Numerous stories are told of people who claimed they travelled on the Titanic or had been booked but for one reason or other, failed to travel on her.
Some of these stories are indeed true, but the vast majority are probably untrue.
Genuine passengers would have appeared on contract ticket lists (unless they were stowaways!) and crew members invariably appear on the sign-on sheets or else they would not have been paid!
Because the Titanic was not full when she sailed most of these claims can be discounted.
This page contains some of these dubious stories.
ABBOTT, Miss Lillian
Alleged to have been a survivor of the Titanic. - Evening Star, Washington, D. C., 23 July, 1914
AESCH, Mrs. Kathleen
Born in London, England. Mrs. Aesch came to the US in 1907. She and her daughter, then 1,5 years old, allegedly were forced to evacuate from the ocean liner. (The Leader Herald, 13 April, 1964) Husband: John Aesch. In 1900, she was Carrie Aesch, born in August, 1878, in New York. Her daughter was a Christina, born in April, 1900, in New York.
Alleged to be a greaser.
LOCAL TITANIC SURVIVOR.
HOW A GREASER SAVED HIS LIFE.
There is residing in Sunderland at present one the Titanic suvivors in the person of Mr James Allen, of 17, Verna Street, Southwick.
Mr Allan is a Southampton man, but his wife is a Sunderland lady, and has lived in the Wearside borough for about five years.
He was employed for some time as a checker at the Empire Theatre soon after the opening of that music-hall. He sailed on the Titanic as a "greaser,” and he probably owes his life to his promptness and resource in emergency. When the alarm came, he told our representative this morning, he came up from the engine-room, and going into the sailors’ quarters picked a jersey bearing the word “Titanic,” and put it on. He then went up on deck and slid down a rope into boat which was being loaded at the side of the liner. He was admitted without any question, and he helped at the oars with the other seamen in the boat. The boat was picked up six hours later by the Carpathia, and of the kindness extended to them on that vessel Mr Allen spoke enthusiastically. From New York, whither he was conveyed by the. Carpathia, he came home in the Finland. His wife had received intimation that her husband had been lost but some time afterwards she received a further notice the effect that the Allen who was drowned was H. Allen, while her husband, J. Allen was saved. Since returning to England Mr Allen has made two trips in the Oceanic. - Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Wednesday 10 July 1912
ANDERSON, Carl Albin
In a 1953 article Anderson claimed he had spent three hours in the water before being picked up by the Carpathia. See 2 Akronites recall horrors of Titanic, Akrom Beacon Journal, 3 June 1953
ANDERSEN, Jens B.
Jens B. Andersen was a Danish man who claimed to have worked as a fireman and was rescued. There is no information in the crew list about him although there is reference to an able-bodied seaman J. Anderson. - Lolland Falster Folketinge, May 1 1912
ARUNDELL, J. H.
"...formerly of Surrey, Eng., a survivor of the Titanic disaster, was married here Saturday evening to Miss Helen Fickle of Cornwall, Eng. The marriage was a culmination of an old world romance.'' - Saginaw News, 26 March 1917; the article originated from Pontiac)
Claimed to have survived the Titanic disaster, as well as having served as a nurse in the Boer Wars as well as in WWI. Furthermore, she alleged she had just missed the sailing of the Empress of Ireland on that ship's last journey. She died early 1917 in Brownsville, Staffordshire, England. - The Cambria Daily Leader, 16 January 1917, p. 3
Lady Ray, wife of Lord Albert Bass....known as Ray Shirley....a world-wide traveler and was aboard the Titanic when that ill-fated liner sank...She was with Mrs. John Jacob Astor, when the latter was rescued... - Elkhart Truth, 27 August, 1913, p. 2
Talking to John Bauer, 82, of 203 E. Church Ave., Masontown, about the loss of the ''Titanic''....
was one of the fortunate survivors. A youth of 19 at the time, he was traveling third class from his home in Austria to to New York...there was a dance aboard the ship the night of the crash...when the ship struck the iceberg, the lights went out and people began screaming and panicking....He jumped into the water and was swimming when someone reached an oar out to him and he was able to climb aboard a lifeboat. He added that the survivors were in the lifeboats for 48 hours until a hospital ship came to rescue them....there were many sharks in the water...a retired miner... - The Morning Herald /Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 8 May, 1975
''.... he was the Chief Baker on the ship. Just before he plunged into the icy waters, he spotted the bottle (of scotch whisky) lying near a chair on deck. He hastily stuck it into the lifebelt he had donned before going over the side. In the water he took swigs of it off and on for five hours – until he was picked up in a state of exhaustion....I was 42 years old at the time...That Sunday night I went to work in the bakery...The ship was listing so much it was hard to get near the lifeboats on the starboard side because they were hanging high in the air. Captain Smith came along and said: ''Well boys, you've done all you can. All I can say is save yourselves.'' The captain went back to the bridge and that was the last I saw of him. Belford's lifeboat was No. 14. He couldn't get near it. 'So I jumped over the side from the deck....' No lifeboat came near me....As the Carpathia neared me, I used my feet to propel myself toward her...They threw out a line. I caught it, pulled myself in, and climbed up the jacob's ladder to the deck. I lost the bottle of Scotch going up the ladder. Well, it saved my life....Suffering from exposure and submission (sic), he was treated in St. Vincent's Hospital for ten days and then released....Born in Glasgow, Scotland, April 10, 1870, he had been a soldier in the Boer War...'' - State Times Advocate, Baton Rouge, 14 May, 1957, p. 32
Walter Belford (10 April 1882 – March 1963, New York) is not listed and there was no position of Chief Night Baker on the Titanic, he could have been the cook William Barnet Bedford. However, a Walter Belford from Itchen, Hampshire is mentioned by Walter Lord. He claimed to have been in the galley on D-Deck when the iceberg was struck, he knew all about it because the impact caused the tray of rolls he was preparing to fall off the oven and clatter to the floor. Belford stayed aboard the rapidly sinking ship until almost the last minute but he eventually decided to jump for it and leapt as far away from the ship as possible, he would later remark to Walter Lord how he could still feel the stabbing cold as he entered the water even forty years later.
Wilkes Barre - Patrick Boyle, of Ireland, reached this city this morning to visit his sister, Mrs. Mary Rollins, of East End. Boyle declares himself to be a Titanic survivor...Boyle's story runneth thusly: ''When the order was given to the lifeboats, '' said Mr. Boyle, ''I, with the other male passengers, was in the third cabin ...(picked up a baby, jumped into the sea, both picked up by a passing lifeboat). - The Scranton Republican, 24 April, 1912, p. 5
'A survivor of the Titanic disaster – Martin Branner, famous cartoonist and creator of Winnie Winkle comic strip -...'' - Boston Herald, April 2, 1939, p. 92
Genuine survivor Charles Burgess' professional connection to South Africa brings us to a story of remarkable coincidence and deception.
For many years people within the Southampton and London media and later those within the Titanic community had interviewed a man named Burgess, apparent Titanic survivor who was living in Southampton. He had the same surname as a man on Titanic, was of a similar age and even reportedly worked in the victualling department aboard the ship. Even his fantastical version of events did not draw the scrutiny of those interested in what he had to say.
According to Burgess, he was a 14-year-old chef messenger aboard the ship, a position that was non-existent. Naturally it was the very last lifeboat in which he was saved and claimed to see another ship sail by, oblivious to the plight of Titanic; and of course, he bore the physical scars of his ordeal, hearing loss which affected him up until the end of his life.
With the renewed hype about the Titanic during the 1950s alongside the publication of A Night to Remember Burgess gave newspaper interviews, attended premieres and got to be "reunited" with other Titanic survivors and even photographed with them. Charles Burgess is acknowledged in the said book, whose pride in serving aboard her was evident, but was it Charles or Reginald who he spoke to? If it was the actual survivor who spoke with Walter Lord during his research it certainly wasn't the same man who turned up for the movie's premiere.
When he died in April 1972 the Southern Echo ran an obituary for him, the headline "Titanic survivor dies...." However, this man was not Charles Burgess who had been present on the Titanic but a man named Reginald Burgess.
