of his 1914-1915 service with the Admiralty's dummy battleship fleet, White Star Capt. Herbert J. Haddock is appointed as the first Royal Naval Reserve Aide-de-Camp to the King, a position he will hold for three years; see yesterday. (Sources: The London Gazette, Issue 29675, 19 July 1916; The Times (London), 22 July 1916 and 29 June 1921.)

14 May 1917: Former White Star commander Herbert Haddock arrives at New York on the American Line's St. Paul, on his way to Newport News. The ship's passenger manifest states that his occupation is "Mariner" and that his passage was paid for by the Admiralty, but otherwise I have no information about the reason for his trip, the first of two he will make to the United States this year; see 31 August for the other. (Source: Ellis Island ship manifest; Haddock's White Star officer record.)

31 August 1917: Former White Star commander Herbert Haddock arrives at New York on Adriatic II (Capt. Ranson), on his way to Norfolk, Virginia. The ship's passenger manifest states that his occupation is "Naval Officer" and that his passage was paid for by White Star, but otherwise I have no information about the reason for his trip, the second of two he has made to the United States this year; see 14 May for the other. (Source: Ellis Island ship manifest; Haddock's White Star officer record.)

16 July 1919: White Star commanders Charles A. Bartlett, C.B., R.D., R.N.R., and Bertram F. Hayes, C.M.G., D.S.O., R.D., R.N.R, become Aides-de-Camp to King George V. Bartlett succeeds White Star Capt. Herbert J. Haddock, C.B., R.D., A.-d.-C., R.N.R., who has held the position since it was first created in 1916, while Hayes fills a newly created position. (Sources: The London Gazette, Issue 31501, 12 August 1919; Hayes' Hull Down (which does not mention Bartlett or Haddock); The Times (London), 29 June 1921.)

8 December 1919: Capt. Herbert J. Haddock, C.B., R.D., is placed on the Royal Naval Reserve's retired list. (Source: The London Gazette, Issue 31705, 23 December 1919.)

4 October 1946: Retired White Star Captain Herbert J. Haddock dies at Southampton at the age of 85. (Source: The Times (London), 7 and 8 October 1946; Who was Who, 1941-1950.)
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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Interesting info. Thanks. I've read a lot about the ficticous army the allies created during WW2 but don't recall reading about this dummy fleet before.
 

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