Encyclopedia Titanica

Frederick William Scott

Titanic Greaser

Mr Frederick William Scott was born in Shirley, Southampton, Hampshire, England on 26 November 1883. 

He was the son of James Henry Scott (1843-1932), a general labourer, and Fanny Reeves, née Penny (1843-1933). Both his parents originated in Hampshire and had married in 1867.

His mother Fanny had originally been married in May 1863 to Enos Reeves (b. 1842 in Romsey), a farm labourer, and the couple had one daughter, Sarah Ann (b. 1866). What became of Enos Reeves is not certain but he possibly died around the close of 1866.

Frederick was one of eight children born to his parents, his known siblings were: Walter Henry (b. 1868), James Henry (b. 1871), George Thomas (b. 1874), Kate (b. 1875), Bessie (b. 1879), Jessie (b. 1881) and Alice (b. 1886). He also had his half-sister Sarah Ann from his mother's previous relationship.

Frederick first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family were living at 28 Albert Street, Shirley. He had left school and was working as a carter (?) by the time of the 1901 census when only he and his sister Alice were still at home at 2 Drummond Road, Sholing. He would later work in the Royal Navy before joining the Merchant Service.

Frederick was married in Southampton in early 1909 to Rose Hobbs (b. 5 January 1887 in Southampton) and they appeared as a married couple on the 1911 census living at 181 Northumberland Road, Southampton where Frederick was described as a Fireman in the Royal Navy.

When he signed on to the Titanic in Southampton on 6 April 1912 Scott gave his address as 107 Clifford Street, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a greaser, he could expect to earn monthly wages of £6, 10s.

At the time of the collision, Scott was on duty as part of the 8-12 watch, situated in the turbine engine room on the starboard side. He felt only a slight jolt at the time of impact and had assumed something had gone amiss in the main engine casing. However, soon emergency telegraphs began to ring, one ordering the engines to stop and just shortly, and without warning after the watertight doors began to drop. He and some others had to go and release another greaser who had become trapped in the tunnel, manually lifting the door to free their mate. 

After much activity in reopening watertight doors to allow movement of men and equipment through the ship, Scott returned to the main engine room to await orders. With no reports of any flooding in that area of the ship, a senior engineer appeared sometime after 12.45 am to tell the assembled men to abandon their posts and head topside. Scott ascended to Scotland Road where he encountered some firemen who advised him to get a lifebelt, he managing to procure one somewhere in the third class quarters before ascending to the boat deck. 

Scott related that he arrived at the starboard boat deck and found what he believed to be a deck bereft of lifeboats but with a noticeable list to port; he crossed to the port side where two lifeboats still hung in their davits, lifeboats 14 and 16 and presumably saw both boats launched.

Shortly after Scott and his mate Thomas Ranger spotted the recently launched lifeboat 4 in the water. Seizing their opportunity, both slid down some empty falls towards the craft. Ranger dropped into the boat but Scott hit the water and had to be dragged into the boat by other occupants. He reported that the ship's propellers were visible and that ship began to break apart around this time, separating at the vicinity of the aft-funnel, the stern section rising out of the water before coming down on an even keel before disappearing.

Frederick Scott survived the sinking and was later called to provide evidence at the British Inquiry into the sinking.

Scott, who later returned to the sea, was eventually reunited with his wife and they went on to welcome their only child on 27 April 1913, James Charles.
On the evening of 28 September 1915 Frederick was a crewmember aboard the S.S. La Marguerite, a paddle steamer, en route from Dover to Southampton. At around 3 miles northeast of Dungeness, Kent a boiler explosion cost the lives of four crewmen, Frederick included, whilst injuring others.

Surgeon Howard Vipond Deakin said he was ordered out to proceed to the "La Marguerite." He left the Harbour at about 10 o'clock to go to the vessel, which was lying somewhere off Folkestone. They got alongside at about 12 to 12.30. It was very rough and he did not get aboard until 2.30. Witness found a surgeon off another boat dressing one of the injured men. He then went and saw the four men who were dead, three of whom had been killed outright. They died from the effects of scalding steam and water, and shock. Three of the men must have died almost instantaneously, but the other man lived for about five hours. He was scalded from head to foot... The jury returned a verdict, in each case, that the deceased men died from scalds and shock received by the collapsing of the crown of the combustion chamber on the s.s. "La Marguerite," and they further said that there was not sufficient evidence to show what caused the combustion. - Dover Express 22 October 1915 

Frederick's body was returned to Southampton and is buried in Old Common cemetery (Southampton, section E 188, plot 260).

On the first anniversary of his death his widow Rose placed an In Memoriam in the Southern Echo:

In loving memory of my dear husband, Frederick William Scott, of 193, Northumberland Road, who was killed through an explosion on the s.s. La Marguerite, September 28, 1915. In the midst of life we are in death.

Rose Scott remained in Southampton for the rest of her life and by 1939 was still a resident of Northumberland Road. Remarried twice, her next suitor was John Henry Bligh (1879-1933) with whom she had a son, John. Her second was to a James Stothard. She died in Southampton in 1966 aged 79.
Frederick's son James later worked as a butcher and married in 1937 to Joan Helen Etheridge (1917-1988) and had a son later in the year named Peter. He died in Southampton in 1983.

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Wreck Commissioners' Court, Proceedings before the Right Hon. Lord Mersey on a Formal Investigation Ordered by the Board of Trade into the Loss of the S.S. Titanic

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Frederick William Scott
Age: 28 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Rose Hobbs
Last Residence: at 107 Clifford StreetSouthampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Greaser
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Rescued (boat 4)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Tuesday 28th September 1915 at Sea aged 31 years
Cause of Death:
Buried: Old Cemetery, Southampton Common, Southampton, Hampshire, England

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