Hi Shelley - I have just added The Mansion House and The Red Cross Disaster Funds reports to Lillians Biography - here is a copy:
(From: Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund Booklet, March 1913)
Number P. 114. Asplund. Widow, two children and mother received a grant of £150.
Farmer from Sweden, returning from visit to relatives. Aged 40 years, born 7th May 1871.
(From The Emergency and Relief booklet by the American Red Cross, 1913).
Case number 23. (Swedish). The husband and the three eldest children, aged 13, 9 and 5 years, were drowned. The wife and the two younger children, aged 5 and 3 years, were saved. This family were returning from a visit to Sweden. The husband, a wire worker, earning $25 a week had lived in this country for eighteen years and all of his children were born here. They had with them all of their possessions, including clothing, household furniture, and cash amounting to $700. The parents of both husband and wife live in Sweden. The wife, who has two sisters in a Massachusetts city, with her two younger children is making her home with one of them. She is 38 years of age, has been in frail health for some years, and suffered severely from shock and exposure. The body of the husband was recovered and, with the assistance of the representative of this Committee in Halifax, was shipped to his home for burial. At this time, the Committee sent $200 to the widow to cover burial and incidental expenses. The citizens of his home town raised a fund amounting to $2,000, and this has been placed in the hands of trustees. From other relief sources she has received $2,272.41, making a total of $4,272.41, exclusive of the appropriation of this Committee, which has been placed in charge of the local Associated Charities, to be administered in co-operation with the trustees of the other funds.
Thanks Brian- I had not seen that. Even though Miss Asplund has a low public profile, it's good to collect the pieces of her life here all in one place. I learned just yesterday that she was a hospital volunteer when her health was better. Seems she spent a lot of time tending to others in need.
It is very heartbreaking even to imagine the agony that faced the Asplund family on the night of April 14, 1912. As a mother of two daughters, I would have fought 'tooth and nail' to get them both into a lifeboat and could not have left one behind. Though it probaby would have been very difficult to separate them from their father. Lillian's mother, Selma, must have felt an overwhelming sense of guilt over not having taken her three other children into the lifeboat with her. She may have (unwittingly) transferred some of that guilt onto her two surviving children. They knew how much grief it has caused their mother and did not want to cause her anymore pain by publicly speaking about the Titanic.
My sincere hope is that Miss Lillian has found peace with herself and her family.
Robin-Matt & I gathered most of the information in the updated version of Lillian's bio from the local newspapers and also referenced posters of this forum as well. There is simply no way to know why they- Lillian's brothers- were not allowed on lifeboat 15. I suspect that it was a case of the boat had a total of 43 people in it and whomever decided that it was filled to capacity - similar to the movies depiction. I wonder if maybe the Asplunds were the last to get on? It is so sad that they couldn't take the boys, especially Lillian's twin - as he was only 5.
Brian- loved the new info as it confirms my research - I believe that the report did not refer to Selma's third sister, Tekla, who must had very recently moved from New York to 9 Freeland St. in Worcester as I have different references to her address. Haven't looked but hope you added the report to the parents and family bios as well.
Shelley - great new info - are there any details for further research on the volunteer info? Also, do you know someone who knows Lillian? How are you getting your info? Just curious. Thanks Julie
Darren-you're not comprehending enough. It reads 'Lillian is the last Titanic survivor with actual memories of it.' Therefore, nowhere in the text can we find the meaning she is the last living survivor.
Otherwise, nice picture of house; reminds me of my own a little.
Does anyone know how Lillian's doing ? Unfortunately, when I went to visit my friend in NH, we stopped at Boston, but didn't have the opportunity to check on Lillian. Hw is she ? It's soon her 99th Birthday!
Julie, boat 15 was one of the very few boats filled to capacity. There were some 65 people in the boat and there was a big crowd surrounding it. This is probably the reason why the rest of the Asplunds didn't enter it. The boat was simply full.
Miss Asplund has a full time nurse-companion who answers and screens her telephone calls. Miss Lillian does not grant interviews or answer questions about Titanic, which of course, is still a very upsetting subject for her. Considering her age, and health, she deserves some respect and privacy.
Andy, I will have to be blunt, on this point: if anyone has Ms. Asplund's number, they are not privileged to divulge it. Further, as noted by Shelley: "Miss Asplund has a full time nurse-companion who answers and screens her telephone calls. Miss Lillian does not grant interviews or answer questions about Titanic, which of course, is still a very upsetting subject for her".
This has been mentioned several times. Of the three remaining survivors, only Millvina Dean chose to discuss the tragedy. However, even she is no longer able to travel to Titanic-related events, nor give interviews.
My advice is to see if anyone on this List might have the answers to the questions you wish to ask Ms. Asplund. I, myself, have never met her, so I cannot be of assistance to you.