Did Mr. Allison see Alice Cleaver?


Brad Walton

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I seem to remember reading that, when Alice Cleaver, having left the Allision's cabin with baby Trevor, was ascending the grand stair case from C-Deck, she saw Mr. Allison, who had gone up for news, coming down the staircase with a very disturbed expression on his face. He was apparently so preoccupied that either he did not see her as he came down, or, looking in her direction, seemed not to register her, looked "right through her" so to speak. Now I am wondering whether I really read this or I dreamed it. I have been looking for the quote and I can't seem to find it.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Now I am wondering whether I really read this or I dreamed it. I have been looking for the quote and I can't seem to find it.
You did not dream it at all. The whole scenario of Alice Cleaver going to the Allisons' C-deck stateroom (by which time Hudson Allison had left to find out the truth after reportedly twice ignoring Sarah Daniels' attempt to warn the family of the situation), alerting a panicking Bess Allison, the steward coming by to order them to go to the boat deck with life vests on, Alice deciding to take baby Trevor with her and passing the dazed Hudson Allison on the way to the boat deck are all described in Don Lynch's Titanic: An Illustrated History pp 117-118.
 
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Thomas Krom

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This letter written by her might helps:
"I was acting as a nurse to the two children of Mr and Mrs Allison. Having taken the position two weeks before we sailed as their own nurse decided not to go at the last moment -Lorraine was 3 years old at the time and Trevor 10 months.There is not much I can tell you in a letter. I had some difficulty in persuading Mr.Allison to get up and go to see what had happened after the crash, which they did not hear at all and thought it was my imagination. Some long time after the engines had stopped he decided to go and find out the trouble.

While he was away I was warned we would have to leave the ship, so prepared the children and Mrs.Allison - but she became hysterical and I had to calm her. About that time an officer came round to close the cabins and advised us to go on deck - here met Mr.Allison outside the cabin but he seemed too dazed to speak. I handed him some brandy and asked him to look after Mrs.Allison and Lorraine and I would keep Baby, the child I managed to get off the ship, some confusion occurred outside as to which deck we should go and that is how he came separated, afterwards I learned from one of the staff that Mrs.Allison was hysterical again and that Mr.Allison had difficulty with her and I can only surmise that is how they lost their lives - as there was plenty of room in the lifeboats because people refused to leave thinking it was safer on the ship."
 
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Arun Vajpey

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I had some difficulty in persuading Mr.Allison to get up and go to see what had happened after the crash, which they did not hear at all and thought it was my imagination. Some long time after the engines had stopped he decided to go and find out the trouble
That's interesting, since it seems to be written by Alice Cleaver (like you said) considering what followed in the letter. That means that Hudson Allison ignored 3 warnings about the accident and potential danger to the ship. The first two were by Sarah Daniels according to Titanic: An Illustrated History. On p 96 it says that Daniels tried to alert them soon after the collision and was told by Hudson Allison not to worry and go back to bed. The second time Hudson apparently became angry with Sarah Daniels for disturbing them. At that point, Sarah decided that she was going to look after herself, put a wrap round her shoulders and went on to the boat deck, where she was helped into a lifeboat.

Since it is believed that Sarah Daniels was most likely rescued on Lifeboat #8 (lowered at 01:00 am), her second warning to the Allison's must have been somewhere between 12:45 and 12:50 am, over an hour after the collision. It must have been afterwards that Alice Cleaver went into the Allison's stateroom to be rebuffed by Hudson before he decided to investigate (probably at Bess' insistence) etc etc. That scenario must have taken place at around 01:15 am since Alice Cleaver and Trevor Allison left the ship on Lifeboat #11 lowered at around 01:30 am.

What I would like to know is the source of information about Sarah Daniels' encounter with the Allisons after the accident as well as the supposed "unattractive scene" between Alice Cleaver and her on board the Carpathia. Reportedly, Alice would not allow Sarah anywhere near baby Trevor even though the latter "kept crying and reaching out with his arms" towards Sarah Daniels. All that is from Titanic: An Illustrated History; although the book has an acknowledgment section, but neither Cleaver nor Daniels are mentioned in it, nor is William Faulkner, the steward who helped Alice Cleaver and Trevor Allison into Lifeboat #11 and was later allowed visit them daily on board the Carpathia.

