Mrs. Emily Richards Tells a Thrilling Story of the Escape of Herself and Her Relatives From the Titanic
(Special Dispatch to the Beacon Journal)
New York, April 20-- Tinged with sadness at the loss of a brother, George Hocking of Akron, O., was the story of the escape of herself, her babies, her mother and sister, told by Mrs. Elizabeth Richards, as she formed the center of a reunion in which her husband and another brother, both from Akron, formed a part.
Mrs. Richards, or others who escaped, know nothing of the fate of George Hocking. They last saw him on Sunday evening before the crash came. He occupied a stateroom with two friends, Harry Cotterill and William Bailey. Until they reach New York members of the family hoped that George and his friends had been saved by some boat other than the Carpathia. Mrs. Richards was seen at the Star Hotel at 57 Clarkson street and said: "I had put the children in bed and had gone to bed myself. We had been making good time all day, the ship was rushing through the sea at a tremendous rate and the air on deck was cold and crisp. I didn't hear the collision for I was asleep. But my mother came and shook me. "There is surely danger, " she said to me, "something has gone wrong." "So we put on our slippers and outside coats and got the children into theirs and went on deck. We had on our night gowns under our coats. As we went up the stairway some one was shouting down in a calm voice 'Everybody put on their life preservers before coming to deck.' "We went back and put them on assuring each other that it was nothing. When we got on deck we were told to pass through the dining room to a ladder that was placed against the side of the cabins and led to the upper deck. "We were put through the port holes into the boats and the boat I was in had a foot of water in it. As soon as we were in we were told to sit down on the bottom. In that position we were so low we could not see over the gunwale. "Once the boat started away some of the women stood up and the seamen with their hands full with the oars simply put their feet on them and forced them back into the sitting position. "We had not gone far away by the time the ship went down and after that there were men floating in the water around and seven of them were picked up by us in the hours that followed between that and daybreak. "Some of those seven were already mad with exposure and babbled gibberish and kept trying to get up and overturn the boat. The other men had to sit upon them to hold them down. "Two of the men picked up were so overcome with the cold of the water that they died before we reached the Carpathia and their dead bodies were taken aboard. One woman who spoke a tongue none of us could understand was picked up by the boat and believed that her children were lost. She was entirely mad. When her children were brought to her on the Carpathia she was wild with joy and lay down on the children on the floor trying to cover them with her body like a wild beast protecting its young."
Related Biographies:Percy Bailey
Richard George Hocking