John Hardy was born in Middlesex, London, England on 10 August 1871.
He was the son of John Hardy (b. 1845), a saddler and harness maker, and his wife Sarah (b. 1844). His father was Irish by birth, hailing from Dublin, and his mother a native of Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire. He had four known siblings: Mary (b. 1869), Walter (b. 1874), Ernest (b. 1881) and William (b. 1882).
John first appears on the 1881 census when he and his family were living a 5 James Street in St Martin in the Fields, London. He would be absent from the following 1891 census and perhaps already at sea; his family were by then living at 42 Ballantine Street, Wandsworth.
The 1901 census shows John, described as a ship's steward, living as a boarder at 68 Gloucester Road, Bootle, Lancashire, the home of a Mrs Anne Lamb and her family. Mrs Lamb's daughter was Harriett "Etta" Morgan Lamb (b. 9 November 1880 in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, Wales). John and Etta were married on 15 July 1902 in St David's Church, Liverpool and went on to produce two children: Ronald Mortimer (b. 1903) and Norah Mortimer (b. 1905). The family appear on the 1911 census living at Oakleigh, Holyrood Avenue, Highfield, Southampton, Hampshire, perhaps having relocated there sometime around 1907.
John had, by 1912, been working for the White Star Line for twelve years, serving on the Majestic, Adriatic, Olympic, Teutonic and finally Titanic.
He was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfats to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as "Oakleigh", Highfield, Southampton. His last ship had been the Olympic. As Chief Second Class Steward he received monthly wages of £10.
On Sunday 14 April, John retired at 11:25, his room being on E Deck, amidships. He felt a slight shock only a few minutes later. After slipping trousers over his pyjamas and donning a coat he went outside to see what the trouble was. After retiring again, the Chief First Class Steward roused him, saying the ship was 'making water forward'. Once on deck, Hardy met Purser Barker who told Hardy to get people on deck with the lifebelts on, just as a precaution. After rousing the stewardesses and assisting unaccompanied women on D, E, and F Decks in putting on their lifebelts, he then assisted in closing the watertight doors on F Deck. Then, going to his assigned station, lifeboat 1, he saw it being lowered just as he arrived. Hardy then went port side and assisted with the boats there, helping Second Officer Lightoller.
He later remembered that, First Officer Murdoch had said to him, "'I believe she is gone, Hardy.' And that was the only time I thought she might sink."
When the last collapsible was just about to be safely launched, Lightoller jumped out to make room for another passenger. Hardy was ordered to stay with the boat, where he also remembered seeing a Quartermaster (Bright), two firemen and about four male passengers, the balance made up of women and children. According to his later testimony, there were no people around to help ready and lower the lifeboat and no women and children in sight.
During the lowering, an American woman took to the boat and her husband jumped into the sea (Mr and Mrs Hoyt). Hardy climbed into the boat once it was on the water. After that
"... We rowed out some little distance from her and finally got together, about seven boats of us... Officer Lowe, having a full complement of passengers in his boat, distributed among us what he had, our boat taking in 10. We had 25 already and that made 35."
...then Lowe returned to pick up survivors. Hardy remained in Collapsible D.
When the Carpathia was sighted in the dawn hours, "...we were towed up by Mr Lowe by sail." After boarding the Carpathia, sometime later, he was surprised to find Lightoller who he had thought had gone down with the ship. From the Carpathia, Hardy estimated there was 5 or 6 miles of ice floe and a number of bergs. Until that time, however, he had not seen any ice. He also added that, to the best of his knowledge, there was no drinking by any of the crew and no means of getting it.
John returned to Southampton and continued working for the White Star Line. During the First World War he served on hospital ships and troop transports and later transferred to working on American Lines during peacetime.
He and his wife welcomed a further two children, twins Joan Etta and Peter, in 1919 and they emigrated in the mid-1920s to the USA, settling in Maplewood, New Jersey, with John working for the United States Line on ships, serving as Chief Steward. He retired in 1936
John was widowed in 1941 when his wife Etta passed away aged 60. He later lived at 71 Gales Drive, New Providence, New Jersey and died in Maplewood whilst visiting his son on 7 October 1953.
John Hardy's grave
Courtesy of Mark Baber
His last surviving child, Peter, died in New Jersey in 2009.
