About Alden Gates Caldwell
- Name: Master Alden Gates Caldwell
- Born: Saturday 10th June 1911
- Age: 10 months and 5 days.
- Last Residence: in Bangkok Siam
- 2nd Class passenger
- First Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
- Ticket No. 248738 , £29
- Destination: Roseville United States
- Rescued (boat 13)
- Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
- Died: Friday 18th December 1992
- Cause of Death: Cause Not Disclosed
Master Alden Gates Caldwell, 10 months, was born in Siam, the son of Albert Francis and Sylvia Mae Caldwell.
The family boarded the Titanic in Southampton as second class passengers.
Alden's mother got into lifeboat 13 and then Alden, who was wrapped in a blanket, was tossed to Steward Frederick Ray in the stern. Mr Caldwell stepped into the bow as the boat was lowered.
Alden Caldwell was the baby that Lawrence Beesley spoke of as crying incessantly in his lifeboat until someone noticed his feet were exposed. As soon as the feet were covered the crying ceased.
Alden Gates Caldwell graduated from the University of Illinois, class of 1934, and received a Masters Degree in chemical engineering. He never married and lived most of his life in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was a chemical engineer and worked for the Leigh-Portland Cement Company for almost 33 years. He spent much time trying to prove his citizenship status in preparation for his retirement in order to receive social security benefits.
Alden retired to Largo, Florida in 1977 (after his father's death) and spent the remainder of his life travelling between his winter home in Florida and summer cottage in Stone Lake, Wisconsin. He loved to golf and fish.
Many remembered Alden as a reclusive and unfriendly man. When he died in 1992 some of his nearest neighbours did not even know his name and had never spoken to him. But others remember him as extremely kind and amiable. He freely spoke about what his parents told him about the sinking. He admitted that while the story of the Titanic held no interest for him (unlike his parents), he didn't mind speaking about it.
He apparently grew a long, unkept white beard in his last years that was unmistakable. His memories were preserved on audio tape in 1986, and in 1987, and are in the archives of the Titanic International Society. It is the only known interview that Alden gave about his experiences on the Titanic.
According to both Frank Aks and Alden Caldwell: At the time of Albert Caldwell's passing in 1977, survivor Frank Aks attended Albert's funeral. Both had met several years earlier. It was at the funeral that Mr Aks met Alden for the first time. Until that time, Mr Aks believed that he had been the youngest survivor, his birthdate being 7th June, 1911. Alden jokingly told him after the funeral that he was born on 10th June, 1911 - thus making him at least the younger of the two. Mr Aks eventually did meet the youngest survivor of the Titanic, Millvina Dean, at a reunion of survivors in 1988. Mr Caldwell was invited to attend the affair but chose not to.
He died on 18th December, 1992 in Largo, Florida
Travelling Companions (on same ticket)
- Mr Albert Francis Caldwell
- Mrs Sylvia Mae Caldwell
- References and Sources
- Pittsburgh Post, April 18 1912, Article
- The St. Petersburg Times (Florida), December 23, 1992
- State of Florida Certificate of Death (#92-141137)
- Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
- New York Herald, April 19, 1912
- The Daily Reflector (Greenville, NC), April 12, 1998
- Albert Caldwell (1965) They said that the Titanic could not Sink
- Charles Caldwell, USA
- Michael A. Findlay, USA
- Phillip Gowan, USA