ET has a link to a letter supposedly ghost-written by Sarah Daniels on 20th April 1912 to the Chicago Daily Tribune which is rightly described as "colourful and highly inaccurate". In it she she says that Bess Allison was holing hands with husband Hudson and daughter Lorraine, smiling and waving just as Sarah rowed away in her lifeboat. The last Sarah saw of her, she was kissing her husband as the Titanic slid into the sea. I would have that all that would have been difficult if Sarah Daniels was rescued on Lifeboat #8, the first to be launched on the port side.
 

Thomas Krom

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What I would like to know is the source of information about Sarah Daniels' encounter with the Allisons after the accident as well as the supposed "unattractive scene" between Alice Cleaver and her on board the Carpathia. Reportedly, Alice would not allow Sarah anywhere near baby Trevor even though the latter "kept crying and reaching out with his arms" towards Sarah Daniels. All that is from Titanic: An Illustrated History; although the book has an acknowledgment section, but neither Cleaver nor Daniels are mentioned in it, nor is William Faulkner, the steward who helped Alice Cleaver and Trevor Allison into Lifeboat #11 and was later allowed visit them daily on board the Carpathia.
There is however one problem with Titanic: An Illustrated History and the story of the Allison's family which is acknowledged by Don Lynch. The whole confusion between Alice Mary Cleaver (a woman who was convicted in 1909 for the murder of her own child) and Alice Catherine Cleaver (the childnurse). What I mean to say is that unless an exact source is given it could have been a dramatization (which I do doubt coming from Don Lynch and Ken Marshall) which is related to that misconception the book accidentally created.
 
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"After the collision on the night of 14th April 1912, Alice apparently bundled up the infant in her charge and went off to Second Class to round up the rest of the Allison household."
In her bio here on ET. Is that just a typo error or am I missing something? A minor thing I know but am curious. I was looking for the reason why she gave a fake name after the sinking. Apparently it was nothing nefarious. She just didn't want to talk the press. Understandable.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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The whole confusion between Alice Mary Cleaver (a woman who was convicted in 1909 for the murder of her own child) and Alice Catherine Cleaver (the child nurse). What I mean to say is that unless an exact source is given it could have been a dramatization (which I do doubt coming from Don Lynch and Ken Marshall) which is related to that misconception the book accidentally created
I was aware that the Nurse Alice Cleaver on board the Titanic was not the convicted child murderess in England. I may be wrong in this, but I have also read that even when the error was pointed out to Don Lynch, no letter of apology was sent to the family. If true, that's not very nice.

In Judith Geller's book Titanic: Women and Children First, poor Alice Cleaver is demonized to such an extent, it could be the description of an Auschwitz wardress. What's more, the author, while quoting the chapter source as a (unnamed) "Newspaper Account", is somewhat vague about her own position on Cleaver, simply saying that "we may never know the truth" at the end.

In that book Alice Cleaver is described as a convicted child murderer who was pardoned by a "forward thinking judge" because she was depressed at the time; as someone who brought her instability of character and inexperience into the bosom of the Allison family; as a "most unattractive lady", so unattractive in fact that newspapers found it necessary to enhance her photos for publication; as someone who was very much 'enjoying' her position as the rescuer of the heir to the Allison family fortunes; and who, by her "selfish act of cowardice" was directly responsible for the deaths of Hudson, Bess and little Loraine Allison.

As Thomas Krom has pointed out, the Alice Catherine Cleaver on board the Titanic was not even the same Alice (Mary) Cleaver who was convicted of killing her child. She was Trevor's nurse and by the nature of that job, she was responsible for the baby's welfare. It is immaterial whether Bess Allison really panicked or not; Trevor and Lorraine were sleeping with their parents and in order to pick the former up, Alice would have to have gone into their stateroom. Both parents clearly would not have abandoned their children and so Alice's story about Bess being there when she went in must be true, even if rest of her story was slightly exaggerated. It follows that when Bess seemed undecided what to do, Alice Cleaver decided to take Trevor - her responsibility - and leave. The fact that this was done in Bess' presence suggests that the mother knew where baby Trevor was, although she might have been uncertain if he and Alice had made it into a lifeboat. For her part, Alice Cleaver could be excused for assuming that since Bess had seen Trevor safely leave with his nurse, the rest of the family would now be persuaded to follow suit.

