When Mrs. Wellamn was 16 and studying in Paris, her father booked passage for her and her mother on the White Star line ship. They were to attend Dartmouth College graduation.
On the night of April 14, 1912, about 1,600 miles east of New York, the ship struck an iceberg, tearing a 300-foot gash in the hull.
Was Just Dozing Off
I was just dozing off when I felt a jarring crash, said Wellman later.
We ran upstairs and someone steered us to a lifeboat. The ship was listing then and some lifeboats had been lowered, but many people were refusing to get in them. The deck was covered with ice.
I particularly recall the British seamen were magnificent. They knew, of course, that they would lose their lives, but they calmly and carefully doled out blankets and biscuits to us as we got into a lifeboat.
Official reports said the 682-foot ship went down bow first about 2 ½ hours after the crash. The ships orchestra assembled on the sloping deck and played to calm the passengers.
Orchestra Played Until End
At about 2 oclock the huge ship sank with a dreadful noise and the orchestra played to the very end, Mrs. Wellman said. So we sat all night in the freezing dark. Some women tried to row to keep warm, but we didnt want to get too far away from our location.
The Cunard line Carpathia heard the Titanics SOS and raced 58 miles to the rescue, picking up 705 survivors at dawn.
At about 5:30 A.M., our savior, the Carpathia, came into view, Mrs. Wellman said. It looked so small in comparison to the tremendous Titanic.
Estimates of the number lost varied between 1,490 and 1,517.
Mrs. Wellman, who was born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., leaves two sons, Howard L. Wellman and Bradford S. Wellman, and a daughter, Prudence Leonard.
Mary Conover Lines
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(1975) Mary C. Wellman Dies at 80; Was a Survivor of the TitanicNew York Times (ref: #1784, accessed 30th January 2015 12:27:15 PM)
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Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Friday 21st November 2003, last updated Friday 30th January 2015.