Thornton Heath Family Among the Missing
Saturday 20th April 1912
The loss of the Titanc has affected Croydon in at least one case, and that case a particularly pathectic one, it is believed that a whole Thornton Heath family has been lost, together with some relations who saild with them.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnston, of 21, Luna Road, Thornton Heath, with their two children, William, aged nine years, and Catherine, aged seven years, were passengers on the ill-fated vessel, and none of the lists of survivors so far contain any mention of their names. Though the general messages say that nearly all the women and children were saved, it is greatly feared that all the family have been drowned. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston were accompanied by Mrs. Johnston's sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Ford, and their eight-year-old daughter, Ruby, who came to Thornton Heath from Rutherford six weeks ago.* They, too, are among the missing.
The families were emigrating to Connecticut, where Mr. Johnston and Mr. Ford were going to work.
A sad circumstance of the case is that the Johnstons originally intended sailing in October last, but decided to wait for the Fords. Then the passages were booked on the Philadelphia, but owing to the coal strike a further postponement had to be made, and the party ultimately sailed on the Titanic.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnston were a highly respectable couple, being well liked by the neighbours. Mrs. Halliburton and Mr. W. Lias, of the Beulah road Council School, speak very highly of the family and children, who were very bright and always speaking to the teachers and their friends of their journey to America and their new home there.
(*The article, whilst being quite informative on the Johnstons, contains glaringly erroneous details on the Ford family)
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