Mr John Stewart

Mr John Stewart was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 11 November 1883.

He appears on the 1911 census of England and that time he was living as a lodger at 77 Earls Road, Portswood, Southampton and was described as unmarried and working as a ship's steward for the White Star Line. Living at this address also was Mabel Annie Blyth (b. 22 December 1889 in Southampton), a tobacconist's assistant, and their daughter Gwendoline Ethel Rosaline (b. 5 June 1909).

John and Mabel were married on 7 October 1911 and would have another daughter, Florence Mary "Mollie", towards the end of 1912.

Stewart was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, John gave his address as 7 Earls Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic. As one of two Verandah and Palm Court stewards in first-class he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.

Stewart was rescued, probably in lifeboat 15, inadvertently carrying the veranda café keys with him in his pocket.

John most likely returned to working for the White Star Line following the Titanic disaster but soon left the sea and worked as a driver. He later served during WWI, enlisting in 1915 and joining for duty on 1 April 1916, serving in the Army Medical Corps. His address, at the time, was 18 Canton Street, Southampton. He and his wife later ran a public house, the Richmond Inn on Portswood Road, Southampton, which is still in operation today.

John died aged 62 on 16 April 1946 after a protracted illness and was later cremated at Southampton Crematorium his ashes are scattered in the garden of rest in South Stoneham Cemetery Southampton section 6.

His widow Mabel died on 7 February 1978. Both his daughters, Gwen (later Mrs John Balmforth) and Mollie (later Mrs William Adams) died in Hampshire in 1983 and 1998, respectively.

 

Comment and discuss

  1. Matteo Eyre said:

    Does anyone know the means that Verandah Steward John Stewart boarded a lifeboat?? this site says we was rescued "probably" in lifeboat 15 but in Colonel Archibald Gracie's book Titanic A Survivors Story, 2 crewmen George Frederick Crowe (1st class saloon steward) who survived in boat 14 and Frank Oliver Evans (Able Seaman) who survived in boat 10, both of whom went back with Lowe to pick up survivors claimed that a steward by the name of J Stewart was pulled from the water into their boat, many... Read full post

  2. L. Colombo said:

    Usually the steward picked up by No. 14 is identified as Harold Phillimore. I'll check the testimonies by Crowe and Evans if they exist.

  3. Matteo Eyre said:

    I have looked at the page on Phillimore and i see that as possible, could both have been picked up?? As far as i know 4 were picked up from the water, Hoyt, Lang, now Phillimore, could the other have been Stewart?? i can post the relevant section of it onto here if it would make it easier for you?? Cheers Colombo Matteo :)

  4. Bob Godfrey said:

    John Stewart is generally placed in boat 15 because Samuel Rule, the Chief Bathroom Steward, mentioned in testimony that another steward called Jack (ie John) Stewart was rowing close by him in that boat and eventually took charge of it. But you are right, Matteo, Gracie's book does imply that one of the men picked up from the water by boat 14 was a steward called J. Stewart. There was only one Stewart, and he couldn't have been in two places at the same time. Looking closely at Crowe's account in Gracie's book, he mentions the recovery of only three men, two of whom are clearly Hoyt and... Read full post

  5. Bob Godfrey said:

    You also asked what was the role of the verandah steward. No mystery there. He was one of the 'public room stewards', and his work station would have been the Verandah and Palm Court cafe area at the after end of the promenade deck, where he would wait on the passengers and attend to whatever needs they might have. He had an 'assistant', but they were both paid the same so I imagine this didn't imply any authority over the other man. The V & PC was divided into two, port and starboard, so presumably each man worked on one side only.

  6. L. Colombo said:

    Meanwhile I've checked the testimony of Crowe and Evans and none mentions Jack Stewart. Crowe: , and we got him into the boat, and... Read full post

  7. Matteo Eyre said:

    Firstly thank you to both of you for your posts, i will start with Bob's posts, i will have a read of Rule's testimony asap, ha ha, i read that he was picked up from the water, looked in my lifeboat file, saw boat 15 and my first thought was "well that doesn't add up" but on reflection i wonder if, whilst trying to say steward the crew mistook it for Stewart and then believed he was J Stewart, would he have had paper with another stewards name on it?? your example of him being unable to speak does seem plausible, will do, now that being his occupation was one thing i hadn't even considered,... Read full post

  8. L. Colombo said:

    As for Portaluppi I have developed my own theory. Twist of fate, his hometown – Acisate, in the Varese Province, Northwestern Lombardy – is not far from where I live, since I too live in this Province. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any detailed account of his survival; some years ago – for the 100th anniversary, for example – some newspaper published something about his story, which is veeeery far-fetched. The story was more or less that he jumped into the sea, swam for some hours, and then came upon a lifeboat which had Madeleine Astor on board; a sailor tried to keep him back... Read full post

