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Three days after the Carpathia picked up the Titanic survivors, the ship docked in New York. Various groups were already working to collect funds to assist the survivors in need of help.

In the last three days the details had been sketchy at best and there was great speculation. Some reports even said that Titanic was being towed in for repairs, that all were lost and that all were saved.

Naturally The White Star Line wanted to believe the more positive reports that all were saved. Their offices were inundated with request from family members, but they did not know anymore than anyone else. They even dispatched a train to Halifax, Nova Scotia with family members of those on the Titanic. When the true situation was realized, the train turned around.

Carpathia arrived in New York on April 18, 1912 at 9:25pm, docking at Pier 34. The voyage had been difficult as she encountered fog, ice, rough seas and thunderstorms. She first stopped at the White Star Line pier and dropped off the Titanic lifeboats. She then moved to the Cunard pier where the passengers disembarked. Only after her arrival did the awful truth sink in.

Small boats greeted Carpathia in the harbor. Family members were on board longing for answers, but most of the occupants were from the press.

One source reported, “Philip Franklin, Vice President of the White Star New York office, was so shocked at the news that he could not believe it and insisted the Titanic was unsinkable. “

Southhampton, England had the greatest loss. Titanic had left this town on her maiden voyage only five days earlier. Southhampton lost five hundred forty-nine men in the disaster.

About 40,000 people stood on the docks when the Carpathia arrived. Many were heartbroken to realize their loved ones were not there to meet them and had perished in the disaster.

Eyewitnesses reported there “were many pathetic scenes” when the Titanic’s survivors disembarked.

Some survivors were taken to the hospital to treat their injuries. Others made their way to hotels or their home town. Third class passengers were now in a new city without a penny to their name, homeless and broke. The White Star Line and other charities were on hand to provide some short term relief.

Margaret Brown was one of the last passengers to disembark. She’d stayed onboard assisting those in need until everyone had safely disembarked. When she disembarked at three o’clock that morning the press was waiting and swarmed around her. Asking how she survived she replied “Typical Brown luck. I’m unsinkable.” In that moment a legend was born.

Captain Rostron and the Carpathia crew were later awarded for their rescue work. Margaret Brown presented Captain Rostron with a silver cup and gold medal. Crew members were awarded bronze medals and the officers were awarded silver medals. President Taft presented Captain Rostron with the Congressional Gold Medal. Later, King George V would knight Captain Rostron.

Words of sympathy were expressed from around the world. King George V said “ The Queen and I are horrified at the appalling disaster which has happened to the Titanic and at the terrible loss of life. We deeply sympathize with the bereaved relatives and feel for them in their great sorrow with all our hearts.” George, R. ET. I.

After completing his testimony Captain Roston and the Carpathia returned to service. Captain Roston died in 1940.

Services were held for the victims all over the world. In London, services were held on April 19 at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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RMS Carpathia arrived an hour after the RMS Titanic sunk to her watery grave. Her rockets were spotted by those in the lifeboats at three thirty that morning.


The RMS Carpathia was owned by the Cunard Line. Her maiden voyage was on May 5, 1903. {She would be Torpedoed off Ireland by German submarine on July 17, 1918}. She left New York City on April 11, 1912 and was sailing towards Fiume, Austria-Hungary {now Rijeka, Croatia} on April 14, 1912.

Harold Cottam was the Carpathia wireless operator. He missed the initial Titanic SOS messages because he was on deck. When he returned Cape Race, Newfoundland told him of the CQD/SOS messages and he then received Titanic’s distress signal. He awakened Captain Rostron who immediately set sail for Titanic. They were fifty-eight miles away from the sinking vessel.

Captain Arthur Henry Rostron was given the command of the RMS Carpathia on January 18, 1912. He went to sea when he was thirteen years old. In January 1895 he joined the Cunard Line. In 1912 Captain Rostron and RMS Carpathia made regular trips from New York City to Fiume, Italy. Headed to Europe the vessel carried a large number of tourist. On the return trip to New York City the steamer would carry emigrants.

This was the first disaster Captain Rostron responded to. However, he spared no effort or cost. He ordered that his lifeboats be swung out, all gangway doors opened, stewards to keep passengers and survivors separate, blankets prepared, extra rooms and the library and smoking rooms prepared, soup and hot drinks ready, rope ladders and extra chairs used to bring the survivors on board, pursers to gather names and stewards to see after the survivors, and the doctor summoned. He clearly rose to the challenge and acted in a timely and professional manner.

Understanding the severity of the situation, Captain Rostron ordered all heat sources to be cut off. This allowed the boilers to work faster, build more power and produce more steam. This could have been very dangerous with so much ice and he understood this, posting additional lookouts.

The Carpathia arrived at the scene at four o’clock in the morning. The Captain and crew were met with a scene of the vast ocean and nothing else upon reaching the given concordance of the Titanic’s location. Captain Rostrom testified they were met with “only a sea covered with wreckage and debris”. He ordered the engines stopped as the crew searched for life. Finally someone pointed out a flare from a lifeboat in the distance.

The passengers on Carpathia were stunned by the scene that greeted them the morning of Monday, April 15, 1912. One passenger described it as “fields of ice on which, like points on the landscape, rested innumerable pyramids of ice.”

On board Carpathia was Charles H. Marshall, whose three nieces were travelling aboard the Titanic. {All three women survived and were surprised to find their uncle upon being rescued}.

Lifeboat number two was the first to be rescued at 4:10am. She was under the command of Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall. Elizabeth Walton Allen was the first passenger to be brought aboard Carpathia. She confirmed to the crew that Titanic had indeed sunk.


As passengers were brought on board many were in shock or sobbing, while others quietly reflected on the events of that night. Many were still under the impression that their loved ones had been saved and rescued.

