Master Michel Marcel Navratil
Master Michel Marcel. Navratil, 3, was born on 12 June 1908 in Nice, France. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton with his father Michel and brother Edmond. The family was travelling under the assumed name of Hoffman, Mr Navratil had stolen his two sons from his estranged wife Marcelle.
During the voyage the boys were looked after once by Bertha Lehmann, a Swiss girl who spoke French but no English, while their father played cards for a few hours. It was the only time he let them out of his sight.
Michel recalled the voyage in an interview:
He described the events on the night of the sinking:
The boys were taken up to the boat deck where they were put in Collapsible D, the last boat to be launched. Michel, Jr., recalled that just before placing him in the boat, his father gave a final message, "My child, when your mother comes for you, as she surely will, tell her that I loved her dearly and still do. Tell her I expected her to follow us, so that we might all live happily together in the peace and freedom of the New World."
Aboard the Carpathia, the boys, unable to speak English, were dubbed the Orphans of the Titanic, when they turned out to be the only children who remained unclaimed by an adult. First Class survivor, Miss Margaret Hays agreed to care for the boys at her New York home (304 West 83rd Street) until family members could be contacted.
Marcelle Navratil, recognized her boys from newspaper stories and was brought over to America by the White Star Line where she was reunited with her sons on May 16.
The three sailed back to France on the Oceanic.
Michel went to university where he married a fellow student in 1933, he went on to earn his doctarate, becoming a professor of psychology. In 1987, he returned to the U.S. for the first time since 1912 to mark the 75th anniversary of the sinking. The last living male survivor, Michel lived in Montpellier, near Nice France. On 27 August 1996, Mr Navratil visited his father's grave for the first time in 84 years.
Michel Navratil died on 30 January 2001 at the age of 92.
Philip Hind (Editor)
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Titanic Passenger and Crew Summary
Name: Master Michel Marcel Navratil
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