The webmaster for our site, 'On Watch', has the text and images for our Wilde bio and will be putting them up soonishly (if he hasn't already done so - I haven't checked). This includes some information about his family.
Jemma and I have become interested in his son, Henry Owen Wilde, and have followed his rather illustrous career for a pretty fair period. While we won't be going into all the details on our website (at least not right now), we do include a photo of H O Wilde. To a point, he followed in his father's footsteps - quite remarkable considering that his career cost Henry Tingle Wilde his life.
I have been told that i had a great, great uncle who served on the titanic as a chief engineer. He was due to sail on her last maiden voyage, but was called back for some unknown reason.
I am a bit confused as i have undertaken some basic research of my own and have failed to find evidence to support this. I have however found that the chief engineer was called Joseph Bell who came from Cumbria.
My uncle's name was Jack Wyld, and so far i have been unable to find him. The nearest match comes back as a Henry Tingle Wylde who was the chief officer.
Could you please advise me on how i may go about my quest.
There are quite a few stories of this nature circulating about crewmen who were supposed to sail but who had lucky escapes for whatever reasons. I seem to recall that there was a newspaper article, for example, regarding another WSL officer who was supposed to be on the maiden voyage but was held up on his vacation by the coal strike (a bit of a dubious one, that is!).
I've never seen any material suggesting that anyone other than Bell was intended to be the chief engineer. Henry Tingle Wilde [I've never seen it spelled with a 'y'] did have a sister and, it seems, a brother who might have died young. How much material do you have on your uncle? Do you know that he was definetly in the White Star Line? Do you know when he died? If he was still serving in the mercantile marine at the end of WWI, his name may have appeared in the CR10 files, which would yield a photo and some career details. The chances of verifying his potential posting as chief officer on the Titanic, however, are rather slim.
Hello again, have been in contact with my grandmother regarding my great uncle. Apparently, his name was James Wyld (spelt correctly) and he worked as a chief engineer over in Belfast. He came over to England to do something on the Titanic but that was it. I shall hunt further.
Greetings not much is known about what happened to Mr. Wildes, children but in my printout below there are a few mentions of them. I hope that you find it of interest especially Captains Smiths widows intervention.
best regards - Brian
Wilde, Henry Tingle. Lived at 25 Grey Road, Walton, Liverpool. Chief Officer. 38 years old. (Born in Liverpool). Ship before the Titanic was the RMS Olympic.
(From The Titanic Relief Fund booklet March 1913).
C23 Wilde, Daughter. Wilde, Daughter. Wilde, Son. Wilde, Son. All Class A dependants. (Jane, Harry, Arnold, and Nancy - see below). Williams, Mrs. Sister. Class A dependent.
Has a grave and obelisk and gravestone in Kirkdale Cemetery , Longmoor Lane which is on the boundary of Aintree and Fazakerly, Liverpool.
The inscription reads:
LOVING MEMORY OF
THE DEARLY BELOVED WIFE OF
LIEUT. HENRY T. WILDE, R.N.R.
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
24TH DEC. 1910, AGED 38 YEARS
ALSO THE TWIN SONS OF THE ABOVE
ARCHIE AND RICHARD
WHO DIED IN INFANCY DEC. 1910
A LOVING MOTHER
AND A FAITHFUL FRIEND
ALSO THE ABOVE
CAPT. HENRY T. WILDE, R.N.R.
ACTING CHIEF OFFICER
WHO MET HIS DEATH IN THE
"S.S. TITANIC" DISASTER
15TH APRIL 1912, AGED 38 YEARS
ONE OF BRITAIN`S HEROES
(From Mrs Yates, (relation), Blackburn, 23 June, 1987).
I am enclosing a photocopy of the Liverpool Echo article. As you can see, it is slightly inaccurate. Henry had four children and his wife died on 24th December 1910, hardly shortly before sailing!. Of the four children, Jane, Harry, Arnold, and Nancy, Arnold is the sole survivor - he also happened to be my father. The eldest, Jane died last year and with her went a lot of the answers. I have given you the date that my grandmother died, and I believe that the twins died on birth a few days before her - they were called Archibold and Richard. The Titanic disaster fund was very good to the children - they got a book each Christmas until their early teens!!!.
The obelisk and gravestone is actually in Long Moor Lane cemetery which is on the boundary of Aintree and Fazakerly and yes Henry T. Wilde's name is on it - it was I believe erected by his brother.
Those are all the facts I can give you. There is a letter somewhere in the family that he wrote from Cork (Queenstown) on the fatal voyage. In it he says how unhappy he is with all the euphoria and that there is no such thing as an unsinkable ship!
He had indeed been given command of one of the company ships - The Cedric. . . . .
THE appalling disaster to the Titanic has taken away, in the person of Lieut, H. T. Wilde, RNR, one of the most promising officers serving with the White Star Line. Lieut. Wilde, who was chief officer of the Titanic, commenced his sea career in the sailing ships of Messrs. James Chambers and Co., of Liverpool. On the completion of his apprenticeship he secured his second mates certificate, severed his connection with sailing craft and entered steam. He soon obtained his masters certificate, and joined the White Star Company as a junior officer. Mr Wilde held an extra masters certificate and had attained the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve. He was chief officer of the Olympic at the time of the collision with the cruiser Hawke. He possessed great organising capacity, and this qualification stood him in good stead as chief officer of these huge liners. He had been in the service of the White Star line for about fifteen years, and it was understood that he was shortly to be given the command of one of the Company's, vessels. He was an officer of merit and deservedly popular, and those who knew him will be satisfied that at the time of trial and danger, he did his duty and died at his post in the spirit of the true British sailor. He leaves four young children, his wife having died several months before. Lieut. Wilde was thirty-eight years of age.