Hello everyone! I just found out about this group by looking up my grandfather. I am the grandson of John Hardy. Until finding this web-site I had never seen a picture of my grandfather. If anyone has information or any pictures of him, I would like to hear form you. Thanks to all the people who have done this research. Steve Heyboer
Steve, Here is my printout on Mr. Hardy : HARDY, JOHN T. Saved in Lifeboat D. Lived at a house called Oakleigh, Holyrood Avenue, Highfield, Southampton. Occupation - Chief 2nd Class Steward. 37 years old. (Born in London). Ship before the titanic - the RMS Olympic. Marconigram sent 18th April 1912 to: Hardy, Oakleigh, Holyrood Avenue, Highfield, Southampton, England. ''Safe and well. - Jack''. (Cutting from Southern Evening Echo 14th May 1952). A Former White Star man who was a survivor of the Titanic disaster in April, 1912, 81-years-old Mr. John Hardy, left Southampton for...
Thanks, Brian. That is fascinating. I have never heard anything saying he made it to the USA. I guess that must be "New" Providence NJ. It just so happened that I lived all my life just two towns away in Scotch Plains NJ. I was told that my grandfather had been killed by a car in England not too many years after the Titanic went down. I was also told he had a brother on board(a fireman) who died but...I haven't been able to find anything about him. Do you have any other information about him or a possible brother? thanks, Steve.
Steve, just a few extra points. I don't know whether Jack Hardy had any brothers, but there was nobody else of that name on the Titanic. There is a little added colour in the newspaper account (as is often the case!). Mr Hardy was Chief Steward in Second Class, not 'chief cabin class steward' (which would include First Class), but nevertheless this was an important role with responsibility for a team of about 60 people and a monthly wage of £10 (about $50; regular stewards were paid less than £4). Also he left the ship as part of the crew of collapsible boat D, the last to be lowered on...
I guess that must be "New" Providence NJ. It is; that's the dateline of his obituary in The New York Times. I don't know whether Jack Hardy had any brothers He had at least one. According to the obit he was survived by one brother, William, who lived in London. I've transcribed the obit and submitted it a few moments ago; a link to it should appear on Hardy's summary page in the near future.
Mark Many thanks for Mr. Hardy's Obit - that solved a big puzzle for me. Any idea of where he was interred? or perhaps he was cremated? Any clues? Cheers Brian
Not yet, Brian. But I've added his name to the list of "New Jersey Titanic people" about whom I've been collecting newspaper articles. There are a couple of local papers that might provide those details. I'll let you know if I turn something up.
Hello, again, Brian-- John Hardy and Etta M. Hardy are buried in Restland Memorial Park, East Hanover, New Jersey, USA. A photo of their grave marker, taken this morning, is now available through . As of this morning, the marker was sunk four inches or so into the ground. I reported that to the office today and they said they'd have it re-set. I'll return to East Hanover in a few weeks to see if it was done and get a better photo. I've also found his Newark Evening News obituary, which I'll...
Mark Many thanks for that new location Hardy is number 951. That is the second new Grave location this week - yesterday I found that Second Clas Passenger Fanny Lydia Kelly was buried at St Marys Church Worplesdon, Woking, Surrey - she is number 952. The list grows. Very best regards Brian
Excellent detective work, Mark and Brian! Good to see a photograph of the Hardy plot. I notice that the inscription is still fully legible, and the surounding grass neatly trimmed -reinforcing my suspicion that US cemeteries are generally better maintained than in the UK. I'm delighted to hear that you've managed to pinpoint Fanny Kelly, Brian. Been searching for her for some time. You may have the following details already, but I have recently located the graves of (among others) Rhoda Abbott Williams, Elizabeth Bonnell, Edith Pears Crowe, and Georgette Madill Mattei. I'm not sure if...
Hello, My name is Pamela Collins, maiden name Field. I am the daughter of Joan Hardy who is a twin to my Uncle Peter Hardy. They were born in South Hampton, England and thier Father is John Hardy, chief Steward in Second Class, and survived the Titanic sinking by maning a life boat along with other survivors. I am anxious to hear anything else anyone may have to tell me as I was just a little girl at the time he passed away. I do have a few pictures which I will be glad to share. I am really interested in seeing the grave marker mentioned but I clicked on the link and it said it was not...
Hello Pamela, Welcome aboard
Hmmm... Some months after I located the grave and took the photo that's on the bio page, I returned to the cemetery and took another photo. On my first trip, I mentioned to the manager that the marker had sunk into the ground; when I returned, it had been reset and I took another photo. I though I had posted the second photo, but it seems that's not the case. I'll try to find the second one and put it up, too.
I am the great grandson of the above person and was interested to find this out and that he survived the ordeal. I also have a typed account of when he was on the boat. Don't know if I should donate it to a museum ?? Please contact me if you have any questions that you want to ask.
Hello Michael, Welcome aboard. Have you seen your great grandfather's biography, which is right here on this site? If not, here is the link: Perhaps you'd be interested in contributing his account to the biography, which I'm sure would be very interesting to read. If so, follow the "Add to this Biography" link in his bio.