Encyclopedia Titanica

Distress of the Relatives

Rochdale Butcher on the Titanic

Rochdale Times

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Our readers will be grieved to learn that a Rochdalian, in the person of Mr. Thomas Porteus, was one of the staff on the ill-fated White Star liner "Titanic," the largest ship ever launched, which has foundered off Cape Race on her maiden voyage across the Atlantic.

The vessel started on her trip from Southampton on Wednesday night with over 2,400 persons on board, and on Sunday night struck a giant iceberg off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. By telegraphy, she sent out signals of distress, and several liners were near enough to catch the call and respond to the urgent appeal.

Early messages stated that the giant vessel sank after all her passengers and crew had been transferred in safety to another vessel.  Later the White Star officials in New York admitted that many lives had been lost, and a more detailed message picked up from the "Carpathia," one of the rescuing vessels, states that there are 650 passengers and crew of the "Titanic" aboard the "Carpathia" and that the remaining 1,680 or 1,700 have perished.

The parents of Mr. Porteus, the only Rochdalian as far as we can ascertain, who is intimately concerned in the disaster. conduct the establishment at 5, Butts Avenue, known as Schofield's Dining Rooms. and naturally the household take a very gloomy view of the affair. the whitehaired mother being particularly oppressed with the calamity. The hopeful view taken on Monday was dispelled by the receipt of yesterday's news, and the perplexed family patiently await official information as the fate of their son and brother.

Mr. Porteus, who is a young man of about 33 years of age. served his apprenticeship as a butcher with Mr. W. Earnshaw, of 254, Yorkshire Street. Rochdale, and for about half a dozen years he has travelled between Southampton and New York on White Star liners as a butcher. the principal ships on which he has been engaged being the "Oceanic," "Celtic." "Majestic," and "Teutonic." It was in the capacity of butcher that he was engaged on the "Titanic." and when visiting his people about three weeks ago be showed an eager desire to make the maiden voyage on the "Titanic."

The sympathy of all Rochdalians will go out to Mr. Porteus's friends in this trying time, and all will join in the earnest hope that his name will appear among the Iist of survivors. It rumoured that several Heywood people were passengers on the "Titanic."

Related Biographies

Thomas Henry Porteus


Encyclopedia Titanica (2020) Distress of the Relatives (Rochdale Times, Wednesday 17th April 1912, ref: #211, published 23 December 2020, generated 20th October 2021 12:08:44 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/distress-of-the-relatives-211.html