The Duff Gordons


I'm recently become interested in the Duff Gordon's, mainly after reading the wonderful posts from Randy which contained letter's by Lucille.

I'd like to learn more about them and things they supposedly said or did during their voyage on the Titanic that made them so controversial. I know that Lucille especially got very bad press after the Titanic but I do not really know why.

If someone could explain things to me I'd be grateful.

Thanks and take care,
Hi Kristen,

I see you are a new ET member. Welcome!

Thanks for your kind comments about my research on Lucile.

For more information on the controversy of the Duff Gordons' escape from Titanic, you might want to have a read through some previous threads on this forum regarding the subject. There are several, some of them now archived. I have just had a look to see which ones might be of the most help to you.

Check out the topic "Which Lifeboat?" and look under "Boat 1." That'll be a good start. Also under "Passenger Research" pull up "Archive through 18 June 2002" and then look for "Lady Duff Gordon."

A rather light-hearted thread you will find in the same archive under "Duff gordons."

Though there's not much about Titanic in it, you might want to read my ET Research Article on Lucile's career, accessible in PDF format from the homepage. Also, in "Online Exhibits," featured on the front page of ET, there is a photo of the dressing gown or kimono which Lucile wore when she left Titanic in lifeboat 1.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,

Thanks very much for the warm welcome and the topic hints.
I'll be sure to check those threads out when I'm not so tired (right now it's almost 2am here in England and I've got work tomorrow!).

Take care,
Kristen, it might help to have a brief summary of the controversy surrounding lifeboat 1 (capacity 40 persons), which left the Titanic with only 12 people aboard. These were 7 crewmen and 5 First Class passengers including the Duff Gordons and Laura Francatelli, Lady DG's secretary. After the sinking, no attempt was made to rescue swimmers despite the fact that the boat had room for another 28 people. The issue is whether or not the Duff Gordons made any attempt to influence that scenario, compounded by allegations that Sir Cosmo had bribed the boat's crew to ensure that no risks were taken. This was a distortion of the fact that he had made an offer to help financially when some complained about the loss of their belongings, but fact and fiction became hard to untangle in the story of 'the money boat'.

In addition to the sources Randy has mentioned, you might want to look at the statements made at the British Inquiry by the Duff Gordons and by crewmen from the lifeboat. The transcipts are here on the ET website.