There is some speculation that the Ryerson family may have occupied a suite of rooms in that area. Mrs. Ryerson in her affidavit mentions that she and her family were located in large cabins *very far* aft on B-deck on the starboard side, thus leading to the assumption that they may have been in the area you mentioned.
Keep in mind that the Ryersons being in B57/59/63 is only a suggestion, not a fact. The Ryersons' cabin numbers have never been documented or kept in the record. The only mention of the Ryersons' location on the ship came from Mrs. Ryerson herself in her affidavit to the US commission, and although she does not mention the specific numbers, she did write that her family and her were in three large suites on the starboard side of B-deck, *very far aft*.... B57/59/63 are large suites on B-deck, starboard, but *not* very far aft, so (in my humble opinion) it is very unlikely that they were booked into those suites.
Considering that the Countess of Rothes was NOT in stateroom B77 (which is proven), it is a possibility that the Ryersons were in B77/81/83, with the maid being in either B79 or B85. I'm not saying this is the truth, but this sequence of cabins is closer to what Emily Ryerson described than what the cabin allocation list on this website proposes.
I’m finishing up an article on Noelle Rothes and I’m curious about the stateroom assignments discussed here. The thread has been very informative, and I’ve also been in touch privately with Daniel Klistorner on this subject. But I’m still confused.
One of the rooms mentioned here is B-77, which the countess recalled in one of her few press interviews as being the cabin she shared with Gladys Cherry. I know that the thinking has been that either she made a mistake when citing that cabin number, or it was a misprint, and that the ladies were most likely in C-77, having apparently upgraded from a smaller room, C-37, further along the corridor.
What I’m wondering is how do we know that Noelle and Gladys ever moved from C-37?
I agree a B-Deck assignment seems unlikely because two of the countess’ protectors en route, E.Z. Taylor and Fletcher Lambert Williams, who had C-Deck accommodations, are known to have dropped by her cabin during the evacuation to look after her and Gladys. It’s possible they went up to B-Deck to check on the women but it seems more convenient that they did so on the way to their own rooms, located in the same hallway.
The thing that sticks in my mind as evidence that Noelle and Gladys were still in C-37 is that on their way topside they passed by and spoke briefly to Purser McElroy, whose offices were adjacent the forward grand staircase on C-Deck, basically just around the corner from C-37. A smaller purser’s office was also located in the hallway that C-37 opened off of. Where McElroy was standing when the ladies met him isn’t clear exactly. But it seems he must have been in the corridor by their cabin or in the C-Deck foyer near the main enquiry office.
I’m leaning towards the conclusion that the women remained in the cabin they were originally assigned, but I’d like to know what Daniel and others think first. If there is evidence that Noelle and Gladys did indeed change rooms, I hope someone will share that info, and I’ll be glad to credit them in the article for their help.
A little follow up, here. I’ve just realized there are at least two other threads dealing more specifically with the questions I have raised about the Countess of Rothes’ cabin. So a moderator may want to help me and move this to a more appropriate place. My apologies!
Also, Daniel Klistorner, who (as many of you know) is an expert on Titanic’s accommodations, has addressed in one of his posts in another thread that the difficulty Noelle and Gladys had finding their lifejackets is the key to the belief that the women moved from C-37. I hope he will weigh in with more info, because I’m not understanding how that determines that there was a move to C-77. Sorry for being so thick-headed!
Actually, Randy, I could take another clear-up from Daniel myself! I have discussed this topic with him in the past, but am still a bit confused. If we accept that the Countess was mistaken in saying she was in B77 (or the reporter got it wrong), then there are three possible scenarios. 1) The two ladies moved from C37 to C77, to enjoy more spacious accomodations, or 2) They were never in C37, but in C77, the former number being a misprint on the Cave List) or, 3) They were alwaysin C37, and the number 77 was just a deformation of what the Countess initially told the reporter.
[Moderator's note: This post and the three others immediately above it, were in another thread in this topic, but have been moved to the pre-existing one on the same subject. JDT]
Charles, I agree with the possible scenarios. And thanks, Jason, for moving my posts to a thread that was more appropriate.
Also, I want to make clear that I’m not trying to put Daniel on the spot here, and I’m sure that is not Charles’ intention, either. I very much respect Daniel’s close examination of passengers’ accounts to identify their accommodations. He certainly hit the Titanic nail on the head with his original look into the whereabouts of Molly Brown’s cabin.
We won’t ever be totally sure about some cabin assignments, and I don’t want to belabor the matter of the countess’ cabin or microscope it to death, but I’d like a clearer view of the situation. It’s been a recurring subject on ET for several years, so maybe we can talk this one out, if not solve the "mystery."
I must admit that I would like some clarification about the Countess' cabin myself! What I was told a few years ago, is that Rothes & Cherry were in C77 and that "comes from the family". I always wanted to know what the family sources were, but alas was never able to clarify that. I think it was Geoffrey M. Kern who said it (sorry if I misspelt the name). Having been given this (that they were in C77), I wasn't just going to take it at face value and looked for clues in the information available.
The price they paid for their cabins which was actually 81 pounds 2s 7d (the additional amounts to make it 86 pounds 10s was commissions and train costs) would indicate that they did originally book C37.
I don't know what the family’s sources are that say she was in C77, but from what is available, our clue for this comes from the NY Herald (19 April 1912?) which says she was in B77. The "B" could merely be a misprint or the reporter heard it wrong, but the Countess with her cousin couldn't have been on B deck. There are also the accounts by Taylor and Lambert Williams which suggest that she was on C deck.
Also, my life belt example proves that she was not on B deck. Their life belts were found under the beds, which in B77 would not have been the case. In these B deck suites, the life belts were kept in the wardrobe room in a special wooden rack. This is confirmed by Etches & photos of Titanic's cabins. It was the same case on C deck for cabins with wardrobe rooms.