Reginald Douglas Burgess was born in Natal, South Africa on 28 June 1892 although other details about his early life remain uncertain. He had come to Britain sometime prior to 1907 and around that time enlisted in the British Army; he was shown on the 1911 census as a private with the 11th Hussars based at their barracks in Lydd, Kent.
It appears he served during WWI before returning to Britain and joining the merchant navy, working as a bedroom steward aboard the Majestic for many years before winding up his career as a steward and carver aboard the Queen Elizabeth and was shown on record as still working on her in January 1957. Is it possible that he became acquainted with actual Titanic survivors during his later career and became entranced with the notoriety of being associated with the famous shipwreck?
Reginald Burgess had married in late 1918 to Dorothy J. Norman and had a son and a daughter, Roy (1921-1997) and Patricia (1921-2011) who survived him. His last address was Meggeson Avenue, Townhill Park, Southampton and he died following a three-month long illness. He was cremated. - Gavin Bell, UK
''At Prince Rupert one of the survivors of the Titanic in the person of Arthur Burnhard was fined 50 dollars or thirty days in jail for supplying liquor to Indians.'' - Lethbridge Herald, 9 October, 1913
BURNS, John (Laundry Operator)
An article in the Winston-Salem Journal of 12 April 1937 claims that a North Carolinian John Burns was the ship's laundry operator and was lost in the sinking. See Widow of Titanic victim now resides in Twin city
''Titanic Tommy Burns, the nervy Irishman, who has given the Ogdenburg immigration so much trouble, is now on his annual trip across the Atlantic. Like his other trips, it is taken at someone else's expense, for this is the fourth time that Tommy has been deported. His boast is that there are not enough immigration officers in the country to keep him out. Regularly each year he is deported, and as regularly he returns, always as a stowaway. He claims he is a survivor of the Titanic disaster. As Tommy is a hard (?) citizen of his own country he is not wanted here, but the immigration officers are having a hard time to keep him out.'' - Watertown Daily Times, NY, 26 March, 1914
BUTLER, Mr John Beattie
The death of Mr. John Beattie Butler was reported in an Australian paper: The Advertiser (the South Australian daily paper), 29th December 1970, in an article entitled 'they sang as their ship sank', he was reported as the last surviving Australian crewmember of the Titanic. However, his name does not appear on the crew list.
The article contains a mixture of credible and incredible detail. In the article, he gives accurate figures for some of the categories of crew and passengers lost. He says he was in a boat picked up by the Carpathian (sic) at around 5-00 a.m.
He claimed a number of Salvation Army people gave up their places in the boats to those they said were less prepared to meet their Maker. They then sang Nearer my God, to Thee". He refers to them as "Christ's Chosen". It is a fact that a group of Salvation Army members were on board, but they were not the 200 mentioned by Butler and at least some survived. It may not be coincidental that Butler spent his last years in a Salvation Army home.
He described the efforts of Third Class passengers, locked below decks, to escape through locked portholes. He said some men offered bribes to get away and others disguised themselves as women.
He claimed to have returned to Australia, joined the army and served at Gallipoli. His basic military record shows that he joined up on 3 December 1914 and returned to Australia on 19 September 1916. His service number was 1708. He reached the rank of corporal in the 10th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. This Battalion was among the first ashore at Gallipoli and Butler would have been with them.
He was born in Rosewater on the 24 March 1887 and died on 25 December 1970 he was cremated at Centennial Park on 30 December 1970. He left two children.
Dave Gittins, Australia
Butler, John Beattie....believed to be the last Australian survivor of the Titanic disaster, died in an Adelaide hospital on Christmas Day, aged 83. Mr. Butler was a quartermaster aboard the liner....'' - The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 December 1970, p. 1 [Born in 1887].
Montenegrin wrestler, who jumped from the deck of the Titanic with a child in his arms into a lifeboat being lowered and injured his leg died here last night from an ailment said to have been due to exposure. When one of the last lifeboats was being lowered Chupich was told that if he jumped he would be shot. He grabbed a child for protection. The little girl was uninjured. Chupish manned an oar in the lifeboat. For the last month he had been in a hospital. He had been prominet (sic) in organizing Montenegrins for the Balkan war from his sick bed.'' - Herald-Dispatch and Daily Gazette, November 25, 1912, front page
Another newspaper stated that he died of tuberculosis.
'A native of Madrid, Spain, educated in New York....was returning to New York on the Titanic with her uncle, after a tour of the world....She was rescued from the water, put in a lifeboat...' - The Charlotte News /North Carolina/, 11 December 1917, p. 2
Mercedes E. Dolores Cushing; Mrs. Henry Dwight Cushing. She was still alive in 1940. Her husband passed away in Farmingdale, Suffolk, New York, in 1954.
DAWKINS, Percy Richard.
One of those who supposedly 'failed to join'. Described as a survivor, which, of sorts, might be right.
30 Nov 1887 – 26 April 1970, Illinois.
''Dawkins was a baker aboard the English luxury liner when it sank in the Mid-Atlantic in 1912. After being rescued, Dawkins served several years in the British Navy. He came to Chicago 35 years ago and worked for the Commonwealth Edison Co. until his retirement 15 years ago.'' - Dallas Morning News, 27 April, 1970, section D, page 3
DELANEY, Helen Marie
Delaney, Helen Marie [25 May 1907 – January, 1982, Iowa. ], one of the last survivors of the sinking of the Titanic, died Tuesday in a hospital....The fact that Miss Delaney was a survivor of the disaster was known to few people in Council Bluffs other than her physician, Dr. Emmet Mathiasen, and his wife, who were her close friends....Mrs. Mathiasen said Miss Delaney, a native of England, told the doctor she was 4 when she and her parents traveled on the Titanic. Her parents died when the ship sank. Mrs. Mathiasen said that Miss Delaney told her she was thrown overboard and was caught by someone in the water after the Titanic struck the iceberg. She was placed in an orphanage in New York and came to Council Bluffs in an 'orphan train,' where she was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Delaney and raised as their foster daughter. Miss Delaney said she did not know the names of her natural parents or her her exact age, Mrs. Mathiasen said. Her only known relatives are some cousins in California. - Dallas Morning News, 28 January, 1982, p. 72
DICKSON, Esther Hannah
Born in South Hampton, Wales. (The Sun Bernardino County Sun, 14 December, 1966). She was born 8 August, 1881.
East Liverpool, Ohio, 87, a survivor of the Titanic sinking, died Sunday in the county home in Lisbon. He was a male nurse and was born in England. - The Sandusky Register, 30 January, 1950, p. 1
11 July 1862, England – 29 January, 1950, Ohio.
Stated he was the Third Officer on the Titanic.
ELLER, Rosemary ( Mrs. Leslie ).
Mrs. Leslie Eller, a New Orleans shipyard operator, said here that she hopes to prove definitely that she and a 6-month-old baby reported lost in the Titanic sinking in 1912 are one and the same person. The lost baby was Helena Yates, traveling with her parents and a brother. Mrs. Eller said she has learned she was taken to the New York Baby hospital April 23, 1912, by a nurse who said the child was a survivor of the Titanic sinking, and that the baby's name was given as Helena Yates. Mrs. Eller has a baptismal certificate which reveals that three years later she was baptized under that name at St. Vincent's Ferrier church.
Some time later, she said, she was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. John Starks of New Orleans, but the adoption was never made legal. They gave her the name Rosemary Starks and kept from her the fact that she was a foster child. The foster father died in 1920 and the foster mother last December.
Mrs. Eller said that two months ago she went to New York in an attempt to to solve the mystery and learned that the name of the nurse who had brought Helena Yates to the hospital was not on record, and that the records of the White Star line are being kept in a vault in England until after the war. - Omaha World Herald, Sunday May 7, 1944, p. 6
In the 1940 census, she was Rosemary Eller, 28 years old, born in Louisiana. Born 27 September 1910 in Louisiana, she passed away 18 September 1962 in Alameda, California.
EVANS, George Ludbrooke.
At Lowestoft, on Monday. Geo. Ludbrooke Evans, who has been representing himself as third petty officer of the ill-fated Titanic, was sentenced to three months imprisonment for obtaining money under false pretenses.
