Encyclopedia Titanica

A Thorough Analysis of the Cave List


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This simple incomplete copy of a cabin list for Titanic’s first and only voyage takes its name after the person from whose body it was recovered. This person was Herbert Cave; a 34-year-old married man from Southampton, serving in the capacity of dining room steward in Titanic’s first-class dining saloon. Herbert Cave did not survive the sinking. His body was later recovered and numbered #218. Among the items found on his body is the “Third Proof” passenger list, which was retained in Canada and is now held at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada.

This list now widely referred to as the “Cave List” is not the only copy of this rare document. While there may well have been tens of copies of this list circulating aboard Titanic, bedroom steward William Faulkner is the only other known person to have saved a copy as he escaped in one of Titanic’s lifeboats. As a vital source for cabin allocations, the “Cave List” provides by far the greatest number of first-class passenger names and their cabin allocations than any other known source, thus being the most important document for this purpose. This cabin list is a “Third Proof” copy, which means there were two other “Proofs” printed before it. The “First” and “Second Proof” would have contained the names of passengers and their cabin allocations as were known to date of printing. Many more familiar names would be missing while others would already be on the list. Likewise, those intending to sail, but later decided to cancel, would also be present on the list, as is the case with the “Third Proof” copy. No known copies of “Fourth Proof” or later exist – and we will later examine why the “Third Proof” may have been the last and most updated copy.

The passenger and cabin list span over six pages where 223 passenger names, 25 maids valets or nurses and 157 independent cabin allocations are listed. Of the 248 people mentioned, nine would not find their names on the final list of first-class passengers. These people are:




Christy, Mrs. Alice Francis


Christy, Miss Juli


Craig, Mr. Norman C.,. K.C., M.P.


Eastman, Miss Anne K.

Lewis, Mrs. Charlton T.


Holden, M.A., Rev. J. Stuart


Lawrence, Mr. Arthur


Wood, Mr. Frank P.

Wood, Mrs. Frank P.

It is interesting to see that Mrs. Christy and her daughter are listed among the first-class passengers. Both ladies sailed on Titanic as second-class passengers. One may assume that their mention in first-class is simply a misprint or mistake on the part of the printer or a White Star Line clerk who incorrectly indicated the two ladies as first-class passengers. Perhaps they originally intended to sail first class but due to unknown circumstances changed their booking to second-class. Whatever the story, the fact still remains that nine of the 248 people mentioned would not sail as first-class passengers on Titanic, seven of which would not sail on Titanic at all. Taking the above information into consideration, the list shows 239 names of first-class passengers and servants who did sail on Titanic on her maiden voyage. Included in the count are 153 individual cabins indicated for 228 passengers. Eleven passengers on the list who sailed to New York have no direct cabin allocation. Charles M. Hays’ secretary, Mr. Payne also has no cabin next to his name, however, next to the names of Mr. and Mrs. Hays (and maid), there is an extra cabin, B24, which was more than likely intended for Payne. The following are people with no cabins:


Port of Embarkation

Andrews, Mr. Thomas


Case, Mr. Howard B.


Chisholm, Mr. Robert


Jacob, Mr. Birnbaum [Birnbaum was actually the last name]


Parr, Mr. M. H. W.


Reuchlin, Mr. Jonkheer J. G.


Stead, Mr. W. T.


Thayer, Mr. J. B.


Thayer, Mrs. J. B.

+ maid [Fleming, Miss Margaret]

Thayer, Mr. J. B., Jr.

With information known today about passengers and their actual ports of embarkation, we can say that of the 239 passengers listed, 142 people boarded at Southampton, 94 people at Cherbourg and the remaining 3 passengers, the Minahans, at Queenstown, although they did originally intend to board at Southampton. It is known that with the upgrade at Cherbourg of Alfred Nourney (listed under the pseudonym Baron von Drachstedt) from second-class, 324 passengers sailed aboard Titanic in first-class to New York. Excluding Alfred Nourney, it thus becomes clear that 84 passengers and servants are not mentioned on the “Cave List”. So, when was the ‘Cave List’ printed? Various theories have been put forward; the following three were suggested to the author.