I don't think Bess Allison needed to be a rocket scientist to guess that Alice Cleaver, having hurriedly grabbed Trevor and left, would be allowed into a lifeboat - they were a woman and a baby. Therefore, for whatever reason she elected to remain on board the Titanic, I personally would blame Bess Allison for the death of her 3-year old daughter Loraine and not Alice Cleaver for being responsible for the deaths of the family.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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I was looking for the reason why she gave a fake name after the sinking. Apparently it was nothing nefarious. She just didn't want to talk the press. Understandable.
Perfectly understandable and it is not a typo. Once things settled down (relatively speaking) on board the Carpathia, Alice Cleaver would have quickly realized that the rest of the Hudson family had not survived, making her own position rather difficult. Also, there was the probability of a confrontation with Sarah Daniels and some not very friendly exchanges. Those IMO are adequate reasons for Alice Cleaver to give her name as Jean rather than having to face awkward questions from the press before she had a chance to get her mind and body in some sort of order.

I would like to know at what stage the confusion between Alice Catherine Cleaver, the innocent Titanic survivor and Alice Mary Cleaver, the one who was convicted for killing her child, began. Neither 'Alice' nor 'Cleaver' are such uncommon names and so confusion simply because of similar name is unlikely. I wonder someone who did not like Alice Cleaver tipped off the press, judging by that 20th April 1912 article? I am not mentioning any names, but judging by another quite ridiculous article that appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune, a possibility does come to mind.
 
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Brad Walton

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I was aware that the Nurse Alice Cleaver on board the Titanic was not the convicted child murderess in England. I may be wrong in this, but I have also read that even when the error was pointed out to Don Lynch, no letter of apology was sent to the family. If true, that's not very nice.

In Judith Geller's book Titanic: Women and Children First, poor Alice Cleaver is demonized to such an extent, it could be the description of an Auschwitz wardress. What's more, the author, while quoting the chapter source as a (unnamed) "Newspaper Account", is somewhat vague about her own position on Cleaver, simply saying that "we may never know the truth" at the end.

In that book Alice Cleaver is described as a convicted child murderer who was pardoned by a "forward thinking judge" because she was depressed at the time; as someone who brought her instability of character and inexperience into the bosom of the Allison family; as a "most unattractive lady", so unattractive in fact that newspapers found it necessary to enhance her photos for publication; as someone who was very much 'enjoying' her position as the rescuer of the heir to the Allison family fortunes; and who, by her "selfish act of cowardice" was directly responsible for the deaths of Hudson, Bess and little Loraine Allison.

As Thomas Krom has pointed out, the Alice Catherine Cleaver on board the Titanic was not even the same Alice (Mary) Cleaver who was convicted of killing her child. She was Trevor's nurse and by the nature of that job, she was responsible for the baby's welfare. It is immaterial whether Bess Allison really panicked or not; Trevor and Lorraine were sleeping with their parents and in order to pick the former up, Alice would have to have gone into their stateroom. Both parents clearly would not have abandoned their children and so Alice's story about Bess being there when she went in must be true, even if rest of her story was slightly exaggerated. It follows that when Bess seemed undecided what to do, Alice Cleaver decided to take Trevor - her responsibility - and leave. The fact that this was done in Bess' presence suggests that the mother knew where baby Trevor was, although she might have been uncertain if he and Alice had made it into a lifeboat. For her part, Alice Cleaver could be excused for assuming that since Bess had seen Trevor safely leave with his nurse, the rest of the family would now be persuaded to follow suit.

