Mr Hugh Calderwood

Mr Hugh Calderwood is believed to have been born in Belfast, Ireland around 1879.1

Coming from a Presbyterian family, he was the son of Matilda Calderwood (b. circa 1854 in Co Antrim). He had a brother named Smyth (1884-1904).

His widowed mother, a linen spinner,  and unmarried brother Smyth, a general labourer, appear on the 1901 Irish census living at 7 Reid's Place in Woodvale, Belfast. By the time of the 1911 census his mother is listed alone at 6 Cargill Court in the Smithfield area of Belfast. 

Hugh was aboard Titanic for the delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed on for the maiden voyage in Southampton on 6 April 1912 he gave his local address as the Seaman's Home in that city. The Titanic was his first ship and as a trimmer, he could expect monthly wages of £5, 10s. 

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

Calderwood, Applicant; Ismay, Imrie & Co., Limited, Respondents

Matilda Calderwood brought a request for arbitration and apportionment, and the respondents were Messrs Ismay, Imrie & Co., Limited.

Mr Campbell (instructed by Messrs Donnelly & Co), who represented the applicant, said it was another Titanic case. The deceased man had been a trimmer, and was his mother's only support.

His Honour asked if all had been served with notice of these proceedings who might likely be dependents. 

Mr Campbell said the only dependent was the applicant.

His Honour said he would let the case stand until other relatives had been served with notice. He did not want to run the risk of some of them turning up subsequently. - Northern Whig, 22 June 1912

At the Belfast Recorder's Court, before his Honour, Judge J. Walker Craig

... Matilda Calderwood, 6 Cargill Street, was also the applicant in a request for arbitration and appointment. She was the mother of Hugh Calderwood, who was employed as a trimmer on the Titanic at the time of the disaster. A sum of £222, 4s had been lodged in court by Messrs Ismay & Co, Ltd, and this sum had been accepted.
The matter was allowed to stand over for formal evidence... - Larne Times, 29 June 1912

Matilda Calderwood died in a Belfast infirmary on 29 June 1913; she was buried in Belfast's City Cemetery.



Gavin Bell, UK
Bill Wormstedt, USA


  1. He gave his age as 30 when signing on to Titanic. On the 1901 and 1911 censuses he gave an age that would place his year of birth as  around 1879/1880. See note 2. No birth record for Hugh has been identified and there is a possibility that the family had connections to Co Donegal.
  2. Hugh was perhaps a carpenter by profession and had married around 1900 to Isabella McDowell (b. 1882) of a Church of Ireland family from Ballymena, Co Antrim. He appeared with her on the 1901 census at the home of her family, her parents being James and Sarah McDowell, at house 51 in Dunminning, Co Antrim. Hugh and Isabella had three children: John (b. 1902), Sarah Ann (b. 1904) and Martha (b. 1905). They were apparently estranged by the time of the 1911 census; Isabella was still living with her parents and three children at house 44 in Dunminning and described herself as a widow. Hugh was listed in Belfast, described as an unmarried fitter's helper and living with his widowed sister Ellen McMahon and her daughter Mary (b. 1903) at 17 Jersey Street near Belfast's Shankill Road. Whilst it is not certain that this was the same Hugh Calderwood there is compelling evidence that it indeed was. Buried with Hugh's mother in City Cemetery was Sarah Ann Calderwood (d. 17 October 1946), perhaps his daughter and of the correct age at the time.

Link and cite this biography

(2018) Hugh Calderwood Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1428, updated 15th March 2018 23:32:31 PM)

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