Theory One:

This theory hypothesises that it was printed prior to departure on April 10, 1912, while Titanic was in Southampton. This suggestion aims to explain why the list is missing names of passengers known to have sailed, suggesting that names of those yet to board at Cherbourg are not printed. However a quick scan of the names printed on the list clearly shows many passengers who boarded at Titanic’s second port of call, such as Madame Aubert and maid, the Baxters, Mr. Guggenheim, “Morgans” (who were actually Sir and Lady Duff Gordon), Speddens, Mrs. White and entourage. In total 94 passengers mentioned on the “Cave List” actually boarded Titanic at Cherbourg.

Theory Two:

A s it is clear that many names of passengers boarding at Cherbourg are printed, a similar suggestion to the above was made. This theory also hypothesises that the list was printed on April 10, 1912 in Southampton. While names of passengers boarding at Cherbourg are printed, their cabins are not, and would be added at a later time, once the passengers board. This attempted to explain why there were names with no cabin allocations. Once again, even using the names presented in the first theory, each has a cabin allocation. Of the 11 passengers who did sail on Titanic and have no direct cabin allocation, only two boarded at Cherbourg, the other nine boarded at Southampton.

Theory Three:

Yet a third suggestion for the list’s printing date is April 11, 1912, after Titanic left Queenstown. This aimed to explain why names of cross channel passengers were missing from the list. However, names of cross channel passengers rarely made it to any list, let alone a printed list, which was to be used on board temporarily. It also failed to explain why 84 names of passengers who sailed on Titanic to New York were not included, why 11 cabin allocations are missing and why 9 names of passengers who did not sail on Titanic in first-class or at all are also included on the list.

When was the list printed?

Analysing these theories, the suggestions presented are unsupported by the cabin list itself. To find more substantial clues as to when the list was printed, one must look beyond the “Cave List” and boarding locations of passengers. There are two key sources for this. The first is the White Star Line passenger contract ticket and price list (submitted by the White Star Line to the Limitation of Liability case in New York) held at National Archives and Records Administration, New York, NY. The second is William T. Sloper’s biography of his father, The Life and Times of Andrew Jackson Sloper (1949).

The contract ticket and price list gives the numbers and prices of the tickets booked by passengers that White Star Line believed finally sailed on the Titanic. In total, the first-class section lists 323 passengers (Alfred Nourney being listed on the 2 nd class ticket list), maids, valets and nurses and their ticket numbers. Various ‘trends’ or ‘blocks’ of ticket numbers can be observed, presumably listed chronologically in order of booking, each distinct block of tickets booked from one of White Star Line’s many offices. One such block of tickets which is of particular interest here, is the “1137xx” running through to “1138xx” series, booked at White Star’s Cockspur Street office in London. The first ticket in this lot, 113760, was booked by the Carter family about April 1 or 2, 1912, who originally intended to sail aboard the Olympic on April 3, 1912. Twenty-five tickets later, number 113807 was booked by George Wright on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 9, 1912.

William Sloper had also booked his ticket from this office. Paying £35 and 10s, he booked ticket number 113788. Luckily for history, as William Sloper wrote in 1949 “I allowed myself to be persuaded to write out … the full story of an event which has already been thoroughly written about…” And with it came his account of how he came to book passage on the Royal Mail Steamer Titanic. Having spent the first week of April 1912 in London, William Sloper had made arrangements on Saturday April 6, to return home aboard the Mauretania the following Saturday (April 13). The next day (Sunday) he met the Fortune family in the Palm Court of the Carlton Hotel on Pall Mall. He was already acquainted with the family from a previous crossing and was friends with Alice Fortune. By the time William Sloper parted with the Fortune family that afternoon, he had promised to try and refund his booking with Cunard, and sail instead on White Star Line’s newest ship. The following day being Monday (April 8), Sloper paid a visit to the Cunard office, obtained his refund, crossed the street to the White Star Line office and made the new arrangements to sail aboard Titanic.

