Manuel Uruchurtu

Having read arguments and counter-arguments about this Uruchurtu saga, one has to look at the so called "evidence" chronologically, right from the initial survivor accounts, statements at official investigations, later researcher's findings etc. Doing that, it seems fairly obvious that this alleged "heroism" by Manuel Uruchurtu is nothing but a fertile imagination of his descendant (if he really is that) Alejando Garate. All his statements sound contrived and more often than not he seems to be SHOUTING in the belief that he can ram his story down disbelievers' throats. Dave Bryceson's posts on the other hand, indicate that he has taken time and trouble to research properly into this story in an unbiased manner and come up with the conclusion that this is a fabrication by Garate for reasons best known to himself. The final denial by Manuel Uruchurtu's direct granddaughter Gertrudis (RIP) should surely have put the matter at rest but I found it amusing that even then Garate is trying to uphold his own lies.

If the story had even a small element of truth, I am sure that many survivors, not just in Lifeboat #11, would have mentioned it repeatedly over the decades. Yet no one seems to have done so till this Garate popped up with it.

My only concern is that the story is mentioned as a possibility ("it is said") on Manuel Uruchurtu's biography on the ET site. The problem with that is that ET is a public site and many Titanic thrill seekers will read that and start believing it to be true. Since ET is the 'Bible' for any Titanic enthusiast, there is the danger that this false story will become a part of Titanic folklore over time. Therefore, with my upfront apologies to Mark Baber for the suggestion, I request that paragraph be removed.
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I've been reading all the posts regarding Manuel Uruchurtu and what it's been told and/or questioned as an heroic act from his behalf during the sinking of the Titanic. My grandfather Jose Garza Zertuche was a mexican diplomat in the US and friends with Mr. Uruchurtu, he died in 1927; his widow (my grandomther Elvira) used to tell us the story about Mr. Uruchurtu's heroic act. By the way, she passed away in 1961. Could this help to favor the possibility that it really happened?
Hello; I'm weighing in on this after a long silence, following the board but not participating.

It just occurred to me this morning that there may be some basis in truth for the Uruchurtu story, but that it may have been derailed by a case of mistaken identity.

What are the basics here? At an aft starboard boat, filling rapidly, a woman begs for a seat, claiming she has a husband and child waiting for her in New York. Mr. Uruchurtu steps out, offering her his seat. After her rescue, the woman travels to Mexico to meet the surviving family and tells them the story - in Spanish.

Obviously Elizabeth Nye does not fit that profile. As a devout lifelong Salvationist, it is highly doubtful she lied her way into the boat. If this incident actually occurred (and let's assume it did), she was not the recipient of Mr. Uruchurtu's chivalrous gesture.

I noticed two interesting details: First, that the visitor to Mexico spoke Spanish. Second, that Mr. Lopez kept referring to Mrs. Nye as Mrs. Ramell. I supposed that was because of Spanish custom, but maybe there is more to it than that.

Why should we keep focusing on Mrs. Nye, when the person we are looking for is a woman who speaks Spanish!?

So ... who would be our candidates?

Mrs. Penasco y Castellana and her maid Miss Oliva y Ocana - well, their presence in Boat #8 is firmly documented by the testimony of the Countess of Rothes and others.

Miss Asuncion Duran y Mone and her sister Miss Florentina Duran y Mone - doubtful, as they would have required two seats, not just Mr. Uruchurtu's.

That leaves ...

Mrs. Encarnacion Reynalds/Reynaldo.

Encarnación Reynalds : Titanic Survivor | Sra. Encarnación Reynalds

Ramell? / Reynalds? Anyone else see a similarity?

Let's check the details of her E.T. biography.

Yes, she was also a widow (at least in 1911), but was believed to have two children remaining from her previous marriage, whose further whereabouts are unknown.

By 1913 she was married to a Mr. Gonzalez, and had a daughter by him.

She also had a sister in New York.

Now this is a stretch, but it is possible that her sister was already caring for one of the children in New York (quite common at the time, as we can see from other immigrant biographies on this site). And since we don't have the date of her remarriage, she could conceivably already have been married (remember, Mrs. Cook was listed under her maiden name of Rogers) and therefore might actually have had a husband and child waiting for her in New York!

