Mr Andrew George James Simmons

RMS Titanic Scullion

Andrew George James Simmons' beginnings are difficult to trace as he gave conflicting information with regards to his birthplace and birth date throughout his life.

In 1912 Simmons gave his place of birth as Oxford and age as 30; his 1919 crew card gives his birth date as 13 June 1880 and birthplace, as before, as Oxford. A US citizenship record gives his birthplace as Southampton and birth date as 13 June 1881.  During several ocean voyages in 1917 he gave an age that would point to him having been born around 1872/1873. When he died in 1948 his age was given as 75 which is consistent with an 1872/1873 birth date. No individual matching Simmons' descriptions have been positively identified in birth, baptismal or census records.

When he signed on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Simmons gave his local address as 80 Bevois Valley Road, Southampton1. His previous ship had been the Philadelphia and as a scullion he could expect monthly wages of £3, 10s. 

Simmons survived the sinking, in which lifeboat is not certain. He was not required to give evidence to either the American or British Inquiries into the sinking but did accrue expenses of £10, 6s with regards to his detention at the latter.

Following the disaster Simmons continued to work at sea, later working aboard the St Paul for the American Line. In September 1913 he expressed his intentions to become a US citizen, declaring his then residence as aboard ship, that being the St Paul which was then docked at Pier 62, Manhattan. In the end he did not take US citizenship and returned to the UK where he served in the merchant service throughout WWI.

Signature
Simmons' signature from his 1913 US citizenship papers

He was married in Southampton in 1915 to a native of that city, Leah Rose Barnard (b. 15 November 1885). They had two sons and a daughter: Victor Barrett (b. 5 October 1919), Eric Basil (b. 20 February 1921) and Valmay Leah (1924-1924).

Between April 1917 and February 1918 Simmons was a vegetable cook aboard the Vauban; he was then described as standing at 5' 5" and weighing 153 lbs. By October 1918 he was chief cook aboard the Toloa. Early the following year, in February 1919 he was working aboard the Olympic

By 1925 Andrew was still serving at sea and working as a cook for P&O and living at English Road in Southampton; one voyage that year was as a cook aboard the SS Kaiser I Hind, travelling from Bombay to London. He was listed alone at the same English Road address in 1939, described as married but by then incapacitated with only partial vision.

Andrew Simmons died at 2 Salerno Road, Aldermoor, Southampton on 15 April 1948 and was buried in an unmarked grave at Holybrook Cemetery (section DR, plot 80). It was stated that he was 75 years of age at the time.

His widow Leah died in Freemantle, Southampton on 14 June 1976. His son Victor was married in 1950 to Dorothy Grace Hillier (1929-1981) and they raised a family. He died in New, Forest, Hampshire in 2001. His son Eric was married in 1945 to Margaret Eva Borer (1913-1996), with whom he raised a family. He died in Eastbourne, Sussex in 1998. 

Notes

  1. As per the 1911 census, 80 Bevois Valley Road was the home address of draper's porter Arthur Lovell and his family. 

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Credits

Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK
Brian J. Ticehurst, UK

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2019) Andrew George James Simmons Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #2112, updated 23rd October 2019 10:12:12 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/alfred-andrew-simmons.html