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Harry F. Prentice of Clumber, Nottingham, England

Harry F. Prentice of Clumber, Nottinghamshire, England
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Fall 2006 and Revised 26 Jun 2011

Update of 26 Jun 2011: Harry F. Prentice is #4 in our Winter 2005 article entitled Thomas C. Prentice of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. . That article now replaces this article.

The following information comes from the 19 Jun 2006 email from Don Mitchell of Redlands, CA, and from England census records:

1. Harry F. Prentice was b. c. 1867 in either Worksop or Clumber, Nottinghamshire, England (the 1901 census says he was b. c. 1867, Worksop, Nottinghamshire). He appears in the 1891 census in Downham, Norfolk, as a "Job and Post Master" with his wife and family.

He m. Elizabeth Sherwood, b. c. 1867, Davenham, Norfolk (a posting at Ancestry.com says b. c. 1867, Downham, Norfolk). Also shown living with Harry's family in the 1891 census is Maria Sherwood, b. c. 1872, and called a sister in law. Children of Frank and Elizabeth:

  1. Henry K. Prentice, b. c. 1888. At home in 1901 census.
  2. Frank Winnold Prentice, b. c. 1889, Davenham, Norfolk. . . . . . . . . . . [2]
  3. Eva M. Prentice, b. c. 1892, Davenham, Norfolk. At home in 1901.
  4. Annie K. Prentice, b. c. 1896, Davenham, Norfolk. At home in 1901.

In the 1901 census in Bexhill, Sussex, Harry, Elizabeth, and their childen are shown living with their widowed grandmother (and likely Frank's mother), Annie Prentice, b. c. 1841, Leighworth, Wiltshire, England.

2. Frank Winnold Prentice, b. c. 1889, Davenham, Norfolk. Living with his parents and grandmother in the 1901 census in Bexhill, Sussex, England. He is quite probably the same person as Frank Winnold Prentice who appears in the following article from the "Encyclopedia Titanica:

    Mr. Frank Winnold Prentice

    Mr Frank Prentice was born in Norfolk on 12 February 1890 (2).

    When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4th April 1912, he gave his address as 71 Denzil Avenue, (Southampton). He transferred from the Celtic. As an Assistant Storekeeper he received monthly wages of £3 15s.

    At the time of the collision, Prentice was in his berth on the port side of E deck (a cabin he shared with 5 other kitchen storekeepers) sitting in his bunk talking to another storekeeper. He didn't notice anything strange other than the ship stopping. He went up onto the promenade deck to survey the scene and saw the forward well deck covered in ice.

    He either helped to load the lifeboats or watched the loading, but later in the night he ended up on the poop deck chatting with his mates. When the poop deck became crowded with people, Prentice, with his colleagues Cyril Ricks and M. Kieran, climbed over the port side railing and jumped into the icy water. He found Ricks was injured, and floating nearby, and stayed with the man until Ricks died. Prentice began swimming and found Lifeboat 4, the crew and women in the boat pulled him in.

    Prentice signed-on to the Oceanic on 10 July 1912. He later recalled that he was on board when one of Titanic's lifeboats was found drifting in mid-Atlantic. Shortly before his death on 19 May 1982 at the age of 92 Frank Prentice told his story in a British documentary Titanic: A Question of Murder.

Don Mitchell also relates that he found a reference to a statement by Jill Swateman: "Jill Swateman, Southbourne, Bournemouth, Connection: Her uncle, Frank Prentice, was one of the longest surviving people who made it through that fateful night. She has a watch of his which stopped at the time the ship went down. Frank lived in Southbourne and made many TV appearances relating to his rescue."

It is unknown whether Frank married and had children.

Who are Harry F. Prentice's Parents?

Harry and his parents do not appear in the 1871 or 1881. His first appearance is in the 1891 census in Downham, Norfolk. No other Prentice family is shown in Downham for those census years. Neither is there any Prentice family in Norfolk where the head of the family is old enough to be Harry's father (Harry b. c. 1867, Clumber, Nottinghamshire).

We do, however, have a possible clue in the 1901 census which says Harry was b. c. 1867 in Worksop, Nottinghamshire rather than in Clumber, Nottinghamshire. The 1871 census shows the family of Christopher Prentice, b. c. 1823, Helpston, Nott. and his wife Ann, b. c. 1847, Nottingham, Nott. and children:

  1. Sidney S. Prentice, b. c. 1865, Nottingham, Nott.
  2. Henry A. Prentice, b. c. 1871, Nottingham, Nott.

Living with Thomas and Sophia in the 1871 census was a nephew, Henry Prentice, b. c. 1867, Worksop, Nott. There is an outside chance, because of the Worksop reference, that Henry may be the same person as Harry. Additional investigation is needed.

We do note that the posting in Ancestry.com identifies Harry's mother as Annie Prentice, b. c. 1841 Leighworth, Wiltshire.

Annie Prentice is probably the same person as the Annie Prentice who appear in the 1871 census in St. Pancras, London, as b. c. 1841, High Worth, Wiltshire. Also shown is Harry, but called Henry Prentice, b. c. 1867, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, which conforms to the information about Harry in the 1901 census, mentioned at the beginning of this article. Also shown are:

  • Harry/Henry's father, Henry Prentice, b. c. 1829, Brighton, Sussex, and
  • Harry/Henry's grandmother, Annie Prentice, b. c 1798, Christchurch, Hampshire.

If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please send your information to us at the Prentice Newsletter. Be sure to give the full title and date of this article in the Subject line of the email.

Caution: If you don't use the above email link, your email to us may be deleted as spam by our email filter.

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Scott Prentice
2011-06-26 20:15:36
Great article about the Prentice Titanic survivor!
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