Last male survivor of Titanic dies

PDF Print

Last male survivor of Titanic dies

Unidentified Newspaper

One of the last known survivors of the Titanic, Michel Navratil, has died in southern France at the age of 92.
He was just three years old when the ship hit an iceberg in the north Atlantic and sank shortly before midnight on 14 April 1912.
Mr Navratil and his two-year-old brother were put in a lifeboat and rescued by an ocean liner, but his father went down with the ship. Mr Navratil was the last known male survivor. Four women survivors are believed to still be alive, according to the Titanic Historical Society.
Lasting memory
''I don't recall being afraid. I remember the pleasure really of going 'plop' into the lifeboat,'' he once said.
Mr Navratil said his experiences on the Titanic and the loss of his father had a profound effect on him.
''I died at four. Since then I have been a fare-dodger of life. A gleaner of time,'' he said.
The strange circumstances of his presence on the ship and his survival has fascinated Titanic historians and the public for decades.
False name
Mr Navratil's father bought tickets under a false name because he was taking the boys to New York without the permission of his estranged wife in France.
On the night the ship hit the iceberg, Mr Navratil said his father came into the cabin where he and his brother were sleeping.
''He dressed me very warmly and took me in his arms. A stranger did the same for my brother,'' he recalled.
''When I think of it now, I am very moved. They knew they were going to die.''
Boys unclaimed
When the boys arrived in New York, a woman who had been in their lifeboat took care of them until their mother could be found.
The pair became known as ''The orphans of the Titanic'' because no one came forward to claim them as their real names were not known.
Eventually their mother in France read newspaper reports about her lost sons and retrieved them.
Later in life, Mr Navratil made a career as a professor of philosophy in Montpellier where he died on Wednesday.

Related Biographies:
Michel Marcel Navratil

Contributor
Delia Mahoney
  • Leave a comment

  • Add a new story to Encyclopedia Titanica

  • Link and cite this article

    Link
    Please link to this page using the following URL
    http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/last-male-survivor-titanic-dies.html

    Or copy the link text below

    Cite
    If you need to cite this page please copy the following and adapt as necessary for your referencing system:
    (2001) Last male survivor of Titanic diesUnidentified Newspaper (ref: #1909, accessed 20th April 2014 07:07:48 AM)
    URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/last-male-survivor-titanic-dies.html

    Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Friday 21st November 2003, last updated .