I was curious as to how a single 18 year old woman from Finland was able to travel Second Class on the Titanic. Nearly all the other Finnish passengers were in Third Class. Was there money in Marta's family? I also read that, like airplanes today, some people were fortunate enough to be bumped up to a higher class for the same lower price due to some sort of technicality. Did this happen with Marta? Like Ann Isham in First Class, Marta is shrouded in mystery when compared to the eleven other Second Class women who perished. Not much is really known about her except that she was making her way to Michigan to live with family members who had immigrated there earlier.
I realise that with the confusion among the passengers/crew plus limited lifeboat spaces available, there could be any number of reasons why a particular person did not survive, but some seem rather more mysterious than others. One such is Finnish 2nd Class passenger Marta Hiltunen. She accompanied friend Anna Hamalainen & her child onto the port side of the boat deck and was in the vicinity of Boat #4 just as it was being filled. It appears that Anna handed her handbag to Marta as she boarded the lifeboat with her baby, expecting Marta to follow. But when the boat was being lowered, Anna saw Marta still standing in the crowd on the boat deck.
What is even more surprising is that even as Boat #4 reached the water, they were filling Collapsible D also on the port side. According to many accounts, people were frantically searching for more women and children to go into 'D' before it ws lowered. I wonder why Marta Hiltunen was unable to make it even then?
yes the poor little marta. She was very frightened when the panic started. After Mrs. Hamalainen boarded the lifeboat 4
she was too frighten to board. She was like Elin Braf. Elin reached the boatdeck together with Mrs. Johnson and two children.
Mrs. Johnson and her daughter Eleanor jumped in Boat 15. Elin was holding the son of Mrs. Johnson but she cant move. She was
standing there like a stone, around her crying people and panic only panic. Mrs. Johnson wanted her son because the boat
started to be lowered and finally some one took the little boy out from Elin and give him to his mother. Elin stayed behind
without any move, she died she was only 20 years old. Martta cant climb a boat. After Mrs. Hamalainen had left the ship
she was alone. She spoke only finnish and she was alone with so many people who fighted for there life. Its probaly that
Martta returned to her cabin and waited for her end. I can understand her and Elin too. Both girls who cant speak the language
who never where with so many people who where all in panic. Here is a photo of Martta Hiltunen maybe you need it.
Thanks Gianni, particularly for the photo. When you want to think of someone in the circumstances in which Marta found herself in, it helps to put a face to the person.
You could be right - Marta could simply have been too frightened to get into the lifeboat amidsct the panicking crowds and not knowing the language. But I imagine for an 18-year old travelling to America for a new life the survival instinct will be very strong, especially considering that Marta herself was travelling alone and would not have lost anyone close had she got into a lifeboat. I find it very hard to imagine someone in her position to return to her cabin and wait for the end. Can I ask if you have any more information - particularly survivors' accounts - about what happened to her after Boat #4 left? If she was still near the boat deck when Collpasible D was lowered a few minutes later, someone could have directed her to it.
soory that i respond late but iam all days at school and have many exames in the last weeks and the teacher get angry when
i make only titanic research when i have to do my homeworks. Marta was officaly last seen by Mrs. Hamalainen when Boat 4 was lowered. When Boat 4 left, three women stay behind, Mrs. Sara Chapman, Miss Marta Hiltunen and possibly Miss Edith Evans.
There was much panic i guess when boat d was lowered but she was not there when it happened she was away. Maybe she went not to her cabin but in a saloon or something like that. What i can say 100 % sure is that Martas bodie was not recovered
that make it more likely that she died under deck. What you have too know also is that its possibel that she was among the
group of women and children who where ordered to board boat A and B the last boats. There where some swedish women who wanted to board boat A but finally where tossed in the sea when the ship went under. Gerda Dahlberg, Agda Lindahl, Elin Lindell and possibly Elna Ström and her daughter wanted to board the boat. Other people too: Edith Peacock with her two children Treasteall and Alfred or possibly Sultana Bulus and her children Nur al ayn and Akar. What i want to say is that whe will never
know what she did in her last moments. I hope she dont sufer. Are you interested in Titanic Finnish people?.
I have collected some interesting things in the last three years when you say me in which you are interested i would be happy to trie to help you best regards Gianni Alessandro Tarozzi Yrois
I am trying to get more information about second class Titanic victim Marta Hiltunen who is listed as being from Utra in Finland on this and many other sites. The trouble is that I have not been able to find any place called Utra in even in large scale Finnish maps. But today I found an article about the Finns on the Titanic by Peter Bjorkfors and in it Marta Hiltunen is being listed as being from the Kontiolahti. Kontiolahti is a sparsely populated municipality in the North Karelia region of Finland, which has a border with Russia. This is in the southeastern part of Finland where a substantial area was occupied by and eventually ceded to the USSR in the 1939-40 Soviet-Finnish war.
