Encyclopedia Titanica

Herbert Thomas Gordon Vine

Mr Herbert Thomas Gordon Vine was born in Ealing, London, England on 18 May 1894 and he was baptised on 2 December that year in St John's Church, Northfield, Ealing.

He was the son of Herbert Tracey Vine (1866-?), a bank cashier, and Nina Ethel Thomson (1870-1959), both natives of London who were married on 14 July 1892 in Hammersmith.

He had two siblings: Marjorie Hilda (b. 4 April 1893) and Madeline Ethel (b. 3 January 1896).

Herbert, who appears to have come from a comfortable lower middle-class background, first appears on the 1901 census whilst living at Holdingham Mill House, New Sleaford, Lincolnshire. His father reportedly began having adulterous liaisons as early as 1896 and became neglectful and verbally abusive toward his family before abandoning them around 1904 and co-habiting with a woman named Sophie Maria Wilday (b. 1869), a dressmaker from Marylebone. Wilday gave birth to Vine's baby on 15 February 1906 but nothing is known about the child.

Herbert's mother began divorce proceedings in 1906 and by this time Herbert and his family were living at 52 Agate Street in Hammersmith, London. His father checked into a poor workhouse in Westminster on 29 December 1908, discharging days later on 5 January 1909.

Following finalisation of the divorce his father and Sophie Wilday were married in 1910 and on 27 December 1911 welcomed a son; as if to add insult to injury, the child was also named Herbert. The 1911 census shows the elder Vine living alone at 221 Droop Street, Queens Park, Paddington, London and he was described as a political clerk.

On the 1911 census Nina Vine and her two daughters are living at 30 Arlington Park Mansions, Chiswick, and she is described as a widowed housekeeper. Herbert was living at the Hyde Park Hotel, Knightsbridge, London where he was working as a page.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April, 1912, his address was given 55 Leith Mansions, Maida Vale, London. He had previously worked on the Olympic and as a member of the à la carte restaurant he was employed and therefore paid by Mr Gatti.

During the sinking eyewitness reports suggest that the largely Continental staff of the restaurant were herded together by various stewards and kept in their quarters; indeed, only three of the staff survived, two of whom were the women cashiers.

Vine died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

His mother Nina was remarried in 1916 to Walter Daniel Gove (d. 1942) and she died in Swindon, Wiltshire on 11 January 1959. His elder sister Marjorie (later Mrs Ernest Frederick Chidley) died in Exeter, Devon on 10 November 1973 but what became of his younger sister Madeline is unclear.

The final whereabouts of his estranged father are unknown, but his stepmother Sophie died in Kensington in 1948 whilst his half brother Herbert Charles Vine died in Chelmsford, Essex in 1981.


Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Herbert Thomas Gordon Vine
Age: 17 years 10 months and 28 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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References and Sources

Crew Particulars of Engagement
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
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