Link to homepage
Search site


Guernsey & Titanic (1912)

RMS Titanic struck an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on 15 April 1912. Over 1,500 lives were lost and the tragedy remains one of the worst maritime disasters in history.

Were any people from Guernsey travelling on RMS Titanic?

Yes.  There were 19 passengers onboard who had a Guernsey connection.  Guernsey at that time was an extremely close-knit community and most of the passengers knew each other.  Please find below the graphic from an exhibition in 2012, which illustrates these relationships.  The ship passed nearby to Alderney (en route from Cherbourg to Cobh) and some islanders said they could hear the music of the ship's band.  

Who were they?

1.  Lillian Bentham

2.  Lillian Renouf

3.  Emily Rugg

4.  Anne Martin (stewardess in 1st Class)

5.  Charles Bainbrigge

6.  Albert Denbuoy

7.  William Downton

8.  Joseph Duquemin

9.  Lawrence Gavey

10.  Clifford Jeffreys

11.  Ernest Jeffreys

12.  Henry Mitchell

13.  Peter McKane

14.  Clifford Parker

15.  Peter Renouf

16.  Edward Wheadon

17.  Howard Williams

18.  Henry Ingrouille (steward in 3rd Class)

19.  Arthur / Alfred Whitford (steward in 2nd Class)

Why were they travelling?

For different reasons.  Let's think about the context.  The year was 1912. The first world war had not yet happened. The economy of the Channel Islands were not exactly vibrant. There was a lot of emigration and travel to and fro. A big industry in Guernsey at the time was quarrying. Some of those travelling were looking for work, or a new start. Some had already made their new homes in the USA and were only back in Guernsey to visit friends and relations.

Did they survive?

Only five of the 19 survived the tragedy.  

Things to see

There is a 14-sided plaque at the Weighbridge in St Peter Port (next to the Herm Trident office). Each side of the plaque represents a life lost in the tragedy.

Further reading

Titanic: The Channel Island Connections by Alasdair Crosby