Wilde and wife Mary


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Lynda Franklin

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Hi sorry to take this as my first post but I am looking for a picture of Henry Wilde and his wife Mary is there one on the net somewhere ?If not is there a book that goes into any details about Henry Wilde and maybe his wife thanks for any replies.
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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None in the public domain, Lynda - and few books contain anything other than the most elementary facts about Wilde's life, let alone that of his wife.

There is one photo that has appeared on the net from a private collection identified as being that of Henry and Mary Wilde. Unfortunately, the outfits they are wearing do not date to the correct time frame. Given what appears to be a resemblance to Henry T Wilde, however, they may be members of the family - possibly children. Certain one of Wilde's descendants has told me that they see a family likeness.

Here's a link to a piece I did on Wilde some time ago - it's adapted from an article I wrote for the White Star Journal.

I'd be interested in any information on this couple that others would like to share.

http://www.nautical-papers.com/onwatch/wilde/wilde.html
 
Oct 14, 2003
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Heya Ing and Lynda,

I just enjoyed re-reading the Wilde article on the On Watch sight. Isn't Henry Owen Wilde the splitting image of his father?! It's interesting to note, Inger, that your quotes for Wilde and Phillips are more recent (i.e. 1911/1912) compared to James Moody's which go back to 1904. Is there a reason for that apart from availability? Also, if it's not too rude a question, are you and Jemma planning on writing biographies for Smith, Murdoch, Lightoller, Pitman, Boxhall, Lowe, Bride, and Cottam?

Christa.
 
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Lynda Franklin

Guest
THANKS FOR THE INFO .Sad that there isn't any photo's of her but thanks for the link.I also have another question though not on WIlde were there any marriages between Titanic crew members and passengers ?
 
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Lynda Franklin

Guest
Who's Cottam what part of titanic's crew was he ?I clicked on the links you mentioned but I didn't see the photo you mentioned can you tell me where you saw it thanks .
 
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Lynda Franklin

Guest
I remember reading somewhere probably on this board that his wife's family was well to do.And also that Henry Wilde was depressed about her death .I can't help to wonder if he got rid of any photo's of Mary after her death,owing to his depression ?Any thoughts on this or am I crazy ?
 

Inger Sheil

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Hallo Lynda -

It's always possible that he got rid of the photos because the reminders made him too sad. I think it more likely, however, that they have simply not been made public as there has been very little specific research on Wilde, and his family have not yet chosen to make them public. There are no published photos of Harold Lowe's wife for example, but they certainly exist (and I hope to arrange for their publication soon).

Hallo Christa! Good to hear from you again.

Moody's extant correspondence goes all the way up to the day before the Titanic sailed from Southampton, so there are certainly later quotes. I simply selected the ones that happened to fit the flow of the narrative. The Oceanic quote under the postcard depiction of the vessel is from when he joined her in 1911, and the comment ‘I think I deserve a summer here after weathering such a rotten winter’ is from March 1912, shortly before he was transferred to the Titanic (as are comments he made about Lightoller and Philips).

Jemma and I recently discussed doing more work on the website, so I should get my act together in that regard (as always, I have multiple projects on the boil). I may possibly send some material to Phil H for ET re Boxhall etc, as much of this is already written up. Just needs to be edited and images sorted out.
 

Dave Gittins

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Inger, what do you think of my suggested reason for Wilde leaving Olympic for Titanic?

I propose that Wilde may have got leave to spend Easter with his children in Liverpool. He would have had to apply before 3 April, when Olympic sailed. The timeframe fits with him staying in Liverpool until 7 April, then spending 8 April on the train to Southampton. He joined Titanic on 9 April.

Do you have anything on this? Sometimes mundane explanations are best.
 

Inger Sheil

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It's an interesting idea, Dave, and certainly a possibility. Geoffrey Marcus mentions friends having to persuade Wilde that he'd be foolish to turn down the chance to go on the Titanic - if he was in Liverpool for Easter, that could possibly be when these conversations took place (if they were verbal - Marcus doesn't give a source, or whether the persuasion was via written or spoken word). Alternatively the 'friends' could have been Sotonians.

That the move to being Chief on the Titanic was temporary is suggested by Murdoch's letter to his sister mentioning assurances from Bartlett that he (Murdoch) would be back as Chief once Wilde was gone (no time frame given, but the impression is that it won't be long) and the note on Wilde's headstone that he was "Acting Chief Officer".