The prisoner, it was stated, called upon a boarding-house keeper representing that he was a business agent for Lady Duff-Gordon, and engaged apartments for her for sixteen weeks, saying that Lady Duff-Gordon had been recommended by a doctor to come to Lowestoft for the air. Evans obtained money, but mistaking the house called again the same day, asking for apartments in another name. - The Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, 7 June, 1912 also Yorkshire Evening Post - Monday 03 June 1912
..If the ship is unusual, the electrician is unique. His name is Henry Farrell and he is 85 years old. He has been a seaman for 53 years, and he sails out of Wilmington these days on the indefinable ship that hauls rocks, as a barge does. He was a crewman on the unsinkable Titanic...The Titanic survivor who manned a lifeboat for the women and children... - Independent, 25 February, 1975, p. 15
FLYNN, Master Patrick
Chester, Pa. Dec. 16. - Bindetta Fobis, a five-year-old Italian girl, who was found suffering from small-pox, died tonight. The girl, her father, a sister and brother were passengers on the Titanic. They were put off in one of the lifeboats and were taken on board the Carpathia... - Philadelphia Inquirer, 17 December, 1912, p. 2
It is reported from Grenoble, France that a man named Frenza, a Maltese, was found by the police at midnight...violent... - Grand Rapids Press, 1 December, 1913
Letter to Walter Lord:
5th July, 1955,
Dear Mr.Lord, In reply to your letter of June 19th, 1955, I hope the following particulars will be of some help to you in completing your book about the "Titanic" disaster.
I was a fireman on the ship at the time, getting ready to go on the 12 P.M. to 4 A.M. watch, when I heard a scraping sound at about 11 P.M. Our leading hand told us to proceed to the boat deck. There did not seem to be any sign of damage or water in the ship just then. On arriving at the boat deck, I noticed that all the Port lifeboats had been lowered full of passengers. My duties lay in getting the passengers into the lifeboats.
All the passengers were calm and there was no panic, partly because they felt sure that the "Titanic" would not sink, and some of them would not enter the lifeboats. Everything was quite orderly where I was, with the orchestra playing "Nearer my God to thee", and other hymns. I finally left the boat in No.11 lifeboat full of passengers, and the only surviving officer.
Eventually we were picked up by S/S "Carpathia" at approx 6 A.M. Monday 15th April 1912, after(5) five hours in the lifeboats. The S/S "Carpathia" was commanded by Captain Parr, a grand skipper who never left the bridge throughout the very rough weather until the vessel arrived at New York on Wednesday about 10.00 P.M.
The American people in New York were most hospitable to us all and I have nothing but great praise for them, and that goes for my shipmates as well.
I returned to England in the S/S"Lapland"
I have served in the Merchant Navy during the Boer War, the Great War and the Second World War, I am aged 78 years and my wife and I are living on Old Age Pension.
Yours Sincerely F.Glasspool P.P. (Mr) H.Giles
P.S. Do you happen to have a picture of the ship. I maybe able to get a newspaper one if of any help.
In the Oxford newspapers, a Prof. Glenthorne was reported as being a pianist with the orchestra.
Centralia, Ill., Dec. 19 – John Gorman, a survivor of the Titanic, is wanted by the police on a charge of having forged the name of a local firm to a check for 90 dollars.
He draws a pension of 60 cents per day from the White Star Line.
Gorman helped man lifeboat No. 3 and suffered such exposure as to impair his health. He was employed by a real estate firm here and bore a good reputation.
It was because of his not asking a cash consideration for the loss of his personal effects that he got a pension from the steamship line. - Belleville News Democrat, 19 December, 1913
Lynn, Dec 3 . - Joseph Greenschpan, a cobbler, of 524 1/2 Chestnut street, who says he is a survivor of the wreck of the Titanic, declared yesterday that he saw Capt. Smith of the ill-fated liner shot and killed by an excited Italian, a steerage passenger, who had been driven away from one of the lifeboats by the captain.
Greenschpan was a second-cabin passenger....he seized a life preserver and jumped overboard... - Springfield Union, 3 December, 1913
HALVA, Victor T.
Born 22 March 1892, died Friday 5 December, 1958 in Nebraska. He was of Czech origin and claimed he had been a stowaway. He had dived into the sea to save himself. He was interviewed in the Nebraska State Journal in 1940.
Detectives of the chief city magistrate's office today began a search for relatives of a woman who gave her name as Bessie Hamilton, 45 years old, who has been living in a furnished room at 404 First avenue. The woman said she was a daughter of a wealthy Baltimore family, but that all her near relatives were dead and that she had been out of with the rest of her family since 1912. She was arraigned before Magistrate Levine in the chief city magistrate's office, charged with being a drug addict, and at her own request sent to Bedford Reformatory for three months in order to take the cure.
The woman was arrested by Detective Furlong at Bond street and the Bowery. Shew had accosted several passers-by and when addressed by the detective she admitted she was a drug addict. She said she had been one of the passengers on the Titanic when that ship hit an iceberg April 15, 1912. She was in the last lifeboat picked up by rescuing ships, she said, and, due to nervous trouble following that shock, had been given drugs by doctors until she became an addict. When arrested she was scantily clad and badly chilled. - Baltimore American, 24 January, 1922
A bogus survivor account by Catharine Hancock.
(From a Steerage Passenger)
I am an old woman, and I have nearly lived my three score and ten years.
I was going to America in the "Titanic", to join my son and his wife. I was one of the passengers taken off in the lifeboats. I willingly would have given my place to someone younger, and of more use in the world, but we had to go as we were told. As we sat huddled up on the deck of the doomed liner, staring into the darkness, waiting for we knew not what, I noticed a young lad next to me. A young Irish lad, going out to make his way in the world. Because I couldn't bear the silence any longer I spoke to him. "Have ye any friends here," I said. And his grey Irish eyes smiled with a touch of humour as he replied "Shure no, and I'm glad of it-I think we're done for." "Are ye afraid, lad," I cried. He answered me, after a slight pause, "I don't think so, anyway it's glad I am that I've heard the tongue of me country again," and with the frank speech of youth he continued "I have knocked about for five years now, and when I left the school at Youghol, the old schoolmaster told me to play the man in the world. He has been dead a good bit now, and I'll not be sorry to see him, so I am not afraid now. He was a friend to me, and I have tried to be like he wanted me to be. No, I am not afraid."
There was another long silence; I crept closer to the lad. He put his strong young hand on my old one-"Cheer up mother, you may be saved yet." Another boat was launched. I tried for the lad to go; there were only women and children, and I was one of those picked to go. "Good-bye and good-luck to ye," and a hearty hand shake from my young friend and this hurried remark "If ye're ever near Youghal Churchyard, will ye put a bunch of flowers on me old master's grave for me. I always meant to. White pinks he liked." And I was gone.
Terence Molloney was the name, and I saw it in the list of the dead. When white pinks are in bloom, I am going to Youghal to put them on the grave of an old man, who taught that lad to be a hero. CATHARINE HANCOCK - - Bournemouth Graphic, May 10th, 1912
HANNA, Robert James
Hanna, Robert James, 89. He was killed Friday 31 October, 1969, when a fire destroyed his home. He was born in Scotland [25 Sep 1891]. - Wichita Eagle, 2 November, 1969
"Almost sailed on the Titanic."
Martin Hansen, after a year's visit in Norway, returned to Wessington Springs last Friday. He crossed the Atlantic on The steamer Empress of Britain. His plans at one time were to return on the ill-fated Titanic, but for some reason decided to remain longer, thus escaping the Titanic tragedy. A person narrowly escapes many a tragedy and never knows it, nor why. - Jerauld County Review, Wessington Springs, Jerauld County, S.D., Thursday, April 24, 1913. Volume XXIL, Number 48. Page 1
Martin Hansen's real name was Hans Marselious Hanson. His mother convinced him to stay longer. He had come to the U.S. when he was just 13. He died in 1961 at the age of 81. He left his mother, Two sisters, Katheryn and Marie in either Stavanger or Coppervick, Norway.
Vera Hanson claimed that she had been brought up in institutions in England and never knew her background, the identity of her parents or true name and age (she believed she was born sometime between 1908 and 1911). She also claimed to have received an anonymous letter in the 1930s insinuating that she had been handed "from A deck to Lifeboat 13" into the arms of a Dulwich College teacher, namely Lawrence Beesley.
