Osman, Mr. Frank
Crew: Deck - Able Seaman
27 Mar 1885
Gosport, Hampshire, England
7 Jun 1938
Southampton, Hampshire, England
After initially working as a bricklayer, Frank went to sea aged 14 and then joined the Royal Navy at 16 in April 1900, lying about his age when he did. He completed an exemplary decade of service before joining White Star Line on board Oceanic.
He joined Titanic as an Able Seaman and at the time of the collision he was outside the seaman's mess on C-Deck, waiting for the bell to ring to signal the start of his shift. Instead he heard the three bell ring, which he took to mean "ship ahead" before he felt the impact. He went to the forward well deck and saw a large quantity of ice, he collected a piece and returned to his quarters on D-Deck. On his way he noticed a list to starboard and it was not long before orders came to go up top and clear the lifeboats.
Osman asisted with loading and lowering three boats on the starboard side and one on the port side. He then manned lifeboat 2 on the portside. He recalled suggesting to Officer Boxhall that they remained alongside the ship to see if they could "squeeze any more hands in". Boxhall agreed although it made the women onboard nervous.
The lifeboat was aft of Titanic as she foundered, about 60 to 100 yards away. Osman also reported sighting an iceberg as daylight broke. He described it as being 100' tall, "round and one big point sticking up on one side of it." He also noted it seemed to have had a piece freshly broken off.
When asked why the lifeboat did not return to collect more survivors he siad it was almost full despite his earlier statement that they would stay alongside to collect more. He testified in the US Inquiry but not the British Inquiry.
Frank returned to England and his family and continued to work at sea. He served in Navy once again durng the war as a leading seaman and was deocrated for his service, including the Battle of Jutland. After the war he worked with White Star and Cunard before taking up work as a publican in 1934.
In the last six months of his life Frank had been unwell with heart and blood pressure problems and suffered two strokes. He showed signs of depression and mental instability. On June 1938 he was working in his pub as usual, joking with his customers. After a brief absence from the bar his wife went looking for him and found him hanging from a roof beam in the cellar. He was 53 years old.
He was survived by his wife Clara and six of his seven children. His last surviving child, Emily, died in 2003 and in 2019 his wartime medals were put up for auction.
Primary source : Encyclopaedia Titanica