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Survivors' untimely deaths

Discussion in 'The Fates of the Survivors' started by Iain Stuart Yardley, May 11, 2002.

  1. Morning everyone,
    This subject has more than likely been brought up in another thread so I apologise beforehand if I'm going over old ground.
    I recently read a book about a British passenger ship which was torpedoed during WW2 and the survivors were eventually rescued from their lifeboats, sometimes weeks later. One of the survivors was returning to Britain aboard a troop ship because of his injuries and in turn that ship was torpedoed, sank and all aboard were killed.
    This made me think about which survivors of the Titanic died prematurely, that is who went beofre their time - accidents, violence etc.
    Much has been written about Washington Dodge and Jack Thayer etc but what about the lesser known tragedies involving the others?

    A few come to mind -

    Mary Peter (fire)
    Eugenie Baclini (meningitis 4 months after Titanic)
    the McCoy sister (killed during a burglary)
    Helen Bishop (car crash)
    Daniel Buckley (war)
    Robert Douglas Spedden (crash)

    And then there are those that died of illness shortly after the Titanic at a fairly young age -

    Charlotte Collyer

    It seems just a sad footnote to the Titanic that so many of her survivors met such tragic ends anyway.

    I would be interested to hear your stories.


  2. Inger Sheil

    Inger Sheil Member

    Archie Jewell has always struck me as one of the more poignant cases. Having survived the Titanic, he was lost when the hospital ship Donegal was sunk during WWI - the story is in his bio on the site.

    I often walk past the Merchant Seamen's Memorial near the Tower, and if anyone is visiting London and we're visiting that wonderful part of the city I'll take a moment to point out Jewell's name on the memorial.
  3. Phillip Gowan

    Phillip Gowan Member

    As best as I've been able to track, at least 48 of the 712 Titanic survivors died prior to April 15, 1922, the 10 year anniversary. Other than the ones mentioned above, there was John Kennedy who died of Anthrax poisoning, Hannah O'Brien and one other who died in the influenza epidemic, several who died during World War I, some who succumbed to common diseases even though they were fairly young, and several whose natural lifespans just came to an end. And in that short period the deaths of those survivors were spread out all over the world--as far away as Mrs. Hewlett in Naini Tal, India, another on the island of Malta,
    one in Syria, and of course in various places in America and Europe.

    There were of course the suicides (amply covered in other threads) and I think I'm counting a total of 14 or 15 of them now. Hangings, shootings, throat-slashings, and even one who drank bleach.

    Regarding Iain's mention of Agnes McCoy--there is no proof she was murdered and she died in 1957 when she was an old woman. Her great-niece who now lives in Virginia told me that she remembers visiting Agnes with her father shortly before Agnes's death and that she was a "very sick old woman who couldn't have lived much longer." A coroner's inquest was held because of what appeared to be bruises on the body but the official cause of death listed on her death certificate is heart disease. Of course "murder" makes a better story than succumbing to heart disease and I know that the younger generation of the McCoy family, in some cases, still believes in the murder scenario. It was interesting, though, that the niece in Virginia said that her father never even mentioned the possibility of Agnes being murdered--even at the time of her death.

    The Titanic experience was a tragedy of epic proportions--but other tragedies awaited those lucky enough to survive. I suspect there were those among them who at one time or another wished they had not been among the 712 survivors.
  4. HI "Boz". "And then there are those that died of illness shortly after the Titanic at a fairly young age -". Trevor Allison.(ptomaine)
    A few others that I can remember offhand. Ruth Tassig (typhoid fever 1925)
    Mary Nakid (meningitis 1912), and several died from TB.
    Very sad indeed. cry.gif
  5. The rotund Mr Frauenthal jumped out of a window, falling to his death...


    Tarn Stephanos
  6. >dont feget the fact that fredrick fleet killed himself. in 1965 despondent >over his finances and the recent loss of life fleet took his own. sad hah from reece ewington (17 m melbourne australia)
  7. Kate Bortner

    Kate Bortner Member

    And there's my relative Jessie Trout (later Bortner) who died in a car accident in 1930.
  8. Dave Hudson

    Dave Hudson Member

    Then of course there's Col. Gracie who died in the fall of 1912.
  9. Kate: Did your relative give her account on the sinking? I noticed there is not much information in the bio's. Would you like to share some stories with us?
    I understand if you think of it as a private nature.
  10. Jeremy Lee

    Jeremy Lee Member

    From the book Ghosts of the Titanic by C. Pellegrino, he quotes that a higher than normal proportion of Titanic survivors live to over a 100.

    Any opinions?
  11. With all due respect to Charlie Pellegrino, I'd like to see the statistical evidence to back that up. Unfortunately, he's not a qualified statistician so he may be getting his signals crossed. The proposition is iffy at best. You might want to check out This Article which Phil Hind posted a link to.
  12. John Clifford

    John Clifford Member

    I also think of both Phyllis Quick and Jack Thayer, Jr., both of whom committed suicide.
  13. Jeremy Lee

    Jeremy Lee Member

    Thanks for the link Michael.

    BTW, it also seems that quite a number of survivors committed suicide.
  14. >>BTW, it also seems that quite a number of survivors committed suicide.<<

    I've heard that said. What I wonder is if the actual suicide rate is above the statistical norm for the population as a whole. Doing a quick search, I could only find one man who hanged himself (Fred Fleet) and three who died of gunshot wounds. Nothing on overdoses and the like.
  15. Jeremy Lee

    Jeremy Lee Member

    Probably drug overdosing wasn't exactly a very popular way of committing suicide in the past.
  16. My bet is you're probably right. Hanging or eating ones pistol seemed to be the method of choice. At least in western cultures.
  17. Tracy Smith

    Tracy Smith Member

    Drug overdosing is more commonly associated with female suicides than male suicides for some reason.
  18. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    Dorothy Parker, prone to melancholy, gave some thought to how best to end one's own life, and came to a relatively happy conclusion.

    Razors pain you
    Rivers are damp
    Acids stain you
    Drugs cause cramp
    Guns aren't lawful
    Nooses give
    Gas smells awful
    You might as well live

    Tracy is right in what she says. And aren't many suicides young? I can't quite see any young people who survived the Titanic committing suicide, it doesn't make sense. That would leave older people either at the time or later - ill or destitute, or shamed in some way. Just like now, in fact. I doubt if the suicide rate among survivors is different to the normal population.
  19. Karin Kasper

    Karin Kasper Guest

    To answer Tracey's post about male vs. female suicide methods, I can't quote exact stats, but I do recall reading somewhere that women (on the average) tend to favor less violent methods for killing themselves- drug overdoses, for example- whereas men favor more violent ways- ie., shooting themselves.