Titanic Survivors Who Sailed on Olympic


Apr 16, 2001
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For many years, I was always interested to learn just how many Titanic survivors chose to sail on the Olympic, Titanic's sister ship. A good number of surviving Titanic crew served aboard the Olympic afterward, and some even joined the Britannic but how many passengers made this brave decision to "drop a few pounds and try" the Olympic after their 1912 experience.

Here's what I've been able to find so far:

To date, the winner is first-class passenger Henry Blank. I know of at least two voyages that he made on the Olympic in the 1920s. One voyage was made in May 1921, and the other in June 1924. Although he traveled alone on the Titanic, his wife Phoebe accompanied him on the 1924 Olympic voyage. Unfortunately, Blank's impressions of both crossings have yet to be found but he didn't mind traveling by White Star after the disaster. He favored the Majestic, but decided to try the Mauretania in March 1913.

I know of four other first-class survivors who made journeys on the Olympic as well:

Miss Helen Ostby - sailed June 1920
Mr. William Sloper - sailed in 1926
Mr. & Mrs. Elmer Taylor - sailed September 1924

It would be interesting to wonder what thoughts may have gone through Helen Ostby's mind when she boarded the Olympic in Cherbourg in 1920 - she lost her father aboard the Titanic eight years earlier.

While checking over others, it seems that a vast majority of the surviving first-class passengers
abandoned the White Star Line and traveled only by Cunard for future crossings. At least one exception - Dickinson Bishop and his third wife sailed with White Star on many occasions but never tried the Olympic for some strange reason.

Edward Calderhead traveled extensively by the Rotterdam, the Greenfields sailed almost exclusively on the Kaiser Wilhelm II (at least one voyage on the Rotterdram), and the Cardezas switched to the Lusitania and Mauretania. Marian Thayer also favored the Lusitania - crossing back to the U.S. in February 1914 with Jack. Mahala Douglas also enjoyed the Mauretania - crossing almost exclusively on her after losing her husband on the Titanic.

Reports claim that Emma Bucknell was so emotionally destroyed by her Titanic experience that she never again took an ocean voyage. She apparently recovered enough to try to a journey on the Kaiser Franz Josef I in May of 1913 after a visit to her daughter in Italy.

If anyone else has information pertaining to other survivors who sailed on the Olympic, I would be interested to hear. You have to wonder if some of these folks slept with one eye open every night during the voyage.....

Regards,

Mike Findlay
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Hello Mike,

Good idea for a thread.

I know that the Rothschilds travelled extensively. Steward Ray remembered serving Martin Rothschild aboard the Olympic. Perhaps his wife continued White Star tradition in spite of the Titanic disaster which claimed her husband? It appears the Ostbys were particularly loyal to the WSL. I guess this didn't change even after 1912.

In any case, you've got me interested. I'll look further into this...

Ben
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Hi Ben,

Actually, I don't know anything about Elizabeth Rothschild's travels abroad after 1912, but I do know that she and Martin sailed on the Baltic in 1910 - I guess they were fans of the White Star Line also.

For some reason, I don't think Elizabeth kept up European travel after her husband's death. If she traveled abroad again, it must have been after the First World War since there are no records for her up through the 1920's.

Hope you can find a few more....

Best,

Mike
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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Sloper also travelled in 1924. Edith Russell claimed to have sailed the Olympic. Although her memory has been known to be faulty.
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Hey Shell,

I remembered Marshall but I was curious about those survivors who sailed AFTER the Titanic sank. I was always interested to know who would have taken the chance - and a few did apparently. Marshall still holds the honor of being the last passenger to have traveled on both Olympic and Titanic at the time of his death.

Many Titanic passengers traveled on the Olympic prior to making the maiden voyage in April, 1912. The Dodges, Percival and Richard White, the Drews and many others traveled aboard Olympic in late 1911 and early 1912 respectively. The Whites enjoyed the Olympic so much that they booked return passage on Titanic - a fatal mistake for both father and son.

Mike P. - Yes, I remember Edith claiming that she crossed on the Olympic but I don't know when. In general, Edith was pretty much on target with her memories but at times, like you said, there were mistakes. I remember one tale of her having tea in the Winter Garden aboard the Titanic. Where did that come from? I believe she was referring to the Cafe Parisian.

