Wireless Operator

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Jo Durant

Am I right in thinking that the Mount Temple Marconi operator was called John Durrant? (taken from the original copy of some British Inquiry witnesses in "Titanic Voices.") Does anybody have any information on him? It is thought that he could be a relative, before our family surname was changed. It's something I'd like to look into.
Thanks all.
He certainly was John Durrant, and I might say he was one of the better operators.

Finding him is another thing. Some seamen's records are held in Britain. Inger Sheil is our resident expert on them.

The best way of looking for a connection is to trace your ancestors backwards from yourself. That way, you work from the known to the unknown.

Good hunting. You'll need patience and money!
Wireless operators did not appear in CR10s.

His picture appeared in the Marconigraph in June 1912, a copy of which may be obtainable from the Marconi archive.

I am halfway through some work on Durrant.

Jo Durant

Good hunting. You'll need patience and money!

Alas, I have neither. I've recently found some of my family's birth/death certificates dating back to the 1850's, a good place to start. Even if I find no connection, it's fascinating to research.

Senan, thanks for the suggestion of the Marconi archive, I'll follow that up.
The Marconi archive in Chelmsford closed a couple of years ago for lack of a buyer, but I heard recently that the archives are moving to the Science Museum in London. I don't know when they will be made public again.

You might try some libraries for copies of the Marconigraph, which later became the Wireless World (under which it may be catalogued), if you need the information soon.


Inger Sheil

I'll see what I can do about digging up that information I had on Durrant for you, Jo. I just haven't had a chance to get home at a decent hour to fire up the old laptop and pull it out (let alone go through the masses of paperwork!). Don't know if I ever sent it to you, Sen. Are you quite sure W/Os don't appear in the CR10s? I'm sure I've seen at least a few while scrolling through them.
This is a poor version of the Marconigraph pic, Jo. It is the standard image of Durrant and has been widely used.


Ing, I would like to see whatever you have of JD. If it is not too much of a secret, it might be easiest to stick it up here.

I looked through some of the CR10s in the last fortnight with Joanne Smith of SCC.

I have never seen a W/o there and she or her colleagues has never found one for me in a couple of searches. I suspect Marconi employees were not "merchant seamen." But you may be more familiar with them.

The good news is that a picture of Fred Barrett has turned up - a vital witness at the British and American Inquiries who has hitherto been faceless. Definitely the right man. One or two other goodies also.

Some of them could go up here on ET in due course.
Senan, there's a photo of Fred Barrett in Eaton & Haas' Triumph & Tragedy - did E&H perhaps find the wrong Fred, since there were two of them in the crew lists?

Here are two alleged Barrett pictures. Top one may be him. Bottom one (equivalent to the E&H T&T pic) may be the other guy, in that it appeared only by name in a parade of Daily Mirror pictures of victims.
On the other hand, the newspaper may be confused and they both might be the same individual. I have discussed this with BTS perennial vote-of-thanks giver Michael Barratt who has an interest in Barrett for obvious reasons.
I don't yet have this other Barrett pic from the CR10s in my possession yet, but the first thing I will do is check it against these two geezers.
I've always had a suspicion that the man in that top picture is John Poigndestre. There is I think a resemblance to a known pic of JP, which unfortunately I've only seen as a none-too-clear photocopy. He and Barrett gave their testimonies on the same day, so the newspaper publication date would fit either. The original caption 'J. Gate' is not very helpful!

J. Gate in the Daily Sketch is a misunderstanding. The above is from Poingdexter's CR10, which also gives this spelling.

I am just a Barrett-room lawyer in all of this... there certainly seems a similarity, Bob.

Another picture of John Thomas Poingdexter, the Channel Islander Titanic AB.

I think you are right, Bob. That 'J. Gate' pic is the same man. Not Barrett as suggested.

Another mystery tentatively half-resolved-ish.
He wasn't so tough, actually.

At least not after I crowned him with pool cue.

I was just giving his head a boing!-tester, you understand.

Probably harder nuts in Colchester.
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