Almost everyone knows about the sad story of the sinking ship, Titanic. There are many myths and theories about why the ship sank: some people think that the speed of the ship was too high in a dangerous area, some people blame the weather, and others think it was just bad luck. But only the people who survived the crash could tell us what really happened that day.
Today, Wonder Ideas is sharing the stories of people who managed to survive the terrible crash of the Titanic.
On April 10, 1912, the cruise ship, Titanic went on its first and last voyage. More than 2,000 passengers got on board the ship and around 1,000 people came to wave goodbye to their relatives. On the night between the 14th and 15th of April, the huge ship crashed into an iceberg and sank. Only about 700 people survived.
The orphans of Titanic
Michel (3 years old) and Edmond Navratil (2 years old) were on the ship with their father under the fake names, Luis and Otto. The father whose name was also Michel pretended to be a widower and told everyone that his wife was dead. But really, he divorced his wife and took the children without letting her know. When the ship started sinking, Michel took the kids and put them on the last rescue boat. The last words he said to them were, “My child, when your mother comes for you, as she surely will, tell her that I loved her dearly and still do. Tell her I expected her to follow us so that we might all live happily together in the peace and freedom of the new world.”
Because their father died and the kids were still small and didn’t speak English, it was hard to find their relatives for a very long time. Later, the mother of the boys saw their photo in a newspaper and reunited with them one month later, on May 16.
Later, their lives were very different. Michel married his college junior, became a professor of psychology, lived for the rest of his life in Montpellier, and died at the age of 92.
Edmond was married, too. He worked as an architect and builder, joined the French army during the Second World War and died at the age of 43.
The name Mrs. Margaret Brown had been known about long before Titanic sank. She was one of the first women in the U.S. who ran for a political position eight years before women were allowed to vote.
When she was in Europe, she received a message that said that her grandson was sick and she decided to visit New York immediately. Because of how fast she made the decision to go, very few people including her family knew that Margaret was on the Titanic.
After the ship crashed into the iceberg, Margaret was put into boat № 6 where she managed people since the man who was actually responsible for doing so was emotionally unstable. By the time Carpathia reached New York, Margaret was chosen as the chairman of the committee of the survivors and managed to raise almost $10,000 for the needy. She never left Carpathia until she made sure that everyone got the medical help they needed.
Margaret Brown received a medal for helping the survivors of the Titanic and later got the National Order of the Legion of Honor for her work during the First World War. She died because of a brain tumor in New York at the age of 65.
Another interesting fact about Margaret Brown is that she was never called Molly. This name was made up in Hollywood.
A girl who survived three cruise ship crashes
Violet Constance Jessop was a stewardess of White Star Line cruise ships. She was on board the Olympic when it crashed into Hawke in 1911, she worked on Titanic which sank in 1912, and during the First World War was working on board of the hospital ship Britannic that sank after a mine explosion.
Despite the collisions, Violet continued working on ships and in 1950 she went to Great Ashfield in Suffolk where she filled her house with her memories of her 42 years spent at sea. Violet Jessop died at the age of 83 due to heart failure.
An actress starred in the movie wearing the same clothes she wore on the day of the crash.
Actress Dorothy Gibson was in Paris with her mother when they decided to buy first class tickets for the Titanic. On that fateful day, April 14, Dorothy played bridge with two bankers and at about 11:40 p.m. she went to her cabin when she heard a crunching sound. Dorothy and her mother got into boat № 7 which was half empty and asked the bankers to go with them. There was a leak in the boat and it tuned out that they were sinking too. Fortunately, they managed to close the hole with clothes.
When she arrived in New York, she was convinced to star in a movie about the crash. Dorothy wrote the script herself and wore the same clothes that she wore on the day of the crash. The movie was released one month after the crash.
Soon after, Dorothy decided to stop her movie career and started working in the Metropolitan Opera. In 1928, Dorothy and her mother moved to Paris and during the Second World War when she lived in Italy, she was accused of anti-fascist views and put to the San Vittore prison but managed to escape. She lived in Paris for the following years and died at the age of 65 from a heart attack.
A guy who managed to walk again after frostbite
Richard Norris Williams was on the ship with his father and both were very calm during the crash. The Williams family wanted to go to the bar but a steward refused to open the door. They went to the gym in order not to freeze. When the passengers were in the water, Richard Norris noticed a boat and got into it. His father died when a steam pipe fell on him. Those who survived in this boat were put into boat № 14.
When Richard was on Carpathia, doctors recommended that Richard amputate his frozen legs but he refused. Later, Richard cured his legs and continued his tennis career and won a gold medal in the Olympic games, fought in the First World War and became a successful banker in Philadelphia. For 22 years he was president of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Richard Williams died of emphysema at the age of 77.
The last young passenger who remembers the crash well
Eva Miriam Hart was 7 years old when she got on the Titanic with her parents. According to her, her mother decided not to sleep at night because she was worried about something all the time and she had a bad feeling about the voyage. When Titanic started to sink, her father rushed into the cabin, wrapped Eva in a blanket and put her and her mother on a boat and said, “Hold your mother’s hand and be a good girl.” Her father’s body was never found.
Eva was a singer and one of the organizers of the British conservative party. She had a very active life and described the day of the crash in great detail.
Eva Miriam Hart died in her house at the age of 91.
Eva Miriam Hart in 1992.
A manager who escaped from the ship
Joseph Bruce Ismay was the chairman of White Star Line and he was the person responsible for the construction of the Titanic. He was rescued on a boat and in his testimony, he said during the last couple of minutes aboard Titanic, he turned away as not to see it sink.
After the crash, Ismay was violently criticized by the press and accused of escaping the ship while there were still women and children on board. Later, he donated a lot of money to the fund of dead sailors and the trading fund during the First World War.
Ismay stayed away from everyone for the rest of his life and died of thrombosis at the age of 74.
Rare photographs taken after Titanic sank
The survivors of Titanic on board the Carpathia.
The survivors on Carpathia.
The crowd waiting for Carpathia which transported the survivors after the crash of Titanic. New York, April 1912.
A London newspaper sailor announces the crash of Titanic in 1912.