Therefore, I am wondering if Utra was one of the villages and towns that got caught-up in the conflict and then remained within the new USSR borders under a different name? Can someone please shed some light on this?
Further to my research on Marta Hiltunen, I cannot find any source on her cabin allocation. Considering that she was a single woman but (possibly) travelling with Anna Hamalainen and the latter's son Viljo, can anyone conjecture where Marta's cabin might have been located? Marta, Anna and Viljo were in the vicinity of Lifeboat #4 and the other two got places on it but poor Marta could not. She presumably was not there when Collapsible D was being loaded some 10 minutes later. But that might not tell us much about which cabin she came from.
Utra is in the town of Joensuu in eastern Finland, nowadays Utra is part of the town of Joensuu, but at Martta's time it was probably a little village. There's even a road in Joensuu named "Utrantie" (Utra Street).
Hämäläinen was from Kiihtelysvaara, which is also quite near to Joensuu.
At the time of the sinking, Finland was still a part of the Russian Empire. In effect, Marta was a subject of Czar Nicholas II. I find it interesting that an 18 year old Finnish immigrant was able to travel in Second Class as opposed to the usual Third Class. I wonder how Marta was able to afford the higher fare.
From what I have learned, her travelling companion Ana Hamalainen paid at least part of Martta's fare. Ana already had a husband living near Detroit, Michigan and was travelling to join him with her baby son Wiljo. From what I have heard from various Finnish and other Scandinavian sources, Martta had agreed to stay with the Hamalainen's for a year and work as a housekeeper while Ana and her son settled in before the former made her own way in America. Also, having a travelling companion for the duration of the voyage - which included a not too comfortable crossing from Finland to Newcastle on the SS Polaris, would have helped Ana Hamalainen and her baby a lot.
I just discovered that Viljo Hamalainen, the 13-month old baby who travelled with his mother Anna Hamalainen and Martta Hiltunen, died of an illness in March 1914, 2 weeks after his 3rd birthday. His parents divorced within a few years and both eventually remarried.
I have been in conversation with Peter Engberg-Klarstrom (PEK) for the past couple of days and he makes a very convincing case as to why Anna Hamalainen, her baby son Wiljo and Martta Hiltunen were near Lifeboat #10 and not Lifeboat #4 as has long been presumed - both lifeboats were lowered at the same time of 01:50 am that night. Anna and Wiljo were rescued on the boat while Martta remained on the deck and was lost. Having believed for a very long time that this scene was near Lifeboat #4, I was unconvinced by PEK's argument at first but now I increasingly believe that he could be right. There are several reasons for this.
Post-disaster interviews with Anna Hamalainen were hard to find till recently but PEK mentioned at least two, one with the Detroit Journal on 20th April 1912 and another with the Detroit Free Press a day later; an excerpt from the latter is available here on ET in Anna's bio.
In that first interview, Anna Hamalainen reportedly specifically said that she and baby Wiljo were rescued on Lifeboat #10 while Martta Hiltunen was left behind since the boat was lowered before she could enter.
In both and other interviews, Anna described a large crowd around her lifeboat with a lot of confusion, which was the case near #10 but not so much near #4.
PEK believes that on the port side, very few second and third class passengers got to the forward boats and this could especially be the case for #4 which had been lowered to the A-deck quite early on.
Also, looking at the Free Press interview, Anna's English wording might have been misinterpreted by some. She refers to the lifeboat 'being let down into the water' and then follows up with 'we were only a short distance away'; this could easily have been interpreted as her saying that the lifeboat was only a short distance away from the water when it was lowered (which was the case with #4), but careful reading indicates that she meant that her lifeboat was only a short distance away from the Titanic when the ship sank (that is applicable to both #4 and #10).
Thinking about it in some depth, Lifeboat #10 makes far more sense in explaining Martta Hiltunen's fate than #4. The general consensus is that she froze in fear at the moment she was due to follow Anna and Wiljo into the lifeboat and so the boat was lowered moments later with her still on the deck. Lifeboat #4 had been fixed to the side of the ship by wire and the atmosphere around it was not really something that could have caused Martta to freeze even allowing for the language barrier. Lifeboat #10 on the other hand, was swinging away from the side of the Titanic and by 01:45 am (at which time the boat was still being loaded) there was an almost 3-foot gap that the boarders had to negotiate. Also, the downward trim of the bow meant that #10 was a lot higher above the water surface than #4 and the combination of that height and gap plus the crowd around the boat, shouted instructions etc could easily have caused Martta Hiltunen to freeze-up.
The other thing is that Lifeboat #10 explains why Martta did not try for a place on Collapsible D after she missed the first boat. If it had been Lifeboat #4, she would have seen the crowd move up and forwards towards the boat deck where they were about to start loading Collapsible D and followed them. But if it was Lifeboat #10, as I now believe is the case, Martta might not have realized that there was another boat forward if she had remained aft with rest of the crowd.