Probate Report: Wilde Henry Tingle, of 25 Grey Road, Walton, Liverpool. Ships Officer. Probate registered London, 12th July to Richard Owen Jones rubber merchants clerk and Owen Jones Williams estate agent. Effects: £6783.3.9d.
(From Titanic Relief Fund Minutes Liverpool Committee 8th June 1914).
Read letter dated 28th May, 1914, received from Mr. O. Jones Williams (one of the Guardians of the children of the late Chief Officer Wilde). The Hon. Secretary reported that he had requested Mr. Williams to attend at the Town Hall on this date and asked the Committee to grant him an interview. The Committee after interviewing Mr. O. Jones Williams,
That in addition to the recommendations of the Liverpool Area Committee of the 27th December, 1912, it be recommended that an additional sum of five guineas (£5 5/-) per year, as from the 1st July, 1914, for three years, be paid to the Guardian of the children of the late Chief Officer Wilde (Mr. O. Jones Williams), toward the cost of their education, the amounts to be charged to the apprenticeship grant and payable quarterly on the 1st day of each quarter. Further consideration of the case to be given at the expiration of the three years.
(Copy of letter re Officer Wilde)
PUBLIC TRUSTEE OFFICE 3 & 4 CLEMENTS INN, STRAND, LONDON W.C.
4th June 1915.
Titanic Relief Fund
Dear Mr. Corkhill,
Mr. Allen had a personal interview with Mrs. Smith, the widow of Captain Smith, yesterday afternoon, who is anxious that you should be good enough to consider her claim that the allowance, in respect of the four children of Mr. Wilde the First Officer, should be reconsidered. I have no doubt the matter has been properly dealt with by your Committee, but shall be very glad if you will kindly send her a short report of what your Committee has done for them. Mrs. Smith's address is: The Nook, Runcolm, Cheshire.
Yours faithfully P. L. Swain, Hon. Secretary, Examining Committee,.
P. F. Corkhill, Esq. Town Hall, Liverpool.
Jemma Hyder and I have done a bit of work on Wilde's descendants, and have been in touch with the family. Their story is a very interesting one.
They were apparently close, circumstances no doubt having only enhanced their bond. They also seem to have had more than a little of their father's courage - one of the daughter's drove an ambulance in Liverpool during WWII and the blitz. Henry Owen Wilde in particular had a fascinating career - he started as an apprentice in the merchant service in the late 'teens, and went on to serve with distinction in WWII. He was a beach marshall at Normandy on the second day's landings, and was decorated by the French for some of the work he did there during the last period of the fighting, having done much to resecure the waterways. His own nation also recognised his efforts - he was awarded an OBE (I think - will need to check my notes). Apparently he was a quiet, taciturn man, who did not discuss his own heroics, but who was held in great respect and affection. Intriguingly, his wife was born the night the Titanic sank, and this subject came up at their first meeting. We're hoping to do a full write up when we've completed our research. There's a photo of Henry Owen Wilde on our website: http://www.nautical-papers.com/onwatch/wilde/wilde.html
Thanks for posting all that data, Brian! There's some great information in there. The twins didn't die quite at birth - they survived a few weeks, but perished of what was identified as a 'congenital disability' (I wonder if possibly they were premature).
In the 1881 British census - Frederick is 11, Ada 10 and Harry 9. Mom Elizabeth is 46, born in York and is a "spirit merchant". The family is living at 605 Rice Lane, Walton on Hill, Lancashire. They also have a 14 year old servant.
I was curious about who raised the Wilde children. I noticed Mr. O. Jones Williams was listed as guardian. Was he related to the family or was he acting only as their guardian without bringing the children into his home. I was looking at what kind of upbringing they had. I read they were very close growing up, but no real information on how they were brought up.
Mary Catherine Wilde's brother, Richard Owen Jones, was one executer and trustee named in Wilde's Will. The other was Owen Jones Williams, who was the husband of Wilde’s sister Ada. Owen’s sister, Annie Jones Williams, was appointed by the will to act as guardian of the children during their minority, in consultation with the trustees. Other than a bequest of £100 to Ada, the rest of the estate went effectively, in the legalese of the Will, to the ‘maintenance and advancement in life of my four children.’
Probate of the will was granted to the executers on the 12 July 1912 and his estate was valued at £6783.3.9d.
My understanding is that the Williams family raised the children and made a home for them. Both sides of the family had a role in this, however, as stipulated in the Will.
As you might have gathered from all the 'Owens', 'Jones' and 'Williamses' in this post, 'Polly's' family were Welsh in origin!
Thank you for the information. I'm glad to read the children were brought into their family and raised together. Given the times, I'm sure other children/orphans of the Titanic were not so lucky.
How terrible for Wilde's children to loose BOTH their parents, and infant twin brothers, in less than a year. Since Wilde had been so close to the recent deaths of his wife and two children, he might have sensed his own ending on the Titanic. And that might also explain him not entering a life boat to save himself so that he could be reunited with them, we will never know.
Wow, he was quite a handsome chap in his 'summer whites'!
Absolutely, Susan. According to one remark attributed to him, Wilde was said to have commented that he didn't care how he went or how soon he was to join his wife. However, he also seems to have had a strong committment to his surviving children.