Were Third Class families separated whilst on board?


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Talira Greycrest

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I know it was single men in the bow and single women in the stern, but I heard somewhere that this rule also applied to families. Is this true and, if so, why? I'd expect a family travelling together would have their cabins close to each other.
 
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Bob Godfrey

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If a family included 'adult' sons (ie aged 12 or over) these older boys were required to berth with the single men in the bow. In these circumstances it was quite common for the father, if he so wished, to accompany his son(s) in order to look after them while his wife looked after any daughters and younger sons in a family cabin at the stern..
 
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Talira Greycrest

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For those families who were separated, I hate to think what must have been going through their minds during the chaos of the evacuation. Did any of them ever find each other before the ship sank? Imagine being a man staying in a cabin in the bow with your eldest sons whilst your wife, daughters and any very young children have to stay in a family cabin in the stern. You're at one end of the ship but the rest of your family are at the other end! Apparently, it took 2nd Officer Lightoller two weeks to find his way around without getting lost. The passengers, on the other hand, only had a few short days to do this.
 
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Bob Godfrey

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All the 3rd Class passengers would have been familiar with the wide passageway known as 'Scotland Road' which connected the 3rd Class cabins and public areas at the bow with those at the stern and with the dining rooms in between. It's clear from many survivor accounts that the men berthed at the bow had no problem keeping contact with the female members of their traveling groups during the voyage or with getting back to them after the collision. There was no physical segregation except in terms of sleeping and dining arrangements.
 
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Talira Greycrest

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Does this mean the women were not allowed to dine with the men?
 

Bob Godfrey

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There was one dining room for the single men and another for the single women and families. You can see them on the plan for F deck, labelled as 'Aft Dining Saloon' (for the women and families) and 'Forward Dining Saloon' (for the single men). They were accessed from adjacent stairs on E deck above.
 
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Talira Greycrest

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Just had a look at Titanic's menus and was a little surprised to see roast beef and gravy on the Third Class menu. You'd think something fancy like a roast dinner would only be available in First Class but from the looks of those menus, every passenger, no matter what class they were in, had the option of enjoying some nice roast beef and gravy for either lunch or dinner.
 
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Bob Godfrey

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Roast beef had been a British tradition for centuries and was enjoyed at least occasionally by all classes, to the extent that the French nickname for the Brits was 'rosbifs' - while we called them 'frogs'! My mother recalled that as a child in the 1920s she was generally sent to the local butcher as late as possible on Saturday afternoons to buy a cut-price joint. In those days few shops had refrigeration, so the butcher would want to clear his stock at bargain prices before closing for the weekend. At home, what was left over from the 'Sunday joint' was used to make things like brawn, mince and sausages, and the surplus fat served as 'dripping' which was layered onto bread as a cheap breakfast or supper. A typical meat and veg dinner would not have been acceptable in the cabin class dining rooms, where something more sophisticated would be expected though it might contain many of the same basic ingredients. 'Roast meat', incidentally, is a term which traditionally applied only to meat which had been cooked over an open fire. What we now refer to as roast meat is generally baked in an oven.
 
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Talira Greycrest

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It's nice to know all the passengers and crew got good-quality food. Even in Steerage, you'd get decent meals.
 

Bob Godfrey

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You wouldn't have eaten well in traditional steerage, which was still available for instance on German liners. 3rd Class on White Star and Cunard was much better in every way, closer to 2nd Class than steerage. The meals were certainly better than most would have experienced at home.
 

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