Passengers in the Great War


James Hill

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Feb 20, 2002
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I would be interested to know what the passenger survivors did in the Great war. I do know that Daniel Buckley was tragically killed with the American Army in France and Edith Pears, drove ambulances in the war. I would like to know what the other passengers did.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Here are a few more from 3rd Class:

Norwegian seaman Albert Moss, who had been travelling on Titanic to join ship in the US, continued to serve on merchant vessels and survived a torpedo attack.

Of the immigrants, some returned to their homelands to answer the call of duty long before the US entered the war. Julius Sap joined the Belgian army, while Gus Cohen joined the British army and was wounded several times, leaving him blind in one eye.

Others came later as enlisted men in the US Army. As you know, Buckley was killed in action. Einnar Karlsson and Thomas McCormack survived the war unscathed. Bernard McCoy survived but his health was permanently damaged by the effects of mustard gas. Perhaps the most tragic case, however, was that of John Kennedy. He joined the US Army but got no further than basic training, during which he died from a freak case of anthrax, believed to have been contracted from an infected shaving brush.
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Trevor Powell

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Aug 22, 2005
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Like Edith Pears, second class passenger Elizabeth Nye drove ambulances, transporting the wounded. Edith Rosenbaum (Russell) from first class later became a war correspondent, quite possibly the first female, spending time with soldiers in the trenches.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Belgian-born Mathilde Weisz was a 2nd Class passenger who had arrived in New York widowed, destitute and reliant on financial assistance from the Red Cross and other relief organisations. During the Great War, though still living on a modest income, she repaid those organisations many times over by raising the equivalent in today's money of over a million dollars to help the victims of war, and was awarded a medal by Albert, King of the Belgians.

Another passenger honoured by King Albert was Frank Browne, the now-famous amateur photographer who travelled on the Titanic as far as Queenstown. As a front line Chaplain to the Irish Guards, Browne carried no weapon but his acts of heroism were numerous and resulted in five woundings as well as the award of King Albert's personal medal, the French Croix de Guerre and the British Military Cross (twice). In later life his commanding officer described Browne as 'the bravest man I ever met', and coming from no less than Field Marshall Lord Alexander that was one hell of a compliment.
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Jul 9, 2000
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>>In later life his commanding officer described Browne as 'the bravest man I ever met', and coming from no less than Field Marshall Lord Alexander that was one hell of a compliment.<<

I wouldn't disagree with that either. it takes a very special sort of person to go into a hot battle zone with firefights raging all around, do it unarmed and all to minister to the sick and the dying. Chaplains do it all the time.
 

James Hill

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Feb 20, 2002
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Do you mean he met Lord Alexander in the Great War in the Second World War. Alexander was by the end of the war a colonel I think in the Irish Guards, Browne`s regiment. Still Alexander himself won the MC like Browne and a DSO I think. Good to see that the service the army chaplains gave is still remembered. Here are some non Titanic links for you to see the bravery that the Royal Army Chaplains Department displayed. Thanks for the information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Robert_Fountains_Addison

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Bailey_Hardy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Noel_Mellish
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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Emily Ryerson was also awarded the Croix de Guerre for her work with the French wounded, according to Don Lynch. And her daughter Suzette trained as a "bacteriologist" at the University of Chicago and was also later decorated (not sure if it was the Croix de Guerre) for assisting to evacuate the wounded from.....somewhere. I have a copy of her NY Times obit at home, which would give the details. And I'm pretty sure there was at least one man in first class who also gained the C de G, but I can't remember just who it was right now.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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That was Richard Norris Williams, who proved to be effective at delivering not only tennis balls but also artillery shells at his opponents!
 
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Mrs. Henry B.(Rene) Harris proposed and helped organize the first tour of performers to entertain frontline troops in a war. Her 1917 YMCA Tour, in which vaudeville star Elsie Janis was the headliner, was a huge success and inspired the famous USO tours of World War II. She also arranged benefits for returning soldiers through the Stage Women’s War Relief Society, and personally kept up a correspondence with a number of soldiers, including a whole Australian battalion that she "adopted." For sending over her troupe of entertainers, she received commendations from the French, British and American governments.

Edith L. Rosenbaum (later Russell) was not only one of the first female war correspondents, writing regular dispatches for the New York Herald in 1916-17, but she personally brought care packages to French and Allied soldiers at the Front, including letters, cards and candy. She was arrested and briefly detained as a spy by border guards on one of her missions, and narrowly escaped a shrapnel explosion on another occasion. In 1925 she received an award for her war work from the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union.

Noelle, Countess of Rothes was a trained nurse and as early as 1911 had endowed her local Red Cross with an ambulance brigade. In 1914 she opened her Fifeshire estate, Leslie House, to Belgian refugees, and after that tended to convalescing soldiers (also at Leslie House). In 1916-17 she personally sold flowers at various public events in Edinburgh and London and even gave guided tours of her house to help relief agencies. Her husband, who was a commander in the Highland Cyclists Battalion, was twice wounded in the war.

Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon loaned her "Lucile" salon in Paris to the French Red Cross for its use as an ambulance facility during the early part of the war. From 1914 through the end of the war, she also allowed the French Army to use her Versailles villa, Pavillon Mars, as lodging for its commissariat staff. Later she was a spokesperson and fundraising chair for the Secours Franco-American Pour la France Devastee. With funds realized through her efforts, the group provided food, clothing, shelter and medical attention to thousands of refugees during the German invasion. The monies also went toward rebuilding bombed towns. One of them was the city of Peronne. At the same time she helped fund the Orphilinat des Armees, which aided children of French soldiers lost in battle. A single event she arranged at the Plaza Hotel in New York in 1916, a musical fashion revue called Chansons Vivantes, raised enough money to feed, clothe, house and administer medical care for 100 children for a year. Lady Duff Gordon’s nephew, Lieutenant Cosmo Duff Gordon, was killed in the war and she endowed a canteen in his name near Flanders. Although Lady Duff Gordon received no commendation for her work in behalf of war relief, the American Embassy in Paris invited her to be one of only a few women to witness the signing of the 1919 Peace Treaty at the Palace of Versailles.
 

Brian Ahern

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Just for the sake of tying up a loose end, Suzette Ryerson was referred to as a war heroine because she worked as a bacteriologist at a field hospital in France and was under fire for weeks during the German drive for Paris in 1918, working unceasingly to evacuate the wounded from the hospital. This is according to her 1921 obit.
 

Aidan Bowe

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May 22, 2004
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Who survived the sinking only to then lose their lives in World War 1? What about WW2 also?

[Moderator's Note: This post, originally posted as a separate thread outside of this subtopic, has been moved to the pre-existing one discussing the same subject. JDT]
 
May 1, 2004
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I have often thought that perhaps many of the men who froze to death in the water were better off dying that way than in some freezing and muddy European field during The Great War (how can a war be called Great, I wonder?).
 
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I have just spotted a throw away comment in yahoo answers by someone who claims a female survivor was a battlefield reporter during the First World War...does anyone have any other information.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Probably a reference to Edith Rosenbaum. According to her biog page here on ET: World War I provided Edith with the opportunity to become possibly the first female war correspondent as she spent time in the trenches with the troops.

[Moderator's Note: This post and the one above it, originally posted as a separate thread in an unrelated topic have been moved to the pre-existing one, discussing the same subject. JDT]
 

John Lynott

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Mar 31, 2000
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Who survived the sinking only to then lose their lives in World War 1? What about WW2 also?

Jack Thayer apparently took his own life in 1945 after the death of one of his sons in the Pacific Theatre - see ET Passenger Biog for confirmation