Knowing when Sloper made his booking (Monday, April 8, 1912), we now need to compare the information seen on the contract ticket list and the Cave List. Observing a few tickets booked before and after Sloper, the following information emerges:



Ticket no.

C 103

Bonell, Miss Elizabeth



Blackwell, Mr. S. W


C 104

Peuchen, Major Arthur


C 30

Molson, Mr. H. M.



Sloper, William T.



Holverson, Mr. Alexander O.


Holverson, Mrs. A. O.


Rowe, Mr. Alfred



Crafton, Mr. John B.



Smart, Mr. John M.


Comparing the above to the Cave List, we can clearly see that the four passengers who booked prior to Sloper all appear on the Cave list, and all have a cabin allocation. In fact, the passengers from the same line of tickets preceding those seen above, such as the Carter family, Hugh Rood, the Marvins, Pears, Thomas Franklin, Col. Archibald Gracie and the Allison family all appear on the Cave List with cabin allocations. We can also see from the Cave List, that despite other people being mentioned with a maid, valet or nurse, the Carter family have no entourage of servants. This was because they were booked later, as it is, from the same office, their ticket number being 113798, chronologically after Sloper’s. Names following those seen above, such as Seward, Willard, Moore, Weir, Loring, Futrelle, Robert Daniel, Chambers and Wright, are also not to be found on the Cave list.

Mr. Chambers in his October 1912 account published in The Lawrenceville Alumni Bulletin , recalls arriving to Southampton aboard the Aragon, on the Saturday before Titanic’s departure. He would subsequently book passage for himself and his wife to sail on Titanic. Their ticket 113806 booked after Sloper’s, was likely bought on Tuesday. Although Mr. Chambers’ account is not as specific with regards to the date of booking, we know that the Chambers’ arrived in Southampton only a few days before Titanic’s departure, and in the following days after reaching London, booked passage homeward.

Taking all of the information examined above into consideration, it becomes unlikely that the Cave List was printed on April 10 or 11, 1912. It is clear that all the passengers in that line of tickets who booked prior to Sloper are on the Cave List and those after Sloper are not. Over the Easter period ticket offices were not open for bookings everyday, and thus were closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The list was likely printed early morning of Monday April 8, 1912. It is clear that the list was printed without using the booking information of Monday and Tuesday prior to Titanic’s departure on the Wednesday.

Why was the list printed?

There is no solid evidence that allows us to answer this question conclusively, and we might never really know for sure. The following is provided as a suggestion attempting to explain its purpose.

After the successful conclusion of her trials, Titanic steamed for Southampton in order to begin the preparations for her maiden voyage. On April 3, 1912, Olympic had departed Southampton on the first leg of her 10 th round trip. When residents of Southampton woke up on Thursday, April 4, they found Titanic in place where Olympic had just been less than a day prior. A small selection of crew was hired on April 4, such as stewards F. Dent Ray, Cave , Faulkner, all the bedroom stewards, storekeepers, and the baggage master – all signed on aboard Titanic to aid in preparation for sailing day . Among the crew were also both of the ship’s printers who would have printed the “First Proof” that Thursday morning along with any necessary menus for the day, and other miscellaneous printing. It is known that Titanic’s completion was a little behind schedule and various fittings and furnishings would only be placed after the luxury liner reached Southampton, and the list may have been used to give priority to cabins already booked.

