Dangers, Disasters and Good Deeds

Duty Before Death

The RMS Titanic Postal Clerks

The RMS Titanic was more than the largest and most luxurious ocean liner of her time. She was a Royal Mail Ship, with postal clerks on board who would pay dearly for this privileged duty.

Sea Post Clerks working in a mailroom
Mail was considered a precious cargo and sea post clerks were expected to protect it at any cost, including their lives.

When the Titantic crashed into an iceberg on the night of April 15, 1912, the sea post clerks sprang into action. In the chaos and darkness, they struggled valiantly to move two hundred sacks of registered mail to an upper deck, but with little success.

The Titanic clerks must have realized early on that their efforts were futile, if not suicidal. However, they were committed to duty. The three Americans and two Englishmen continued working even as they slipped into a watery grave.

Those Who Were Doomed

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The RMS Titanic sinking

When disaster struck on April 15, 1912, the postal clerks aboard the RMS Titanic were celebrating Oscar Scott Woody’s forty-fourth birthday. With little regard for their safety, the five men rushed to save the mail but to no avail. This unfortunate decision sealed their fate and cost them their lives.

William Logan Gwinn
(Image not available)

John Starr March

Oscar Scott Woody

John Richard Jago Smith
British Postal Worker

James Bertram Williamson
British Postal Worker

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Pocket watch with decorative engraving on case; watch found on body of John Starr March.