Mrs Harvey Collyer (Charlotte Annie Tate), 31, of 25, Church Road, Mount Hill, Bishopstoke, Hampshire boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her husband Harvey Collyer and daughter Marjorie.
Charlotte and Marjorie were rescued in lifeboat 14 but Harvey died in the sinking. Their experience in the boat was recalled by Charlotte Collyer in The Semi-Monthly Magazine, May, 1912 (for which she was paid $300).
Mrs Collyer and little Marjorie were absolutely destitute when they reached New York, but Mrs Collyer decided to continue on to Payette to start a new life like her late husband had wanted to do.
On April 21 she wrote to her mother:
Brooklyn, New York
Sun April 21st
My dear Mother and all,
I don't know how to write to you or what to say, I feel I shall go mad sometimes but dear as much as my heart aches it aches for you too for he is your son and the best that ever lived. I had not given up hope till today that he might be found but I'm told all boats are accounted for. Oh mother how can I live without him. I wish I'd gone with him if they had not wrenched Madge from me I should have stayed and gone with him. But they threw her into the boat and pulled me in too but he was so calm and I know he would rather I lived for her little sake otherwise she would have been an orphan. The agony of that night can never be told. Poor mite was frozen. I have been ill but have been taken care of by a rich New York doctor and feel better now. They are giving us every comfort and have collected quite a few pounds for us and loaded us with clothes and a gentleman on monday is taking us to the White Star office and also to another office to get us some money from the funds that is being raised here. Oh mother there are some good hearts in New York, some want me to go back to England but I can't, I could never at least not yet go over the ground where my all is sleeping.
Sometimes I feel we lived too much for each other that is why I've lost him. But mother we shall meet him in heaven. When that band played 'Nearer My God to Thee' I know he thought of you and me for we both loved that hymn and I feel that if I go to Payette I'm doing what he would wish me to, so I hope to do this at the end of next week where I shall have friends and work and I will work for his darling as long as she needs me. Oh she is a comfort but she don't realise yet that her daddy is in heaven. There are some dear children here who have loaded her with lovely toys but it's when I'm alone with her she will miss him. Oh mother I haven't a thing in the world that was his only his rings. Everything we had went down. Will you, dear mother, send me on a last photo of us, get it copied I will pay you later on. Mrs Hallets brother from Chicago is doing al he can for us in fact the night we landed in New York (in our nightgowns) he had engaged a room at a big hotel with food and every comfort waiting for us. He has been a father to us. I will send his address on a card (My Horder) perhaps you might like to write to him some time.
God Bless you dear mother and help and comfort you in this awful sorrow.
Your loving child Lot.
The mother and child received relief from both the Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund:
Number P. 26.
Collyer, Charlotte, widow and Marjorie, child.
Received total £1 3s 0d per week.
And the American Relief Fund:
No. 83. (English).
The husband was drowned. His wife and seven year old daughter were saved. He was a merchant in England and had been the parish clerk in the village where they lived. They were highly respected people in fair circumstances. The wife had contracted tuberculosis and they were coming to this country to buy a fruit farm in Idaho, where they hoped the climate would be beneficial. He was carrying $5,000 in cash; this was lost, and all their household belongings. Both the widow and her daughter suffered severely from shock and exposure. They were at first unwilling to return to England, feeling that the husband would have wished them to carry out his original plan. For emergent needs she was given $200 by this Committee, and $450 by other American relief funds. After a short residence in the West she decided to return to her family in England. Through interested friends in New York City, a fund of $2,000 was raised, and she received $300 for a magazine article describing the disaster. She returned to England in June and her circumstances were reported to the English Committee, which granted £50 outright and a pension of 23 shillings a week. ($200).
Charlotte and Marjorie eventually returned to Bishopstoke. Charlotte remarried but died in 1914 from Tuberculosis.
References and Sources
The Semi-Monthly Magazine, May 1912, How I was Saved from the Titanic
Brian J. Ticehurst and Geoffrey W. Whitfield (1997) The Doomed and The Delivered, in preparation
Christopher M. Wardlow (1997) Catching up with the Collyer's[sic], Atlantic Daily Bulletin, No 2., p.7
Colonel Archibald Gracie (1913) The Truth about the Titanic. New York, Mitchell Kennerley
Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund Booklets and Minute Books (p.26)
American Red Cross (1913) Emergency and Relief Booklet (#83)
Donald Hyslop, Alastair Forsyth and Sheila Jemima (1997) Titanic Voices: Memories from the Fateful Voyage, Sutton Publishing, Southampton City Council. ISBN 0 7509 1436 X
Brian Ticehurst, UK
George Behe, USA
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(2014) Charlotte Annie Collyer Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #384, accessed 12th March 2014 12:48:33 PM)
URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/charlotte-annie-collyer.html