Mrs Emily Richards (née Hocking)

Mrs Sidney Richards (Emily Hocking), 24, was born in Penzance, Cornwall on 22 April 1887. The daughter of Mr William Rowe Hocking (Confectioner and Baker) and Mrs Eliza Hocking (ne Needs). She lived with her family at 38 Adelaide Street, Penzance.

Emily married Mr James Sibley Richards and moved to 'The Meadow', Newlyn. They had two sons, William Rowe Richards (named after his maternal grandfather) and George Sibley Richards and a daughter, Emily. Her husband subsequently emigrated to Akron, Ohio and she planned to join him there.

She boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger with her two young sons under ticket number 29106 costing 18 15s having been transeferred from the Oceanic, she travelled with her mother, Mrs Elizabeth Hocking, her brother George Hocking and sister Nellie Hocking.

Emily Richards and Addie Wells had strolled the deck of the Titanic the night of the 14th, noticing how cold it was. She had just put her children to bed and was asleep in bed (another account says she was about to go to bed herself) when the Titanic collided with an iceberg. After the collision, her mother rushed into her room and shook her. Mrs Hocking said "There is surely danger, something has gone wrong." Mrs Richards and her other family members put on their slippers and outside coats and dressed the children and then went up on deck in their nightgowns. As they went up the stairs a crewmember called out that "Everyone put on life preservers." Mrs Richards returned to her cabin, as family members reassured themselves that nothing was the matter. They returned to deck and were told to pass through the dining room to a rope ladder placed against the side of the cabin that led to an upper deck. Mrs Richards, her two sons, her mother, and her sister were pushed throug h a window into lifeboat 4. They were told to sit in the bottom of the boat , they were so low they could not see over the gunwale. Some of the women tried to stand after the boat pulled away, however the crewmen pushed them with their feet back into a seated position. The boat was only a short distance away from the Titanic went it went down. The people in the boat pulled seven men out of the water. Mrs Richards said:

"Some of these men were already mad with exposure and kept trying to get up and turn the boat over. The other men had to sit on them to hold them down. Two of the men were so overcome with the cold and exposure that they died before we reached the Carpathia and their bodies were taken aboard."

The boat had a foot of water in it before they were rescued by the Carpathia. Aboard the Carpathia they watched as one woman, who had been separated from her two children, reunited with them and "she was wild with joy and lay down on t he children on the floor trying to cover them with her body like a wild beast protecting its young."

The Richards and Hockings hoped that George Hocking had been rescued by another ship, but this had not happened. After leaving the Carpathia, the Richards stayed at Blake's Star Hotel at 57 Clarkson's Street in New York City and she was reunited with her husband Sibley ("Sib") Richards who had travelled from Akron.

The Emergency and Relief booklet by the American Red Cross, 1913
Case number 390.(English).
A mother and two young children, coming to join her husband in Ohio, lost clothing and household goods, valued at $500 and $200 in cash. She was uninjured but the children suffered severely from exposure. She received clothing, transportation and $50 from other sources of relief, and was assisted by this Committee to establish a home. ($600).

She ultimately returned to the UK to live. Her husband died on 3 July 1939 at the age of 51. Emily continued to live in Paul, near Penzance, Cornwall until her death on 10 November 1972. She is interred in the Paul Cemetery, Cornwall.

Steve Coombes, UK

Available Documents
Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio), 20 April 1912, p. 1
Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio), 20 April 1912
General Register Office Certified Copy of an Entry of Death

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183
American Red Cross (1913) Emergency and Relief Booklet (#390)

Steve Coombes, UK
Chris Dohany, USA
Homer Thiel, USA
Brian Ticehurst, UK


Emily Richards and sons




Articles and Stories

Titanic Disaster, Westcountry Passengers and Crew

Western Morning News  (1912) 


Penzance party on Titanic bound for Akron

West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser  (1912) 


Our Boys on the 'Titanic'

Primitive Methodist Leader  (1912) 


Akron Women Tell Thrilling Stories of their Rescue From the Doomed Ship

Akron Beacon Journal  (1912) 


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    (2015) Emily Richards Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #556, accessed 30th July 2015 01:04:57 AM)

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