But why not simply hand out a list of cabins to make ready? The list likely had a more significant purpose. Passengers wishing not to bother with baggage on departure day could send it to the ship several days in advance of sailing day – in fact, this was encouraged by the White Star Line. Upon receipt of the luggage at Southampton, the necessary articles could be distributed among the staterooms accordingly. On various U.S. 1920’s price booklets for the White Star Line, a disclaimer urges intending passengers to forward as much luggage as possible to New York at least one day before sailing day. Of more significance to Titanic in 1912, is Olympic’s 1913 price booklet which goes extensively into luggage forwarding, in addition to urging the English passengers to forward their luggage, it also mentions that passengers embarking at Cherbourg need to forward their luggage to Southampton no later than 48 hours prior to departure. Indeed luggage forwarding was a common practice. Just imagine the task of loading and distributing baggage of hundreds or even thousands of passengers all within a space of a few hours on sailing day!

The Carter family had originally intended to sail aboard Olympic on April 3, 1912. Their forwarded luggage would have remained in Southampton, loaded off the Olympic and awaiting its new home, the Titanic. Those cancelling late or missing the ship altogether would have to face their next trip without their belongings. Readers may be familiar with the story of Howard A. Irwin who intended to sail 3 rd class. His luggage and contents were recovered from the bottom of the ocean, having obviously been placed in the cabin, where it was until the ship broke apart. The bag could not have been in the baggage room which was fore in the bow and is still intact – Irwin’s cabin must have been aft in the 3 rd class G deck section (G1 – G41) where men were housed, such as Berk Pickard (as he said at the US Inquiry “My cabin was No. 10 in the steerage, at the stern” ). Readers may also be aware of the story where Mr. Vanderbilt and his wife intended to sail on Titanic. Booking late but cancelling after their luggage was forwarded, it had to sail on, with their manservant - Edwin Wheeler - to look after it. The Vanderbilts who employed Wheeler actually sailed on Olympic on April 3, 1912. Whether they ever intended to sail on Titanic we’ll never know, but they obviously left their footman behind to follow with their (no doubt mounds of) luggage which they possibly did not have time to make ready and forward to the Olympic. Of course there were those that booked passage a mere day before departure. Although they would bring all their baggage on sailing day, the task of loading it would be much relieved due to the fact that majority of passengers had already forwarded their belongings in advance. This majority of passengers showed up on sailing day only with the bare minimum of miscellaneous baggage; necessary clothing, toilet articles and parcels from last minute shopping.

If both, or more importantly the latter suggestion for the list’s purpose is true, this would emphasise the need for accuracy of the “Third Proof” or for that matter any proof of the cabined passenger list. Updated cabin lists were handed out daily to the crew. The previous suggestion that the list was printed on Monday April 8, may explain why it was the “Third Proof” and that proofs ‘one’ and ‘two’ were printed on Thursday and Saturday, each successive proof containing more information than the previous. Reservations or bookings to sail on Titanic may have started as early as February, but bookings became regular as the months of March and April wore on. As sailing day approached, passengers began to get ready and forward their luggage to the pier. The first lot may have arrived on Thursday, and the bags distributed according to the “First Proof” of the cabin list. Subsequently further bookings were made on Thursday, and since Friday was a public holiday, yet a “Second Proof” would have been printed on Saturday. Once again Sunday was a public holiday, so the “Third Proof” was likely printed early Monday and contained all the up to date info, including Saturday’s bookings, which would have been necessary for the remainder of baggage distribution. It would be too late to forward any luggage by passengers who would have booked either Monday or Tuesday, so the “Third Proof” would have been used for the next two days for any luggage that was forwarded prior to Monday. If any one or both of the suggestions for the purpose of the list are incorrect, the fact still remains that it held some importance to the crew and was printed daily during Titanic’s stay in port. Like any list however, and as will be seen, the Cave List was not perfect and has missing names, cabins and misprinted cabins. Using the Cave List for baggage allocation would result in a few (but only a few) passengers’ luggage being misplaced or having no home at all.


The list is printed as a proper passenger list, with the usual White Star Line ads, travel and booking information. However this may have just been standard practice for any passenger lists, as the list covers and leaflets with travel information etc . were pre-printed. Missing cabins and names will be discussed later, so for now we will focus on the accuracy of cabin information printed.