I also remember Karl Behr's daughter telling me that her father crossed on the Olympic a few months after the Titanic sank - but without Helen Newsom. He had an uneventful crossing and tried to get Helen to make a voyage on Olympic but she refused and never again step foot aboard a White Star vessel. I can't find any record of Karl Behr arriving in the U.S. after the Titanic sank (in 1912!) so perhaps Sally Behr Pettit was mistaken about his trip being so soon after the disaster.

The search continues....

Mike
 
Dec 7, 2000
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This comes from the Commutator V.22 # 2 and #3 (1998/99), a two part article on the Crosbys. Apparently Harriette Crosby and her daughter often crossed on White Star ships after the disaster, even on the Olympic.

V. 22 #3 pg. 9:

"Mother and daughter returned to France again in 1921-22. Eastbound they travelled on the 'Olympic' and were invited to sit at the Doctor's table for dinner.
On the return trip they booked passage on the 'Homeric'.
When travelling on the White Star Line the Crosbys were given deluxe accommodations because of their experience on the 'Titanic'."

Mike, since they crossed on Olympic eastbound, it is no surprise it did not come up on US records, as they do not keep records of out-going steamers.

Great discussion, I hope to see more names come up.

One very common characteristic of these crossings is that it took the survivors so long before they had enough courage to travel on a Titanic look-alike.

Regards,

Daniel.
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the info on the Crosbys. I didn't know about that. As you say, since they sailed eastbound, there are no records to check. During that 1921 visit to Europe, Harriette Crosby and her daughter apparently returned to the USA on the La Savoie out of Le Havre, France, not the Homeric if the immigrations records are correct. It was interesting to read that they were given deluxe accomodations on White Star vessels after the Titanic - I never heard of this before. I wonder how many other former Titanic passengers requested a special deal at the White Star ticket office because of their experiences in 1912. They certainly had a good negotiating strategy.

Well, we can add at least one other Titanic survivor to the list of Olympic travelers after 1912. It appears that James Robert McGough tried the Olympic in April 1924. He traveled on the Aquatania earlier.

I have noticed that many first-class survivors enjoyed the lure of Bermuda during the 1920s. So many of them traveled to and from there - Olive Crolius, Eloise Smith Daniel, William Sloper, Florence Cumings Swain and many, many more. Although Lily Potter claimed that she never sailed on a ship again after the Titanic disaster, and her present day descendants thought this, it appears that she did try a cruise to and from Bermuda to visit her daughter (who had a winter home there) in 1923. I guess Mrs. Potter never made a transatlantic voyage after the Titanic.

Hopefully, we can find a few more.

Regards,

Mike
 
Dec 7, 2000
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The article was by Mark Rick, and he no doubt got a lot of the info from Harriette’s daughter, Andreé Crosby, as there is a picture of her, Mark and Don Lynch, with Andreé holding the fur coat her mother wore off the Titanic. As we all know things can get muddled in people's memories, so they may well not have crossed on the Homeric, and may not have necessarily been given deluxe accommodation simply because of Titanic. Andreé would have been a girl then, so things may have been different in her mind. However this is a skeptical approach and I may well be wrong.

Regards,

Daniel.
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Daniel,

Thanks. Actually, I had a copy of that Commutator issue but I had forgotten that passage about the Olympic. It was a fascinating article and there may be some basis of fact about mother and daughter traveling on the Olympic - although I must say it was pretty brave decision for Harriette to make. The sight of the Olympic must have seemed like an apparition to all former Titanic travelers.

I'm sure this unique group of former Titanic survivors didn't mind sailing aboard Olympic but it must have been rather eerie to retrace your actions aboard the sister ship. Can you imagine being assigned the same cabin? Talk about reliving bad memories....

Regards,

Mike
 
W

wendi parker

Guest
I can't understand how they can take the Olympic after surviving the Titanic disaster! I've already said that if I could go back, that I would go on Titanic. But I don't know if I would turn around and travel on the Olympic if I had the chance. That is if I survived Titanic!
It would be an eerie reminder of what happened and what could happen! By that time though, there were more lifeboats and again everyone felt safe and sound.
Maybe they felt comfort being aboard the same ship that maybe they lost loved ones.
It is probably on here somewhere and I just didnt see it,
but did anyone sail on Olympic after losing a loved one?
Maybe a widow?