Aside from that, concrete evidence stops. By normal practice, the life belts in C37 should have been on top of the wardrobe. I could go into other forms of how these life belts were stored, but I don't want to confuse the matter at the moment. However I will say that keeping life belts under the bed was not the norm.
As Titanic was somewhat rushed to completion and wasn't 100% finished, it is possible that whoever was distributing life belts simply threw them under the bed in C37 instead of putting them on top of the wardrobe. It seems that some passengers found their life belts where they were supposed to be and some few others found them under their beds.
In C77, the wardrobes were quite high. As this was a period decorated suite, the life belts on top of the wardrobe would have been hard to reach & find. There should have been a special rack near the door to store life belts, but this was either never fitted or was not part of the decor, so the belts could very well have been thrown under the beds. The fact that Williams couldn’t find their life belts would indicate that his was not stored under the bed as he obviously didn’t think to look there in the Countess’ cabin. His own cabin is another disputed matter, so I can’t be sure where his was stored.
Whether the Countess with her cousin were in C37 or C77 would not affect the meeting with the purser. Both cabins were on the starboard side, the same side as the inquiry office. If the Countess was in C77, she would have used the starboard corridor (of course) on her way to the staircase, which was a main thoroughfare and passed the enquiry office as she ‘exited’ the corridor and entered the staircase foyer. McElroy could have been anywhere, either at the counter or in the foyer where the Countess could have stopped to briefly speak to him.
I can’t find the Cherry letters (weren’t they printed in the ADB some time?), so I don’t know if she gives an indication about how far Williams’ cabin was from theirs.
I’m also aware of the claim that the Rothes family believed the countess and her cousin-in-law Gladys were in C-77. I’m not the only researcher who contacted Noelle’s grandson Ian (the late Earl of Rothes) over the years, so it’s possible others have information that I don’t. But in a letter to me Ian said only that the interview his grandmother gave in New York contained "a lot errors, starting with her stateroom number." He didn’t say what her correct cabin assignment was, and in a subsequent telephone talk I didn’t follow up on it. I regret that now but at the time I thought there were more important things to ask.
I think you’re right that it was Jeffrey Kern who said the Rothes family were of the opinion that C-77 was Noelle’s cabin. Jeffrey may still be a member of this website. I know he claimed he was in correspondence with the late earl at one point, so maybe he can offer some further clarification. On another thread here on ET, however, he was so adamant that Noelle’s cabin was C-77 that it made me question if he was being quite sensible.
Good for you, Daniel, for trying to come up with something more concrete to pinpoint which cabin was the right one. If I follow you correctly, C-37 should have had lifebelts stored atop the wardrobe. And that C-77 should have had them either under the bed or hanging from a wall rack. We know from Gladys’ letters that the lifebelts were found under the bed. However, I don’t see that this necessarily determines which cabin she and her cousin-in-law were in. But it’s enough to wonder.
What I think I’m going to do, is just mention in my article that the women were booked into C-37 and MAY have moved to C-77. There’s no way we are going to know for sure unless some documented evidence is forthcoming from the Rothes family. Personally, I don’t think Ian or his relatives had (or have) anything conclusive that puts the women in C-77, and that their possession of such information has been misreported or exaggerated by others. Ian was born in 1932, and although he knew his grandmother very well (she died when he was about 24), he said she didn’t talk about the Titanic very much. Whenever she did, I doubt her cabin number, of all things, was a point of major discussion!
The only other possible source that might clear things up would be Noelle’s letters to Walter Lord, now at the Maritime Museum. It’s kind of tough to do any substantive research at that facility from the USA, so if there are any clues there to "The Countess Cabin Mystery" (sounds like a Scooby Doo episode!), then it will be up to others to find them.
One thing more. Daniel, did you not mention that Steward Etches was the steward who found the women’s lifebelts? That is news to me. In Noelle’s interviews in the New York Herald and the Washington Times she doesn’t mention the steward’s name. Gladys doesn’t mention it in her letters, either. Is this info from another source, such as the Inquiry hearings, or a private letter?
PS) About the countess meeting the purser. My thought was that if she were indeed in C-77, she would have used the aft staircase since it was closer. Purser McElroy was almost certainly standing in the forward staircase foyer, near his office. That’s why it makes more sense to me that Noelle was in C-37.
I think I do recall that Jeffrey Kern said that the earl told him the Countess was in C77. However like you, due to him being so adamant made me question/wonder where that information came from exactly and what the family sources were. Maybe if the family were sure about C77, Jeffrey was merely trying to correct the mistake instead of the same old B77 being paraded around.
As for the life belts, because of where they were *supposed* to be in C37, finding them under the bed in C77 seemed more plausible. However again, as I said there is no stopping someone in a hurry merely throwing the life belts under the bed in any cabin. There were 5 or so different ways of storing the life belts, and none called for them to be under the bed. However some of them were found under the bed.
Sorry to confuse you, but I mentioned Etches in relaiton to the life belts. He said that there was a rack in the wardrobe room that held the life belts (referring to B84). He later went down to C deck and pulled a few of the life belts down from the top of the wardrobe of C136. I don't actually know who the Countess' steward was.
Depending on my travel plans, I *may* get to London at the end of June or early July this year and this time will try make it to the NMM for research. I had attempted to get some things & research done from the comfort of my own home, but soon discovered that I'll be better off doing the research in person.
The aft staircase only went up as far as A deck, so if the Countess was trying to go to the boat deck, she would have had to use the fore staircase. Sure she could have used the aft to go up to A deck, and then make her way to the fore staircase and up to Boat Deck, but it seems a little more straightforward to just make her way to the fore staircase and then go up. Many other passengers who were aft also used the fore staircase.