Did Eva Hart claim to have met Captain Smith

J

Jon_dalbyball

Guest
Hi

I tend to remember reading some years back that Eva Hart claimed to have met captain smith and that he remarked on a doll she had ? I wonder if I am imagining reading this ? I have looked for some information about this on ET but have found nothing. Does anyone know about this story that could enlighten me on the details ? I also read - I think on ET someone saying Eva's memory of the Titanic seemed to get better as the years went by...

Did she also not make friends with a black staffordshire bull terrier while onboard the Titanic ? I did meet her 2 times in 1994 and 1995 at a BTS convention but never thought of asking any questions - only got her to sign my poster and book, I suppose I did not want to bother her..

If she did indeed meet captain Smith as she claims ( if she did!) it does seem a tiny bit far-fetched.... Also in a lot of interviews I have read with her she never mentions this meeting... If this is indeed true then you would think it would be one of the first things she would talk about rather than not mention it in so many interviews... Also she said she watched the Titanic sink and never closed her eyes - but unfortunately she does not (like so many survivor accounts I have read ) describe what she saw only that she watched it sink, break in two and that it was like the final moment scenes in A Night To Remember.... In other words as soon as she gets to the interesting bit of the sinking and break up she seems to skip and go onto the awful silence that followed - pitty. That said she was only 7 hence you can't expect to much :)

What do you guys think ? Did her memories seem to get better of the Titanic as the years went by ? Did she meet captain Smith ? Sure I read she did but could be very wrong!

Thanks

Jon.
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Hi Jon,

You were fortunate to meet Eva, she's someone I definitely would've liked to meet. Like you though, I probably wouldn't've asked her anything or wanted to bother her too much in any way - which sort of defeats the purpose of meeting, but there you go.

If the Harts were introduced to Captain Smith Eva fails to mention it in her autobiography. Most likely it's an embellishment by someone other than Eva, even if she does mention having a doll on board. (Cue someone else to pull out a first hand account proving the doll incident did take place...)

The dog you're thinking of wasn't a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, but French Bulldog - Gamon de Pycombe, no less. According to Eva's book she loved that dog and her father promised her one after the voyage, but it was 1955 before she saw a French Bulldog again. Seems incredible in this day and age when we can google for info on just about anything.

Re the sinking, I thought Eva's memories quite detailed, particularly bearing in mind that she was a cold and frightened seven year old, sobbing for her much loved father, and could hear all those in the water, dying, so nearby but so far. I found her description quite chilling, and the attention to detail at such a time quite remarkable. She was certainly adamant that she saw Titanic break up, wasn't she.
 
J

Jon_dalbyball

Guest
Hi Fiona

I must have been mistaken about the meeting between the Hart's and captain Smith.... I wonder where I got that story from ?

When I met Eva she was very nice. The first time was in 1994 along with Edith Haisman and Millvina Dean. There was a photo shoot at the convention where you could have your photo taken with all three of them. Millvina sat in the middle of Edith and Eva in a chair from the Olympic. I got all three to sign a post card of the Titanic getting Millvina and Eva to write my name. The card that I bought was glossy hence the ink has now faded. This is a great shame as it was the only time I got Eva to write "to Jon - love Eva" - the year after that I did not ask her to write my name as you could see she was not as well as the year before! She seemed a bit out of breath but gave a lovely smile for the video camera ( my dad was filming) as I walked up to her!

Never got Edith to write my name as I don't think it would have been possible. I got left with Edith for about 10 minutes as her daughter or grand-daughter went off - she said to Edith "this young man is very interested"! I have this all on video also but we did not really say much to each other. She did say once or twice "lovely book" or "beautiful book" as I had a copy of Titanic an illustrated history for her to sign. Then at the end of me sitting with her she leaned forward and signed her name in the book :)

Millvina was lovely - very sharp and moving around talking to people :)

Sorry to bore you with my encounters :)
 

Paul Lee

Member
Aug 11, 2003
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There has been a discussion elsewhere on ET about Eva Hart and one of its claims is that she stated the Titanic broke up only after the wreck was found.
 
J

Jon_dalbyball

Guest
I wonder where that is. Would be interesting to read.
 

Thomas Ozel

Member
May 17, 2012
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Hello Jon

I am still rather new to ET, so I have only got round to replying until now. I can confirm that Eva Hart did indeed claim to have met Captain Smith (you were not mistaken), she said so in a 1987 BBC radio interview (if you live in the UK, you can click the weblink below to listen to it). Eva states she met him whilst her and her father were out on deck. She describes the Captain as being "very nice" and that he admired a doll she was carrying. Whether or not she's exaggerating, I don't know, but I can confirm that she claimed to have met him.

I hope this helps.

Thomas.

BBC - Archive - Survivors of the Titanic - The Way It Was | Eva Hart
 

Thomas Ozel

Member
May 17, 2012
48
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I just found a filmed interview with Eva Hart on YouTube, also from 1987, where she clearly states she met Captain Smith (1.53 to 2.40 on the video). She also claims that Lawrence Beesley was present at the meeting, but she did not mention his prescence in the radio interview I mentioned on my previous post.

titanic; part 3.wmv - YouTube
 

Tommy

Member
Jul 21, 2012
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United Kingdom
I recently listened to an old radio interview with her in the 1980's that was on the BBC website. In it she states that she and her father met Captain Smith while they were walking on the boat deck. She said that he commented on her doll.