Tag Archives: headstone for Titanic survivor


Robert Hichens from Merchant Seaman Records, Circa 1919 or earlier
Public Doman-Wikimedia

New Memorial To Titanic Helmsman Buried In Unmarked Grave (Belfast Telegraph, 19 Dec 2019)

The family of the helmsman of the Titanic, whose final resting place was a mystery for decades, have now marked his grave with a headstone in Aberdeen. Mr Hichens was buried in an unmarked grave with another sailor – Dutch seaman David Lamb – in Trinity Cemetery, meaning for years his family did not know where he had been laid to rest. The memorial was erected in a ceremony attended by three other relatives as well as Titanic enthusiasts. “It’s amazing, it is just fantastic. There were loads of people there.”

Underwater Survey of Asia Titanic Shows Wreck That Took 4,300(GeekWire, 19 Dec 2019)

The scene of the worst peacetime maritime disaster in history — known as “Asia’s Titanic” — has been surveyed by the Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel, the exploration ship owned and operated by the late Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. R/V Petrel worked in partnership with the National Museum of the Philippines to examine the site of the M/V Doña Paz and M/T Vector in Tablas Strait in April. The passenger ferry and oil tanker collided on Dec. 20, 1987, killing an estimated 4,386 people. Only 24 people were reported to have survived.

Well you do not see this every day. A cruise ship coming into port got an unexpected squall that caused it to collide with another ship already docked. There were only minor injuries to some passengers but the damage was extensive as the video indicates. It appears the captain did his best to minimize the collision by reversing the engines. Although the damage to both ships did not affect structural integrity, it means significant repairs have to be done to fix the damage on both ships.

Happy Saturday everyone. Here is a nice tune to get you into a festive mood.


Headstone For Titanic Hero

Collapsible lifeboat D photographed by passenger on Carpathia on the morning of 15 April 1912. Public Domain(Wikipedia)
Collapsible lifeboat D photographed by passenger on Carpathia on the morning of 15 April 1912.
Public Domain(Wikipedia)

Robert J. Hopkins was an able seaman on Titanic on that fateful night. He was assigned to lifeboat 13 with Fred Barrett. As the lifeboat reached the water, both he and Barrett had to quickly free it as lifeboat 15 was coming down nearly on top of them. Fortunately a knife was found and the ropes were cut allowing the lifeboat to drift away. After he arrived in New York, he sought assistance from the American Red Cross. There were some statements that were inaccurately attributed to him about possible bribery by Duff Gordon who was in lifeboat 1.

Hopkins was from Belfast and immigrated with his wife to the United States in 1900. They had two sons while living in New York but sadly his wife passed away in 1907. His brought his sons to Liverpool to be raised by the family. At the time he served on Titanic, he was living in Hoboken in New Jersey. He would live the rest of his life there and passed away on 17 November 1943. He was buried in Holy Name Cemetery but it never had a headstone till now. Thanks to the Archdiocese of Newark,Titanic International Society and his descendants,a headstone has been put in place. It will be dedicated on 14 May 2016 and blessed by Bishop John W. Flesey.

[Correction#1: NJ.com originally reported that the dedication/blessing was done last week. In fact it is not scheduled till 14 May 2016. The entry has been updated to reflect this information.]

Titanic hero’s grave in Jersey City to finally get headstone (3 May 2016,nj.com)
Titanic Lifeboat No. 13 (Encyclopedia Titanica)
Robert John Hopkins (Encyclopedia Titanica)

Titanic Survivor Oscar Palmquist To Be Remembered

Photo courtesy Titanic International Society
Photo courtesy Titanic International Society

Oscar Palmquist, age 26, was immigrating from Sweden when he boarded Titanic in Southampton as a third class passenger. He was in lifeboat 15 when rescued. Eventually he ended up living near siblings in Bridgeport, Connecticut where he worked as a tool maker. He died in 1925 under circumstances that many thought suspicious when his body was found floating in a pond. Since many knew he feared water, they did not believe he committed suicide.

Some suspected murder by a jealous husband over an affair with his wife. However officially his death was determined to be accidental and neither murder or suicide. He was buried in Bridgeport’s Mountain Grove Cemetery. His grave was never marked with a headstone and he faded from memory. However his tragic death did apparently strike a chord with many people and was remembered last year during the 100th  anniversary of Titanic’s sinking. It also began an appeal by Titanic International Society to put a proper headstone on the grave.

And on 29 June at 11 a.m., a ceremony and dedication at Mountain Grove Cemetery will take place. His great nephew, David Palmquist, and other family members will attended along with Titanic devotees. The public is also welcome to attend.

1. Local Titanic Survivor To Be Remembered At Ceremony(21 June 2013, Sheltonherald.com)

2. Encyclopedia Titanica/Titanic Survivors: Mr Oskar Leander Johansson Palmquist

3. A Stone For Oscar-Blog(30 May 2013, Titanic International Society)


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