Encyclopedia Titanica

Reginald Charles Coleridge

Reginald Charles Coleridge
Reginald Charles Coleridge

Mr Reginald Charles Coleridge was born in Teignmouth, Devon, England in the second half of 1883.

He was the son of Charles Cotton Coleridge (b. 1856), a cabinet maker, and Nancy Wescott (b. 1857), both Devon natives who had married in 1880. The eldest of three children, Reginald had two sisters: Frances May (b. 1892) and Edith (b. 1893) who had both been born in Norfolk where Reginald seems to have spent a great portion of his life. His mother died in 1900. 

Reginald and his father appear on the 1901 census living at 22 Park Road, Walsoken, Norfolk and his father and sisters on the 1911 census living at 5 Park Road in the same district.  Reginald attended Walsoken Boys' School.

Reginald moved to Hartford, Huntingdonshire, although it is believed he worked in London.  He became very active in the Boy Scouts movement.  In February 1908 he became the first scoutmaster of the 1st Hunts (Hartford) Scout Group, only the fourth Scout group.  He was pictured in Scout's uniform with the inaugural members and Rev. Alexander Chorley Crosfield, the vicar of Hartford.

In a 1910 article and in the 1911 census he was shown as living at Hartford vicarage with the Rev. Crosfield1,2.  In the census Reginald was described as an incorporated advertising consultant. 

Rev. A.C. Crosfield
Reverend  A C. Crosfield
(Courtesy of All Saints Church, Hartford)

Coleridge had been due to travel to America on another steamer but had his passage transferred to the Titanic as a result of the coal strike. He was en route to Detroit, Michigan on business, with a holiday planned in Canada afterward with Crosfield. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger (ticket number 14263, which cost £10, 10s).

While approaching Queenstown he wrote a letter to his father:

We are very comfortable indeed – there is nothing wanting, except the use of the gymnasium and swimming bath, which is restricted to first-class passengers. The sea is rather rough for small boats, but our great ship towers so high out of the water that the sea looks quite flat and calm. She rises and sinks hardly at all, and the only noticeable sensation is the jelly-like quivering caused by the ceaseless throbbing of the engines. I have had a jolly warm sea-water bath this morning, and am presently going on deck to us enter Queenstown. - Peterborough Standard, 20 April 1912, Passenger from Hartford

Coleridge was lost in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.  Crosfield only learned of Coleridge's fate when he arrived in Nova Scotia a few days after the disaster. He immediately abandoned his holiday plans and returned home on the same vessel.

His estate, valued at £455, 14s, 7d, was administered to Reverend Crosfield on 10 June 1912.  

Reginald is remembered on a tablet in All Saints Church, Hartford, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and by a silver cruet and communion flagon, now in the care of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Reginald's father, Charles, died in London in 1929.

Notes

  1. Crosfield, who was born in the Autumn of 1867, was appointed to the parish of Hartford in 1904.  Crosfield left the parish of Hartford in 1913 and moved to South Africa, he died in Surrey on 19 October 1934.
  2. Accounts differ about the nature of their relationship.  One newspaper report describes Reginald as the vicar's adopted son, Reginald's age would seem to preclude this possibility, unless they had known each the many years previously.  What is not in dispute is that they had a close relationship;  forming the Scout troop in 1908, living in the same house at least in1911, and, in 1912, planning to holiday together.

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Reginald Charles Coleridge
Age: 29 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: in London, England
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 14263, £10 10s
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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References and Sources

All Saints Church Hartford, History
Bedfordshire Mercury, 17 June 1904, Ecclesiastical Notes
Yorkshire Evening Post, 20 May 1912,"Gone Home"

Newspaper Articles

Cambridge Independent Press (19 April 1912) HUNTS. VICAR'S LOSS
Cambridge Independent Press (19 April 1912) Mr. R. C. Coleridge Missing
Peterborough Standard (20 April 1912) Passenger from Hartford
Biggleswade Chronicle (26 April 1912) Boy Scouts
Peterborough Standard (4 May 1912) Sad Homecoming
Peterborough Standard (5 October 1912) The late Mr R.C. Coleridge
[Communion flagon presented in memory of Titanic victim]

Documents and Certificates

(1912) Reginald Coleridge : Probate Report

Miscellaneous

Coleridge Family Information
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Comment and discuss

  1. MUKHTARALI

    MUKHTARALI said:

    I HAVE AN AUTOGRAPH OF CHARLES REGINALD DATED JULY 1940,LEEDS

 Reply  Watch Thread

Acknowledgements

Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK
Steve Coombes, UK
Chris Dohany, USA
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Brian J. Ticehurst, UK