Then, of course, there's John Smith's letter to his brother, stating that Wilde 'would have been Captain of the Cymric two trips ago, only the coal strike and the tying up of some of the ships altered the company's plans'. Smith doesn't name his source, but as he knew Wilde it could have been the officer himself.
 
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Could officers request which liners they travelled on, or would Wilde's appointment to the Titanic be simply orders from above? I suppose though, if he had to be persuaded by friends then Dave's explanation is more likely. As to the timeline, it says on Blair's bio that Lightoller suggests Wilde's appointments was just for the one trip:

'Owing to the Olympic being laid up, the ruling lights of the White Star Line thought it would be a good plan to send the Chief Officer of the Olympic, just for the one voyage, as Chief Officer of the Titanic, to help, with his experience of her sister ship.' (Titanic and Other Ships, 1935)
 

Dave Gittins

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As so often, Lightoller gets it wrong.

Olympic was not laid up. She sailed for New York on 3 April. That's why she was on the way back to England at the time of the sinking.

I think my idea is as good as any. Moving Wilde makes no nautical sense. It left Captain Haddock to take over Olympic with officers inexperenced with such a large ship.

Of course, Wilde may simply have been sick for a while but I think he would naturally wanted to spend Easter with his children and the dates of his movements make sense.
 

Inger Sheil

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Interesting parallels can be drawn with the Olympic's maiden voyage, when Joseph Evans sailed as Chief for just the one voyage before moving on to being Chief of the Oceanic.

I think there's enough evidence to suggest that Wilde was destined for his own command - or at least that's what people were being told.

I wonder if Lightoller got it wrong - remembering it years later - and it was not the Olympic that Wilde was supposed to be rejoining before the coal strike skewed plans, but rather another vessel (the Cymric or another?) as Captain. That's what 1912 rumour suggests.

Blair, Lightoller, Boxhall, Moody, Lowe and - from memory - Pitman had all been on leave before joining the Titanic (Lightoller since the end of the previous year). WSL minutes suggest that they had been 'marked down' for transfer to the Titanic.
 
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How close parallels, Inger? Enough to suggest that it might simply have been WSL procedure?

As to the officers being on leave before Titanic, was it their decision (i.e. holidays) or just the fact that they couldn't make another trip and be back in time for Titanic's sailing day? And what do you mean by WSL minutes? Do you have meeting minutes or correspondence or something to suggest official decisions being made?
 

Inger Sheil

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Not enough data, Christa - I noticed that the Olympic made her maiden voyage with the Captain, Chief and First transferred over from the Adriatic, and then the Chief left. The Titanic made her maiden voyage with the Captain, Chief and First from the Olympic, after which there are some indications that the Chief was to be transferred. Could be simple coincidence.

The officers seem to have been on leave - Boxhall and Pitman were on holiday immediately before sailing visiting family and friends. Lightoller would have had time to make more voyages with the Oceanic after he left her, so it's probably safe to assume he was on leave as well (waiting transfer to the Titanic?). Lowe had done back to back voyages to Australia with little downtime between, but then had spent quite a bit of time ashore before being assigned to the Titanic.

I erroneously referred to Moody being on leave as well - d'oh! He had applied for leave while the Oceanic was laid up, but his application was turned down and he was sent to the Titanic.

Here are the meeting minutes I referred to:
quote:

Having fitted out this magnificent vessel, the "Titanic", we proceeded to man her with all that was best in the White Star organisation, and that, I believe, without boasting, means everything in the way of skill, manhood and esprit de corps. Whenever a man had distinguished himself in the service by means of ability and devotion to duty, he was earmarked at once to go to the "Olympic" or "Titanic", if it were possible to spare him from his existing position.

White Star Line Special Meeting, April 22 1912, Minute No. 8424
 

Dave Gittins

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Esprit de corps is team spirit. It's often used in a military context to mean the spirit of the regiment, battalion or whatever.

Inger's information backs up my impression that Captain Haddock was left to sink or swim on Olympic's maiden voyage.
 

Mark Baber

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Haddock is part of another interesting officer assignment situation that we've mentioned here before. Smith, of course, took Titanic, Olympic, Adriatic and Baltic---the four most recent "top of the line" ships---on their MVs and stayed with each ship till the next one came along. And the MV before that? Cedric...with Haddock, in 1903. Makes you wonder exactly what happened there, with respect to Haddock's and Smith's respective standings with their employer that Haddock was given one MV and none after that.
 
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Lynda Franklin

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Rather than start a new thread I can't help to wonder if there are any documents that show Henry Wilde 's signature and I keep hearing of a letter Wilde wrote to his family I can't help to wonder if it has ever been found ?
 

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