Megan (jehoshabeath) wrote,
Megan
jehoshabeath

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Tidbits on lookout experience

I stumbled upon something new and interesting this evening.

I had known that Titanic operated under a skeleton crew during her voyage from Belfast (where she was built) to Southampton (where she would sail from on her maiden voyage). I also knew that Fred Fleet, Archie Jewell, and George Hogg had been lookouts on that trip and the subsequent maiden voyage. With that, I had always just assumed that there were only three lookouts on the trip. I happened to look up the Particulars of Engagement and found that there was actually a full complement of lookouts on the trip. The other three lookouts included George Rowe (later to be a Quartermaster on Titanic), Harry Holman (later to be an Able Seaman on Titanic), and F. Jenner.

I was then curious to find out what "work experience" the lookouts had before joining Titanic.

Archie Jewell had worked on sailing ships for a number of years, but had only sailed on one large liner before (the Oceanic). He had worked on Oceanic for about 6 months and acted as a lookout there once. (Archie's mate on the main voyage was George Symons, who had over 8 years experience at sea, half of that on Oceanic, where he was a lookout for three years.)

Fred Fleet has been sailing for about 5 or 6 years before joining the Oceanic. He sailed on the Oceanic for over four years, where he worked as a lookout. Even after Titanic sank, he continued working for the White Star Line for a couple months on Titanic's sister ship Olympic. (He was the one who spotted the iceberg, along with his mate, Lee, who joined Titanic in Southampton. Lee had been in the navy for many years and then had sailed on various ships, including the Olympic.)

George Hogg had sailed with the White Star Line off and on for about four years. He had worked as an able seaman, then a bosun's mate, and once as a lookout on the Adriatic before coming to work as a lookout on Titanic. He had also had lookout duty on other lines such as P&O and Union Castle, who included lookout work as a part of regular able seaman duty. All together, George Hogg had over 10 years experience at sea. (Hogg's mate on the main voyage was Alfred Frank Evans, who I don't have much info on. Evans did not testify at either inquiry.)

George Rowe had been in the navy for 14 years and then worked for the White Star Line for two years. He had experience as a quartermaster in two ships, the Oceanic and Majestic. (He was the quartermaster on the after-deck when Titanic struck the iceberg.)

I don't know much about Harry Holman because he perished in the sinking. I also do not have any more information on F. Jenner, though the name sounds familiar.

The Belfast Lookout crew had binoculars to use.
There were no binoculars for the Lookouts from Southampton, however...

Source: the crew's testimonies at the US and British Inquiries: http://www.titanicinquiry.org/
Tags: history
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