I don't think Bess Allison needed to be a rocket scientist to guess that Alice Cleaver, having hurriedly grabbed Trevor and left, would be allowed into a lifeboat - they were a woman and a baby. Therefore, for whatever reason she elected to remain on board the Titanic, I personally would blame Bess Allison for the death of her 3-year old daughter Loraine and not Alice Cleaver for being responsible for the deaths of the family.
I am inclined to agree with your argument, that Bess Allison was more responsible than Nurse Cleaver for her own and Lorraine's death. According to Major Peuchen, Bess Allison got into a lifeboat with Lorraine (boat 6?), and then, on hearing that Mr. Allison was on the starboard side, jumped out and went looking for him. What exactly was the point of that? If Mr. Allison had said to her, "you get into a lifeboat and I will take it upon myself to find Trevor, assuming that he is still here somewhere," why would she not have stayed where she was, in the lifeboat, letting her husband search for the boy unencumbered by the necessity of looking after herself and Lorraine as well? And if Mr. Allison had not ordered her to stay in the life boat, assuring her that he would keep looking for Trevor, then what was he doing? Mr. Allison was the only husband in first and second class who did not succeed in saving both his wife and his pre-adult children. If all the other men could do it, why couldn't he?
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Mr. Allison was the only husband in first and second class who did not succeed in saving both his wife and his pre-adult children. If all the other men could do it, why couldn't he?
There are several possibilities. Hudson Allison, the head of the family, seems to have been reluctant to accept for a long time that the Titanic was in any kind of danger. There was no love lost between Alice Cleaver and Sarah Daniels, but they both said that he dismissed their warnings, according to Don Lynch's book. As I said before, baby Trevor was asleep in the family First Class stateroom on C-deck and when Alice Cleaver went there, one of the parents must have been there. Cleaver claimed it was Bess and it must be true because I don't think she could have grabbed Trevor and taken him away if Hudson Allison was present. It follows therefore that Bess Allison knew that Alice Cleaver had taken Trevor away and so there was no point in her or Hudson searching for the two. The fact that Cleaver was Trevor's nurse, had warned the parents about the danger and then grabbed the baby and left makes it very obvious that she was going to a lifeboat - and as a woman and baby, would have been allowed into the first available boat that they came by. Therefore, it makes no sense to think that the Allisons were searching for Alice and Trevor to the point that they - or at least Bess - let 3-year old Loraine die.

According to Major Peuchen, Bess Allison got into a lifeboat with Lorraine (boat 6?), and then, on hearing that Mr. Allison was on the starboard side, jumped out and went looking for him. What exactly was the point of that?
No point at all. Also, if Peuchen really said that he saw Bess and Loraine Allison get into a lifeboat, it must have been #6 because he spent quite some time neat it and was saved on it himself. If that's true, look at the timelines. Lifeboats #8 and #6 were loaded almost together by Wilde and Lightoller respectively and if Sarah Daniels left on #8, there is the possibility that at least to start with Bess decided to take matter into her own hands and try to get Loraine and herself into a lifeboat even if Hudson was reluctant to believe that the Titanic was sinking. If Bess and Loraine really had got into #6 and had remained on board, they would paradoxically have been rescued before Trevor Allison, who, along with his nurse Alice Cleaver, got into Lifeboat #11, lowered 20 minutes after #6. That delay might have been due to the fact that after taking Trevor, Alice Cleaver went to warn the other servants of the Allison family.

There is also another possibility. While in Boat #6 with Loraine, Bess might have heard that Alice Cleaver and Trevor - rather than her husband Hudson - were on the starboard side. I cannot imagine from whom she could have heard that, but if so, that would have been true. But she still should have realized that Alice and Trevor would certainly be allowed into a lifeboat and not risked Loraine's life but getting out of the lifeboat.

So, on balance IMO, Alice Cleaver should get the credit for saving the life of her charge Trevor Allison and bears no responsibility whatsoever to what happened to rest of the Allison family. She duly warned the adults and did not mislead them in any way. So, contrary to that unnamed 1912 newspaper article that Judith Geller quotes in her book, it was NOT Alice Cleaver's "selfish cowardice" that contributed to the death of Loraine Allison, but her own parents' stupidity.
 
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Brad Walton

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Yes, I agree with you, and this is the point I am getting at: the demise of the Allison family seems to have been chiefly due to the parents. But although Bess Allison's hysteria was partly responsible for the trouble, it seems to me that Mr. Allison bears the ultimate responsibility. As an Edwardian paterfamilias it was his acknowledged responsibility to take charge and to see his wife and child safely off in a life boat. That is what ALL the other fathers in first and second class managed to do. It wasn't always easy, it was often positively difficult, but they did it.
 