And ... she (obviously) spoke Spanish.

Could she possibly be the mystery woman?

I realize this is only a start, and lots more research would need to be done to establish her identity, but she seems a lot more promising a prospect than Mrs. Nye, who in 1912 was definitely childless, not married, and not a SPanish speaker!

I'll post this now, and work on boat placement later.

Thanks to all of you for reading.
Thanks for your interesting thought vonfrieddorf!

The only problem is that there is no single mention by any survivor from boat No. 11 that this incident happened. Aside that passengers had no lifeboat seat number or lifeboat number allotted to the crew (mainly the stewards) had build up a two lines letting only women and children though it. It was later when men were allowed to fill the empty spaces. Boat No. 11 was far from full and therefore no one would have needed to give up "his" seat.
Now, in the matter of boat placement. The tentative lists on this site place Mrs. Nye in Boat #11, and Mrs. Reynalds in Boat #9. Of course, we've been advised repeatedly that these lists are not "cast in stone" so to speak.

According to Marion Wright's testimony, Dr. Pain was kept out of Boat #9 for no good reason, when there was still plenty of room. Also, Bertha Watt testified that Mrs. Herman's husband and foster son were kept out of the boat, while Stuart Collett somehow got himself under a seat.

Theoretically Mrs. Reynalds could also have been barred from the boat while there was still room, prompting Mr. Uruchurtu's gesture (there were plenty of men, crew and passengers, already in the boat).

Let's move on to Boat #11. It was far from full early on, but was later reported to have been one of the most heavily filled boats. And even after men were allowed to fill the empty spaces, there were still later arrivals. In this way, Ruth Becker was separated from her family, and Mrs. Aks from her baby (both of course left in the following Boat, #13).

As far as no one else reporting the incident, there are still lots of survivor stories that were never reported. Even Edith Rosenbaum, who recalled so many details, definitely had other concerns on which to focus: her pig, her broken slipper buckle, and most of all, getting into the boat wearing her hobble skirt! I can't expect her to recall every other occupant's situation.

I believe a situation such as described involving Mr. Uruchurtu could have occurred at either Boat #9 or Boat #11, and that Mrs. Reynalds, rather than Mrs. Nye, would be the most likely beneficiary, if the situation indeed occurred.
Just a further thought on the lifeboats - even though the vast majority could have held more people, which many of the occupants acknowledged, just as many claimed that their boats could not possibly have held any more - which was manifestly untrue, after comparing total lifeboat capacity (1178) with the total number saved (712).

And the estimates of those in the lifeboats given at the inquiries were usually much higher than the numbers actually in said boats. I believe even George Symons "overestimated" the number in Boat #1 (which only held twelve people)!
Interesting suggestions "vonfriedolf" but to gain more research, we need more evidence. Don't look upon my five eggs as an act of criticism.

Evidence continues to be high on the list and in great demand but as always, those who keep demanding their side of the story is sound, tents to rebuke any further attempts by simply crushing all other options available that is found and written on paper in black and white. I personal don't like seeing the story twisted and if in doubt, I always try to pass my view by simple saying -- If in doubt, leave well alone. For some they cannot leave alone and continue to persue with their long-winded story which at the present moment, remains thwart. A measure of caution remains the best avenue of keeping an open mind. I've learnt that from my own past experince with the Relief Fund, and once you're armed with the small evidence you possess, then the routine of your own search commences and the stack of new evidence you do discover doesn't come as a surprise. One big huge surprise did come with the Countess as her probate revealed a new stunning piece of evidence as she instructed that the blue sapphire ring of a Spanish Passenger survivor she inherited on tha night back in 1912 was to go directly to her granddaughter. This one of many examples waiting the good fortunes of discovery. The sad story over the Uruchurtu case appears occasionally and the storyline never stops falling on the bravery of his actions. Until the evidence of what has been asked by those whose knowledge on this case outweighs certain members who are based overseas, then, only then, can we get to the very basis of finding fact which will overcome the working of fiction.

