Walter John Perkis (1874 - 1954) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Ryde, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England
Death: Died in Hampshire, England
Occupation: Quartermaster on RMS Titanic
Managed by: Terry Jackson (Switzer)
Last Updated:

About Walter John Perkis

Marriages Sep 1909

 
  • MILLS Fanny Eliza Southampton 2c 68
  • PERKIS Walter John Southampton 2c 68

Titanica

  • Name: Mr Walter John Perkis
  • Born: Tuesday 11th August 1874
  • Age: 37 years
  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Last Residence: at Victoria Road, Bitterne Park Southampton Hampshire England
  • Occupation: Quartermaster
  • Last Ship: Olympic
  • Deck crew
  • First Embarked: Belfast
  • Rescued (boat 4)
  • Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
  • Died: Wednesday 4th August 1954
  • Buried: Bitterne Parish Church

Mr Walter John Perkis was born on 11 August 1874 in Ryde, Isle of White, the son of James Perkis and Emily Ricketts. He was baptised on 17 January 1875 at All Saints Church, Ryde, Isle of Wight.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 9 April 1912, he gave his address as Victoria Rd, Bitterne, (Southampton). He had been transferred from the Olympic. As a quartermaster he received monthly wages of £5.

Perkis had served 16 years at sea as A. B. seaman, lookout and quartermaster. Perkis was married and on this trip he and his brother-in-law Alfred Olliver would both serve as quartermasters.

When the collision took place, Perkis was below in his bunk and felt nothing. A 'joiner' (carpenter) came in and said they had better turn out; he told them they had 'struck something'. Perkis' duty resumed at midnight and he relieved Hichens at the wheel until he was released to assist with the boats. At his assigned station he helped lower lifeboat 4. He had just finished helping with a few other boats when he heard a seaman in boat 4 yell, "We need another hand down here." With that, Perkis slid down the falls, about 70 feet, into the boat and took charge. He estimated there were 42 passengers in the lifeboat plus 3 crew members. After the sinking, they picked up 8 swimmers from the water, 2 of which died later - a steward (Siebert) and a fireman (Lyons). "After we had picked up the men I could not hear any more cries anywhere. Everything was over," he would later testify. Then, just before daylight, they saw the oncoming lights of the Carpathia. He remembered that the discipline on board the Titanic was excellent. "Every man knew his station and took it."

Walter Perkis re-joined his old ship, the Olympic, on 5 June 1912.

Walter John Perkis died in Southampton General Hospital on 4 August 1954 at the age of 79 and buried 5 days later. His grave, at Bitterne Parish Church, Southampton, where he lies beside his wife and their only son, remained unmarked until July 2001.

Available Documents

  • Crew Particulars of Engagement
  • Inquiry Testimony
  • (Courtesy of the Titanic Inquiry Project)
  • Senate Hearings, 25 April 1912, Testimony
  • Senate Hearings, 25 April 1912, Additional Testimony [with Hogg and Symons]

References

  • Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
  • Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259) SS Olympic
  • Register of Seamen (PRO London, BT 350)
  • United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
  • United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912

Contributors

  • Pat Cook, USA
  • Alan Daniel, UK
  • Rob Daniel, UK
  • Chris Dohany, USA
  • Peter Morrall, UK
  • Bob Olliver, UK
  • Inger Sheil, UK
  • Monika Simons, UK
  • Kerri Sundberg USA
  • Brian Ticehurst, UK
  • Bill Wormstedt, USA
view all

Walter John Perkis's Timeline

1874
August 11, 1874
Hampshire, England
1875
January 17, 1875
Hampshire
1954
August 4, 1954
Age 79
Hampshire, England
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