John Bradley and Florence Cumings

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Brian Ahern

Member
Yes, I see from the signature on the first copy that her name had become Swain by the time this photo was taken, so it was some years after the Titanic. And she does look like she might once have been a beauty.

Martin, I'm surprised you unearthed so much about her in the Times index. I must not have typed in enough variations of her name, because my search a while back revealed little to nothing. I had, however, seen her name in at least one social register in later years (can't remember off the top of my head if it was The Blue Book or the more exclusive Social Register).
 
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Martin Williams

Member
In fact, it WAS quite hard to run her to earth - I had to try all manner of variations on her name before meeting with any success and, even then, the information I pulled up on-line was scanty. But I like Mrs Cumings in spite of that. Perhaps something to do with those eyebrows!

She was, I think, in the elite 'No. 4' crowd with Madeleine Astor, Eleanor Widener and Marian Thayer, which explains her presence at the Rostron lunch. I've been wondering if her acquaintance with the other widows began in the lifeboat and on the 'Carpathia' or whether their paths had crossed on the social scene before-hand. My impression, as I've typed elsewhere, is that she wasn't a 'Society' heavy-hitter like Lucile Carter but that she could still hold her own in very select company. A lady, in fact, in the truest sense of the word.

Incidentally, Brian, before Christmas, I added a potted biography of Mrs Carter to her biographical thread. I know that she has really piqued your interest in the past and would be fascinated to know your thoughts on this glamorous but seemingly difficult woman.
 
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Daniel Klistorner

Member
Martin

>One wonders if Mrs Cumings was pleased to find Henry and
>Rene Harris as passengers aboard the 'Titanic' too.

Not only that, they were next door to each other! (Sans bathroom.) Coincidence?

Daniel.
 
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Martin Williams

Member
Fascinating, Daniel, I had no idea that the two couples were neighbours aboard the 'Titanic'. Thanks!
 
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Daniel Klistorner

Member
Martin

You're welcome. The Harrises were in C 83 and the Cumings in C 85. Between the two rooms were the adjoining bathrooms.

Daniel.
 
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Martin Williams

Member
...which they shared? Or did only one couple have access to it?
 
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Daniel Klistorner

Member
There were two bathrooms, one for each cabin. Here's a plan:

123668


Regards,

Daniel.
 
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Martin Williams

Member
As far as I'm aware, the really splendid joint account of first-class sisters Martha Stephenson and Elizabeth Eustis is the only one to make direct reference to Florence Cumings. They clearly shared at least a passing acquaintance aboard the 'Titanic', as the ladies recognised one another in Lifeboat No. 4, and they contribute the fascinating titbit that one of the crewmen they pulled out of the water in the immediate aftermath of the sinking was, by coincidence, Mrs Cumings' bedroom steward. I was also interested to discover that Florence pulled on an oar with Marian Thayer and that, once aboard the 'Carpathia', Elizabeth and Martha shared a cabin with both her and Madeleine Astor's maid, Rosalie Bidois.
 
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