Encyclopedia Titanica

Francis Carruthers

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Mr Francis “Frank” Carruthers was born in Carlisle, Cumberland, England in 1856 and baptised in St Mary’s Church on 24 August 1856. He was the son of William Carruthers (1825-1905), a Staff Sergeant in the British Army, and the former Christiana Ewing (1831-1908).

According to his later testimony, Carruthers began his surveying career as assistant-Superintendent to Robert Baird on the Tyne before becoming assistant for F. Scudamore and Company, London, and later with John Baxter, at Newcastle-on-Tyne.

On 18 February 1884, in Partick, Scotland, Frank was married to Mary MacKinnon (b. 3 October 1858 in Tomatin, Inverness-shire, Scotland). At the time he gave his address as the SS Ridsdale at Howdon Dock on the River Tyne. Frank and Mary would go on to have four children: Francis, twins Kate and Margaret, and William. 

The 1901 census shows the Carruthers family as residents of 1 Battlefield Gardens in Cathcart, Glasgow. By 1911 Francis and his family lived at house 39 in Ballybeen, Dundonald, Co Down, Ireland on the outskirts of east Belfast and was described as an “engineer & ship surveyor, 2nd class, Marine Dept., Board of Trade.” Both his daughters, who were never married, were trained nurses. 

Following a thirteen-year career as a marine engineer, Carruthers was a member of the Institute of Naval Architects and a member of the Board of Trade for sixteen years by 1912; he supervised the building of Olympic and Titanic
Following the loss of the Titanic, Carruthers was called to provide testimony to the British Inquiry regarding the ship’s seaworthiness. 

Francis Carruthers and his family later returned to Britain and he spent his final days living at 119 Rodenhurst Road, Clapham Park, Surrey where he died on 26 December 1934 aged 78.  He was buried on 29 December in Putney Vale Cemetery and Crematorium, Wandsworth, London (Section I, Plot 323).  He left an estate valued at £8,997 4s 8d.

In later years his widow returned to Scotland and she passed away in Largs on 15 August 1950 aged 91. 

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Francis Carruthers (Frank)
Age: 55 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Mary MacKinnon
Last Residence: in Belfast, Ireland
Occupation: Civil Servant
Embarked: Belfast
Disembarked: Southampton
Buried Putney Vale Cemetary, London, England on Saturday 29th December 1934

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Acknowledgements

Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK