Mr Percy Robert Pook was born in Torquay, Devon, England on 25 March 1876 and he was baptised in St Mark’s Church, Torquay on 1 August 1876 where his father was the organist and choirmaster for many years.
He was the son of Henry Pook (b. 1843), a house decorator, and Kate Manley (b. 1851), both Torquay natives who had married in 1872 and who would have at least nine children.
Pook’s known siblings were: Henry James (b. 1870), Annie (b. 1874), Clara (b. 1875), Florence (b. 1877), Maud (b. 1878), Reginald Octavius (b. 1880), Nina Kate (b. 1883) and Dorothy Eveline (b. 1891).
Pook first appears on the 1881 census with his family at Park View, Tormoham, Torquay; two years later in 1883, still living at the same address, he was enrolled as a pupil at Warberry Church Primary School.
On the 1891 census the family are shown living at 10 St Marks Place in Torquay and Percy was then described as a grocer's assistant and his father as an organist.
Percy was still a grocer's assistant by the time of the 1901 census but the family had by then moved to 83 Alexandra Road, Plymouth. His father died in 1908 and his mother became dependent on him. He was never married and was not present on the 1911 census, having already commenced his career at sea and that same year he was a steward aboard Olympic at the time of that ship’s collision with HMS Hawke.
When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912, Pook gave his address as 22 Chantry Road, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a pantry steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Percy Pook died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His sister Nina (Mrs George Sydney Tratt) had, according to the West London Observer, had a series of portentous dreams in the run-up to the sinking, with repeated visions of a shipping disaster.
Percy's widowed mother died in London in 1926.
This may be of interest to gravestone inscription enthusiasts. Today via UK Probate Index I found that Percy's father, Henry Pook died at 112 Alexandra Rd, Mutley, Plymouth, Devon on 5 November 1908. If he was buried in a nearby cemetery he may have a gravestone which might contain a memorial to Percy....
The following item appeared in the Torquay Directory newspaper on 15 May 1912. "One of the stewards on board the Titanic was a son of the late organist and choirmaster of a church in Torquay. He leaves an aged widowed mother, who was dependent upon him. His sister narrates a strange dream. She says that for several nights prior to the disaster she dreamed of a wreck at sea. She saw people lowered into boats, persons struggling in the water, and a ship going round and round, and many other details which afterwards her husband saw narrated in the papers. The dream anticipated events in...
Hello Steve, The answer is Percy Pook. His father is listed in the 1891 Devon census as a 47 year old "Organist". Also listed is Kate Pook and their 9 children, including Percy. Thanks for sharing the story. Now... I wonder which sister had the dream? Does it mention her Christian name? Best Regards...let's chat sometime. Brian M
Brian I seem to have missed this somehow, where were the family in 1891? I'm pretty sure I had found the correct Henry Pook who died in Plymouth on 5/11/1908. So when were they in Torquay, I suppose Kate moved back after being widowed in 1908? As for the dreamer the article is as it is in the paper, ie totally anonymous..
Steve, At the time of the census, the family resided at 10 St Marks'Place, Forwood, Torquay, Devonshire. I cannot tell you of the familys' movememnts; you are far better than I at that. In 1901, the family was residing at 83 Alexandra Rd, Torquay, and by that time, Annie, the eldest daughter was a Mrs Tilbury. Best
Brian Thank you, a few corrections though, their 1891 Torquay address was in Torwood and near to their 1881 address which was Park View, Torquay. (I do wonder if I might ultimately find the church at which Henry was an organist/choirmaster as this might have a memorial to him and perhaps Percy?) In 1901 their address was indeed 83 Alexandra Road but in Plymouth rather than Torquay. Between 1901 and 1908 the family had moved within that same road to number 112 where Henry Pook (the painter/decorator & organist) died. I was today in contact with Plymouth Cemeteries to see if there is a...
A namesake of mine, P POOK died on the Titanic. If anyone has any further information than already provided on this web site, I will be grateful to have it. He was 34, single, born in Plymouth, and his last address was in Southampton. He is listed as being a Pantry Cook, second level. Any information about this job title will also be welcome. thanks - John
Hallo, John. Percy Pook was an Assistant Pantryman, one of three working in the 2nd Class pantry under the supervision of Chief Pantryman Wilfred Seward. While Seward survived the sinking, all three of his assistants died. Their pay was the same as that of the stewards - £3 15s for the voyage, but without the extra potential of tips. In terms of modern spending power, the equivalent wage today would be about £200 per month. The pantrymen were not cooks. The pantry was an area where dishes were stored and then 'loaded' with a variety of cooked foods delivered in bulk from the...