Vera enlisted the help of a solicitor, L. M. Wilkins to help determine her true identity and armed with the information about Beesley, Wilkins visited the retired schoolmaster who confirmed that he had been handed a baby in the lifeboat before handing the child to Hilda Slayter, a lady with whom Beesley shared a common acquaintance in Ireland.
Further research led Wilkins to a woman in County Kerry, Ireland, Julia Mahoney [some articles give her name as Julia Murphy], who stated that she knew that her friend Elizabeth Dowdell was chaperoning a child aboard Titanic; gathering the child's name as Virginia Emanuel from that information it was vaguely deduced that she and Mrs Hanson must be one and the same.
Wilkins even went to the lengths of contacting Walter Lord but he never responded. Interviewed in the 1950s, Elizabeth Dowdell (then Mrs Harry Fierer) stated that her former charge was married and living in London; it is not clear if Dowdell and Virginia ever maintained contact and it can be assumed that Dowdell was relating this information after having been contacted by the solicitors of Mrs Hanson.
The link between Mrs Hanson and Virginia is therefore highly tenuous; the real Ethel, aged 6½ years in April 1912, was no babe-in-arms and would have been old enough to know her background and real parents and grandparents. The fact that she was shown on several passenger lists travelling with her mother or to the home address of her grandparents into the 1920s comfortably debunks this version of her life. What is known however is that Virginia did indeed spend a portion of her life living in London but whether she maintained contact with her former chaperone is, as stated above, unknown and probably unlikely.
Vera Hanson, formerly Vera H. Edwards was married in Chelsea, London in 1950 to Sydney A. Hanson (b. 1888).
Sydney Hanson was a dock worker and later a fitter who had previously been married. He was a sometime socialist orator, being a regular fixture at "Speaker's Corner" in Hyde Park, London; and a self-proclaimed expert on freemasonry. In 1920 he was stabbed in the neck with a stiletto by Mr Frank Robert Lark who objected to Hanson's language at a public meeting, allegedly inciting young men to revolution against the government of David Lloyd George. Hanson survived the attack and made the news again in 1925 when he found a string of 47 pearls belonging to Lady Violet Beaumont, valued at £1000. In 1931 he was named in a blackmail case between a former lodger and his—Hanson's—then wife (or possibly mistress) Anne Flood. Sydney Hanson died in 1966.
Vera Hanson remarried in 1968 to Ernest G. Smith following which she drops off the radar. It has been stated that she died sometime around 1972 but under which guise is not clear. Whilst the identity of Mrs Hanson isn't entirely certain it can be assumed that she was either trying to piggyback on the hype of Titanic mania in the 1950s or that she truly did not know her own identity and was chasing a red herring.
George Harding, a survivor of the Titanic disaster, who helped to row one of the lifeboats to Carpathia, attempted suicide by jumping from the boom of a schooner here today.
His mind appears to have been affected by the terrors of that disaster. He was rescued and is in a hospital here now in serious condition. - Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Friday, May 2, 1913
Samuel Harper, a correspondent of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, claimed to have been a secret service agent and to have survived the sinking of the Titanic by downing a bottle of Scotch
HARRIS, Mrs. Alice
Wife of Gus Harris, English variety artist. (Boston Herald, 29 June, 1924)
Letter to Walter Lord, 16th December 1956
Sir, Please accept my apologies for not answering your letter sooner, at present I am a cook on a small Diesel Trawler, and due to bad weather we have been held up with his trip.
I was in R.M.S. Adriatic with Commander E.J.Smith, and Chief Officer Mr.Murdock, I was Roast, Fish, Sauce, Cook in the Saloon Galley transferring to the Titanic in the same position
I was on the promenade deck when we struck the Iceberg and I saw a lady come out of her suite of rooms with two children I told her to leave the children with me and get as many rugs as she could find to cover the children and herself when up came Chief Officer Murdock, he told an A.B. to take one of the children and I the other with the lady to the lifeboat, so I have to thank the Chief Officer for my escape, and we were picked up by the Carpathia.
I have had a charmed life, I am 75 years of age was torpedoed four times in the last war, also a prisoner in Singapore and Hong Kong, and I was in an Earthquake in Napier New Zealand.
HETTRICK, Captain C. E.
Fremont, O., 27 Dec. - Capt. C. E. Hettrick, 40, United States Army, veteran of the Spanish-American and World Wars and survivor of the Titanic disaster, is visiting his grandmother, Mrs. Nora Engler, here.- Plain Dealer, Cleveland/, 28 December, 1923, p. 7
HOLLIS, John James
HOLLIS, John James [19 Nov 1889 – 29 Dec 1969], of Burns, Oregon...who with his mother and brother survived the sinking of the Titanic died yesterday at the age of 81. - Trenton Evening Times, 30 December, 1969
His mother was a Henrietta Susan Hollis, born 17 May 1857 in England, died 17 June 1939 in Andrews, Harney, Oregon. His brother was an Isaac Aaron Hollis, 4 February, 1892, in Dean, Bedfordshire, England, who passed away 2 September, 1966, in Andrew, Harney, Oregon.
ESCAPED TITANIC HORROR TO DIE EXPLOSION VICTIM Wilmington, Del., Nov. 9. That Joseph Horgan, who died here on Thursday from burns received last Tuesday in a fire in one of the mills at the Carney's Point plant of the Dupont Powder Company, was one of the heroes of the steamship Titanic disaster on April 15, 1912, became known yesterday, when Rev. James Lawless, at his funeral in the Sacred Heart church, asked the congregation to pray for the repose of his soul. Horgan, whose home was in Cork, Ireland, shipped on the Titanic as a coal passer. It was his first trip to this country. After the ship had crashed into the iceberg Horgan stuck to his post and left it only to carry the unconscious form of a fireman who had been scalded to a deck above.. By that time no life boats were available, so he plunged overboard, still holding the unconscious fireman. The cold water revived the fireman, and, with the aid of Horgan, they managed to keep afloat for several hours, finally being pickel up and brought to New York. He later returned to Ireland, but came back to America a short time ago, getting employment at Carney's Point. "He deserves our prayers," Father Lawless told the congregation, "for he was a true hero of the Titanic; but, greater still, following every pay day he sent his dear old mother in Ireland his earnings." - The Lancaster Examiner, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 10 November 1915,
Out of work, penniless and without food for three days because he was too proud to beg, and English butler who had been in the employ of a number of prominent Philadelphia families and who was one of the persons rescued from the Titanic in 1912 attempted to end his life yesterday.
The would-be suicide, Frank Hyett, 46 years old, was found unconscious in a gas-filled froom at 1935 Pine street. Brooding over his destitute condition and of his wife and two children, who were lost in the Titanic disaster, led him to attempt to take his life, Hyett told the police. Hyett came to this country in 1902. His last job was in the home of Mrs. Theodore Cramp, at 1702 Locust street. Previously he had worked in the residence of Dr. S. Lewis Ziegler, of 1625 Walnut street. - Philadelphia inquirer, January 24, 1922
JAMES, Frances May Davis
Claimed she survived the sinking in boat 13. Attended a THS meeting or two.
5 Mar 1893 – December 1976 in Stamford, Connecticut.
''Toronto, Canada. (SP). - Heir to $2,000,000 and guardian to a girl 14 years old, whom, as an infant, he saved when the Titanic went down in 1912 is the happy fate which, according to his own story, has befallen John James, a fireman. A few days ago James left for England for the purpose, he said, of concluding legal formalities. He has quit his job of tending boilers. 'A woman handed me the baby as I stood by to man a lifeboat,' James says. 'She also gave me a sum of money and an address in London, with instructions that should anything happen I was to delivered (sic) the child to the address given. 'The boat on which I handled an oar was sighted by the Carpathia. When we finally arrived in New York City I made immediate preparations to return the child to the address in London. About six years after the sinking of the Titanic I went to the London house and was warmly greeted by the child and her grandmother. I stayed two weeks, my entire leave ashore, and had a wonderful time. I followed the sea until after the war and then, with the $2,500 the old lady gave me, I settled in Canada. Now, according to James, the grandmother is dead, and he has been notified that he must assumed guardianship of the child and is heir to an estate that is valued at $2,000,000.'' (El Paso Herald, 3 December, 1926, p. 4)
There has been speculation that Jack Johnson the American heavyweight boxing champion attempted to gain passage aboard the Titanic but was refused by a ticketing agent. However, the story is untrue.
