The randomly selected Grand Prize winner of my Titanic Giveaway was Carrie-Anne so I’ll be sending her the autographed copy of WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM, gift card, mug and nugget of coal. Second and third place were Amy S and Laurie , who will each receive a $10 Amazon gift card. Thanks to everyone for visiting the blog and commenting!
I thought today I’d wrap up my Titanic themed blogging for this year with a look into what happened to five survivors after they were rescued from the cold Atlantic by the Carpathia.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown: Margaret Brown’s fame as a well-known Titanic survivor helped her promote the issues she felt strongly about in the years after 1912. Even on board the Carpathia she created a Survivors Committee and had raised $10,000 to assist the destitute survivors before the ship ever reached New York. In later years she worked hard to establish a Titanic memorial. She supported many causes from women’s rights to workers’ rights to education and literacy for children and historic preservation. During World War I in France, she worked with the American Committee for Devastated France to rebuild areas behind the front line and helped wounded French and American soldiers. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her good citizenship including her activism and philanthropy in America. During the last years of her life, she was an actress (but apparently only in private performances 0r small venues, NOT the movies or Broadway). She died in 1932. Ironically, the nickname she’s so well known for was created in the 1930’s by a newspaper reporter and immortalized by Hollywood.
(Photo Caption: Mrs. J. J. Brown, Date Unknown, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, George Grantham Bain Collection. Call number: LC-B2- 1405-8[P&P] Digital id:ggbain 07754, Bain News Service, Public Domain)
J. Bruce Ismay: After the disaster, White Star Managing Director Ismay was castigated by newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic for deserting the ship while women and children were still on board. He stayed in the ship doctor’s cabin on the Carpathia under heavy sedation, seeing no one. After reaching land, he kept out of the public eye for most of the remainder of his life. He died in 1937.
Officer Charles Lightoller: He testified at official inquiries in America and England after the disaster, and as the senior surviving officer, did his best to present White Star in a favorable light. Despite defending the company, his career with White Star came to a dead end and he eventually resigned, working thereafter as an innkeeper, chicken farmer and property speculator. He wrote his autobiography in the 1930’s, which did quite well, although the Marconi Company sued to have it taken off store shelves over a remark he made about their employees on board Titanic. He owned a small private ship and participated in the rescue operation at Dunkirk. After World War II ended, he managed a boatyard. Lightoller died in 1952.
Winnifred Vera Quick : She was 8 years and 3 months old when the Titanic sailed. She and her 3 year old sister were placed in Lifeboat No. 11 but her mother was denied entry until she said she wouldn’t let the girls go if she couldn’t go. Her mother was the last person allowed in the boat. Winnifred and her sister were put into a sack to be hauled up to the Carpathia’s deck. her In later life she left school after the 8th grade, worked at a chocolate factory, a bakery and various retail stores, married a man she had first met at age 14, and had five children. She passed away in 2002.
Annie Katherine Kelly: Along with thirteen other young people from her village in Ireland, known as the Addergoole Fourteen, Ms. Kelly embarked on Titanic at the age of 20. She was one of the few Third Class passengers who survived the disaster, and only two other women from their small group survived. A steward who had taken special notice of her earlier in the voyage on “the nicest ship in the world”, as she’d called it in a letter to a relative, made sure she got into Lifeboat No. 16. She was hospitalized in New York for six weeks, then released with literally only her hospital nightgown and a donated coat and shoes, along with fellow survivor Anna McGowan. They were given train tickets to Chicago, where she had relatives, and once she arrived there, funds were raised for her from generous donors in the city. For the rest of her life, Ms. Kelly refused to discuss her experiences on Titanic or even to write them down. At the age of 29 she entered a religious order and became Sister Patrick Joseph Kelly. She died in 1969, after spending many years as a much beloved teacher in Chicago.
So there you have it, a sampling of what kind of lives people went on to have after surviving the sinking. What do you think you would have done in 1912 if you’d been a survivor?