The Matrons

Gary.J Bell

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May 30, 2004
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Hi
Does anyone know if all classes had a Matron working in their hospital section?
I have a book called Titanic:Fortune and fate, which i have found quite alot of faults with.One of which was stating that Lady Cynthia Asquith was onboard whereas infact she was a writer who commented on the tragedy.
Anyway, whilst looking through the crew list, i spotted a Mrs.Wallis, who was a Matron (which class,i dont know) and that she was not saved.
Has anyone heard of Mrs.Wallis before?
I didnt even know Titanic had Matron's onboard, and if each class had one.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Mrs Wallis worked in 3rd Class and was basically a stewardess with special responsibilities, which included advising families how best to meet their childrens' needs while on board and keeping the doctors informed of any signs of ill health. She was not a nurse and did not work in the ship's hospital, and her duties as a 'matron' were rather those that would be required of a school matron (more motherly than medical). There was no equivalent provision for the Cabin Classes.
 

Gary.J Bell

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May 30, 2004
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Thanx bob!
So i take it there was no offical 'matron' onboard.?
I mean, there wasnt a head matron for first/second class?
I wonder why Mrs.Wallis never made it to the lifeboats?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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There were no matrons at all of the medical kind, and no other member of the crew with that designation. According to the evidence of other stewardesses, Mrs Wallis had more faith in the ship than in the lifeboats and eventually left the boat deck for the illusory safety of her cabin rather than take her chances on the open sea.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Interesting point, Lester. Possibly there was nowhere else she could be 'slotted in' for both accommodation and administrative purposes other than with the two stewardesses who served the ladies in 2nd Class. Mrs Wallis was described in a newspaper account of 1912 as a 'stewardess/matron', and there was of course no provision of stewardesses as such below 2nd Class. Perhaps she had a dual role, but her special duties were related to the needs of families and single women travelling in 3rd Class.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hi Bob,

I understand that there were 23 female crew:
17 [general] Stewardesses in 1st Class, plus 2 for the Turkish Bath and the 2 Restaurant Cashiers.
For 2nd Class the only Stewardess that I am aware of was Mrs Snape; plus Mrs Wallis, Matron.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Lester, the other stewardess I have listed for 2nd Class is Katherine Walsh. I know she is signed on with the 1st Class contingent, but she roomed with Lucy Snape (and possible Mrs Wallis) and served the lady passengers in 2nd Class. Selina Rogers referred specifically to the kindness shown by her stewardess, Miss Walsh. It's notable of course that all three of these women were victims of the sinking, and if I remember right the only three among the women crew.