The list indicates that Emil Brandeis was booked into B10. The total price of over £50 that Mr. Brandeis paid for his accommodation (compared to other passengers) would suggest at least a cabin better than B10. In one of his accounts, Mr. Silverthorne recalls a party that Mr. Brandeis had for a “dozen buyers” in his suite on B deck. There are two possibilities here. One, that Brandeis really did occupy B10 but then changed to a larger cabin or that B10 is a misprint for another cabin (perhaps B70?).

The Cavendish party are shown to be booked into C46, a rather small one-berth cabin no bigger than a cube of 9 foot dimensions where the sofa bed could have been arranged for an extra passenger “if needed”. Norman Carlyle Craig on the other hand - who booked his passage at the same time, was a good friend of and travelling with the Cavendishes - was booked into C132 a comfortable three-berth cabin … all for himself!? As they booked their passage together, it is possible that these cabins were accidentally attributed to the wrong names. Thus it rather seems more likely that Craig was booked into C46 and the Cavendish party into C132.

Mrs. Earnshaw is shown to be in cabin C53. Mr. Tucker occupied this cabin. It is doubtful that a married woman would be placed in another cabin with a man who was not her husband. According to accounts after the sinking Mrs. Earnshaw shared a cabin with Margaret Hays, which would have been C54.

The “maid” of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan (known to be Sir and Lady Duff Gordon) is Miss Laura Francatelli. The list places her in E36 and thus suggests that she shared a cabin with the Spedden maid. However her letter to a friend makes no mention of a fellow occupant, and Miss Francatelli mentions a plate in the floor which some crew were working on right near her cabin. Such a plate was found right near cabin E26, which seems to suggest that E36 was merely a misprint on the list.

Mr. and Mrs. Spencer are placed into cabin B76. Steward Etches testified that they were in B78. Considering that their maid’s cabin was B80, which was right next door to B78, it is most likely that B76 on the Cave List is merely a misprint.

This indicates at least 4 or 5 known misprints on the list. Considering that there were 157 cabin allocations, this doesn’t seem so detrimental, but we don’t know if there were other misprints. A considerable proportion of cabins listed on the “Cave List” can be corroborated by at least one or sometimes two (or more) other sources, thus overall adding credence to the list’s accuracy.

The Cave List also seems to lack accurate information about the servants’ cabins, in fact, the list shows no importance for such information. There may of course be a good reason for that. Employers only paid about £15 for their servants’ accommodation, and various servants were coupled together in the same cabin. In such cases, it was likely decided after boarding, or eventually after booking, when the White Star Line might pair different servants together. While this was not the practice for full-fare paying 1 st class passengers, servants had little choice in the matter and were treated like 2 nd class passengers, where one could be placed in a cabin with a stranger. Although some names on the Cave List are mentioned with a servant’s cabin, other servants are given no cabin at all. Although not all servants were paired up, those not booked into a particular cabin were accorded a cabin once all the full-fare paying passengers had booked their cabins. This is why it is sometimes difficult to place a maid, nurse or a manservant in their appropriate cabin.

Yet still, not all the cabins listed on the “Cave List” are correct, but the list’s printer cannot be at fault. Cabin changes are the reason for those ‘inaccuracies’. After boarding, a few people had relocated. Not everyone who changed cabins is known, but the following names are known for sure: Beattie, (Brandeis?), Case, Cherry, Gee, Lambert-Williams, McCaffry, (Millet?), Molson, the Countess of Rothes and possibly William Thomas Stead. It is known that F. D. Millet was travelling with Maj. Butt and it is thus a curious coincidence that both men (according to the list) occupied cabins “38”. Millet wrote a letter to his family from the Titanic and in it he describes a cabin much like B38 rather than E38. The two men did not book passage at the same time or the same travel agent, so it would seem doubtful that their cabins were also accidentally misattributed. Perhaps Millet had changed cabins once on board to be near his friend, and was possibly placed in B32? The two did not occupy the same cabin.