In April 1912 Johnson was in the United States, probably in his hometown of Chicago, trying to arrange a title fight for that summer and preparing to open his nightclub there, Cafe de Champion, which opened in July. Johnson had spent the previous autumn in England and France fighting in exhibition matches but returned to New York shortly before Christmas, 1911 aboard the Lloyd liner Kronprinzesen Cecille. A few days after "Titanic" sank he announced a fight with one Jim Flynn. This took place in Las Vegas on July 4th, 1912. Johnson returned to Europe in 1913. His biographer does not mention any trouble getting a berth on ships on White Star or any other line although it is mentioned in the blues "The Titanic" by Lead Belly. - Randy Roberts (1983 Papa Jack: Jack Johnson and the Era of White Hopes. New York, The Free Press, pp. 124-140;
Josephine Johnson was travelling as a nursemaid/nanny for a doctor's family from New York. Members of her family believed she travelled on the Titanic perhaps because after leaving for New York they never heard from her again, however, her name does not appear in any passenger list and the identity of the Doctor is also unclear.
Claimed he was a stoker and one of the crew in boat 6. (Montour Falls Free Press, 24 April, 1912)
Mr C. Jowett is mentioned in The Oxford Chronicle (Berks and Bucks Gazette), 19th April 1912 (p.7) as signing on as a fireman, but his name is not listed. However they might be referring to fireman Charles E.Judd.
KIRKOVEN, Mrs. Roy
Kirkoven/Kirkhoven/, Mrs. Roy (Elizabeth), 85...one-time nurse /Chinook/. She died in a Harlem rest home. She came to Montana in 1902. (The Independent Record, 3 August, 1958)
1884-24 July, 1958.
Knight, Robert Franklin. ''J. R. West, 84, here, has received word of the death in an automobile accident of his nephew Robert Franklin Knight of Hampton, Va., one of the few survivors of the ill-fated Titanic. When the Titanic went down Robert Franklin Knight and another man floated for seven days and nights upon a hatchway cover before they were rescued by a French vessel. - The Weekly Kansas City Star, 27 July, 1938, p. 3
Apparently, he died 27 April, 1938.
KRAMER, Helen Loraine
Believed she was the daughter of Hudson and Bess Allison, and had somehow survived the sinking. She died in California, 26 March, 1992 and her date of birth was listed as 5 June, 1909 (Canada). In reality, she was Evangeline Irene Lee Hyde, born in Michigan. In 1922 (27 July?), she had a son, Lester Leo John Walsh, which would have made her a very young mother, considering her claim to having been born in 1909. The first claim of Titanic survival came on 3 September, 1940; she was by then Mrs. Laurence (Lawrence?) Kramer, living in Berkley, Michigan, and she was allegedly born about 1905 in England.
Steubenville, O., April 15 – One of the 1932 graduates of Mingo Junction High School, south of here, is John Kushun, a survivor of the Titanic disaster which cost 1,517 lives April 14, 1912.
The youth, a son of Mrs. Steve Gobless of Deandale, O., then was eight months old. The mother and son were returning home after visiting relatives in Austria when the ship hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Mrs. Gobless strapped her son to her back with two life preservers and kept afloat until rescued. - Plain Dealer /Cleveland/, 16 April, 1932, p. 1
Virgil Lewandski was arrested here on a charge of drunkenness. When arraigned here in the Municipal court he stated through an interpreter that he was from Breslau, Germany and was a survivor of the Titanic wreck.
Lewandski told the court that his wife and two children were lost and that after being picked up he was taken to New York on the Carpathia, where he secured 18 dollars as his share of the funds collected for the survivors. He will be held until the police have an opportunity to look up his story - Grand Rapids Press, 15 August 1912; [the story originated in Pontiac]
Virgil Lewandofski, 28 September 1885 in Germany, a bushler(?) ?
SURVIVED THE TITANIC - Seaman Who Was Four times Torpedoed - Gloucestershire Echo - Friday 07 June 1935
Describing himself as one of the survivors of the Titanic Disaster, Frank Lewis, a seaman of no fixed abode, was fined 10s. at Reading today for using obscene language.
Lewis said that not only was he on the Titanic on its tragic maiden voyage, but that he was torpedoed four times during the war.
The Clerk : Your language, then, should be couched in terms of thankfulness, not obscenity and abuse.
Durban, South Africa, June 5. John Lewis, 50, survived the sinking of the Titanic and lived 26 years to be drowned when a fishing boat capsized. Lewis, resident of Jacobs, Natal, was a member of the Titanic's crew when the sea giant struck an iceburg (sic) and sank, drowning 1,500 persons. His three companions on the fishing trip were saved. - The Montreal Gazette, 6 June, 1938, p. 26
Described how he was playing cards when the disaster occurred and how he escaped in lifeboat No. 2, which held only 14 people and was the seventh boat to be picked up by the Carpathia. He believed Captain Smith had committed suicide by shooting himself. (Duluth News Tribune, May 12, 1912)
LOVRE, Mrs. Emily M.
Claimed she was a survivor of the Titanic and that she had been injured in the wreck. She was of Swedish ancestry. (Duluth Herald, 4 March, 1914)
71, the crewman who rescued the log of the Titanic before the ship sank in 1912, died Sunday of a heart attack at his home. - The Knickerbocker News, Albany, Friday, April 16, 1965
19 Dec 1893 – April 1965.
Matt Matson, a miner of Sparta, was adjudged insane in Judge Gilpin's court and ordered taken to the hospital at Fergus Falls. His mental disorder was brought about by a fall down a shaft about a month ago. He labors under the impression that he is a survivor of the Titanic wreck, and he also talks incessantly on matters pertaining to electricity and religion. - Duluth News-Tribune, 2 August, 1912, p. 2
Cook, 68 years old, German; third class passenger, travelled with Pete Donohue, who perhaps died afterwards, saved on a raft they made themselves. (Daily Alaska Dispatch, 12 July, 1912)
Charley Mickleweight, a Jonesboro boy, who has hundreds of friends in the city and who was one of the survivors of the Titanic disaster, which occurred one year ago next Tuesday.....He says that all that saved him was that he happened to know the shipmen who were loading life boats at one place and that the first chance when there was (sic) no women to get in he permitted him and his partner to get in a boat but afterwards several women, among them Mrs. John Hayes Hammonds and Mrs. Futrell, were placed in the same boat, he used an oar and was only twenty yards away when the ship sank, being in about twenty minutes after he pulled his boat away... - Jonesboro Weekly Sun /Arkansas/, 23 April, 1913, p. 4
An actress returning from a visit in England. (The Hutchinson News, Kansas, 22 April 1913, p. 10)
MOODY, J. R.
Stated he was a quartermaster on the Titanic.
A steward. (Oxford Mail, 23 January, 1998)
Titanic Survivor Crushed by Rush of Coal in Natalie Colliery.
Shamokin, Pa. Nov. 5 – Martin Moran, a survivor of the Titantic (sic) disaster, has been killed by a rush of coal in the Natalie Colliery. He was a sailor on the Titanic and when whe went down into the ocean, swam to a boat and was saved. - St. Albans Daily Messenger, St. Albans, Vermont, November 5, 1913
Apparently a pianist, who claimed to have been a Titanic survivor. (Billboard, 3 August, 1912)
MUNCASTER, Emma Valero
Muncaster, Emma Valero nee Hoare (1908-1971), born in Dartford, Kent, believed she was a survivor of the Titanic.
Murray, Rose Ellen (Mrs. Lt. Christopher). Claimed to have swum in the water. In reality a Lusitania survivor. (The Scranton Republican, March 22, 1926)
In Walter Lord's A Night to Remember McAuliffe throws a razor blade to Saloon Steward James Johnson so that he could cut the falls to lifeboat 2 as it cast off at 1:45. As he did so he called out 'Remember me at Southampton and give it back to me!'. Despite his apparent confidence of rescue, McAuliffe was lost in the sinking. McAuliffe is not listed in the sign-on sheets and his identity remains a mystery.
