Postal clerks are tasked to sort out mail in a post office. On Mail Ships, the clerks supervise the loading and debunking of the post bags and they guard the letters underway.
On the Titanic[edit | edit source]
As a Royal Mail Ship, the Titanic also had letters and packages on board, bound for New York. Five postal clerks guarded the post being taken on board. These clerks were employed separately from the rest of the crew, and thus also dined separately in the Postal Workers and Marconi Operators Saloon. They were placed in two cabins which had the capacity of 4 people together on F Deck; it’s unknown where the 5 clerk stayed
When the ship began to sink, the Mail Room was one of the first rooms to flood. The postal clerks dragged the bags up to higher ground: an office. When the office began to flood too, the clerks went another deck up.
At first, they were joking about some lost mail: "They'll never get their love letters now!" However, it soon became clear that their efforts to save any of the mail on board the ship were in vain.
All mail on board was lost, and the postal clerks all went down with the Titanic. Only the bodies of Starr and Woody were recovered
- John Starr March
- James Bertram Williamson
- John Richard Jago Smith
- Oscar S. Woody
- William Logan Gwinn
[edit | edit source]
- Posted Aboard RMS Titanic An online exhibit honouring the postal clerks