Mr George Frederick Sweet

Mr George Frederick Sweet was born in Castle Cary, Somerset, England on 16 April 1897.

He was the son of Joseph Sweet (b. 1860), a flax worker, and Anne Chamberlain (b. 1862), both natives of Castle Cary who had married in 1880 and who went on to have ten children, losing one child in their youth.

George's siblings were: Alfred (b. 1880), William Henry (b. 1884), Herbert (b. 1887), Emily (1890-1898), Elsie (b. 1892), Beatrice Eliza (1894-1982, later Mrs Frank Mead), Frank (1900-1962), Emily Agnes (1902-1934) and Alexander Joseph (1905-1987).

George appears on the 1901 census living with his family at 1 Mill Lane in Castle Cary and on the 1911 census at Tor Bay, also in Castle Cary and he was described as a twine factory hand. Young George soon became employed by Samuel Herman, a farmer and proprietor of the Britannia Hotel in Castle Cary. He became part of Samuel's family, consisting of his wife Jane and twin daughters Alice and Kate.

George Sweet with the Herman Family

The Herman family with George Sweet
(Muriel Cleland Harris / Michael Findlay Collection)

Although a financially comfortable family, the past year had seen a slump in fortunes for the Hermans and it was decided that they would emigrate. Originally booked aboard a different ship, they cancelled their voyage to allow more time to prepare. Mr Herman, his wife and daughters and George Sweet boarded the Titanic at Southampton as second class passengers (ticket number 220845 which cost £65) and were bound for Samuel's brother-in-law Arthur Laver who was living in Bernardsville, New Jersey where he worked as a steward of the Somerset Hill Country Club.

On the night of the sinking young George, alongside Samuel Herman, saw Mrs Herman and her daughters off in one of the lifeboats. George, although not quite 15-years-old, was probably deterred from entering a lifeboat despite his young age and he and Samuel Herman died together, George being just one day short of his 15th birthday. Their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.

Following George's loss, his father died in 1925 but what became of his mother is not certain. His last known surviving sibling, Alec, died in Yeovil, Somerset in 1987.



George Sweet and his Dog
Mrs. Jane Herman and her daughters with George Sweet

Articles and Stories

New York Times (1937) 
Bernardsville News (1912) 
Newark Evening News (1912) 

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Link and cite this biography

(2020) George Frederick Sweet Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #577, updated 13th January 2020 10:22:57 AM)