Call to honour Hatfield man who died in Titanic sinking

PUBLISHED: 10:05 23 March 2015 | UPDATED: 14:08 23 March 2015

RMS Titanic

RMS Titanic


A namesake of a Hatfield man who died when the Titanic sank has called for there to be a memorial to him in the town.

The iceberg that sank the TitanicThe iceberg that sank the Titanic

Next month it will be 103 years since the great ship hit an ice berg, broke up and slumped to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

In 2012, around the centenary of the sinking of the ‘unsinkable’ vessel, the Welwyn Hatfield Times revealed how ship’s steward Joseph Alfred Gunn was one of the 1,517 souls lost on that fateful night.

He was 28 years old and had served as part of the ship’s victualling crew of stewards.

Stewards were what are today referred to as waiters, waitresses, maids or attendants.

RMS TitanicRMS Titanic

As a second class assistant saloon steward Joseph would have been paid a monthly wage of £3,15s.

Prior to becoming part of the crew of the Titanic he worked on its sister ship the RMS Oceanic.

Now, namesake Dennis Gunn, who lives in North London, has called on authorities to honour the “poor lad” with a plaque at a suitable place in the town.

He said: “I wonder if the citizens of Hatfield know about him even, or if anybody is interested in him.

A satellite photo of the exact location of the Titanic's sinking (Picture: Google)A satellite photo of the exact location of the Titanic's sinking (Picture: Google)

“I’d certainly start the ball rolling myself, financially.

“I certainly would like to see the poor lad recognised.”

Joseph Jnr was born in Hatfield after his father Joseph Smee Gunn, a blacksmith and farrier, moved to the town in 1880 with his own father.

Joseph Snr lived in Stonecross Road and, after his death at the age of 80, in 1935 he was buried in St. Luke’s Cemetery

A spokeswoman for Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “Memorials are a fitting mark of respect, especially when local people have died in such tragic circumstances.

“Depending on where he would like the memorial, we encourage Mr Gunn to contact the relevant ward councillor in the first instance to start discussions about how we can help.”

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