The rescue effort took over four hours. Survivors were brought aboard by a variety of means such as climbing rope ladders, slings, chairs and children hoisted up in mail sacks.

The last lifeboat to reach the Carpathia was number twelve. There were seventy-four people on board, including Office Lightoller, who was the last to board the vessel. Some of the boats had been adrift for eight hours. All of Titanic survivors were on the Carpathia by nine o’clock that morning.

On board the Carpathia survivors looked for their loved ones. A few had joyful scenes of being reunited, but most saw their hopes dashed as their loved ones failed to appear and reality began to sink in. After being rescued all of the survivors were inspected by a doctor and given food and drink.

The final count onboard the Carpathia was 705 survivors out of 2223 that had started the Southhampton to New York voyage.

After everyone was on board Captain Rostron held a service and moment of silence over the disaster site for those lost at sea.

Due to insufficient resources, Captain Rostrom decided to return to New York instead of continuing on to Europe.

The California arrived at the site of the disaster at 8:30am. Hearing of the sinking she worked her way through the ice to be of assistance. Finding no other survivors she then continued on to Boston.

Titanic’s wireless operator, Harold Bride, was taken to Carpathia’s wireless room where he worked with Harold Cottam. The men did not leave the room and worked transmit a list of survivors names and personal messages to relatives. The men even refused to answer a request from President Taft, requesting information on his military advisor Archibald Butt.

“One of the messages that the New York White Star line did receive from the Carpathia confirming the disaster is as follows:
Steamship Carpathia, April 17, 1912 (via Halifax)
Deeply regret advise you Titanic sank this morning, after collision iceberg, resulting serious loss life. Further particulars later. Bruce Ismay.
This was received by Mr. Franklin at the White Star office in New York at 9 a.m. on April 17. Two days after the sinking. This gives you an idea of how slow news was traveling.”

Now the passengers and survivors aboard Carpathia had nothing to do but wait to reach New York.

Sunday, April 14, 1912 was coming to an end on the Titanic when tragedy struck. That morning passengers attended church services with Captain Smith officiating the First Class sermon. In the evening some first and second class passengers had a hymn sing. A lifeboat drill had been planned for that Sunday morning, but was cancelled for [now] unknown reasons.

Titanic was the largest ship in the world, beating her sister ship, Olympic by one hundred feet. She had the largest engines ever on a ship and was able to generate more steam than any ship. She had the capability of carrying 3,547 people. There were 2,223 people aboard preparing to sleep for the night and the majority of them were not worried. {There were a small handful that testified to premonitions and at least one passenger refused to sleep during at night.} These crew members and passengers had every confidence in the vessel on which they were sailing.

Throughout the day Titanic received a number of ice warnings. The first two were acknowledged by Captain Smith. He’d even ordered a new course, farther south, after receiving a report from RMS Caronia at nine o’clock that morning and RMS Baltic at 1:42pm. That afternoon there were problems with the Marconi wireless equipment. The operators Jack Phillips and Harold Bride spend over six hours that afternoon repairing the faulty machinery. The company that owned the equipment suggested operators wait until they returned to port and allow company technicians to fix the faulty equipment. If Phillips and Bride had followed company protocol, most likely no help signals would have been able to be sent out after the disaster occurred. No one would have known the Titanic needed help and very possibly everyone aboard would have perished.

Ice conditions were the worst they’d been in the last fifty years. With no moon and a calm sea, Captain Smith and his crew had a false sense of safety. Archibald Gracie testified “the sea was like glass, so smooth that the stars were clearly reflected”. The ice conditions were attributed to a mild winter which caused a large number of icebergs to break away from the coast of Greenland. Research now shows that the high tides were due to the fact that in January of that year the moon had moved closer to earth than any time in the past fourteen hundred years. There were at least four other ice warnings that did not reach Captain Smith that day. A final message received from Californian at 10:30pm and Phillips replied “Shut up! Shut up! I’m working Cape Race.”

Unaware of the additional ice warnings, the ship did not reduce speed and was running at twenty-two knots {approximately twenty-five miles per hour}. These vessels were constantly driven at close to their full speed, treating hazard warnings as advisories rather than calls to action. It was widely believed that ice posed little risk; near misses were not uncommon, and even head-on collisions had not been disastrous. Harold Lowe testified that standard maritime practice was “to go ahead and depend upon the lookouts in the crow’s nest and the watch on the bridge to pick up the ice in time to avoid hitting it.” Captain Smith even declared this in a 1907 interview where he said “imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.”

Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee were the lookouts in the crow nest having gone on duty at ten o’clock that evening. The men had no binoculars with them on this maiden voyage. Fleet spotted the iceberg at 11:39pm. He immediately rang the bell and told Sixth Officer James Moody “iceberg right ahead”. Moody attempted to turn the ship to port {left}. Testimony showed that Moody told Captain Smith he was trying to swing the bow around the iceberg. The engines could not be immediately reversed and it took time to reverse the engines and tillers which resulted in a delay. Had the ship been turned while maintaining full speed the iceberg would most likely have been missed with feet to spare. Less than a minute after spotting the iceberg, the ship collided with the object.

The iceberg was only about two hundred feet above the surface but below the surface it is believed the object went down an additional one thousand feet. The underwater ice scraped the starboard {right} side of the ship for about seven seconds causing chunks of ice to fall onto the deck. The engines stopped minutes later, but the damage was already done as the iceberg buckled the plates and popped the rivets. Boiler room number six soon filled with icy water. The engineers and stokers worked fervently to keep the boilers from exploding from the hot pressure of the steam. The stokers and firemen were ordered to draw down the fire and vent the boilers. Thomas Andrews, the designer, had built Titanic to stay afloat with four of her sixteen bulkheads flooded. Each bulkhead was separated by a watertight door, which was immediately closed as water began to seep into the vessel. Water soon spilled over from one bulkhead into the next. One historian said “There has only been one iceberg, and its history lasted for a minute”.

Many passengers felt a bump or shudder but did not know what it was. Captain Smith felt the collision in his cabin, after going to the deck and being told of the situation he summoned Thomas Andrews. An inspection showed that five of her bulkheads were now flooded and Thomas Andrews had the unfortunate job of explaining to Captain Smith that Titanic would indeed flounder within the next hour to ninety minutes. By this time water was pouring in fifteen times faster than she could be pumped out. In the first half hour of impact the ship angled at a 4.5 degree angle, but then slowed down to a five degree angle over the next hour, which gave many aboard a false hope. Both men knew there were not enough boats to save the 892 crew members and 1,320 passengers onboard.

Captain Smith ordered the lifeboats to be lowered at five minutes after midnight. {Time was shipboard time. Testimony shows they were about two hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time}. The Captain also told Phillips and Bride to send distress calls out over the wireless. The mail sorters began moving mail up to the top deck in an effort to save the correspondence. Stewards began moving from door to door to rouse the sleeping passengers. At first many of the passengers and stewards were reluctant to comply, not wanting to believe there was a problem and longing to remain in their warm rooms. At fifteen minutes after midnight stewards began ordering passengers to put on their lifebelts. Due to the sound of the high pressure steam moving from the boilers through the funnels, most on deck found it difficult to hear and had to use hand signals to communicate. Captain Smith was in shock and Officer Lightoller asked if “women and children first” should be loaded into the lifeboats. When the Captain nodded in affirmation Lightoller took charge on the port side and Murdoch took charge on the starboard side. The two officers interpreted the orders completely differently. Lightoller thought it meant women and children only and lowered lifeboats with empty seats if not women or children were around. Murdoch believed the orders meant women and children first and allowed men to board the lifeboats if no women or children were around.

The lifeboats were able to hold about sixty-eight people, but the first lifeboat to leave only had twenty-eight people aboard. Titanic was designed to accommodate sixty-eight lifeboats but only had sixteen wooden and four collapsible boats onboard. These boats were intended to be used in event of emergency to transfer passengers to another ship and not to clear the entire boat. The majority of passenger ships at that time did not have enough lifeboats for their passengers, however had more than the law required. Due to lack of training the crew was unprepared for such an emergency. All reports seem to show that Captain Smith was in shock. In his long and illustrious career the only collision he’d encountered at sea was when the Olympic collided with the RMS Hawke and was damaged. The band came on deck and began to play music to keep the passengers calm. At first they played upbeat ragtime pieces but most people believe the final song they played was “Nearer, My God, To Thee.”

Passengers were reluctant to load the lifeboats at first. John Jacob Astor declared: “We are safer here than in that little boat.” Rocket flares were sent up as a call for help. The California was nearby but the wireless operator turned his radio off at eleven thirty that evening. First and second class passengers had a better chance of reaching a lifeboat, than third class. This is because United States immigration laws required third class stay quarranted so there was no spread of disease.

By 1:45am the boiler rooms were completely flooded. Lifeboat fifteen was nearly lowered onto another lifeboat. Lifeboat eleven was filled overcapacity. There were not enough seamen to man the boats and other men were allowed to enter to help row. In many of the boats the women helped to man the oars. Panic began to erupt in the last fifteen minutes of the lifeboats being lowered. The severity of the situation was beginning to register with the passengers. Fifth Officer Lowe fired three warning shots to restrain the crowd. The last boat, Collapsible D, was launched at five minutes after two o’clock in the morning with forty-four people onboard. Shortly after this boat left Captain Smith is reported to say “Now it’s every man for himself.”

The Carpathia answered the Titanic’s distress call at 12:25 am. The last CQD message was received by The Virginian at 2:17am. Half an hour earlier RMS Olympic messaged from 500 miles away: “Am lighting up all possible boilers as fast as can”. But it was too late.

At 2:15am the stern began to lift to a thirty five to forty degree angle and water rapidly poured into the ship. Father Thomas Byles was hearing confessions and giving absolutions. Thomas Andrews was last seen in the first-class smoking room, without a lifebelt, staring at the painting above the fireplace. No one knows for sure where Captain Smith was in those final moments, but there reports of seeing him on deck or headed toward the wheelhouse.

Survivors reported hearing a great noise which is now believed to be the boilers exploding. Beesley described it as “partly a groan, partly a rattle, and partly a smash, and it was not a sudden roar as an explosion would be: it went on successively for some seconds, possibly fifteen to twenty”. The stern was now raised to a ninety degree angle as the ship split in two. After another minute, the lights flickered once and then permanently went out, plunging Titanic into darkness. Jack Thayer recalled seeing “groups of the fifteen hundred people still aboard, clinging in clusters or bunches, like swarming bees; only to fall in masses, pairs or singly as the great after part of the ship, two hundred fifty feet of it, rose into the sky.”

Titanic sank at 2:20am. Two hours and twenty minutes after she hit the iceberg. Mrs. Stephenson in lifeboat number 4 stated, “She then gave her final plunge and the air was filled with cries. We rowed back and pulled five more men from the sea. Their suffering from the icy water was intense and two men who had been pulled into the stern afterwards died, but we kept their bodies with us until we reached the Carpathia, where they were taken aboard and Monday (April 15) afternoon given a decent burial with three others.”


