About Henry Samuel Etches
- Name: Mr Henry Samuel Etches
- Born in Southampton Hampshire England
- Age: 41 years
- Marital Status: Married.
- Last Residence: at 23a Gordon Avenue Southampton Hampshire England - Map
- Occupation: Bed Room Steward
- Last Ship: Oruba
- Victualling crew
- First Embarked: Belfast on Monday 1st April 1912
- Rescued (boat 5)
- Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Mr Henry Samuel Etches, 41, was married and gave his address as 23-A, Gordon Avenue, Southampton. His previous ship was the Olympic
Etches' station aboard the Titanic was on B deck, after end, port side. He was in charge of 8 cabins on B deck and one on A deck, A-36 - Thomas Andrews. He would later testify:
"Every morning at 7 I went to his (Andrews) cabin. I would take him some fruit and tea. I used to see him again when he dressed at night. That would be a quarter or twenty minutes to 7, as a rule. He was rather late in dressing. I had met him several times at Belfast because I had been on the Olympic."
After the collision Etches, who was off duty, became curious and walked forward along the E deck working alleyway ("Scotland Road"), as he entered the third class accommodation he met a passenger. The passenger dropped a lump of ice to the floor with the words 'Will you believe it now?'
Later when the danger was more widely known Etches helped his first class passengers into their lifebelts. In B-84 he struggled to persuade mining and smelting tycoon Benjamin Guggenheim to wear his lifebelt, he eventually succeeded and gave Guggenheim a thick sweater before directing him to the Boat Deck. Later Guggenheim would remove both and spend his last moments alive dressed in his finest evening wear.
At another cabin (C-78) Etches banged loudly on the door and when the people inside asked what the trouble was Etches explained but despite his warnings he was not allowed in and eventually he moved on.
Etches was rescued in lifeboat 5 and pulled an oar as Third Officer Pitman guided them back towards the scene to pick up swimmers, one woman implored Etches to persuade Officer Pitman not to return and eventually Pitman decided to stand-by despite the desperate calls of those in the freezing water.
After he arrived in New York Etches was called before the U.S. Senate Inquiry into the sinking. References and Sources Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259) United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
Credits Pat Cook, USA
Related Articles and Documents
New York Times (1912) GUGGENHEIM, DYING, SENT WIFE MESSAGE