Missing Passengers.

There are other questions raised that have not been answered yet. It is now clear that the reason so many passengers known to have sailed are missing from the Cave List because the list was printed before they booked. Others are still on the list because it was printed before they cancelled. However there were a few individuals who apparently booked before the list was printed and yet are not on it. Observing the same trends on the contract ticket list and various other sources, a few names fall out of line. These passengers are:


Ticket no.

Thorne, Mr. G (aka George Rosenshine)

PC 17585

Thorne, Mrs. G

Astor, Col. J. J.

PC 17757

+ valet (Victor Robins)

Astor, Mrs. J. J.

+ maid (Rosalie Bidois)

Melody, Mr. A.


White, Mr. M. J.


? Killinger, Mr. J ?


Haven, Mr. H. (aka Harry Homer)


Brayton, Mr. G. (aka George Brereton)


Rolmane, Mr. C. (aka Charles Romaine)


Wick, Mr. G. D.


Wick, Mrs. G. D.

Wick, Miss M.

This shows that at least 14 or 15 other names should have been on the Cave List. There may well be more, but the above could easily be extracted from various sources. It is likely that the passengers in the table above requested to be omitted from cabin lists, perhaps because cabin locations were given. As we know, multiple copies of the cabined lists were circulating aboard Titanic during the week before sailing day. This was also usually the time when reporters roamed the ship, and could have easily asked one of the crew for a look at the list. A little background on each individual may help explain why these people are not on the list.

The “Mr. And Mrs. Thorne” are actually Mr. George Rosenshine and his girlfriend. The two were a couple of different religions, unmarried, travelling under an assumed name as husband and wife. Given their situation and in 1912 society, their secrecy may not be surprising.

Col. Astor, wife and entourage of servants were also likely trying to avoid attention. Col. Astor was one of the wealthiest men in the world, and certainly by far the richest man on Titanic. Such wealth comes at a price, often in form of reporters eager to record and then report your every step. Add to that a divorce, a scandal of marrying a woman less than half your age who is now returning home pregnant. It is doubtful that Col. Astor would have appreciated being tracked down in his cabin. Mrs. Astor’s private nurse – Miss Caroline Endres – was also booked under the same ticket as the Astors. She is mentioned under her own name and not simply as a ‘nurse’, and thus does not fall under the category of ‘Astor’, her name and cabin allocation can be found on the Cave List, which also supports that they booked prior to the list’s printing.

Haven, Brayton and Rolmane are all well known to us as gamblers. There were over a dozen gamblers who crossed the Atlantic from New York in late March, with intention to return on the world’s large liners. About 16 gamblers booked similar numbered tickets in early April 1912:


Ticket no.

Ship Sailed on:

Harvey, Mr. Barton J.



McLennan, Mr. Alex(ander)


Hartley, Mr. A. Herbert


Jamison, Capt. John. C.

McVully, Mr. William M.

Mullin, Mr. Roy V

O’Connell, Mr. Benjamin

O’Neil , Mr. Fergus O.

Smith, Mr. Victor E.

Tracy, Mr. Paul H.

Melody, Mr. Anthony



White, Mr. W. J.


Killinger, John


Haven, Mr. Harry



Brayton, Mr. George


Rolmane, Mr. Charles


All the gamblers no doubt used pseudonyms. Ten of these as seen above, a mere few days after booking, crossed back to New York aboard Olympic one week prior to Titanic’s maiden voyage. The other 6 remained - possibly all with the intention to cross on the Titanic. As history would have it, only three would eventually sail on Titanic, however at the time of the Cave List’s printing, at least 5 gamblers intended to sail on her. In addition to Brayton, Haven and Rolmane, the names of Messrs Melody and White can be found on Titanic’s Board of Trade Southampton departure list as well as the first class passenger list distributed to passengers aboard Titanic. After the disaster, two of Titanic’s gamblers wired friends in New York to report the deaths of Melody and White. In reality the two sailed on the Celtic with fellow gambler John Killinger. The fact that they appeared on two passenger lists as late as April 10, and their colleagues believed them to be drowned, suggests that their decision not to sail was a last minute one. In any case, gambling was considered a crime, as these professional gamblers cheated and swindled unsuspecting passengers out of large sums of money. Knowing their deeds and outcomes, it is also not surprising that the five gamblers avoided mention on the cabin lists.

