DOROTHEA EMMA ARTHUR Children survivors


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Victor Streckfuss

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3 children believed to be survivor of the Titanic. I have a photo of Carpathia 2nd officer shaking hands with my great Aunt Emma in Western Australia. Penned on the back is comments about "the man who saved us on that fateful day in 1912" They do not appear on the survivors lists. Any ideas?
Thankyou Victor.
 

Mike Herbold

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Feb 13, 2001
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Victor:
The second officer on the Carpathia was Sir James Bisset. Bisset was in Australia in his early days at sea, like 1898 to around 1902, and was eventually Commodore of the Cunard Lines. But I don't think he got back again to Australia until the 1940's, and then I think it was only to Sydney.
I've got all his books, and as a matter of fact just finished volume 1, "Sail Ho!", this weekend, and am now about half way through #2 "Tramps and Ladies", so I'll peruse them and vol 3 and see if he ever mentions running into any Titanic survivors later on.
How old does Bisset look in the photo?
Is the photo dated?
 

Mike Herbold

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Feb 13, 2001
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Victor: It turns out that Bisset retired to Australia in 1948 and ended up starting a second career as Chief Public Relations Officer for Ampol Petroleum. In that capacity he travelled all over the country giving talks.

In his words from Page 469 of "Commodore":
My work as a professional spinner of Old Salt's yarns began in earnest with a series of broadcasts from a Sydney radio station, followed by tours to all parts of Australia..... On the average I gave four talks a week, and travelled many thousands of miles by road, sea, and air, convivially meeting thousands of people , many of whom were ex-servicemen who had voyaged with me in the Franconia or the Queens during the war. "Do you remember...?" they'd ask, and of course I remembered.
According to a log which I kept, in ten years, 1949-1959, I gave 1823 talks to audiences in Australia, and certainly more than 200,000 people heard and saw me in person at these talks, which were given at meetings of Returned Servicemen's Clubs, Rotary Clubs, and other social clubs. On several occasions I distributed prizes on Speech Days at High Schools.....

So, Bisset was well known throught Australia. Perhaps your great Aunt Emma was using the phrase "the man who saved us on that fateful day in 1912" in a collective sense, like others might say of Charles Lindbergh, "the man who made us proud in 1927."

If you can date the photograph, it might be interesting to go to your local library and look through the old newspapers to see what event they might have met him at. Good Luck.
 
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Victor Streckfuss

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Dear Mike,
Thankyou for your reply, in the photo Sir James looks about 70+. We suspect the photo was taken in the early 60s. Emma would have been in her late 50s. In the books you mentioned does he refer to the days of the rescue of the Titanic victims? It might prove some interesting reading.
many thanks !
from Victor
 

Mike Herbold

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Feb 13, 2001
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Victor:
Yes, there is an extensive portion at the end of book 2, "Tramps and Ladies" devoted to Bisset's recollections and thoughts about the Titanic disaster. I would highly recommend the three books to you. I'm not sure about in Australia, but here in the USA, they are readily available from used book companies, like abebooks.com
 

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