Lee McCubbins (or McCubbin) was living in London and sent a postcard to his mother indicating his newly acquired job as a crew member of the Titanic.
A grave in Aldinga, South Australia of Mary Janet and Colin McRae also records the fate of their children, and the third on the list bears this inscription: Alan 1889 - 1912 (missing SS Titanic). The name does not appear on any lists although there is an Arthur Gordon McCrae from Sydney, Australia who travelled second class and died in the disaster, however, Alan McRae, who was born at Aldinga on 19 March 1889 has no connection with Arthur Gordon McCrae, indeed it is now believed that he died days before the Titanic set sail. The story behind the inscription remains a mystery. More about Alan McRae...
As an immigrant from Austria, aged 8, he was rescued from the sinking Titanic. His friend, a girl called Jessie Maletirich, was not saved. (Plain Dealer, Cleveland, 1 May, 1932)
Annie Nivcolovic, the only survivor of the party of thirty Austrian immigrants bound for Harrisburg was on the Titanic, arrived here yesterday morning at 3.30 o'clock... - Patriot /Harrisburg/, 26 April, 1912
Born somewhere in Sweden, died as he had lived, alone, sometime during the weekend.....believed to be 73, was found dead in a snowbank beneath a railway viaduct in Prince Albert early Sunday....had been swimming around in the Atlantic for many hours. - The Brandon Sun, 5 December, 1961
Chillicothe, O., May 10. After locking himself in a telephone booth at Camp Sherman yesterday,
Sergeant Olas Olson, 39, called his bride of two weeks, told her he intended to kill himself and fired a bullet thru (sic) his head as she listened at the other end of the wire. He is in a hospital here, expected to die.
Olson was a survivor of the Titanic disaster. He was adrift on a raft for two days before being rescued. This experience is believed to have unbalanced his mind. - Cincinnati Post, 10 May, 1920, p. 11
Olaf Olsen, born about 1881 in Norway. Immigrated in 1909. His wife was a Grace M. Purdum. He died 10 May and was buried 12 May at Camp Sherman.
OWENS, W. J. 'Doc'
New York, Feb. 13 – News has reached here of the death at Havana on Jan. 14, of W. J. (Doc) Owens, an oldtime gambler, considered one of the most expert card manipulators of his time. He fell down stairs at a hotel and died soon afterward.....He broke into the headlines at the time of the Titanic disaster, when it was reported in the press on both sides of the ocean that he had escaped in a lifeboat by disguising himself as a woman. He denied the report and said he would bring suit for libel, but he never did. - Grand Rapids Press, February 13, 1922, p. 2
His real name was apparently Jacob Cohen (Asheville Citizen, 1 March, 1914) Another possible name is Joseph Kohn (The New York Times, 7 April, 1903)
The Man Who Could Not Find his braces
Today is the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic which struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912. JOSEPH OWEN, who is living at The County Council's guest house at St. Lawrence Dene, near Ventnor, a survivor of the disaster, here tells his story of that tragic night.
FORTY-ONE years ago to-day I was on board a liner bound from England of monologues and impersonations.
I had made the trip before and I have done so since. I also entertained at other times on shipboard, but that particular evening has lived in memory for half my lifetime of nearly 81 years. For the ship which I was travelling was the ill-fated Titanic. I had been working as chief engineer of the London Coliseum, and was on my way to the U.S.A. to study and bring back the lighting plot of the play "Sherlock Holmes.” which was then running at the Madison Square Theatre. It was to be presented at the Alexandra, Stoke Newington, by the then Charles Froman [sic].
As I stood in my cabin undressing a quarter-of-an-hour before midnight, I felt a slight shudder, and going on deck with several others. I caught a glimpse of a mountain-like iceberg before it slipped away silently into the night. It was on this iceberg that the mighty hull of the so-called unsinkable ship ripped like paper from foremast to stern. The engineer stopped the engines as the Atlantic poured into the breach in a steady irresistible flood. Man's latest invention, the radio, began to transmit its incredible message to the world - incredible because even many of the passengers and crew refused to believe that there was any real danger.
Only the firing of rockets and the lowering of the ship's to lifeboats, each capable carrying 50 people, told the bitter truth. Even then many could not be persuaded that their safety lay in the frail craft on the dark, still sea, and some of the boats left with many vacant spaces.
Had these been filled, there were still many among the passenger list of 1,348 and crew of 800 who would have had to depend on rafts and life-jackets. As it was, more than 1,500 men, women and children went to their deaths in the icy water. There was no panic among those left on board, cool courage being displayed as women and children climbed into the boats. Mrs. Isadore Strauss [sic] refused to leave, and standing by her millionaire husband's side, was heard to say: "Where you go. I go." They died together.
A few bandsmen gathered together and made a moving spectacle they played "Nearer my God, to Thee."
It is amusing now to recall that I could not find my braces when the disaster occurred, and I went deck holding my trousers up.
Taking Capt. Smith’s orders, those of us left on board after the boats left attached ourselves to rafts locking our arms round supports and by other means. At 2.15 a.m. the bows of the dying ship dipped, and the stern pointed skyward. The lights which had shone eerily out on to the quiet, dark water went out as the Titanic slid forward and downward. I was one of five men on a raft which returned to the surface after the ship sank, but it seemed like an eternity before we saw the dark sky above us again. We were in the water for onlv about 15 minutes before the' ship California [sic], which had received the Titanic's SOS, arrived on the scene end lowered lifeboats to pick up survivors. The tragedy delayed the journey to America of those of us who survived only a few hours, for we were taken there the California. It is comforting to know that such a disaster is not likely to happen in modern times, not only because radar would give its warning but because is now obligatory to carry enough boats to hold all passengers and crew. [FOOTNOTE. Looking younger than his years. Mr. Owen, a widower, still gives his impersonations and recites monologues. He did so at an old people's parly in Ventnor at Christmas. An engineer, he injured his right leg after fall while leaving work at Horringford and spent seven months in St Mary's Hospital, Newport. He is now convalescing at Ventnor.]
Portsmouth Evening News - Tuesday 14 April 1953
CARDS WERE STACKED AGAINST TITANIC
I HAVE just read with the greatest interest the article (E.N. April 14) on the Titanic disaster from an interview with Mr. Joseph Owen one of the survivors.
I think however, that with the passage of time. Mr. Owen has become a little confused as to the ships concerned. It was the Cunarder Carpathia under the command of Captain Rostron, R.N R.. which rushing at forced speed and at great risk from ice, arrived at the spot where the Titanic had been, and picked survivors from the boats and rafts.
It was not the coal freighter Californian (not California) which was hove to, barely nine miles from the Titanic, on account of ice, during the whole of this time, and which had it been possible to establish contact could have saved every soul on board.
We have received a letter in similar strain from another survivor of the Titanic, Mr. S. E. Daniels, of Whitecliffe Avenue, Copnor, Potsmouth. He concludes:
"It was not the Californians's or the Carpathia's lifeboats that rescued Mr. Owen from the raft after only 15 minutes in the water. It must have been our own lifeboats that picked him up.
"In that he was more fortunate that I, for it was not until about 6 a.m. that I, with 24 others, was rescued by our own lifeboats and taken to the Carpathia, and believe me it was about the longest and coldest night I ever remember." - Portsmouth Evening News - Saturday 18 April 1953
PALMER, Mrs. Mary
Mrs. Mary Palmer, war nurse and survivor of the Titanic disaster, tonight charged that a man attempted to drown her in the murky waters in front of the Surf and Sand club at Hermosa Beach... - San Diego Union, 8 October, 1933
Mr Sam Parks is not listed in either the US Senate's crew list, or the White Star crew list. In Walter Lord's A Night to Remember, he is mentioned as helping Storekeeper Jack Foley in finding an axe, to chop down a sounding spar which was preventing Lifeboat 4 from being lowered. - Walter Lord (1976) A Night to Remember. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 14 004757 3
PLATFORD, Alfred Herbert
One of the few remaining survivors of the Titanic disaster was a visitor to the Department of Veterans Affairs, yesterday. A. H. Platford, a Canadian war pensioner, was a youth of 19 and a first-class passenger aboard the ship 'that couldn't sink' when the ship went down off Cape Race on April 16, 1912, after being struck by an iceberg. His father, sir Walter Platford, and English solicitor and magistrate, was lost in the tragedy. Mr. Platford was saved when he jumped from the sloping deck of the sinking Titanic and was picked up by the steamship Carpathia. He had been injured and, today, has no recollection of his rescue or of what happened to his father... - The Ottawa Journal, 15 January, 1958, p. 7
28 July 1893, England – 10 October, 1964, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Said to have been a survivor. (Oregonian, 25 Dec, 1915)
Greek. Spent three hours on a raft; lost a brother in the sinking. (Oregonian, 5 May, 1912)
REED, Mrs. Nellie
Lost her husband in the wreck. Destitute and friendless. (Rockford Republic, 14 June, 1912)
She was placed in one of the first lifeboats.
