Master Jack Odell

Jack Odell

Jack Odell, born 18 August 1900 in Beckenham, Kent the son of Herbert and Lily Odell.

Jack, his mother Lily and sister Kate Odell, Richard May and Stanley May were all travelling together.  The group travelled to Southampton on the boat train where they boarded the Titanic for the voyage to Queenstown.

The Odell party are notable for a famous collection of photographs taken aboard the Titanic taken by Kate one of which was one of the last known photographs of the Titanic as they were on the tender going to Queenstown.

Jack on Titanic

Jack on board the Titanic.

Upon arrival in Queenstown they intended to take a tour of Ireland and they had booked a motor for this purpose.

Jack's father was a fish merchant and worked at Billingsgate Fish Market. The family lived in London in a large five bedroom Victorian house. Jack's father did not go on the holiday as he was away on business in Birmingham.

To get home they took another sea crossing to Swansea and took another train back to London. When they arrived back, they attended a Titanic memorial service at St. Paul's Cathedral.

Although not a survivor of the wreck, Jack would be the longest surviving male passenger. He died on 19 November 1995 age 95 and was cremated on the 23 November 1995 at Crown hill Crematorium, Milton Keynes, England his ashes were collected by funeral directors J. S. Cowley Milton Keynes England, the whereabouts of his remains is unknown.


Articles and Stories

Titanica! (2011) 

Comment and discuss

  1. Richard G. Hall said:

    I am a child of adoption who is researching my biological father's family, the Odells, (thanks to a typo at Ellis Island, the name is incorrectly spelled "O'Dell" here in the states), and it was suggested I address my questions to this forum regarding my family's cabin aboard from South Hampton to Queenstown. I am interested in any new info that I can glean the wealth of knowledge here.

  2. Erika E. Lagares said:

    I have a picture of a boy on a deck, im not sure if it's a boy or a man,his name is Jan Odell, or so the picture's name is. I haven't seen his name before, and I don't seem to find anything about him. Has anyone heard or read about him?

  3. avatar

    Michael H. Standart said:

    Actually, it's 11 year old Jack Odell and if I'm not mistaken, he's the young lad who was caught by Fr. Brown's camera spinning a top out on deck. Fortunately for him and the rest of his family, they got off the ship in Queenstown. What little there is on him can be found at

  4. avatar

    Dave Gittins said:

    The boy spinning the top was Douglas Spedden. Jack Odell is the lad with the camera in a photo that I recall. I think it's in Titanic: An Illustrated History. He's also on page 99 of Father Browne's Titanic Album.

  5. avatar

    Michael H. Standart said:

    >>The boy spinning the top was Douglas Spedden.

  6. avatar

    Dave Gittins said:

    Here's a query. While googling for photos of Jack Odell, I found plenty of an older man of the same name. He was the technical expert behind Matchbox toy cars. Could he be the the lad from Titanic? His age would be about right for him to be an expert in making model cars in the 1950s. I do know Odell lived to a great age but I don't have details.

  7. Bob Godfrey said:

    The Jack Odell connected with Matchbox Toys (and the founder in the 1980s of his own company Lledo Toys) was certainly active within the last couple of years, and not looking like the oldest man in the world! :-) Jack Odell the toymaker was in fact born in 1920.

  8. avatar

    Dave Gittins said:

    Thanks for that, Bob. It was just the long arm of coincidence.

  9. Bryan R. Carroll said:

    A possible link to the ODell family?

  10. Zack Wyatt said:

    Jack Dudley Odell looks cute in the picture of him and his family on the boat deck!

  11. Kevin Saucier said:

    I have three or so signed large pics of Jack Odell on my website. Check it out under the "Pictures & Autographs" section and see if they match yours.

  12. Brian O'Dell said:

    I am trying to dig into my family's past and find out about the Odell family. My name is actually John Atkinson, yet my original surname was Odell but after my mother divorced her old husband and remarried into the Atkinson family, my name was changed to Atkinson. I know when the Odell's arrived at Ellis Island, there was a mix up and the name was spelt O'Dell instead of the right way. I was told about Lily Odell who was a wife of a fish merchant from London. Her brothers Richard and Stanley accompanied her on the voyage as well as her sister-in-law, Kate. Jack Odell told relatively... Read full post

  13. avatar

    Mike Poirier said:

    I would go through the back issues of THS and I believe there is a story on them

  14. Brian O'Dell said:

    Thanks. I'll check that out.

  15. avatar

    Stanley C Jenkins said:

    I have been talking to a relative of the Odells, who is very interested in her family history. She says that the family were related to the Mays by marriage - hence the presence of Stanley May and Richard May as travelling companions. There could also be a link to the Conynghams (spellings vary), who were from Donegal; all of these people were apparently travelling on the same ticket. It is believed that most branches of these inter-related families were Protestants, and it is unlikely that they would have adopted the O’dell spelling. I can probably find out much more about their... Read full post

  16. avatar

    Stanley C Jenkins said:

    Just a thought, but "the the Odells who arrived at Ellis Island", cannot have been the Odells who got off the Titanic at Queenstown, unless they subsequently travelled to America on another vessel (which I think is unlikely). In any case, would First Class passengers have been sent to Ellis Island? I had always thought that they were, in some way, "excused" - unless there was an immigration problem, as happened in the case of the music hall/vaudville star Marie Lloyd, whose act was considered to be too immoral for American audiences.

  17. Anthony Cunningham said:

    Hello folks - I am writing an account of some of the children on board the Titanic. May I enquire if anyone knows if Jack Odell ever wrote some memories of his cross channel voyage?

  18. avatar

    Stanley C Jenkins said:

    The Odells are mentioned several times on this forum, but I don't think Jack Odell could remember very much about his cross-channel trip.

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Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2019) Jack Odell (ref: #2217, last updated: 8th February 2019, accessed 15th August 2020 11:17:11 AM)