Jonathan Shepherd (March 31st, 1880 - April 15th, 1912) was a Junior Assistant 2nd Engineer of the RMS Titanic. He and Herbert Harvey were the first of the victims of the sinking to die in Boiler Room 5.


Early LifeEdit

He was born on March 31st, 1880 in Whitehaven, Cumberland, England. His parents were James Bromley Shepherd (b. 1850) from Whitehaven and Johanna Elizabeth Longbottom (b. 1851), she was a native of Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, Ireland. They were married in Leeds, Yorkshire in 1872.

He was one of nine siblings.

By 1881, his family was living at 12 Lowther Street in Whitehaven. His family then moved to 9 Church Street in Whitehaven by 1891. According to the 1901 census, the family moved to Blackburn, Lancashire. His father was absent and listed elsewhere as a boarder at an address in Accrington, Lancashire where he was described as a textile machining fitter.

White Star LineEdit

Jonathan had served an apprenticeship with James Davenport of Blackburn and he worked for Messrs. Howard & Bullough of Accrington and Hadfields of Sheffield before commencing a seagoing career with W. S. Kennaugh & Sons of Liverpool and joined White Star Line after obtaining his first class marine engineer's certificate of competency, serving firstly on the Adriatic and later on the RMS Olympic. He was on the Olympic when she was struck by the HMS Hawke and was reportedly one of the first to close the watertight doors following the collision.

Jonathan, who never married, was not listed on the 1911 census; his mother had passed away in early 1911 and his widowed father and several siblings were listed at 27 London Road, Blackburn.

RMS TitanicEdit

When he signed on to the Titanic, on April 6th, 1912, he gave his lodgings address as 16 Bellevue Terrace, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a junior assistant engineer he could expect monthly wages of £12, 10s.


He was on duty on the evening of April 14th, 1912. After the collision he helped the other engineers rig pumps in Boiler Room 5 but broke his leg when he slipped into a raised access plate. Leading fireman Frederick Barrett and Herbert Harvey helped him into the pump-room. Shortly afterwards the nearby bulkheads were breached and the boiler room began to flood, as Barrett and the other fireman/trimmers began to evacuate the boiler room. However, Harvey ran back to the pump-room to rescue Shepherd when Barrett reported that both men disappeared under the torrent of water.

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