Died Friday 4 October, 1963 in Flora, Illinois. (State Times Advocate, 5 October, 1963)
A 104-year old woman, thought to be a survivor of the Titanic disaster in 1912, died Friday in Clay County Hospital.
Lilla Dell Mills Riggs, born about 1858; reported to have died 4 October, 1968, in Bloomington, McLean, Illinois.
ROBB, Mortimer Howell
A Titanic survivor died in his home 74 years to the day after the liner hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Mortimer Howell Cobb, who aboard the ship as a 7-year old with his German governess. He served at one time under Sir Arthur Rostron. (Richmond Times Dispatch, 16 April 1986 )
24 Oct 1904 – 13 Apr 1986.
ROEBUCK, Mrs. Grace C.
63. She was 9 years old at the time of the sinking. She jumped from the sinking vessel and was in a lifeboat for five days before she was rescued. There was also a governess. (The Leader Herald, Gloverville/Johnstown, 31 Mar, 1966 and Springfield Union, March 30, 1966) She was in reality born in 1896 in Massachusetts. Husband: Harry Joseph Roebuck. Maiden name: Hosford.
Alfonso Ross, who survived the 1600-death sinking of the ocean liner Titanic by clinging to an iceberg died Thursday of natural causes.
Ross, a 59-year old horticulturalist, was a 13-year old second class passenger aboard the supposedly unsinkable vessel.....He was placed in a rescue boat full of women and children, but an adult male, who was later shot by an officer under martial law for his act, pulled him into the icy water in order to get into the boat.
The boy, at that time named Alfonso Gros, managed to climb onto an iceberg where he remained for three hours before being rescued. He spent six weeks in a New York hospital recovering from his ordeal. A teenage cousin travelling with him drowned in the disaster. Ross, a native of Clermont Ferrand, France....'' (Advocate/Baton Rouge/, 3 January, 1959)
Berlin, Ont., July 30 – A. Rownstein a Russian Jew, who has been in the city for several months, and who, according to his own story, escaped from the ill-fated steamer Titanic, says that he has received a letter from New York, stating that he was to be the recipient of 10,000 dollars for his assistance in saving ten lives during the sinking of the steamer.
He says that the money is from the United States investigating cimmittee (sic), and forms a part of a halfa million dollars fund raised for the survivors. The money, he stated, is being transferred to Montreal, where he will go to receive it. - Evening News, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, 30 July, 1912, p. 5
Titanic Ship Wreck Survivor Dies at 105'' Oklahoma City, June 7.
John A. Rumpel, 105-year old missionary, world traveler and survivor of the Titanic disaster, died at the Country farm here Saturday night... - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 8 June, 1948, p. 199
He claimed to have been a survivor previously in 1938.
18 July 1842 – 5 June, 1948; buried in Oklahoma City.
SAIDEN, Godfrey von.
22 in 1929. Arrested for burglary; claimed he was a Titanic survivor. (San Francisco Chronicle, 14 November, 1929)
SCHEVEN, Kurt von,
63, one of the Titanic survivors, was found dead yesterday in the boiler room of the State School for the Deaf, where he was a stationary engineer. Mr. Von Scheven was a fireman aboard the Titanic...he injured his hand in a pulley while helping to launch one of the lifeboats. His commanding officer saw the accident and shoved Mr. Von Scheven into the lifeboat. Born in (Schupfen) Switzerland. (Trenton Evening Times, 18 November, 1953). 25 September 1890.
Adam Segmart, who was a passenger on the Titanic and was saved in a lifeboat, was drowned here while bathing in Besek lake here. He could not swim. He stepped into a hole and went down before aid could reach him. - Evening News /San Jose, California, 24 June, 1914
Wrote a book about her experiences, ''I have had my Tuppence.'' She was also in correspondence with Walter Lord about the sinking. (26 November 1883 in England – November, 1974, in New York?)
SKENDER, Mary A. Lawrence
Lived in Montana. (The History of Beaver County, Volume 1) Born about 1890 in Czechoslovakia/Austria-Hungary. (1883- 1947?)
STEIN, J. Gustav
J. Gustav Stein, the man who recently posed in this city as a survivor of the Titanic, and obtained money on the strength of his assertions that he was a Mason, and who was arrested in this city and taken to Delphos, O., has been sentenced to 60 (?) days in the workhouse there for his many misdemeanors... - The Huntington Press /Indiana/, 24 June, 1913
Glenburn, N. D., July 27. Lewis Stevins, who arrived in Glenburn Tuesday to work on the section, is a survivor of the steamship Titanic. Mr. Stevins and his brother had been back to Russia to spend the winter and were returning on the Titanic when she went down. Mr. Stevins lost his brother but managed to save himself after jumping overboard. He had on two life belts and had no trouble to keep from from drowning but the water was so cold that it nearly shocked him to death. He says many died from the effect of the plunge into the cold ocean who otherwise could have been saved. Mr. Stevins was laid up in a New York hospital six weeks after he landed. Last year he worked at Maxbass. - Evening Times /Grand Forks, ND, 27 July 1912, p. 2
There was a lively half-hour on board the oil ship Lucellum, which was moored off Pembroke Dockyard on Tuesday evening, when Patrick Sullivan, a donkeyman (who had stated he was the welter-weight champion of England), gave a demonstration of his prowess. Apparently he was a useful fighter, for he assaulted nine or ten members of the crew, and the police had to be called in. The sequel was his apperance before Messrs. T. Brown and W. Smith at the Market Hall, Pembroke Dock, on Wednesday, when he was charged with assaulting George William Davison, James Blackmore, and Arthur Sutherland. Mr. F. E. Greathead said defendant appeared to have run amok and acted more like a madman than a human being, and assaulted the whole of the crew.
[Here comes a lengthy description of how Sullivan knocked out three of the second engineer's teeth and knocked him into the corner, how he struck the third engineer in the face, the chief engineer on the nose, how he tried to hit the captain but missed and how he, finally, gave the second officer a black eye]
Defendant said the was one of the Titanic men and was injured in her. Since then, if he had a drink he did not remember what he did afterwards. He had a wife and children dependent upon him. Mr. T. Brown said that according to the Merchant Shipping Act they were unable to fine the defendant. There was no alternative but to send the defendant to prison, and he would be committed for six weeks with hard labour. Defendant said that he should give notice of appeal, and asked his Trade Union to take the matter up. - The Cambria Daily Leader, 23 July 1914, p. 3
Robert Suczek, native of the Czech/Bohemian province in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was a German-trained engineer and inventor. He lived in Europe at the time but had already been in the U.S. and had business affairs there.
Notified by telegram suddenly that business required his presence quickly in the U.S. he eagerly took the opportunity to reserve a first-class passage on the Titanic which was due to leave the next day. Lacking cash to pay the full passage he arranged to have money wired from his bank in Brussels, Belgium, to the White Star Line's bank in Southampton which could notify the ship's purser by the newly active Marconi radio that the passage was paid.
Suczek embarked from Southampton and sailed with the Titanic to Cherbourg. But the radio brought no message of payment and Suczek was required to return then to Cherbourg with the harbour pilot. He sailed the next day on the Lusitania, and later heard news of the Titanic's fate. It is interesting to note that in his life, Suczek crossed the Atlantic 15 times by ship. The trip on the Titanic would have been his 5th. His last trip was in 1927. And though he lived until 1955, he never travelled by air.