Hundreds were plunged into the icy waters, which were reported to be twenty-eight degrees. The cries of those fighting for their lives were horrific. Second Officer Lightoller described the feeling of “a thousand knives” being driven into his body as he entered the sea. Some of those in the water died of immediate heart attacks but many died from hypothermia which can take about twenty minutes on average. The pocket watch recovered from a victim showed the time stopped at 2:28am. As Beesley later wrote, the cries “came as a thunderbolt, unexpected, inconceivable, incredible. No one in any of the boats standing off a few hundred yards away can have escaped the paralyzing shock of knowing that so short a distance away a tragedy, unbelievable in its magnitude, was being enacted, which we, helpless, could in no way avert or diminish.” “The sounds of people drowning is something that I cannot describe to you and neither can anyone else. It is the most dreadful sound and their is a terrible silence that follows it.”, described Eva Hart years later.

Only a few in the water survived by swimming to collapsible Boat B. Second Officer Charles Lightoller, wireless operator Harold Bride, chief baker Charles Joughin and Archibald Gracie finally found their way onto the keel of the collapsible. Jack Phillips also made it onto this collapsible but he did not survive the night. After twenty minutes the cries subsided as death overtook those in the water and there was a long silence. Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon recalled after the disaster a man cried in a dull, monotonous and helpless way. She said that “the very last cry was that of a man who had been calling loudly: “My God! My God!”


Another survivor would remember the “People were screaming and screaming and then the silence was terrible.”

After the yells and shrieks subsided Fifth Officer Lowe mounted the solo rescue attempt to help those in the water. The tied five lifeboats together, transferred the occupants and took eight men to help him find survivors. Only a few voices could still be heard. Five people were rescued from the water. Survivor Ida Hippach said “the water was very still and the sky had many stars! You can’t think how it felt out there all alone by ourselves in the Atlantic. And there were so many shooting stars I never saw so many in my life. You know they say when you see a shooting star someone is dying. We thought of that, for there were so many dying, not far from us.”


Most of the lifeboats were not properly stocked with emergency provisions. Only one had a lantern. As dawn approached the wind rose and the sea became increasingly choppy. The only thing survivors could do now was to wait and wonder if they would be rescued. Second Office Charles Lightoller and wireless operator Harold Bride were the only ones aware that help was on the way. Carpathia was headed in their direction. Can you imagine being in that life boats, having just experienced this terrible tragedy? Now you are waiting, but you’re not sure what you are waiting for. What would you be waiting for?

The crew kept the ship running smoothly and it took a cast of thousands to keep this huge vessel running smoothly.

The 322 stewards and twenty-three female crew aboard performing more than fifty-seven different functions in the dining saloon’s of each class, public rooms, cabins and recreational facilities. Today we would refer to these men and women as a waiter, waitress, maid, or attendant.

Each class had their own bath and bedroom stewards. These included keeping the areas were supplied, assisting passengers with dressing and serve passengers that desire to eat in their room. These poorly paid crew members were responsible for anywhere from three to twenty five rooms depending on their clientele. Separate stewards were responsible for maintaining clean bed sheets, bathroom towels and table linens.

There were sixty-two individuals working in the galley and kitchen. These consisted of chefs, cooks, bakers, butchers, and scullions {dishwashers}. Thirteen of these crew members survived.

The Purser’s Office employed four clerks to deal with the passenger’s needs and requests.

Below ship the engineers and coal men worked to keep the engines running smoothly. Their sleeping conditions were cramped bunk rooms.

Above deck Captain Smith and his officers were on duty to steer and navigate the vessel.

Below is just a few of the crew that worked on this beautiful ship:

Captain Edward John Smith had been working for the White Star Line since 1880. He quickly rose through the ranks to become the favorite Captain of many first class passengers. He was known as the “Millionaire’s Captain” and some passengers would only sail with him. He was regarded as a “safe captain” in 1903. He captained such ships as the Majestic, Baltic and Adriatic, all the largest ships of their days. When Titanic’s sister ship, Olympic, launched in 1911, Captain Smith was put in charge. He had a reputation as the one of the world’s most experienced sea captain. He was in charge of the Olympic when it collided with the HMS Hawke on September 20, 1911. The repairs on Olympic pushed back Titanic’s maiden voyage almost three weeks. Most reports stated that Captain Smith planned to retire after Titanic’s maiden voyage. However according to Wikipedia the Halifax Morning Chronicle reported on April 9, 1912 that “Smith would remain in charge of Titanic “until the Company (White Star Line) completed a larger and finer steamer.” On the night of April 14, 1912 he attended a dinner party in honor of George Widener. Stories vary as to how Captain Smith spent his final moments, but he went down with his ship. His body was never recovered. Edward J. Smith left behind a wife and young daughter. A monument was erected to him in Lichfield, England.

Violet Jessop was the oldest of nine children. She began working on the Olympic in October 1910 as a stewardess. She was aboard when the vessel collided with the HMS Hawke. She was on the Titanic’s maiden voyage in the same capacity. She was ordered into lifeboat 16, where she cared for an infant. She said the next morning on the Carpathia a woman grabbed the child without saying a word. After the Titanic sinking, she served on the Olympic and Britannic. She was aboard the Britannic in 1916 when the ship hit a mine and sunk in the Aegean Sea. She said she was sucked under and later pulled into a lifeboat. She continued working for the White Star Line and later the Red Star Line, where she took two around the world cruises. At some point she wrote her memoir which were not published until after her 1971 death.

Harold Bride and Jack Phillips were the two British wireless telegraphists that worked tirelessly after the Titanic collided with an iceberg. Phillips was from Surrey, England. He began work for the Marconi Company in 1906 and worked on several ships for both the White Star Line and Cunard Line. Bride was the youngest of five children from London, England. He began working for the Marconi Company in 1911. On April 11, the day the ship sailed, the duo celebrated Philips 25th birthday. On Saturday there was equipment failure and it took all day for them to get it back up and running properly. Reports show Philips delayed in transmitting an iceberg warning to the bridge, at 9:30pm, that could have prevented this disaster. Philips sent out CQD and SOS messages while Bride ran messages back and forth to the Captain. Bride reported that Phillips continued working after Captain Smith released them at 2am. Both men were swept overboard and swam to overturned lifeboat B. Phillips did not survive, and Bride said he’d most likely exhausted himself earlier. Bride survived and assisted the wireless operator on the Carpathia. He had to be carried off of the Carpathia due to injuries to his feet. He continued to work as a Marconi officer aboard ship vessels and died in 1956.

