Ruth Becker Giving Up Lifeboat Seat


Holly Peterson

Hello, I've recently encountered a source of confusion about Ruth Becker, the 12-year old girl who survived the Titanic. I read in some books, including Barbara Williams (?) Titanic Crossing, that she originally was placed in Lifeboat 11 but gave up her seat when told the boat was too full. However, I haven't found any evidence of this anywhere else, reading the common explanation that only her mother and little siblings were allowed in Boat 11. Can anyone clear this up for me? Did Ruth really give up her seat or is this just some myth? I've been wondering this for a long time.
Holly, Ruth Becker Blanchard was interviewed several times, including being featured on DEATH OF A DREAM/THE LEGEND LIVES ON.

Ruth had gone back to her cabin to get blankets for her mother and younger siblings; thus she was behind them when Boat #11 was being filled.

What Ruth stated was that her brother and sister were helped in to Lifeboat 11, when the Officer declared "That's all for this boat. Lower away!!", at which point Nellie Becker protested, saying "But those are my children! My babies!", and she was let in.

At that point, though, Lifeboat 11 was lowered, and Nellie realized that Ruth was still on the TITANIC, and she screamed out "Ruth!! Get in another boat!!".

The next morning was when Ruth tried to find her mother, brother and sister, on the CARPATHIA.
During that time, around 10:00 AM, a woman came up to her and asked, "Excuse me, are you Ruth Becker?". When Ruth answered "Yes, I am", the woman told her, "Well, your mother has been looking everywhere for you".

"Titanic Crossing" is a fictional story, using TITANIC for its plot, even as actual passengers are named. Ruth Becker's story was apparently the inspiration for the other passenger (whose name escapes me, right now).

I recommend that you write to Don Lynch, who knew both survivors Ruth Becker and Edwina Troutt.
Don's address may be listed in the THS Commutator, if you are a member of THS.

Holly Peterson

Thanks John; your account of Ruth's story is pretty much what I suspected happened. I am completely aware that Titanic Crossing was a work of fiction; in fact, I read about Ruth Becker in the Author's Note in which Mrs. (Miss?) Williams explains how she based the character of Emily off of Ruth. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
Yes indeed Ruth Becker is the basis for the character of Emily. She and Victoria were placed in Lifeboat #13 ( as I recall, but I could be incorrect) after Emily had told Albert that her mother and siblings had just left on a boat a few minutes earlier, presumably Boat #11.