  9. L. Colombo said:

    As for Thure Edvin Lundström or Nassem Cassef Albimona, who both said they were rescued from the sea, it has been assumed that they made their stories up and were actually in Boat 15, but as far as I know there is no evidence to support this (but, on the other end, neither to support their claims). I think maybe one of them was really rescued from the water, maybe by Boat 14. I haven't fully understood the meaning of "would i be ok on your behalf to refer to this conversation??" - if you mean if you could refer to this conversation on your book or anywhere else, feel free, for what... Read full post

  10. L. Colombo said:

    I say Lundström or Albimona, among all the unconfirmed ‘rescued by the sea’ stories (99 % of them made-up – obviously except for the ca. 50 or so people who were really rescued by No. 4 and No.14 or on Collapsible A and B and which I have listed elsewhere) because it seems to me that they are the only ones, among those who made such claims, who are presumed to have instead left the ship on a lifeboat before she sank although there are no more evidence than speculation about this (the others, I mean, were recognized and mentioned by others who were on the same boat, or even they... Read full post

  11. Tad G. Fitch said:

    Just to add to this conversation, in addition to one of Stewart's fellow stewards testifying that he was in Boat 15, Stewart himself told his family that he boarded a boat from the deck, and that it was the 'last boat', which matches up with No.15, since it was the last in that section of the ship. Stewart was never in the water. There were either 3 or 4 rescued from the water by No.14. One of the Chinese sailors, often identified as Fang Lang, Phillimore, and Hoyt, who died. I'm not convinced there was a fourth person necessarily. All my best, Tad

  12. Matteo Eyre said:

    That story does seem very far fetched and i doubt that a woman who had Mr Astor as a husband would have fallen for a 2nd class man and an Italian (i mean no offence by this as i am Italian also but i am aware tht back then they were discriminated against) yes it sounds like it could have been Portaluppi, i believe you're onto something here, yeah it's difficult when they don't say yes or no, yes that was what i meant, i'm just trying to avoid copyright claims so i ask people on things i may use, thank you by the way, i believe Albimona could have been rescued from the sea, many stories i'm... Read full post

  13. Matteo Eyre said:

    Oh right, cheers Tad, i guess Phillimore was trying to say Steward and it was mistaken or Stewart, oh course, does anyone really know the exact number, i've heard anything from 8 to 3 Cheers Tad Matteo :)

  14. Bob Godfrey said:

    From Tad's extra info it's clear that Jack Stewart was in boat 15. As for the reference to 'J. Stewart' in Gracie's book, that could be due to Gracie getting his notes mixed up, or to Phillimore (or the fourth man if there was one) wearing or carrying something with that name on it, leading to misidentification. But you can be sure if there was a fourth man pulled from the water by the crew of Lowe's boat his name certainly wasn't Stewart. There was only one other of that name onboard and that was a 1st Class passenger who didn't survive. I don't have anything useful to contribute to the... Read full post

  15. Matteo Eyre said:

    Yep it is pretty conclusive, yes he must have got his notes muddled, i'm going to have a look for any information on the other man Cheers everyone for your help Matteo :)

  16. Brian Durrans said:

    is John Stewart, a steward on the Titanic who survived the disaster, the same as the Jack Steward who wrote a note later retrieved from a bottle and referred to in Hoffman and Grimm (1982: Beyond Reach, p. 95 and photo of note among illustrations between pp.64-75)? In that photo the word is definitely Steward not Stewart, so could possibly be his job-title rather than his surname. Can anyone clarify this?

  17. Brian Durrans said:

    William Hoffman & Jack Grimm (Beyond Reach: the search for the Titanic. New York, Beaufort Books, 1982) refer on p. 95 to a note from Stewart which they say came to light after having been washed up on a beach and given to a colleague of the authors by “a woman from Maine” who had read about their planned search for the Titanic. A photograph of the alleged note is reproduced in their book among the illustrations between pp. 64-75. The only other instance I've heard of concerning a note thrown overboard or otherwise surviving from the sinking ship is one from Jeremiah Burke of Glanmire,... Read full post

  18. avatar

    Christophe Puttemans said:

    Edward P. De Groot speaks about a note being written on board the sinking . Freely translated from Dutch: "On the tilting deck of the TITANIC a left-behind passenger wrote a good-bye note and put it in a medicine bottle. Being in a hurry, he wrote down the wrong date, but the bottle reached its destiny: the shores of Newfoundland." This is what's written in the second print: "On board the sinking Titanic third class passenger Jeremiah Bruke wrote a good-bye note and put it in a medicine bottle which was later found on Newfoundland shores. Jeremiah Bruke and his wife weren't... Read full post

  19. rob kessell said:

    i have his passenger ticket for the white star line with his name on it

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Credits

Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2016) John Stewart (ref: #2133, last updated: 6th December 2016, accessed 31st October 2020 19:46:45 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/john-stewart.html