Edwina Trout hostile to Steerage


Holly Peterson

I was recently reading a book about the Titanic in the library, when I came across a quote which read something like, "A large group of passengers came from the decks below, all clutching their possessions over their head and rushing for the lifeboats. Horrible people! Should have been called fourth class! Fortunately, due to the heroic efforts of some officers with pistols, they were forced back behind the gates." It says the quote was from someone named 'first-class passenger Edwina Corrigan.' Doubting the authenticy of the quote because it just seemed so ridiculously prejudiced, even for 1912, and because I'd never heard of anyone called Edwina Corrigan, I did a search on ET and found that it could only be Edwina Troutt, who was actually in second class. Having read a bit about her I'm a little curious if she actually had said something like this. I may be incorrect but I can't imagine her saying something like this. Is this true?
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
Honestly, it sounds contrived to me. For one thing, the presence of locked gates is largely a myth. There may have been some locked doors, but none of them were really a barrier to getting topside. The only gates out on the weather decks were the waist high gates at the top of the ladders leading from the well decks up onto the superstructure.

Also, the officers were pretty well occupied just getting the boats filled. They hardly had time to drive anybody back anywhere.
Apr 16, 2001
I agree with Michael.

Edwina Troutt was married three times, and one of them was to a James Corrigan. From all the accounts I've read, seen or heard, Edwina seemed hardly the type to be prejudiced. In fact, just the opposite. Edwina held a steerage baby in her arms for hours while she was in the lifeboat, and cared for the child until his mother was located on the Carpathia. I did read that Edwina was annoyed at some of the men who attempted to "rush the lifeboat" while women and children were still being loaded.

I met Edwina when she was nearly 100, and remember a sweet elderly lady who had a smile for everyone! Don Lynch, Ken Marschall and a number of other Titanic researchers knew her well so they would certainly know more about her Titanic experience. The late Rustie Brown's book "Titanic, the Psychic and the Sea" has much to say about Edwina's life and Titanic experience. Edwina is the main character in Rustie's 1980 book which is a very good read.

Kind regards,

Mike Findlay

Holly Peterson

I agree with both of you. Thank you for your replies. It does sound very contrived and over-dramatic. And I agree with Michael that Edwina Troutt doesn't seem like the type to be so prejudiced.
Jun 4, 2006
Winnie was married to my Aunt Genevieve's father James Corrigan in 1955 and that when I first met Winnie. Even though James passed away in 1957, our family kept in contact with Winnie until she died in 1984. During her 100 birthday I also received the book; "The Titanic The Psychic and the Sea" by Rustie Brown. It is signed by Rustic Brown, Edwina MacKenzie, and Ruth Blanchard another survivor of the Titanic. If your interested in the Titanic and Edwina's account of that tragic night and after.

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