560 River Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3L 0E3, Canada
Belsyde Cemetery, Thistle St, Fergus, ON N1M 1V9, Canada
Thomson Beattie (November 25, 1875 - April 15, 1912) was a RMS Titanic victim. It has been suggested that, with travel partners Thomas Francis McCaffry and John Hugo Ross, he was one of the gay passengers aboard the Titanic.
Thomson Beattie was born on November 25, 1875, Fergus, Ontario. He was the last of eleven children. His father, John Beattie, was a private banker, and in 1871 became the Clerk of Wellington County.
At the death of his father in 1897, Beattie and one brother moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Beattie partnered with Richard Deans Waugh to open Haslam Land Co. After five years Beattie bought a distinguished house at 560 River Ave., in an upscale neighbourhood, and shared it with Dr. Field, a medical doctor. In 1911 Waugh became mayor of Winnipeg and Beattie ran their company alone.
He was a prominent member of the Winnipeg Country Club and the Manitoba Club.
In 1897 he met Thomas Francis McCaffry, who will die with Beattie aboard the Titanic. They traveled together to the Aegean in 1908, and to North Africa in 1910. The 1912 visit to the Middle East and Europe, with the return aboard the Titanic, was to be their last.
In 1912, Beattie, McCaffrey and John Hugo Ross, another Titanic victim, left aboard the Franconia for a 4 months long tour to Middle East and Europe. In February they were in Cairo and visited Luxor and Aswan. After Cairo they landed in Naples and Venice. They boarded the Titanic as first class passengers in Cherbourg. Beattie and McCaffry shared cabin C-6. Beattie managed to leave on the last available raft, Collapsible A, but died of exposure. McCaffrey didn't board. One month after the sinking, Beattie's body was found and buried at sea.
His family commissioned a tombstone for the family plot in Fergus, Ontario.
It has been suggested that Beattie and McCaffrey were a couple and Ross was gay as well. According to Alan Hustak: "Beattie and McCaffry resembled each other, dressed alike, and were often mistaken for brothers. The Winnipeg Free Press remarked on how similar they were, and observed the two of them 'were almost inseparable.'"
A Bronze Tablet was erected in the Winnipeg City Hall to commemorate the city's Titanic victims: Mark Fortune, Charles A. Fortune, John Hugo Ross, Thomson Beattie, George A. Graham and J.J. Borebank. All Winnipeg men on board the Titanic died, while all Winnipeg women survived.
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