George Swane

Arun Vajpey

There is so much written about the Allisons, their maid Sarah Daniels, nurse Alice Cleaver and even the surviving cook Mildred Brown. But poor George Swane, the 19 year old chauffeur from Brighton seldom gets mentioned despite the fact that he died in the sinking.

He was one of 9 children, lost his father before he was 10 years old and some of his siblings were sent int care or living with other relatives. Therefore, when he got the job as chauffeur for a wealthy Canadian family, it must have been the opportunity of a lifetime. Swane's good spirits on board the Titanic were shown by the fact that he was involved in a comic pillow fight with his cabin mates a short time before the Titanic collided with the iceberg; they were making enough noise to disturb the women in the next cabin, including Swane's colleague Mildred Brown.

It is not clear what happened to George Swane after the accident; he was either alerted by Alice Cleaver or realized something was wrong himself. He went next door to wake Mildred Brown and according to the latter's roommate and fellow-survivor Selina Cook, they had considerable difficulty in persuading Mildred that the ship could be in danger.

Swane does not appear to have accompanied Mildred Brown or Alice Cleaver to Lifeboat #11. Is there any survivor statement that suggests that he might have been with the Allison family in the later stages of the sinking?