Fred Dent Ray, 1st Class Saloon Steward

Spelling and punctuation have been preserved where possible

Dear Mr.Lord,
Many thanks for your letter of Mar 30. I have received an answer from Mr.MacQuitty in which he states this it is unlikely that there will be any survivors included in the film but he is going to try and get permission for some of them to see the film being made also to get a permit to see the "Premiere" so I shall look forward to seeing him soon I hope, In his letter he wanted to know my age at the time of the sinking, which was 33. So I said now you know my present age, which makes me 78.
I was very interested in the part of your letter which refers to the mention of the demi-tasse spoons, actually they were salt spoons. I must tell you the story in connection with them. I know you will be interested in it. Dr. Washington Dodge was a very big man and very generous when he arrived on the "Carpathia". We four Dr, Mrs and Jr myself stood in one of the alleyways and the Dr. Said now I have so many thousand french franks (I just forget how many) he continued I am sorry to divide them into four lots & each received a quarter, he said that was all the money he saved. Mrs Dodge said she had not saved even her pearl neckless which her husband had given her on the Continent, the night the "Titanic" sunk was the first time she had taken it off her neck & put it under the pillow & left it there. I went through my pockets & found some small change & the salt spoons also the menu card, so I thought that as he had been so generous I could make some little return in offering them to him as a memento. I often wondered if they had kept them & now you have solved the problem for me thank you.
I am very sorry I cannot find a memento for you, but you have "A Night To Remember" what do you want better than that. I am sure that will live longer than any salt spoons of [sic] menu cards. I shall look forward to seeing you next time you are over this side.

With kind regard
Yours Sincerely
F Dent Ray

PS My wife has just reminded me that I have not told you how I came to have 2 salt spoons in my pocket on that night. She is afraid you might think that I was going to pinch them, how it happened was in cleaning the table it meant going the length of the saloon to put them in the side board drawer, Washinton Dodge jr does not know all about those spoons. So if you care to send this on to him you are at liberty to do so F.D.R

July 13 1955

Dear Mr.Lord
Many thanks for your letter of June 26 I must appologise for the delay in answering such a nice letter & all so interesting, but the fact is I am just in the middle of selling my property in Devon (?) to the other side of England after living here for 22 years & in my 77th year. I was very interested to hear about Washington Dodge Jr I think he was about 4 years old then I last saw him & a most charming little boy, your reference to his father are quite correct, you seem to have all the facts quite right, the menu you mention was put in my pocket when clearing the table & should have been put in the recepticle for going over the side, but remained to become a museum piece. I should like you to mention me to Mr Washington Dodge when you write. I think most of my story you already know, but I will try & add one or two things that come to mind, of course you know that after going up to my lifeboat, I went back for my overcoat & looking in my (bunk?) I saw 6 handkerchiefs which were to become very useful as the people in the boat were complaining of the cold to their heads, so I told them to tie a knot in each corner & they had a very good improvised cap, Mrs W.Dodge had one, & in the morning, six heads were crowned. I think the part of that night that will always remain with me was standing on the top deck & hearing the steam let off at the funnels & the rockets being let off ones & twos at first & then batches the largest ship in the world on her maiden voyage & the most loss of life they were the thoughts that haunted me for a very long time, another thing that seemed very dramatic was the evidence of the wireless operator at Washington shen he said what messages he received from the Titanic, as he reached the point when he said & then there was silence. This of course refers to the Carpathia.
I should very much like to get a copy of your book when it comes out. I will let you know when I get settled in my new abode.

To go up a level, click here