One other confirmation for Bob Godfrey who I promised some years back. Very little is found with Uruchurtc and the Relief Fund, only a relic of finding the family were paid the normal amount. If the family were submitted on the Fund and their case was dealt with by this scheme then nothing appears in the Minute Book of the London Committee. There is a case where the family may well have been transferred to another local area. After doing some more investigations with Exeter and Manchester, I'm afriad all this valuable material for both have dome a kind of disspearing act. However, I do know a hugh amount of in-house transfers did commence with Southampton in the June of 1913, and didn't officially finish until 1916. Case's of crew and Passengers were transfer to Belfast, Liverpool and London. If you want my honest opinion, the Uruchurtu case could've been dealt with by London. Until the day comes when I find an entry, then I have to keep all options open at a minimum.
Andrew Williams - not sure what "five eggs" means - is that a British expression? I'm from the States.

When you remarked "if in doubt, leave well enough alone", were you suggesting I not stir up a hornet's nest? If so, that may be good advice, after seeing some of the back-and-forth in previous posts!

My effort was just to suggest another avenue for research, one that might help reconcile, to some degree, all the various viewpoints on the Uruchurtu story. If he indeed made such a sacrifice, it would be wonderful to have it correctly documented a century later, even if the proponents had been focusing on the wrong beneficiary of his gesture.

Agreed, much more research would be needed - I tried to emphasize that in my posts, and to put forth any involvement by Mrs. Reynalds as a theory, and no more than that - but a much more likely one than Mrs. Nye.
I'd say this is how History is built, piece by piece, investigating facts and trying to make them fit, finally to understand better our own identity.
Glad to follow the thread. Have a nice week!
I don't bye it Carmen.

I have noticed in your previous thread you've actually read all the threads. Many links of the story stick out above the others and were supplied by Dave Bryceson - how you gone out of your way and read those links as well??

Perhaps if you ordered his book, his research story of Elizabeth gives a very good account of her actions on board Titanic.

If you feel that strong over Uruchurtu case of chivarly, and despite the number of request's of wanting to see the ample evidence as proof, then why hasn't anything come forward to settle this case and finally finished with the satisfaction of putting closure to this case once and for all.

As ever, we all, await patiently.
I apologize for renewing this thread after over 5 years but since someone posted a related comment in Elizabeth Nye's thread about Manuel Uruchurtu's alleged 'heroic' act, I felt compelled to point out something that struck me as odd ever since I read Garate's fairy tale years ago.

Garate claims that when Elizabeth Nye tearfully claimed that she had a husband and son waiting for her in the States, his great-uncle Manuel Uruchurtu gave up his seat in Lifeboat #11 in her favour. This story was widely circulated in Mexican sites until Maria Guadalupe Loaeza-Tovar, a highly respected Mexican writer, did a turnaround and accepted that she had been misinformed (by Garate) and the story was in fact completely untrue.

In his extensive research into the matter, the late Dave Brycerson found out that the similarly misinformed Mexican sources were claiming
An English lady, named as Elizabeth Nye, was refused entry to the boat as it was already full. She pleaded to be allowed in as her husband and child were waiting for her in New York. On hearing this Mr Uruchurtu ceded his place in the boat to her, asking only that she visit his family in Mexico to explain what had happened.

To my mind, there is an obvious loophole in that story, clearly fabricated by Mr Garate. Mrs Nye was definitely rescued on Lifeboat #11, which was launched at around 01:32 am. By then, almost everyone on board knew that the Titanic was sinking, but an ordinary passenger like Mr Uruchurtu would not have known how long it was going to take; for all he knew at the time, the ship might have remained afloat for another 3 hours, long enough for everyone on board to be rescued. So, why would he have assumed that he was going to die and told Mrs Nye to visit his family in Mexico?

Moreover, if Uruchurtu had really given up his seat for Mrs Nye and got back onto to the deck, what stopped him from moving further aft to where Lifeboats #13 and #15 were being loaded? Ruth Becker just missed being able to rejoin her mother and brother in Lifeboat #11 when she returned with the blanket but was able to simply walk aft and get into #13. That suggests that Lifeboat #13 was still on the boat deck when Lifeboat #11 was lowered. Uruchurtu could easily have got into that boat which had several men in it or into Lifeboat #15, which had predominantly men! Instead, he is supposed to have accepted his fate there and then. IMO, it makes no sense.
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