How many survivors died on the anniversary of the sinking?

David M. Brown

Former Member
I have have noticed that several survivors later died on the anniversary of the sinking. (The only one I can recall offhand is Selma Asplund, the mother of one of the three living survivors and the only one in the US, who died on the 51st anniversary.) The phenomenon of people delaying death temporarily in order to reach a significant anniversary or date is fairly well established. This happened around Jan. 1, 2000, for example. It might have happened to the Titanic survivors, too. Has anyone enumerated how many survivors died on April 14 or 15 in later years, or if not is there any easy way of generating that information?
 
The Passenger and Crew Lists will have the dates that the survivors passed on.

I do know that Millvina Dean's brother, Bertram Dean, died on April 14, 1992, from complications of pneumonia. Many Listmembers will remember the picture of him and Eva Hart in one of the National Geographic issues.
 
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I found another listing, which I mentioned on a Passenger Research thread:
April 14, 1944: (First Class Passenger) Marian Thayer died at age 71.
 
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David remarked: "people delaying death temporarily in order to reach a significant anniversary or date is fairly established." It may be worth noting that succumbing remarkably close to one also is. Crewman Albert Edward Horswill died exactly one week before the 50th anniversary.
 
The mind is a powerful thing. I would say iti's possible for someone who is ill or dying around the anniversary of soemthing like Titanic to hang on until that moment and then just let go. Especially, if they feel they should have died on that date. It can depend a lot on how strong someone is. My Grandmother was given about four hours and even though she was comatose, she hung on for 9 days. Shocked everyone. She was very strong willed. (A side note that on the ninth dady my mom and her brother were holding her hands and told her it was okay to leave them) Just a thought on this. April 14-15 would surely have had a profound effect on these people. Especially, in representation of death.
 
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>>April 14-15 would surely have had a profound effect on these people. Especially, in representation of death.<<

I don't think some of them remembered it, if they were in a very 'fragile' state, and would April 14-15 really have such a profound impact? Maybe they had more important days to die on, say their birthdays etc., unless they have no choice and they were like 'only 1 week to live'.
 
I know, if they had no time.....
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N Alison

Member
I'd imagine for someone who lost family on the ship the days April 14-15 would have a strong impact on them. Here is another: Selma Asplund died April 15, 1964 on the 52nd anniversary. She lost her husband and three of her five children.
 
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I can see this thread hasn't been touched upon for a few years but I'm assuming many who posted on here are still active members. Samuel James Rule who was a crew member, died exactly 3 years after the disaster on April 15th 1915. He apparently suffered from mental illness in his few years of life after the disaster. Very likely post traumatic stress.
 
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