Mary Davis

Jillynn Grow

Former Member
Well I have temporaily/permenently given up on my mrs. j.j. astor charater in the exhibition I work at. Because the other day I found mary davis in the Woman And Children First book. I was so taken with her kind and friendly nature I starde protraying her yesterday. But more subsantuial information and stories would be most helpful,or more storie from lifeboat 13. Also I have heard may version of what happened when she was thrown in the lifeboat. All help would be most apperecated.


Mikael Jonsson

Former Member

Did any of you meet Mary Davis? I found an article about her on Long Islanders on the Titantic

She said that she is sure the band played "Nearer My good to thee"

"Until the end, she recalled, the ship's orchestra continued to play "Nearer My God to Thee." "I can hear it like it was being played now," she added.

She also said that she saw William Murdoch shoot himself as you can read here: Miss Mary Davis

How trustworthy was she? Are there any recorded interviews with her?

best regards, Mikael
Dear Mikael,

I never met Mary Davis Wilburn but I did speak with her on the telephone once in 1985. She was 102-years-old then. Unfortunately, her advanced age prevented her from answering many of my questions in great detail, but she did relate what she could remember about the sinking and was happy to do so.

A friend of mine, Fred Rueckert, was a friend of Mrs. Wilburn's and visited her on several occasions before her death in 1987. He has many pictures of her, as well as an audio tape of her recollections. I would be happy to put you in touch with him if you would like to ask any specific questions.

The tape is fascinating to listen to, but unfortunately, some of Mrs. Wilburn's memories are disappointingly vague. She remembered much about the voyage and always recalled being awakened by the hard knock on her cabin door by her steward. She had a sense of humor and on many occasions would burst out laughing with some of the things she remembered doing aboard Titanic. When asked if she had ever been a ship since 1912, she replied that she sailed back to England a few times. On one trip, when her son Carl was just a child, she found him trying to climb through their cabin porthole. The ship was in mid-ocean, and she had been out in the hallway chatting with a new shipboard acquaintance. When she walked back into the room, much to her horror, she saw him halfway through the porthole! She let out a scream and pulled him back in. He had gotten up on one of the beds and was trying to reach down and touch the water. As Mary said on the tape, "He nearly gave me a second heart attack while at sea!"

I do not believe Mary saw Murdoch take his own life. In my opinion, the 1912 interview referenced was either fabricated or embellished by the reporter seeking to add more drama to the account. Mary left the Titanic in boat #13 and remembered being flung into the boat by a seaman. She stated that she landed on her knees and was rather annoyed by this manner of abandoning ship. In regards to her hearing the hymn, "Nearer, My God, to Thee," she claimed in 1912 that she heard it - and almost seventy-five years later still held to that belief.

Mary Davis well remembered her roomate, Lucy Ridsdale, and did tell me that when she boarded the Titanic and found her stateroom, she very badly wanted to secure a lower berth. She feared that sleeping in the upper berth would make her seasick. Not long after Mary began to settle in, her roomate Lucy arrived. Much to Mary's surprise, she discovered that Lucy had a club foot and so was happy to surrender the lower berth to the older woman. Mary said that she prayed every night that the ship wouldn't encounter a storm to cause it to rock back and forth. "I prayed for a calm sea and got an iceberg instead" she chuckled.

Well, I'm afraid I've rambled on somewhat. If you would like any additional information, please let me know.

Mike Findlay
Hello, as I recently just registered I haven't had time to introduce myself yet but was just browsing and came upon info regarding Mary Davis. My name is Carol A. Wilburn Robinson, and I am the only granddaughter of Mary's. I grew up in Syracuse, N.Y., born and raised in a 2-family home with my grandparents living upstairs. So as you can imagine I heard the Titanic story hundreds of times. I also have one brother, Robert, the only grandson. I due recall many times she mentioned hearing the song "Nearer My God to Thee." But never heard her mention witnessing William Murdoch shooting himself and think Mike Finley's statement was correct, the story was embellished. I was very close to my grandmother and have many fond memories of her. As young children there was never a night my brother and I wouldn't go upstairs to say good-night and recall all the times her and I would have tea together. I can picture her at this moment, a short, small-framed woman that spoke with that English accent until the day she passed at 104 yrs. old. If anyone has any questions, please let me know. Carol
Lucy Ridsdale was my Gt Gt Gt cousin on my mothers side of our family. I delighted in the fact that Mary remembered her so well and wish i could have met her to ask just what Lucy was like.Mary's kindness towards Lucy probably contributed to her survival and my family will be forever greatful.
Hello Kelley, I see by your recent post we have alot in common. To think that your cousin and my grandmother were roommates on the Titanic is amazing. I remember my grandmother mentioning switching berths with Lucy and the turmoil of leaving the ship. And with as many conversations
I'm sure they had I don't recall anything personal she talked about.

You would have liked Mary, she was a kind, humble and religious lady who always had a nice word for everyone. I would love to know more about your cousin's life, such as why and where was she traveling to aboard the ship, her occupation, where she settled down, etc. And I would be glad to share with you anything that you would be interested in regarding my grandmother. Hope to hear from you soon. Best regards, Carol


My name is Tope's ,it's a good and interesting history of a century. I am a Computer Scientist ,but I love history about people's and a nation as a whole,I we really be happy if I can still meet this old woman,but unfortunatly she has died that what pain me so much about it,I pray that she should enter paradise,ameen. This is my mail in case you want to contact me :[email protected]
Lucy Ridsdale was my Gt Gt Gt cousin on my mothers side of our family. I delighted in the fact that Mary remembered her so well and wish i could have met her to ask just what Lucy was like.Mary's kindness towards Lucy probably contributed to her survival and my family will be forever greatful.
Hi Kelley, I am new here, but I am also a relation of Lucy Ridsdale. I would love to connect.