Arun Vajpey

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As an Edwardian paterfamilias it was his acknowledged responsibility to take charge and to see his wife and child safely off in a life boat.
If Peuchen was right, Hudson probably did instruct Bess to take Lorraine and get into a lifeboat, which she might have done - into #6. Then, not seeing Alice or Trevor on the port side, he might have gone to the starboard side to check, not knowing that his wife would jump out of her lifeboat and follow him, dragging their daughter with her.

But even if things had happened that way, Bess and Loraine still had time to get into a lifeboat; if they had remained on the starboard side, maybe Hudson Allison as well. But for some reason, none of them got into any boat and were lost.
 

Brad Walton

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This letter written by her might helps:
"I was acting as a nurse to the two children of Mr and Mrs Allison. Having taken the position two weeks before we sailed as their own nurse decided not to go at the last moment -Lorraine was 3 years old at the time and Trevor 10 months.There is not much I can tell you in a letter. I had some difficulty in persuading Mr.Allison to get up and go to see what had happened after the crash, which they did not hear at all and thought it was my imagination. Some long time after the engines had stopped he decided to go and find out the trouble.

While he was away I was warned we would have to leave the ship, so prepared the children and Mrs.Allison - but she became hysterical and I had to calm her. About that time an officer came round to close the cabins and advised us to go on deck - here met Mr.Allison outside the cabin but he seemed too dazed to speak. I handed him some brandy and asked him to look after Mrs.Allison and Lorraine and I would keep Baby, the child I managed to get off the ship, some confusion occurred outside as to which deck we should go and that is how he came separated, afterwards I learned from one of the staff that Mrs.Allison was hysterical again and that Mr.Allison had difficulty with her and I can only surmise that is how they lost their lives - as there was plenty of room in the lifeboats because people refused to leave thinking it was safer on the ship."
Thank you! Was this originally from a newspaper clipping? An orginal letter?
 

Brad Walton

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This letter written by her might helps:
"I was acting as a nurse to the two children of Mr and Mrs Allison. Having taken the position two weeks before we sailed as their own nurse decided not to go at the last moment -Lorraine was 3 years old at the time and Trevor 10 months.There is not much I can tell you in a letter. I had some difficulty in persuading Mr.Allison to get up and go to see what had happened after the crash, which they did not hear at all and thought it was my imagination. Some long time after the engines had stopped he decided to go and find out the trouble.

While he was away I was warned we would have to leave the ship, so prepared the children and Mrs.Allison - but she became hysterical and I had to calm her. About that time an officer came round to close the cabins and advised us to go on deck - here met Mr.Allison outside the cabin but he seemed too dazed to speak. I handed him some brandy and asked him to look after Mrs.Allison and Lorraine and I would keep Baby, the child I managed to get off the ship, some confusion occurred outside as to which deck we should go and that is how he came separated, afterwards I learned from one of the staff that Mrs.Allison was hysterical again and that Mr.Allison had difficulty with her and I can only surmise that is how they lost their lives - as there was plenty of room in the lifeboats because people refused to leave thinking it was safer on the ship."
This letter written by her might helps:
"I was acting as a nurse to the two children of Mr and Mrs Allison. Having taken the position two weeks before we sailed as their own nurse decided not to go at the last moment -Lorraine was 3 years old at the time and Trevor 10 months.There is not much I can tell you in a letter. I had some difficulty in persuading Mr.Allison to get up and go to see what had happened after the crash, which they did not hear at all and thought it was my imagination. Some long time after the engines had stopped he decided to go and find out the trouble.

While he was away I was warned we would have to leave the ship, so prepared the children and Mrs.Allison - but she became hysterical and I had to calm her. About that time an officer came round to close the cabins and advised us to go on deck - here met Mr.Allison outside the cabin but he seemed too dazed to speak. I handed him some brandy and asked him to look after Mrs.Allison and Lorraine and I would keep Baby, the child I managed to get off the ship, some confusion occurred outside as to which deck we should go and that is how he came separated, afterwards I learned from one of the staff that Mrs.Allison was hysterical again and that Mr.Allison had difficulty with her and I can only surmise that is how they lost their lives - as there was plenty of room in the lifeboats because people refused to leave thinking it was safer on the ship."
Thank you. Do you know what the ultimate source of this quote is?
 
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Perfectly understandable and it is not a typo. Once things settled down (relatively speaking) on board the Carpathia, Alice Cleaver would have quickly realized that the rest of the Hudson family had not survived, making her own position rather difficult. Also, there was the probability of a confrontation with Sarah Daniels and some not very friendly exchanges. Those IMO are adequate reasons for Alice Cleaver to give her name as Jean rather than having to face awkward questions from the press before she had a chance to get her mind and body in some sort of order.

I would like to know at what stage the confusion between Alice Catherine Cleaver, the innocent Titanic survivor and Alice Mary Cleaver, the one who was convicted for killing her child, began. Neither 'Alice' nor 'Cleaver' are such uncommon names and so confusion simply because of similar name is unlikely. I wonder someone who did not like Alice Cleaver tipped off the press, judging by that 20th April 1912 article? I am not mentioning any names, but judging by another quite ridiculous article that appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune, a possibility does come to mind.
Do you know off hand when that first appeared in print? The claim that she was the killer I mean? The typo I was referring too that her bio says went back down to Second class to gather up the family. Getting pickey I know but the Allisons were in first class not second.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Do you know off hand when that first appeared in print? The claim that she was the killer I mean?
Not the exact date, but it must have been soon after the accident. Judith Geller's book Titanic: Women and Children First, there are 4 pages devoted to the Allison family and Alice Cleaver (pp 15-18 inclusive) and it starts with a Newspaper account in 1912. But the chapter itself is almost hilariously defamatory, describing Alice Cleaver by silly negative superlatives. The obvious howler is that Geller was describing Alice Mary Cleaver, while the woman who survived the Titanic disaster was, as we all now know, Alice Catherine Cleaver, no relation to the other.

The problem with that chapter and indeed the whole book is the vagueness as far as the author's own opinion is concerned. It is difficult to tell how much she is quoting from other sources and how much is her own conjecture. Alice Cleaver is described as a child murderer, of unstable character, most unattractive, scheming and a selfish coward; of course, she was none of those.

To answer your question Steven, my guess (and no more) is that the story about Alice Cleaver's alleged notoriety started sometime soon after the disaster. But we have to bear in mind that she was initially praised as a heroine for saving the baby - the New York Herald called her the "Brave nurse who saved the baby" (24/04/1912) etc. It was only a little later that the poison started to infiltrate and that makes me feel that there was a third party passing on information to the press that they knew was not true but would nevertheless be swallowed by the news hungry reporters.

Now who could that "third party" who tipped off the American reporters have been? It had to be someone who had lived in England and knew about the Alice Mary Cleaver case; someone who worked for the Allison family household; someone who had issues with Alice Catherine Cleaver, probably leading to a personal grudge; someone who was on the Titanic, also survived and had confrontations with Cleaver over baby Trevor on board the Carpathia; Someone who gave a ridiculously implausible story about the Allisons' last moments and their own survival; someone whose whereabouts after the disaster are rather vague and they eventually dropped off the public radar. Now, who do you think fits the bill perfectly?


The typo I was referring too that her bio says went back down to Second class to gather up the family.
I don't think that is a typo but rather a misleading choice of words. What the bio means is that after collecting her charge Trevor Allison, the "selfish" Alice Cleaver took time to go down to Second Class to alert other members of the Allison "household", meaning servants, not family. Sadly, only Mildred Brown, the cook, survived out of that group. Of course, that gesture meant that Alice Cleaver and Trevor Allison, as well as Miss Brown only managed to get into Lifeboat #11 that was lowered at about 01:30 am while the "guileless" Sarah Daniels got off on Lifeboat #8 launched 30 minutes earlier.
 
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Not the exact date, but it must have been soon after the accident. Judith Geller's book Titanic: Women and Children First, there are 4 pages devoted to the Allison family and Alice Cleaver (pp 15-18 inclusive) and it starts with a Newspaper account in 1912. But the chapter itself is almost hilariously defamatory, describing Alice Cleaver by silly negative superlatives. The obvious howler is that Geller was describing Alice Mary Cleaver, while the woman who survived the Titanic disaster was, as we all now know, Alice Catherine Cleaver, no relation to the other.

The problem with that chapter and indeed the whole book is the vagueness as far as the author's own opinion is concerned. It is difficult to tell how much she is quoting from other sources and how much is her own conjecture. Alice Cleaver is described as a child murderer, of unstable character, most unattractive, scheming and a selfish coward; of course, she was none of those.

To answer your question Steven, my guess (and no more) is that the story about Alice Cleaver's alleged notoriety started sometime soon after the disaster. But we have to bear in mind that she was initially praised as a heroine for saving the baby - the New York Herald called her the "Brave nurse who saved the baby" (24/04/1912) etc. It was only a little later that the poison started to infiltrate and that makes me feel that there was a third party passing on information to the press that they knew was not true but would nevertheless be swallowed by the news hungry reporters.

Now who could that "third party" who tipped off the American reporters have been? It had to be someone who had lived in England and knew about the Alice Mary Cleaver case; someone who worked for the Allison family household; someone who had issues with Alice Catherine Cleaver, probably leading to a personal grudge; someone who was on the Titanic, also survived and had confrontations with Cleaver over baby Trevor on board the Carpathia; Someone who gave a ridiculously implausible story about the Allisons' last moments and their own survival; someone whose whereabouts after the disaster are rather vague and they eventually dropped off the public radar. Now, who do you think fits the bill perfectly?


I don't think that is a typo but rather a misleading choice of words. What the bio means is that after collecting her charge Trevor Allison, the "selfish" Alice Cleaver took time to go down to Second Class to alert other members of the Allison "household", meaning servants, not family. Sadly, only Mildred Brown, the cook, survived out of that group. Of course, that gesture meant that Alice Cleaver and Trevor Allison, as well as Miss Brown only managed to get into Lifeboat #11 that was lowered at about 01:30 am while the "guileless" Sarah Daniels got off on Lifeboat #8 launched 30 minutes earlier.
Ok. Got it. Lots of things about this story don't make sense but it sounds like somebody had it out for her. Maybe because they blamed her for the Allison's not getting on a boat. I don't blame her. To borrow a phrase sometimes you have to fish or cut bait. Too bad she couldn't have took the little girl too with her.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Lots of things about this story don't make sense but it sounds like somebody had it out for her.
It certainly looks that way, doesn't it? While we now know that Alice Catherine Cleaver, Trevor's nurse and fellow Titanic survivor was NOT the same woman who was accused of killing her own child back in England - that was Alice Mary Cleaver.

My point is that if the convicted child killer was called Hildegard Noseworthy-Footloose and a young woman with the same name had become baby Trevor Allison's nurse, then anyone can be excused for assuming that they were one and the same. But Alice Cleaver is a very commonplace sounding and there were probably several young women with that name in England in 1912. Therefore, someone would have had to make a deliberate effort - a tip-off, if you like - for the American press to get one Alice Cleaver mixed up with another. In those days, it was quite difficult to check authenticity of such things across the Atlantic and in any case, the press would not have bothered as long as they got a good story. Remember, in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, a few papers even reported that Sarah Daniels and her employer Bess Allison (nee Daniels) were sisters.


Maybe because they blamed her for the Allison's not getting on a boat.
No, I believe that the animosity between Alice Cleaver and Sarah Daniels went back further than the Titanic voyage. We will never know what the household chemistry among the Allison servants was like, but I suspect there was some mutual mud-slinging going on. Both women were travelling in First Class as part of the Allison entourage on Ticket #113781 and they were allocated Cabins C22 and C26. That could mean that the Allison family had Cabin C26 (larger, with en suite) and Sarah Daniels and Alice Cleaver shared the adjoining Cabin C22 , a nice recipe for some not very friendly exchanges and brewing tensions. That probably explains Alice's attitude on board the Carpathia in not allowing Sarah access to baby Trevor, although I don't believe in the nonsense that the baby was plaintively stretching his arms towards the maid and such.

One does not have to be a brain surgeon or rocket scientist to guess who that "somebody" who had it out for Alice Cleaver was.
 
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