William Murdock was on the bridge during the collision. He worked diligently to help load the lifeboats. He had sixteen years maritime experience behind him. He served as First Officer on the Maiden Voyage. The body of the Scotsman was never found.

Harold Lowe was from Wales. He claimed to run away at fourteen and begin a life at sea. The Titanic was his first trip on the North Atlantic. He was put in lifeboat 14 to help row. He later gathered five lifeboats together and tied them to one another, as he redistributed the passengers. He took the only lifeboat that returned to look for survivors in the water. He picked up four survivors, one of which died in the lifeboat. He remained at sea and joined the Royal Naval Reserve during WWI. He died in 1944.

Charles Lightoller was from Lancashire, England. He went to sea at the age of thirteen and by 1895 survived a cyclone, shipwreck and fire at sea. He briefly left the sea life for other pursuits but soon returned. He served as Second Officer on the Maiden Voyage. He helped load the lifeboats. Once in the water he saw for Collapsible Boat B and stayed upon it all night. He was the most senior surviving officer to survive. He served in both WWI and WWII British Navy. He died in 1952.

Frederick Fleet was a lookout for the Titanic when she hit the iceberg. He’d been at sea for nine years by the time of the Titanic disaster. He reported “Iceberg Right Ahead” to the bridge. He helped load the boats, survived and continued working on the sea until 1936. He died in 1964.

Charles Joughin was the chief baker that survived the cold 28 degrees of the Atlantic because of his alcohol level. At the time of the sinking he and some other chefs were filling the lifeboats with food and supplies. By all accounts he refused a lifeboat for himself, although he helped others board and threw deck chairs overboard. At some point he found time to consume a considerable amount of spirits. By all reports he stepped off the bow as the ship went down and into the water where he remained for over three hours. His testimony said he swam and treaded water until he was pulled into a lifeboat after daylight. He died in 1956.

Musicianssee my article on these heroes

There were five postal clerks, two American and three British. The five clerks worked to save the 200 bags of registered mail as the hauled the to the upper decks. None of these men survived.

There were twenty five engineers and ten electricians and boilermakers aboard ship. These men were the highest paid of the crew and none of them survived. These men worked feverishly after the collision to keep the ship afloat as long as possible. These men had also been battling a fire in Boiler Room 6 for most of the voyage. There were apparently 163 stokers to keep the boilers running. Only a handful of the stokers, trimmers and greasers survived. A memorial was erected to these men in Liverpool, England. PBS is currently running a very interesting special about these men and the work called “Saving the Titanic.

First Class, Second Class, Third Class information

Third class passengers were in the steerage. They were primarily immigrants moving to the United States and Canada for a better life. Third class consisted of diverse groups of nationalities and ethnic groups, although the largest number of passengers were British, Irish or Scandinavian. Other countries represented included Finland, Sweden, Bulgaria, Croatia, Russia, Lebanon, Syria and Hong Kong. Passengers ranged from those traveling alone, to single moms traveling with their children {most were going to join their husbands who were already settled in their new homeland} to large family groups.

A third class ticket ranged from seven to forty pounds, which would be approximately $700 today. Children’s tickets were three pounds {about $300 today}. Depending on their port of departure, some tickets also included the price for rail travel.

I was surprised in my research to discover that third class had automatic flushing toilets, while first class did not. The reason being most “third class passengers were unfamiliar with indoor plumbing and may not remember {or understand} the need to flush the toilets themselves”.


Third class life was a lot simpler than what the first and second class passengers were enjoying. Third class passengers had a simple berth which was shared with other passengers, along with a smoking room and general room.

Third class passengers had to make their own fun. Children would have played on deck and as represented in the popular 1997 film, it is very possible that an impromptu dance took place.

Meals on the Titanic were very simple for the Third Class, but succulent compared to what these passengers might be familiar with on land. Third class only had one course that was served. The menu found for the night of the sinking consisted of soup, roasted pork, two or three vegetables, pudding and biscuits. Looking at the menu it seems this is the noontime meal {compared to the large meals being in the evening for the First Class and Second Class}. Third class would enjoy tea in the midafternoon with beef and biscuits. Later in the evening coffee was served with a soup and some biscuits.

Before boarding the vessel Third Class Passengers were given a health inspection to check for disease, lice and other infectious infections. The gates were present but they were there to prevent the third class from spreading disease to the upper classes.

Third class was the group hardest hit by the disaster and experiencing the greatest loss of life. The reasons for this are numerous, including but not limited to: first and second class given more importance, many did not understand the true magnitude of the disaster right after the collision with the Titanic, at least some of the third class gates remained locked, and many of the passengers that were non-English speaking did not understand.

Sadly there were some families that were completely lost in the sinking. I am including more information about a few of these below:

The Goodwin Family were from Fulham, England. Frederick was an electrician, and married to Augusta. They had six children. The family were moving to New York, where Frederick’s brother procured him a job in a power station. The entire family was lost.

The Sage Family were from London, England. John George Sage married Annie Elizabeth Cazaly and had nine surviving children by the time they sailed on the Titanic. The family was relocating to Jacksonville, Florida where John planned to grow pecan nuts. Some reports say that daughter, Stella, reached a lifeboat but got out when the rest of her family could not join her. The entire family of eleven perished. Only the body of son, Will, was recovered.

