Encyclopedia Titanica

George Herbert Hinckley

Bathroom Steward

Mr George Herbert Hinckley was born in Mickleover, Derbyshire, England in the second half of 1872 and was baptised on 4 August that same year. 

Coming from a well-known family of farmers, he was the son of Herbert John Hinckley (1842-1884), a veterinary surgeon who practised in and around Hollington, and Mary Ann Holmes (1849-1884). His parents, both Derbyshire-natives, had been married in early 1871.

The eldest of six, Hinckley’s siblings were: John Thomas (b. 1873), Ida Mary (b. 1876), Augusta Annie (b. 1877), Jane Elizabeth (b. 1879) and Ellen Fanny (b. 1881).

George first appears on the 1881 census when he and his family were living at Sutton on Hill, Derbyshire. When he was 12 years old he lost both his parents within months of one another and he and his siblings were brought in to be raised by their maternal grandparents, John Brooks Holmes and his wife Elizabeth of Mickleover.

After his schooling George went into the service of Colonel Edmund Arthur Le Gendre Starkie and his family at Huntroyde Hall, Padiham, Simonstone, Lancashire, where he appeared on the 1891 census, described as a “hall boy”. 

By the time of the 1901 census Hinckley was a footman to the shipping agent Frederick James Harrison at Mare Hall, Mare, Staffordshire with whom he would spend twelve years of service. Around 1906 and with the influence of Mr Harrison, Hinckley obtained a position with the White Star Line; his first ship was Teutonic, from which he was promoted to Adriatic and then to Olympic. He was aboard the latter ship at the time of her collision with HMS Hawke, but later stated that he hardly felt any shock of impact with the smaller vessel. 

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912, Hinckley gave his address as 2 Oxford Street, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a second class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s. He was also on board Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton and later recounted that the run was smooth and steady and that Titanic was much superior to her sister. In a letter to his sister Ida (Mrs Frederick Knowles) dated 6 April, Hinckley recalled travelling over to Belfast aboard the Donegal and back to Southampton aboard Titanic, stating “We had a fine run down from Belfast, hardly knowing we were on board.”

George Hinckley, who was unmarried, died in the sinking. His body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#66) and buried at sea on 22 April 1912.

N0. 66. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 50. - HAIR, DARK.

CLOTHING - Blue serge suit; blue striped flannel shirt; black boots and socks.

EFFECTS - Silver watch and chain; match box, "G.H."; bunch of keys; letters to
G. HINCKLEY,
2 Oxford St., Southampton.

PROBABLY SECOND CLASS BATH STEWARD. NAME - G. HINCKLEY.

 

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr George Herbert Hinckley
Age: 40 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: at 2 Oxford Street Southampton, Hampshire, England
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Southampton on Thursday 4th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 66)
Buried at Sea on Monday 22nd April 1912

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References and Sources

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal, 26 April 1912, Derby Man as Steward

Newspaper Articles

Nottingham Daily Express (22 April 1912) DERBYSHIRE VICTIM

Documents and Certificates

Agreement and Account of Crew, National Archives, London; BT100/259
(1912) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax, N.S.
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Comment and discuss

  1. Iain Stuart Yardley

    Iain Stuart Yardley said:

    Afternoon all, Some time ago I read in a contemporary newspaper that George Hinckley, 35, originally of Derby, was best friends with 3rd class passenger George Green. Both men died in the disaster. Apart from this one report, is there any other evidence to suggest that both men were best friends? Cheers, Boz

  2. Brian J. Ticehurst

    Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Boz - the below will not answer the above but you might find it interesting - cheers Brian (From The Nottingham Daily Express, Monday, April 22nd 1912, page 6). DERBYSHIRE VICTIM Among the missing is George Henry Hickley, a Derby man, who was a steward on board the ill-fated liner. He was well known in the Rowditch district of the town, as he often visited his sister, Mrs. Knowles, wife of Mr. Knowles, of the Lonsdate Dairy, Uttoxeter Road. Six years ago he obtained a berth with the White Star Company as a steward, and he was on the Olympic before being placed on the... Read full post

  3. Iain Stuart Yardley

    Iain Stuart Yardley said:

    Thanks for that Brian. George Green was from Dorking in Surrey but his wife was from Coventry, also in the Midlands. Maybe there's a connection? I'll have to do some snooping.... Cheers, Boz

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Acknowledgements

Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden