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RMS Titanic Passengers and Crew
First Class Passengers
Edith Russell (Edith Louise Rosenbaum)
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[QUOTE="Randy Bryan Bigham, post: 266977, member: 143664"] The article I've been working on re: Edith Rosenbaum, later Russell, is coming along nicely. My thanks to George Behe, Michael Poirier and others who've been helping me with this. I'm waiting for a few pictures to come in - including 2 from the Library of Congress Prints Dept - to go along with a nice selection I already have and then I'll try and submit the piece somewhere, perhaps right here on "Titanica" research if Mr. Hind likes it. Here's an excerpt: _________________________________________________ Edy was as unworried as ever but she decided to go out on deck again and at least see what was happening. Leaving her companions to their conversation, she walked back down the long corridor from the lounge to the foyer and climbed the grand staircase to the boat deck. She would later recall noticing at this point the ship's considerable forward incline. Her lucky pig still clasped under one arm, Edy emerged on the starboard side to find the nearby lifeboats gone and the deck virtually deserted. It was approximately 1:15 a.m. Further along, she could make out under the dim lights a crowd of people milling about the remaining boats on the second class deck. Drawing her fur scarf closer about her in the chill air, she started aft. As she approached the group, gathered just beyond the deck-space partition, Edy found it was made up mainly of men and that the two nearest boats, 9 and 11, were being lowered by crewmembers to the level of A Deck, just below, where it was hoped that due to the Titanic's increasing list to starboard, passengers might be more safely loaded through the promenade windows. Edy stood idly by until a fairly frantic Bruce Ismay, who was busy directing women and children to A Deck, recognized her. "What are you doing?" he sang out. "Come here!" Edy obeyed as Ismay called once more to the crowd:"If there are any more women and children, let them step forward." As Edy came up, she saw the White Star chairman was clad only in evening trousers, a frill-fronted nightshirt, and carpet slippers. Assisted by a number of men who formed a bank against the bulkhead, Ismay hastily passed women and children down a steep, iron stairwell. Edy recalled that Ismay "practically threw" her down the steps. "There has been much criticism of Mr. Ismay," she commented later. "But he certainly saved my life." Through two lines of men, Edy was pressed along to the windows of A Deck. As she explained in the "Ladies Home Companion": "...Two burly sailors got hold of me and attempted to throw me head foremost into the lifeboat which was suspended alongside. But when I saw how far away from the rail that lifeboat was, swinging on its davits from above, I became terrified - so much so that my legs went rigid..." As the crewmen tried to force her over the side, Edy struggled. "Don't push me!" she screamed at the men to which one of them shot back,"If you don't want to go, stay!" And they released her. She started to move away but on discovering she had lost a buckle from one of her shoes during the scramble, she knealt down to search for it in the grate beside the railing. She never did find it. In retrospect, Edith Russell's nonchalance is appalling but as she claimed in a series of radio interviews many years later, she still had faith in the mighty Titanic: "...I wanted that buckle and was absolutely disinterested in anything pertaining to saving my life, because afterall, it was an unsinkable ship, you see. What could happen to me?..." For the time being, Edy leaned against the A Deck rail and looked out at lifeboat number 11, still dangling more than three feet from the Titanic's side. She could tell it was already quite full and seemed to be hanging at a precarious angle, one end higher than the other. She tried to recover her courage to make the leap but feared she would not be able to navigate the rail, dressed as she was in her narrow skirt and full-length coat: "...So I walked along and found a gentleman standing at the rail, strangely enough the very gentleman I had told on the tender that I was frightened to take the Titanic. He said to me, "Come on. You're going to get off this ship." And I said, "Not me. How do you expect me to get off of anything with this thing I've got on? I'm a prisoner in my own skirt. I can't even walk, much less get up to that rail and jump across the ocean! Oh, no, not me! I'm not an acrobat!" The man tried calmly to persuade her. "Would you really go, if you were me?" she asked. The man replied, "Yes, without a doubt." But quiet prodding was not enough to convince young, stubborn Edith Russell to get back in line at boat 11. A sailor, rushing up, was not nearly so gentle. "If you don't want to go," he yelled, seizing her toy pig. "We'll save your baby anyhow!" And he tossed it into the libeboat. Edy knew she had to go after it and with the help of several men, she tried again to board the boat. Seated on their hands, clasped together to make a cushion, and with her arms around the neck of one of the men, she was lifted carefully to the rail upon which she perched. Holding onto the sill for support, she steadied herself, then jumped: "...I fell into the botton of the boat..landing on my head...I groped about for my mascot and found it with its little forelegs broken. I struggled into an upright position. The man who had helped me leapt in immediately afterwards and then came the order: 'Lower away.'..." _________________________________________________ This excerpt is based mainly on 3 separate transcripts from Edith Russell's 1950s-60s radio interviews and from her 10 page article "I Was Aboard the Titanic" for the "Ladies' Home Companion" (May 1964). Randy [/QUOTE]
I which year did the Titanic sail?