The Andersson Family was from Sweden. Johan and Alfrida had five children. Traveling to Stanton, Iowa. The family was traveling with Alfrida’s sister, Anna Danbom and her family. A traveling companion, Anna Nysten, was the only survivor of the group of eleven.

Milvina Dean was the last survivor of the Titanic upon her death on May 31, 2009. She was only nine weeks old at the time of the sinking. She was traveling with her parents, Frank and Georgette, and brother, Bertram. The family was immigrating to Wichita, Kansas where her father had a cousin. Bertram was separated from his mother and sister and not reunited until they were on the Carpathia. Her father perished in the disaster and the family returned to England in May. Milvina did not know she’d been on the Titanic until her mother told her when she was eight years old. She worked for the British Government during WWII. Her brother, Bert, died on the anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking in 1992.

Frank Goldsmith was traveling with his parents, Frank and Emily Alice. The family was from Kent, England and immigrating to Detroit, Michigan. Emily was the only one of nine children that had not moved her family across the Atlantic. The father, Frank, went down with the Titanic. Frank lived near Tiger Stadium, where the crowds were so loud they reminded him of the sounds made as people perished in the water. He never took his children to a baseball game because of this. Emily died in 1955. Frank died in 1982.

Rhoda Abbott, better known as Rosa, was the only woman to be plucked out of the cold Atlantic waters that survived. She was travelling with her two sons, Roosmore Edward {age 16} and Eugene Joseph {age 13}, and they were returning from a trip to England. The family had just retired on the night of April 14 when they were awakened by the scraping sound on the side of the ship. The seriousness of the situation was not realized until a steward came around thirty minutes later. The group reached deck as the last of the distress rockets were fired and the last lifeboat was being loaded. Rhoda refused to enter the lifeboat, realizing her sons would not be allowed. All three of them were swept off of the deck and her motherly instinct fought to keep her sons near her. Rhoda resurfaced but her sons did not. Someone reached out and pulled her into Collapsible boat A from the water. Rhoda and the other occupants stayed in the swamped, water filled boat until Officer Lowe arrived later with Lifeboat 14. Rhoda struggled to comprehend her loss and suffered with health problems due to the cold water for the rest of her life. She later remarried but was unable to have more children. She died in 1946.

The second class passengers on the Titanic were what we would consider today to be the middle class. The travelers in second class consisted of professors, authors, clergymen, and tourist. Many of these passengers would have traveled as first class on other vessels. A second class ticket at that time cost approximately 13 to 79 pounds, which would be the equivalent of $1800 today.

The entrance to the Second Class dining room was nowhere as beautiful and magnificent as the well know First Class Grand Staircase. The second class passengers did have a library and smoke room in addition to their dining hall.

In contrast to the Ten Courses First Class Passengers had for dinner, Second Class Passengers only enjoyed three courses. The first course would consist of soup, the second course was the main meal, and the third course were the desserts which were followed by coffee.

The following are a sampling of 2nd class passengers:

Father Thomas Byles was on his way to New York to officiate at his brother’s wedding. On Sunday morning he said mass in both the second and third class lounges. He was walking the upper deck when the Titanic struck the iceberg. He helped third class passengers to the boat deck and lifeboats. Near the end he is reported to hear confessions, recite the rosary and give absolution. He went down with the ship and his body was never identified. There was one other priest in second class, Father Joseph Peruschitz, who also perished. Lawrence Beesley reported both men were together hearing confessions.

Rev. John Harper was a Baptist minister. He was born in Scotland in 1872 and began preaching by the age of 18. In 1912 he was serving a church in London. He was traveling with his daughter and sister-in-law to preach at the Moody Church in America. By the time he boarded the Titanic the thirty-nine year old was a widower. His daughter and niece were safely placed in a lifeboat. Survivors reported Rev. Harper preached the gospel until the very end, “converting those in the freezing water before dying in it himself.”

Lawrence Beesley was a teacher and wrote the first published account of the Titanic disaster just nine weeks after the event. He was reading in his cabin when the collision occurred. He died in 1967.

Joseph Laroche was the only black passenger on the doomed liner. He was travelling with his French wife and their two daughters. He held an engineering degree and was returning to his native Haiti for work. The family boarded the Titanic after discovering that aboard the La France their daughters would not be allowed to dine with them. Joseph perished with the ship. His wife and daughters returned to Paris, where his wife gave birth to a son.

Michel Navratil had kidnapped his two children, three and a half year old Michel Jr and two year old Edmond, when he boarded the Titanic. He was travelling under the name Louis M. Hoffman. He placed his sons in Collapsible D, the last lifeboat launched. His body was recovered and buried in Halifax. Articles ran on “Titanic Orphans” in hopes of finding information on their family. Until their mother was located they stayed with first class passenger, Margaret Hays. Their mother, Marcelle, sailed to New York and reunited with her sons on May 16, 1912 before taking her sons back to France. Edmond joined the French Army during WWII where he was captured as a prisoner of war. He escaped, but it affected his health and he died in 1953 at the age of 43. Michel received his doctorate and became a professor of philosophy before he died at the age of 92 in 2001.

Benjamin Hart was traveling with his wife, Esther, and daughter, Eva. The family was traveling to Winnipeg, Canada. Esther felt that to call the ship unsinkable was to “fly in the face of God” and felt uneasy about the voyage. Benjamin did not survive. His wife died in 1928. Eva was haunted by nightmares, which she confronted head on after her mother’s death. She worked as a singer and magistrate in England. She was one of the most outspoken survivor’s and remained active in Titanic related activities until her death in 1996. She said: “If a ship is torpedoed, that’s war,” she once said. “If it strikes a rock in a storm, that’s nature. But just to die because there weren’t enough lifeboats, that’s ridiculous.”

Kate Phillips was nineteen and traveling with her married employer, Henry Samuel Morley, under the assumed name Mrs. Marshall. Her daughter, Ellen, is believed to have been conceived on the Titanic. Morley perished and Kate Phillips returned to her home in England. Their daughter was born in January of the following year and raised by Kate’s parents.

Annie Clemmer Funk was a missionary in India, returning to her home in Bally, Pennsylvania. She’d been away for over six years and was returning because of her mother’s ill health. The ship was an incredible contrast to her life and work in Janjgir, India. Annie was boarding a lifeboat when a woman rushed past shouting for her children. She gave up her seat for this woman. Her family didn’t know she was on Titanic, because she’d been moved from another ship due to the coal strike. Six years earlier on her journey to India she wrote “Our heavenly Father is as near to us on sea as on land”.

Edwina Troutt was scheduled to travel on the Oceanic, but transferred to the Titanic because of the coal strike going on at the time. While boarding the lifeboat, she was handed a five month old child, which she held all night. She died in 1984, six months after her 100th birthday.

The first class passengers on the Titanic were living in the lap of luxury. Some of the richest people in the world were traveling on the Titanic for her maiden voyage. This included prominent members of the upper-class that included politicians, businessmen, bankers, professional athletes, industrialists and high-ranking military personnel. Most of those on in first class were traveling with an entourage which might include one or all of the following: a nurse for the children, a maid, valet, cook, and chauffer. A first class ticket ranged anywhere from thirty pounds to 870 pounds. In today’s money you could expect to pay an average of $70,000 per first class ticket. The more expensive rooms were a parlor suite and usually had a private promenade deck.

Everyone is familiar with the breathtaking Grand Staircase with the glass dome over it, but the Titanic had many other amenities, including electricity and the wireless Marconi system. Other amenities found on the First Class deck included a Parisian Café, A La Carte Restaurant, tea gardens, reception room, verandah café, heated swimming pool, gymnasium, library, squash court, barbershop, kennel, elevators, smoking room, Turkish bath, dining saloon, reading and writing rooms, and enclosed promenade decks to walk and sit on. Many first class passengers had their pets with them on the voyage {two dogs were saved}.

The Titanic sailed during the Edwardian Age where the food and wine flowed freely and people still dressed for dinner. On deck a bugler will signal the dinner hour had arrived. A meal was an experience and not something to be rushed through. All first class meals provided numerous options to choose from. Lunch seemed to be more laid back with either a buffet or a special request from the grill. In the book “Last Dinner on the Titanic” the author provides menus for meals that consist of ten to fourteen courses. A first class menu was found after the sinking for Sunday, April 14, 1912 {the night of the disaster}. The menu for that evening consisted of the following: the first course consisted of an hors d’oeuvres; second course had a selection of soups; third course was a poached salmon; fourth course consisted of filet mignon with vegetables; fifth course gave you a choice of lamb, duck or beef with more vegetables; sixth course was a punch to clean the palate; seventh course was a roast squab, ninth course was a pate and the tenth course consisted of deserts such as pudding, fruit, ice cream, etc. Different wines were served with each course and following the last course fresh fruit and cheeses were available. The men would then excuse themselves to retire to the smoking room for coffee, cigars and their desired spirits.

People of this era knew nothing but a life of opulence and grandeur. There were those few that had planned to be on the Titanic but had to cancel at the last minute for various reasons. A few of these were J.P Morgan and Milton Hershey. Ironically Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt I cancelled his trip on the Titanic at the last minute, but died in the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 {the ship Titanic was built to rival}.

Listed below is a small sampling of some of the First Class Passengers traveling on the Titanic for her maiden voyage:

John Jacob Astor IV was the richest man on the ship. He inherited millions and made millions more in real estate, but also had other business interest. One of these other interest was a novel he published in 1894. He built the Astoria Hotel, labeled “the world’s most luxurious hotel.” He divorced his first wife in 1909 and at the age of 47 married 18 year old, Madeleine Force, in 1911. His new wife was a year younger than his son, Vincent. Their marriage caused a scandal and the couple decided to honeymoon Europe and Egypt. Margaret Brown also accompanied the couple on their travels abroad. The couple decided to return home to New York when they discovered Madeleine was expecting. John Jacob put Madeleine in a lifeboat on the Titanic. His body was recovered and there are conflicting reports on the condition of the body. {Most I read say he was badly mangled, but I have seen a few that say his body was in perfect condition.} The belief is that one of the funnels fell on him. Madeline gave birth to John Jacob Astor VI on August 14, 1912. Madeline married two more times and died in 1940.


Margaret Brown was coined The Unsinkable Molly Brown by Hollywood. She was never called Molly in real life, though. Her friends would have called her Maggie. She was born in Missouri to Irish immigrants. In 1886 she married James Joseph {JJ} Brown and had two children. JJ Brown eventually became one of the most successful mining men in the United States and the family became very rich. Margaret became very involved with politics and women’s suffrage. She was spending time with John Jacob Astor and his wife in Egypt, when word reached her that her grandson was ill. Titanic was the next ship to reach New York, so she booked passage. Due to the haste of these decisions few knew she was even on the Titanic. Upon the Carpathia, Margaret worked nonstop to help the other survivors. She was the last Titanic survivor to disembarked from the Carpathia at 3am. While aboard the Carpathia she’d helped establish the Survivor’s Committee. She continued to travel and help the less fortunate before her death in 1932.


Isidor Strauss was co-owner of Macy’s department store. He’d also served in the US House of Representatives. In 1871 he married Rosalie Ida Blun and the couple had seven children. After the Titanic hit the iceberg, Ida refused to leave her husband, reportedly saying “I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die, together.” They were last seen sitting on the deck holding hands. His body was recovered, but hers was never found.


Dorothy Gibson was born in 1889 and a silent film actress. She was also a singer and dancer, appearing on Broadway. She was artist Harrison Fisher’s favorite model. After being rescued from the Titanic, she went on to make a film about the ordeal a month later. Saved from the Titanic is her best known performance, although the film no longer survives. In the film she played herself and wore the same clothes she had on the night of the disaster. It is reported that she was playing bridge at the time of the disaster. She died in France in 1946.


Archibald Butt was an influential military aide to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. He was returning home from a six week vacation. When the ship hit the iceberg, he was playing cards in the first class smoking lounge. He went down with the ship and his body was never recovered. It is reported that both President Roosevelt and President Taft took the loss very hard.


Bruce Ismay conceived of the Titanic at a dinner with Lord Pirrie {Harland and Wolff Shipyard} in 1907. The duo decided to build three ships {Olympic, Titanic, Britannic} to rival Cunard Line’s Lusitania and Mauretania. He entered a lifeboat and was saved. Reports differ as to when in the evacuation he entered the lifeboat. He was shunned and heralded a coward by many because he allowed himself to be rescued. He testified in the hearings that he turned away in the final moments and could not watch the Titanic make its final plunge. He stayed out of the public eye until his death in 1937.


Thomas Andrews was the designer and oversaw the building of RMS Titanic and her sister ship, RMS Olympic. He was familiar with every detail of these two vessels. After the collision, Captain Smith summoned him to survey the damage. He had the overwhelming job of informing the Captain of the ship’s imminent sinking. As the evacuation began, Andrews searched for passengers and encouraged them to put their lifebelts on. He went down with the ship he helped create and his body was never found.


The story of the Allison Family is a very sad story. Hudson was born a farmer’s son in 1881. He made his wealth as an insurance agent. “Hud” married Bessie Waldo Daniels in 1907 after meeting on a train. The couple were devout Methodist and had two children, Lorraine and Trevor. Trevor was baptized at the church John Wesley preached at in Lincolnshire, England. In December 1911 the family went to Europe on a pleasure/business trip. They rearranged their plans to return home with friends aboard the Titanic. At the last minute the couple hired, Alice Cleaver, to care for their son Trevor. After the ship collided with the iceberg, Alice took Trevor and boarded a lifeboat. Bess and Hud had no idea what happened to their son and searched everywhere. At one point it seems Alison and Bess had a chance to get in a lifeboat, but not knowing where her husband was Bess took her daughter and went in search of her missing husband. What is known is that Trevor was the only survivor from this family. Hud’s body was the only one in the family recovered. Two-year-old Loraine was the only child in first or second class to perish.


Benjamin Guggenheim inherited his riches. He was traveling on the Titanic with his mistress, a French singer. Also in his party were his valet, chauffeur and a maid for his mistress. He slept right through the collision with the iceberg and had to be awakened and forced to put on a lifebelt. Realizing there was no hope for survival after putting his mistress in a lifeboat, he and his valet dressed in evening wear and was seen heading down the Grand staircase. It is reported he said “We’ve dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen.” He also sent a message for his wife. Guggenheim, his valet and his chauffeur all went down with the Titanic.


Edith Louise Rosenbaum Russell was born in Ohio in 1879. She worked as a fashion writer, consultant, importer, buyer and stylist. By 1912 she was running her own service in Paris. She spent Easter reporting on the Paris races and decided to return to the states. After the impact she could see the berg glide by her window. She boarded the Titanic as a first class passenger. She had a musical toy pig, named Maxxie, her mother gave her. The night of the sinking she wrapped the pig in a blanket and the officers believed the bundle was a baby and placed the bundle in a lifeboat. Having refused to enter a boat previously, Edith jumped in after Maxxie. Throughout the long night she would wind his tail and allow him to sing the maxixe {a French dance} to entertain and calm the children. At least for a short time it helped everyone forget the cold, fear of the unknown and cheer up the occupants in the boat during that long, uncertain evening. She died in 1975. Her story is now a children’s book, Pig on the Titanic: A True Story.


John Thayer was Vice President of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He is also well known as a first class cricketer. He was married to Marian Longstreth Morris and they had four children. His son Jack III was on board the ship with him. He safely put his wife and her maid into a lifeboat. John Thayer went down with the ship shortly before his 50th birthday and his body was never identified. His son, Jack, was able to swim to an overturned collapsible boat “B” where he was later rescued. He died in 1945. Robert Ballard used information from his 1940 memoir to find the Titanic’s final resting place.

Archibald Gracie IV was a writer, historian and real estate investor. He spent much of his time aboard ship reading in the library and serving as a dining companion for the ship’s unaccompanied women. He spent much time recounting his research and interest in the Civil War and Chickamauga Campaign. As the ship went down, Gracie jumped and was able to make it to the overturned Collapsible “B” boat. He and many others hung on to this boat throughout the night. He immediately started on his book about the sinking when he reached New York. His health was severely affected by the ordeal and he died eight months later on December 4.


Lady Lucy Gordon was a leading fashion designer of the early 20th Century. She held the precursor to the modern day fashion show and was one of the first designers to use a mannequin. She was famous for designing lingerie. She was known as Lucile and travelling with her husband, Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon. The couple was traveling under the names Mr. and Mrs. Morgan. They were two of only twelve people in their lifeboat. Accusations were later thrown at them of bribing the crew not to return to pick up people in the water for fear of being swamped. Lucile became a fashion columnists and critic later in life. She was scheduled to be aboard the final voyage of the RMS Lusitania but cancelled due to illness. The couple died four years to the day apart. He in 1931 and she in 1935.

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