Miss Ruth Elizabeth Becker
Miss Ruth Elizabeth Becker, 12, boarded the Titanic at Southampton. She was travelling with her mother Nellie, brother Richard and sister Marion from India to Benton Harbour, Michigan (ticket no.230136, £39).
Ruth later recalled that after the collision a steward initially told her mother "... We've had a little accident. They're going to fix it, and then we'll be on our way ...".
While the boats were loaded a steward placed Richard and Marion in one of the boats (#11), and then said "Well that's all for this boat!", at which Nellie pleaded to be allowed in as well, saying "Please let me in this boat! Those are my children!" She was allowed in but Ruth was left on the Titanic, at which point Nellie screamed "Ruth! Get in another boat!!". She eventually got into Lifeboat 13.
After the sinking, gave her blanket to one of the stokers, who had on only a sleeveless shirt, and shorts, for working down in the coal bunkers, and was now shivering in the night air.
After the Carpathia arrived in New York, Nellie Becker told the reporters at Pier 54 "Don't ask me anything. Ask Ruth, she'll tell you everything."
After the disaster Ruth attended high school and college in Ohio, after which she taught high school in Kansas. She married a former classmate, Daniel Blanchard, and after her divorce twenty years later, she resumed her teaching career. In the years after the disaster she refused to talk about the Titanic, and her own children, when young, did not know that she had been on board. However, after her retirement, when she was living in Santa Barbara, California she began speaking about it, granting interviews and attending conventions of the Titanic Historical Society. In March of 1990, she made her first sea voyage since 1912, a cruise to Mexico. She died later that year at the age of ninety. Her ashes were scattered over the spot where the Titanic lies.
References and Sources
Philip Hind (Editor)
Phillip Gowan, USA
Related Articles and Documents
Titanic Passenger and Crew Summary
Name: Miss Ruth Elizabeth Becker
Cause of Death: Malnutrition
Buried: at Sea
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