Titanic Stories Told By Women
Many women who were placed in the lifeboats we unaware of the tragic events which were about to unfold on the Titanic. They believed it was merely a safety precaution and that they would soon be returning to the great ship to resume their journey. It was only when they were safely out of danger and the great ship had vanished under the icy waters did the women realize that those left on board would not be rescued. The cries and moans from the women and men struggling in the cold Atlantic must have been heartwrenching to hear. Here are a few of those women's stories.
Mrs Vera Dick (Lifeboat # 3)
" Let me go back, I want to go back to my husband, I'll jump from the boat if you don't," cried and agonized voice in one lifeboat.
" You can do no good by going back, other lives will be lost if you try to do it. Try to calm yourself for the sake of the living. It may be that your husband will be picked up somewhere by one of the fishing boats."
The woman who pleaded to go back , according to Mrs Vera Dick, of Calgary, Canada, later tried to throw herself from the lifeboat. Mrs Dick, describing the scenes in the lifeboats , said that there were half a dozen women in that one boat (lifeboat #3) who tried to commit suicide when they realized that the titanic had gone down.
Some of the women on our boat were in nightgowns and bare feet and the wealthiest women mingled with the poorest immigrants. One immigrant women kept shouting : 'My God, my poor father! He put me in this boat and would not save himself. Oh, why didn't I die, why didn't I die? Why can't I die now?' Click here to read more of Mrs Vera Dick's harrowing story.
Emily Geiger (lifeboat #4)
How Mrs George Widener , whose husband and son perished after kissing her goodbye and helping her into one of the lifeboats( Lifeboat # 4) , rowed when exhausted seamen were on the verge of collapse, was told by , maid of Mrs Widener who was saved with her. The girl said Mrs Widener bravely toiled throughout the night and consoled other women who had broken down under the strain.
Mrs Lucille Carter ( Lifeboat # 4)
Mrs William E Carter and Mrs John B Thayer were in the same Lifeboat ( Lifeboat # 4) and worked heroically to keep it free from the icy menace. Although Mrs Thayer's husband remained aboard the Titanic and sank with it and although she had no knowledge of the safety of her son until they met, hours later, aboard the Carpathia, Mrs Thayer bravely labored at the oars throughout the night.
In telling of her experience Mrs Carter said :
" When I went over the side with my children and got in the boat there were no seamen in it. Then came a few men, but there were oars with no one to use them. The boat had been filled with passengers and there was nothing else for me to do but to take an oar. We could see now that the time of the ship had come. She was sinking and we were warned by cries from men above to pull away from the ship quickly. Mrs Thayer , wife of the vice president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, was in my boat and she took an oar too.
It was cold and we had no time to clothe ourselves with warm overcoats. The rowing warmed me. We started to pull away from the ship. We could see the dim oulines of the decks above but we could not recognize anybody."
Mrs Emma Eliza Bucknell ( Lifeboat # 8 )
Mrs William Bucknell's account of the part women played in the rowing is as follows :
"There were thirty five people in the boat in which the captain placed me. Three of these were ordinary seamen, supposed to manage the boat and a steward.
One of these men seemed to think that we should not go away from the sinking ship until it could be known whether the other boats would accomodate the rest of the women. He seemed to think more could be crowded into ours, if necessary.
'I would rather go back and go down with the ship than leave under these circumstances,' he cried.
Click here to read more of Mrs Emma Bucknell's recollection of the fatefull night.
Mrs Lucien Smith
Mrs Smith's whose husband perished was another heroine. It is related by survivors that she took turns at the oars and the, when the boat was in danger of sinking, stood ready to plug a hole with her finger if the cork stopper came loose.
Molly Brown's Lifeboat # 6
The boat in which Mrs J.J. Brown was saved contained only three men in all and only one rowed. He was a half frozen seaman who was tumbled into the boat at the last minute. The women wrapped him in blankets and set him at an oar to get his blood started. The second man was too old to be of any use. The third was a coward (later to be identified as Quartermaster Hichens). Read on about the fun and games in this lifeboat # 6 click for more of Mrs Brown's Lifeboat Issues !.
Miss Alice Farnam Leader, a New York physician, escaped from the Titanic on the same boat which carried the Countess Rothes. "The Countess is an excellent oarswoman," said Doctor Leader, "and thoroughly at home on the water. She practically took command of our boat when it was found that the seaman who had been placed at the oars could not row. Several of the women took their place with the Countess at the oars and rowed in turns, while the weak and unskilled stewards sat quietly at one end of the boat."
"With nothing on but a nightgown I helped row one of the lifeboats for three hours," said Mrs Florence Ware of Bristol, England.
"In our boat there were a lot of women, a steward and a fireman. None of the men knew anything about managing a small boat, so some of the women took charge. It was cold and I worked hard as I could at rowing until we were picked up. There was nothing to eat or drink on our boat."