The Wick family , although having booked their passage on Titanic in late March or early April, they are missing from the Cave List. The reason for their doing so remains elusive, but we can be sure they indeed booked before the list was printed. Caroline Bonnell was the 4 th member of their party booked under the same ticket. The Wicks must have requested their names to be omitted, and as Caroline is not a ‘Wick’ her name and cabin are on the Cave List. Thus we can be sure that the Wicks booked before the printing and are omitted for reasons that can only be known to them.

One may suspect that the omission of passengers from the list may simply be an oversight. At least 5 gamblers definitely known to have been booked on Titanic and all to be ‘conveniently’ overlooked on the cabin list, does warrant suspicion. Reasons for some others to be missing have also been suggested. The exact reason for their omission is unknown; to avoid association with their cabin and name is merely a suggestion. Circumstances for the missing names might suggest that a reason or request is the result for the passengers’ exclusion from the Cave List (and likely other copies/proofs of the list).

Missing Cabins.

The question still remains as to why 11 passengers who sailed to New York have no cabin allocation. Some answers may once again be extracted from the ticket list.


Ticket no.


Andrews, Mr. Thomas



Case, Mr. Howard B.



Chisholm, Mr. Robert



Jacob, Mr. Birnbaum [Birnbaum was actually the last name]



Parr, Mr. M. H. W.



Reuchlin, Mr. Jonkheer J. G.



Stead, Mr. W. T.


£26 11s

Thayer, Mr. J. B.


£110 17s 8d

(Each –

£27 14s 5d)

Thayer, Mrs. J. B.

Maid [Fleming, Miss Margaret]

Thayer, Mr. J. B., Jr.

Perhaps the easiest to explain would be those travelling under “Complimentary” tickets. Obviously these passengers were not paying for their passage, thus the White Star Line may have refrained from issuing these people rooms until after paying customers have reserved cabins to their liking. Those holding complimentary tickets were likely issued cabins only upon boarding, when the purser was better able to make a decision of issuing a cabin not desired by another passenger. The others on the above list may have had similar reasoning. Although having paid for their ticket, the prices indicate that the lowest first class fares were paid. It may be that these passengers simply booked passage on Titanic rather than reserving any particular room. If this were the case, the White Star Line would have likewise issued cabins to these passengers once they were on board. The Thayers however may have another reason altogether. Their total price of over £110 evens out to £27 14s 5d per-person. It is known that they occupied cabins C66 and C68, with another cabin for their maid. These cabins were among the better and pricier suites aboard the ship, and had the Thayers booked these cabins under normal circumstances, the £110 would hardly suffice to cover the costs! This situation may well suggest that there is a reason why the Thayers paid a minimum cost for such costly accommodation, and why, despite the fact that they booked in early April 1912, there are no cabins indicated for them on the Cave List.

The above analysis examines in detail various aspects of the Cave List. And, in it's analysis, various other documents and sources were examined and compared - documents such as the Titanic ticket and price list, the passenger list printed on board, Olympic’s April 3, 1912 departure list, the departure lists of Titanic and the Celtic, as well as William Sloper’s 1940 account which was vital for pinpointing some dates. While the author does not contend this is the final definition of the Cave List, it is hoped that this is a more accurate understanding of this rare and vital source, a bringing together of existing research and, in the end, a more complete picture of those last few days of the Titanic.

© Daniel Klistorner 2004.

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) A Thorough Analysis of the Cave List (Titanica!, ref: #2714, published 1 April 2004, generated 22nd November 2022 10:15:31 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/the-cave-list.html