Wendi
happy.gif
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Wendi,

Both Helen Ostby and Harriette Crosby had lost their fathers on Titanic. Catherine Crosby was widowed by the disaster.

Ben
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Hi Wendi,

Well, Helen Ostby lost her father on the Titanic while she survived. Miss Ostby returned to the United States on the Olympic in June of 1920. It has been suggested that Harriette Crosby also took a voyage on Olympic but this hasn't been confirmed yet. Miss Crosby lost her father on the Titanic also. To date, no known widows of the Titanic sailed on Olympic though I seem to think that Mrs. Ryerson may have sailed in the 1920s - still checking on that one.

Regards,

Mike
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Hi Mike,

Looks like you might have overlooked this one. It appears that Taylor was as brave as Blank, also having taken the Olympic twice. Perhaps Taylor was fond of Olympic and who knows how many eastbound trips him and his wife took.

He arrived in the US on Olympic twice:

5 Sep. 1923
9 Sep. 1924

Both trips with his wife.

On 11 June 1924, Henry Blank arrived in N.Y. on the Olympic with his son - Henry N. Blank (28y).

Best Regards,

Daniel.

PS. Those of you who know of George Behe's 1982 Gambler article, will know of Mr. A. McLennan, a gambler. He was fond of Olympic too, having arrived on it in N.Y. 3 times (Aug. 1911, Jan. 1912 - Ismay was on that trip as well, and for the last time on 10 Apr. 1912) he would have no doubt taken several eastbound trips.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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............... and quite possibly the winner is ..... William E. Carter. After the Titanic disaster, his reputation suffered and his wife divorced him. One might think he would never set foot on a White Star ship again, however he wins the trophy for bravery, having crossed on the Olympic (possibly) three times.

There are three records for a William E. Carter that fit by name and age:

-----------------------
Name: Carter, William E.
Residence: Philadelphia, Pa.
Date of arrival: 3 Nov. 1920
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Divorced
Ship: Olympic
-----------------------
Name: Carter, William E.
Residence: Philadelphia, Pa.
Date of arrival: 13 Jul. 1921
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Divorced
Ship: Olympic
-----------------------
Name: Carter, William E.
Residence: Newport, RI.
Date of arrival: 24 Dec. 1924
Age: 49
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Single
Ship: Olympic
-----------------------

Anyone know whether he was living in Newport by 1924, and would have considered himself single rather than divorced?

In my opinion he did cross three times, and as I keep saying, may well have crossed on Olympic eastbound.

Regards,

Daniel.
 

Phillip Gowan

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Apr 10, 2001
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Daniel,
That is "the" Billy Carter. Apparently he remained close to his son. William Thornton Carter went to school and remained in England for a number of years in the 1917-1925 timeframe. Billy made frequent visits across to visit him and to carry on other business.

Phil
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Phil,

Thanks for the info.

I gather it was different story with Lucile Polk Carter (daughter). According to her descendants (specifically her grand-daughter) she spoke very little of her father. The divorce between her parents was not an amicable one by any means, and consequently, great compliments were not passed down through the generations.

Ben
 

Phillip Gowan

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Apr 10, 2001
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Ben,
That's true--in fact it appears that Lucile threw out all the photos of her ex-husband and present day descendants don't have any.

I have a couple of good ones of him and he bears an astonishing resemblance to photos I've seen of Edgar Allen Poe. One can look at that countenance and see in it the essence of a man who could abandon his wife and children in search of a lifeboat for himself.

Regards,
Phil
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Phil,

I'm fascinated to hear that. I had initially contacted a descendant of Lucile Polk for the purpose of obtaining a photograph, if possible. She responded, and told me that she had never seen one for the reasons you mentioned.

I had only seen what appeared to be an drawing rather than an actual photograph, and the features weren't really discernable.

It would be great to see a clear photograph of Billy Carter, and I'm very interested by your description of his appearance.

Best Regards,
Ben
 

Phillip Gowan

Member
Apr 10, 2001
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Hi Ben,
A little farther down the line I'll put the photos out for public consumption. One in particular is a very good portrait of him made several years after the divorce.

Phil
 

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