Mr George Quincy Clifford was born in Kingston, Plymouth, Massachusetts on 20 November 1871.
He was the son of Lowell Quincy Clifford (b. 1849) and Ellen M. Lamb (b. 1843). His father, a stonemason, was native to Massachusetts whilst his mother was Canadian by birth. They had married in Kingston on 29 June 1870 and had four sons, of whom George was the eldest. His brothers were: Charles Luther (b. 1873), Chester Winslow (1876-1878) and Henry Newland (1879-1895).
George first appears on the 1880 census living with his family in Bridgewater, Plymouth, Massachusetts. In 1912 he was a resident of Stoughton, Massachusetts, and president of the George E. Belcher Last Company of the same town. He was married in Vermont on 17 August 1899 to Margaret Good, née Brainard (b. 27 May 1868). Margaret was a widow from Warren, Massachusetts and had first been married in 1885 to Arthur J. Good. (b. 1857) and had a daughter Gertrude Madeline (1886-1952, later Mrs William Wallace MacArthur).
In the winter of 1912, and before his planned combined business and pleasure trip to Europe, Mr Clifford took out $50,000 worth of extra life insurance on his person.
On 20 February 1912, George Clifford sailed from Boston aboard the Megantic, another White Star liner, accompanied by his two travelling companions: Walter Chamberlain Porter, President of the Samuel Porter Last Manufacturing Co, Worcester, and John Edward Maguire of the Dunbar Pattern Co, Brockton. While they were abroad, the three businessmen visited the flourishing trade centres of England, Germany, France, Austria and other European countries, mixing business with short pleasure excursions.
Unfortunately, Mr Clifford learned from a telegram upon his immediate arrival in Europe, that his mother had also passed away while he was crossing the Atlantic Ocean on 23 February. He was informed that her estate was being held in probate awaiting his return as a beneficiary. In one of Walter Porter's last letters to his family and business partner in Worcester, he wrote that himself and John Maguire had been in fine health throughout the trip and that it had been a very successful one overall. However, he mentioned, George Clifford had been in very poor health for the three weeks prior. Mr Porter wrote that he was happy they had been assured by the White Star people that the Titanic would sail on schedule from Southampton on April 10 (amid concerns arising from the coal strike). He also said that he wished it were an immediate departure instead of ten days from then (Porter's last letter was dated 31 March 1912).
The three men boarded the Titanic in Southampton as first class passengers. Mr Clifford shared ticket number 110465 (£52) with Mr Porter and occupied cabin A14. Mr Porter occupied cabin C110. Mr Maguire occupied the cabin next to Mr Porter's, C108. All three men perished in the tragedy. Mr Porter's body was discovered after the sinking by the MacKay Bennett (#207) in a remarkably good condition. Neither Mr Maguire's nor Mr Clifford's bodies were ever found.
After Mr Clifford's tragic death and due to his prior purchase of extra insurance, the total amount of his insurance policies reached $110,000.00. In addition, his estate was valued at $150,000.00. During his lifetime, Mr Clifford had been a member of several Boston and Brockton area clubs.
His brother Charles died on 24 November 1913. His widowed father was remarried in 1914 to Helen E. Sprague (b. 1870) but died only two years later on 16 August 1916.
George's widow Margaret never remarried following his loss. She died in Brockton, Massachusetts on 22 February 1927 and was buried in Union Cemetery.
Articles and Stories
New York Times (1912)
Brockton Daily Enterprise (1912)
New York Times (1912)
Worcester Evening Gazette (1912)
Julie Dowen, U.S.A.
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Craig Stringer, UK
Geoff Whitfield, UK
References and SourcesWorcester Daily Telegram , various articles 1912
Worcester Evening Gazette, various articles 1912
The New York Times, 16, 22 April 1912
Brockton Daily Enterprise 15, April 1912
Boston Daily Globe (Evening edition), 16 April 1912, p.5
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Walter Lord (1976) A Night to Remember. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 14 004757 3