A memorial to commemorate engine workers from the Titanic was unveiled one hundred years ago on 8th May 1916 at the Princes Landing Stage in Liverpool (image by Elliot Brown). The Grade II listed structure had been commissioned in 1912, the year the Titanic sank, but by 1916 further disasters at sea led to its dedication being broadened. It is officially called the Memorial to the Engine Room Heroes, but still commonly known as the Titanic Memorial.
Although the Titanic was built in Belfast and had sailed out of Southampton, the fact the White Star Line was based in Liverpool meant there were a number of crew members from the city on board, as well as some passengers. Around the city there are a number of graves of where people who were on board were buried or are remembered on the headstone.
One of the most senior crew members from Liverpool was Hugh McElroy, the ship’s purser. He failed to survive and his body was picked up by the rescue vessel Mackay-Bennett a week later and buried at sea. He is remembered on a family headstone at Anfield cemetery. Also at Anfield a gravestone remembers Peter Sloan, the chief electrician, whose body was never knowingly recovered. The inscription reads ‘Also Peter, only son of the above who lost his life with other brave officers in Titanic disaster 15th April 1912, aged 31 years, faithful unto death.’
Kirkdale Cemetery has headstones remembering stewards Henry Ashe, who is buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Gordon Davies, whose body was not found. The chief officer Henry Wilde, another whose body was not found, is also remembered on a gravestone there as is the carpenter John Maxwell. An inscription on the gravestone of his mother, father and sister states ‘John, eldest son of the above who was drowned through the foundering of the SS Titanic April 14th 1912 aged 29 years.’
Maxwell’s body was not found and neither was that of greaser Thomas McInerney. A 38 year old widower from Kirkdale, his name is on the headstone of his wife at the Liverpool Roman Catholic Cemetery in Ford. This cemetery also contains a memorial to another greaser, Thomas Fay who was 30 and left a widow and two children in Southampton.
One of the bodies that was recovered and brought back was first class passenger Alfred Rowe, who was on his way to visit a ranch he owned in Texas. He clung to a block of ice and froze to death, his body being picked up by the Mackay-Bennett and then shipped to Liverpool. He was buried in the family grave at Toxteth Park Cemetery amidst what the Daily Post described as ‘sorrowful scenes.’ This cemetery also contains a family grave with a dedication to William Farquharson, an engineer whose body was never knowingly recovered. Another body that was lost forever was that of Norman Harrison, an engineer who is remembered on a family gravestone at St John’s Church, Knotty Ash.
Finally. there are are two graves in Crosby remembering Titanic crew members. Clerk Austin Ashcroft is mentioned on a headstone at St Peters and St Paul Roman Catholic Church, while senior assistant engineer Bertie Wilson’s name is marked on his mother’s memorial in St Luke’s Church. There eventual whereabouts of both these crew members bodies was unknown.