Charles Osker Hendrickson was one of the Leading Firemen of the Titanic. He survived the sinking in the infamous Lifeboat 1. He was the fireman who suggested to the 11 other occupants to go back to the disaster site, but Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon refused.

Charles was born on June 7th, 1883 in Northam, Southampton. He was the son of Peter John Hendrickson (1833-1908) and Mary Sophia (b. 1844). His father was Swedish and his mother was German. They had at least seven children: William (b. 1878), Jane Sophia (b. 1880) France Otto (b. 1885) Edith (b. 1888), Hannah Sophia (b. 1890) and twins Anne Maria and Charles Osker (b. 1883).

Charles first appears on the 1891 census living with his parents and siblings at 231 Northumberland Road, St Mary, Southampton, his father being described as a labourer. Charles is absent for the 1901 census but his family now reside at 17 Alfred Place, Southampton.

Charles was married in mid-1904 to Ellen Young (b. November 18th, 1883 in Southampton) and they had two children: Ralph Victor (b. 1909) and Edith (b. 1911). On the 1911 census Charles and his family are living at 255 Northumberland Road, Nichols Town, Southampton and Charles is described as a Ship's Fireman.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on April 6th, he gave his address as 255 Northumberland Road, Southampton. His previous ship was the Oceanic. As a Leading Fireman he received monthly wages of £6 10s.

On the night of the disaster Hendrickson slept through the impact but was later wakened by another crew member. He was one of twelve people rescued in Emergency Lifeboat 1. After the Titanic sank, Hendrickson asked the people in the lifeboat whether they thought to go back to help the people struggling and dying in the water but his suggestion was vetoed by the passengers in the boat, mainly Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon. He was later called to testify at the British Inquiry into the disaster.

Charles Hendrickson continued to work at sea into the 1920s. He and his family later relocated to London and he died in Islington in 1956. His widow died in 1979.


Hendrickson is portrayed in the 1997 film by Sean Lawlor. He only appeared in the deleted scene "It's out of the question". After Titanic has sunk, people in the water are fighing for their lives, screaming for help. The people in Emergency Lifeboat 1 hear those screams and Hendrickson says they have to do something. But Sir Cosmo denies this, saying that "it's out of the question."

In the 2012 Miniseries Titanic, the fictional seaman Hawkins is based on Hendrickson.

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