Thomson Beattie - Titanic First Class Passenger

Thomson Beattie was a Canadian, 36 year old, first class passenger travelling home from a winter holiday to the Middle East and Europe, with two of his friends, Thomas McCaffry and John Ross. He boarded Titanic at Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912 and he shared cabin C6 with his friend Thomas McCaffry.

Thomson Beattie was born on Thursday 25th November 1875, in Fergus, Canada. He was the last to be born of his parents 11 children. Following the death of his father in 1897, he moved to Winnipeg, Canada, and used his inheritance to start a real estate business with person called Richard Waugh, they called their business the Haslam Land Company. The company is said to have brought Thomson Beattie much success.

Thomson Beattie and two of his friends, Thomas McCaffry and John Ross, decided to take a winter holiday to the Middle East and Europe. They travelled to New York and boarded the Cunard ship, RMS Franconia on 20th January 1912, landing in Trieste, Italy. After a long tour, Thomson and Thomas were said to have become exhausted, while John become ill with Dysentery, so they decided to cut their trip a little short and instead of returning home on Cunard’s Mauritania, they decided to book passage on White Star Line’s new Titanic.

Late during the sinking of Titanic, the three friends were all still aboard Titanic. After a failed last minute attempt to launch lifeboat A, one of the last two boats to leave the ship, the boat floated away from the ship. Despite the fact it had a considerable amount of water in it, the boat become the saviour of a lucky few in the water. Thomson Beattie, is believed to have been one of the passengers to manage to get into this boat, however, when Lifeboat 14, under the command of 5th officer Lowe, rescued the occupants of boat A, Thomson Beattie was one of three dead people left behind.

Lifeboat A, was discovered still floating, on 13th May 1912, by the White Star Line ship Oceanic, with the three bodies still aboard. It was reported in the press, and seemingly it was the opinion of the doctor aboard Oceanic (who had rowed out to the boat), that the three men had died of starvation, as they believed their was evidence that they had tried to eat cork. It is however, unlikely that this was the case as it is debatable whether people thought to have been dead at the point of rescue of the other passengers of this boat would have survived for much longer, and they certainly would not have been left behind if they were not thought to have not been dead . It should also be remembered that Oceanic’s crew would not have known that the other passengers had been rescued.

Thomson Beattie was buried at sea by Oceanic’s crew. His two friends were also lost in the disaster.

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