Thomas Taverner was interviewed by Australian television in the 1960s and in the Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday April 7th 1962. He claimed to have been an apprentice chef. He related how he was rescued after having jumped from the ship and held onto a wooden board. He also claimed to have saved a banjo that he played while on board the Titanic.
Your browser is not able to display this video.
Interview with Thomas Taverner on Australian TV c.1962.
(Courtesy of Mario Borg).
17. A German girl with a sister in Iowa. (Duluth Evening Herald, 6 September, 1913)
TRIMMER, H. R.
Wilmington, Del., Sept 6. - Mayor Harrison W. Howell today received a letter from H. R. Trimmer, of Minnesota, Minn., who claims to be a Titanic survivor, saying that he desires to be married, and asking the Mayor to assist him in finding a wife. He wants a Swede or Dutch girl, and says he understands there are a number of goodlooking ones here. She must be five feet ten inches in height, and weigh 155 pounds. He says that he is 35 years old, and does not drink or smoke. The Mayor, however, will not start a matrimonial agency. - Philadelphia Inquirer, 7 September, 1912
Fireman. Claimed he had survived the sinking of the Titanic, Lusitania and Empress of Ireland (Boston Journal, 13 July, 1915) Frank Tower, Toner etc.
WARRICK, C. J.
A wealthy Oklahoma resident said to have been a Titanic survivor. (Morning Star, Rockford, 9 December, 1917)
WEBER, Fred A.
Salt Lake City, April 14 – A 61-year old hotel dishwasher, Fred A. Weber, always taks (sic) the afternoon April 14 off – not as a holiday in the ordinary sense of the word, but to recall the night of horror 39 years ago today when he was an oiler on the SS Titanic. The memory of what happened aboard the palatial liner when it rammed an iceberg on its illfated maiden voyage still gives Weber the jitters.
'I can still hear the women screaming because some of the men had to be pushed from the only six lifeboats on the ship to make room for the women,' he recalled.
He and his buddy raced to their stations at the No. 2 lifeboat, which they helped to man for 20 hours in a churning sea while waiting to be rescued.
'The women were hysterical because their husbands stayed on the ship. I never want to go through that experience again, ' he added.
Weber went to sea only once after the tragic voyage. He shipped to Japan out of Seattle. - Richmond Times Dispatch, 15 April, 1951
28 Aug 1890 – 26 Oct 1962?
WERNEZ, Alphonse R.
Titanc Survivor Tells Awful Tale. Detroit, Mich., April 25 – With his fingers bruised and the nails still black from blows he received when he tried to climb into three of the lifeboats of the Titanic as they were being rowed away from the sinking ship, Alfonso Wernez, a Belgian is at work at local automobile plant alongside a brother who had thought him dead.
Driven back from the lifeboats at the point of a gun, he stood helpless on the deck of the sinking ship until water swirled about his knees, and then he jumped into the sea. Three times he begged to be taken into passing boats and clutched the gunwales of the already overloaded craft, only to be driven off. Finally, he claims, a young woman assisted him in over the stern, despite the protests of the men at the oars. '' (Kalamazoo Gazette, April 26, 1912, p. 1)
25 June 1894, Moorslede, Belgium – January, 1966.
WHAPPLES, Henry George.
Death notice in the Times, September, 1973. He was born 19 November, 1892. He passed away in Litchfield, Staffordshire, England.
WILLIAMS, David A.
D. A. Williams of Gilman, Ill., a survivor of the Titanic, was in Omaha Friday. He said that he was at the gambling table at the time of the disaster, but that since then he has been converted and has given many addresses in churches, free of charge. He is still ill from the shock of being thrown in the water, seeing the others drown, being pulled onto a life raft and then rescued. - Omaha World Herald, 15 December 1912, p. 5
In the same newspaper the day before, it is announced that he was originally from Cardiff, Wales and that he was the manager of F. E. Loomis & Co.
Calgary, Alberta. - G. Williams who has been lecturing on the Titanic disaster in various cities through the United States and Canada was arrested last night at the close of his address in a church here; charged with grand larceny; alleged to have been committed in Chicago. Williams claims to be a survivor of the disaster. - Muskegon Chronicle, 3 June, 1913
Probably the same as above; David A. Williams.
ALLEGED MESSAGE FROM THE TITANIC.
Swansea. Thursday. A bottle coataining tbs following msssage written in pencil on a piece of crumpled paper was picked on Swansea sands yesterday by Mr. O. 0. Swaian. of Mount Pleasant, Swansea. Titanic:—This is the last moment. I am left here with brother, John Williams, bis wife and little child Jean having left the doomed ship in the last boat. “The band are still playing. Men are going mad. The bottle also contained a photograph of two men. Nobody of the name John Williams, however, appeared in the Titanic’s passenger lists. - Gloucestershire Echo - Thursday 27 September 1928
The Titanic. Twenty five years ago our columns recorded that a Swansea man had found, during walk on the beach, a bottle containing a note, scarf pin and a photograph. The note referred to the sinking of the Titanic and a sentence in referring to the band is of interest to Colne people. It read : “ This is the last moment great ship Titanic sank. I am left here with my brother-in-law John Williams; wife and little child Jean having left the ship on the last boat. The hand are still playing, the officers are running here and there although their tasks are hopeless. Men are going mad, while . . . (here the words were indecipherable)... A group of men are gathering round a clergyman who is in a fit the promenade desk.” The rest the note torn too much to be readable, and the finder said the photograph was so much defaced that he threw it away. The White Star line Titanic (53,310 tons), it will be remembered, sank on April 15th, 1912, her maiden voyage, after striking an iceberg in the Northern Atlantic. Of the 3,150 passengers and crew 1,635 were lost, and among those who perished was Mr. Wallace Hartley, a Colne man, who was conducting the band. - Barnoldswick & Earby Times - Friday 2 October 1953
WILSON, George W. and WILSON, John J.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn., April 23 – George W. Wilson, the 19-year-old cabin boy to Captain Smith, of the Titanic, died at his home near this city last night, as the result of the shock and exposure suffered in the wreck. He had been subpoenaed to appear before the senate investigation committee at Washington. Wilson came to his home at Cronoque, Saturday, and had been critically ill since. His brother, John J. Wilson, was lost when the boat went down. - The Chronicle Herald - 23 April 1912 - Jake Rutigliano
A woman who said she was Anna Wood, 63 years old, a survivor of the Titanic disaster, and that she was the sister of a wealthy Phildelphia business man, was sent from the Hotel McAlpin yesterday to Bellevue Hospital for observation. According to John S. Peckham, an assistant manager of the hotel, she registered there as a guest five weeks ago accompanied by a trained nurse. Her actions in the hotel, he said, began to attract his attention and recently he asked Dr. Ross McPherson, the hotel house physician, to examine her. Dr. McPherson reported that in his opinion Miss Wood should be sent to Bellevue Hospital... - The New York Times, 10 December, 1914
Mr Jay Yates, an American, wrote the following note, which was later delivered to a New York Newspaper:
"If I am saved, inform my sister F. J. Adams of Findley Ohio, Lost. J. H. ROGERS.''
In fact, Yates was never on board the Titanic and the note was a hoax. Yates wrote the note in New York and then had a woman accomplice pose as a survivor and deliver the note to the newspaper. Yates did this in order to make the police think he was dead. They didn't fall for the ruse, though, and Yates was captured a couple of months after the sinking. (He was wanted on federal charges connected with postal thefts.)
5 July 1889, Bridgeport, Connecticut - 15 February 1976, Yonkers, New York City. He claimed he had been chief engineer and had been ordered to man a lifeboat.
''Halem Zcherk, a Syrian, is being cared for by friends at South Bend, being a penniless survivor of the Titanic disaster. He gives a graphic description of his experiences. He said he had a belt holding his money on him but he lost this when he felt to see if it was there and a giant fish came at him. He ducked the fish and lost the money. The fish he said were in schools around the ship, big black things like a cow, and they were eating the bodies of the victims of the wreck....he expected to sink any minute, but managed to get onto a cake of ice where he rested for a while.'' (Elkhart Daily Review, May 15, 1912, p. 1)
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