February 26th, 2009


Frederick Fleet - some random tidbits

One of the first activities I pursued on the internet was research, including a correspondence with a historian in England. That was eleven years ago and about this same time of year, just before the season of the daffodils.

Thinking that I could find some photographs of Fleet in Washington, DC, at the Archives or LOC got me digging into some things. Alas, I found that the photos I am thinking of are in an archive in England! Maybe someday I will get over there to dig through them.

Frederick Fleet was born 122 years ago in the port town of Liverpool and was orphaned. He worked as a sailor and a lookout until 1912, when he got a job on the new Titanic. He was the lookout man who reported the iceberg. He was ordered into lifeboat number 6 to be an oarsman for a strange group of folks: 20-30 (?) women, the helmsman, a Canadian militia and business man, and a stowaway. The stowaway appeared only after about an hour out at sea, according to the Canadian (Peuchen) in his testimony before the US Senate (source).

After Fleet and the rest of the survivors arrived in New York, he was called to give testimony here at the Russell Senate Office Building in DC and then later had to testify before the British Inquiry, as well.

When you read the text of the inquiries, you find some strange and interesting things. Collapse )