Family History and Research
Seaman John Thomas Poingdestre on the Titanic
by Jamie Poindexter, webmaster
The following information is excerpted from the book "Titanic - A Survivor's Story" by Colonel Archibald Gracie, 1998 Academy Chicago publishers, originally published in 1913 as "The Truth About the Titanic":
the night of Sunday, April 14, 1912, able bodied seaman John Poingdestre,
was put in charge
of Lifeboat Number
12. After the sinking, his boat transferred some passengers
from other boats. When rescued by the Carpathian, Number 12 had
70 people in it."
About Life Boat 12 (links to other web sites):
About John Thomas Poingdestre:
John Thomas "Jack" Poingdestre was born at 27 Old St John Road, St Helier, Jersey on 6 November 1886, the son of Philippe George Poingdestre (carpenter) and his wife Eliza Jane Warr. He was one of twelve children and left Jersey at an early age in order to go to sea. (1)
He was settled at 4 Elm Road, Shirley, Southampton with his wife Florence Maud Gallagher and five children of his own by the time he signed up for the Titanic's maiden voyage. (1)
Jack had three years experience as a seaman prior to the Titanic. He served on "nearly every Royal Mail liner leaving Southampton." He then served on White Star ships, the Oceanic and the Teutonic. (2)
After the sinking of the Titanic, as the lifeboat was nowhere near to capacity, he collected other survivors from other lifeboats and had almost 70 people aboard when picked up by the Carpathian.
After the official inquiries into the Titanic episode, Jack returned to his family in Southampton but went back to sea on the outbreak of WW-I. He served on the Britannic, which sank under him after being torpedoed! The Britannic, Titanic's sister ship, was serving as a hospital ship in World War l when it was sunk off the Mediterranean island of Kea, about 40 miles south east of Athens, Greece.
He always refused to talk about the disaster and was not close to his children, who at one stage were placed in a home as their mother could not manage them. Consequently his date and place of death have not yet been ascertained.
Titanic touches some of us even closer. During the PDA's 1998 Reunion Tour of the Isle of Jersey, the group met Jean Poingdestre Coxon, the granddaughter of Seaman Poingdestre. She was excited to meet all of us and I [webmaster Jamie] continued to correspond with her until her death in the spring of 2013.
On another note, in April, 1998, I visited the Titanic Exposition where actual artifacts from Titanic were on display. Near the end of the tour was a large wall chart of survivors and those whose lost their lives. John Poingdestre is listed as a surviving crew member. It took about two hours to take the audio-cassette guided tour where you learn about that disastrous night while looking at the artifacts, photos and models. For info on where artifacts are on display, go to www.titanic-online.com.
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Updated July 3, 2017