Who are the two women with Mr Beesley on Carpathia


Pat Cook

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Apr 26, 2000
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Mike - I must say you really got my attention with this one! Where did you get the info that the second lady is Marion Smith? Also, that she was in Beesley's lifeboat?

We've been working on this second woman for some time now. Several people believe she is Fanny Kelly, who was Slayter's cabin mate.

Anxious to hear from you, sir.

Best regards,
Cook
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Hi Cook,

I hang my head in shame. I'm afraid that I was not fully awake when I answered the e-mail this morning.

I meant to say that the woman to the right was Fanny Kelly. I have seen the Hilda Slayter diaries and should have known better.

I was working on information on Marion Smith this morning, and my attention was on her in particular. Marion Smith is ANOTHER story but will save it for another time.

My apologies to Hildo for the error.

Thanks for correcting my mistake, Cook.

Regards,

Mike Findlay
 

Hildo Thiel

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Nov 5, 2000
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Hi Cook and Mike,

So am I right that the passengers on the photo are Miss Hilda Slayter, Mr. Lawrence Beesley and Fanny Kelly?

It's sure that Miss Slayter and Mr. Beesley were in the same lifeboat. But Mrs. Kelly was in another. Am I right?

Regards,

Hildo
 

Pat Cook

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Apr 26, 2000
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Mike - Actually, I was in hopes you had some fresh information for me on that one.

As you probably know, I've been in contact with Alan and he's given me bits of info from the Slayter 'scribbler'. According to our last correspondance, Slayter helped Kelly up a ladder but was a little vague about which boat she got into. Have you seen anything that would positively (according to Slayter, that is) place her in #13?

Best regards,
Cook
 

Pat Cook

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Apr 26, 2000
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Hi Hildo,

Looks like you and I posted at the same time. Yes, you're correct that Slayter was indeed in Beesley's boat, #13. Alan Ruffman, along with Gary Shutlak, is decyphering a 'scribbler' written by Hilda Slayter (in her later years) in which she goes into some detail about this. Ruffman, according to Geoff Whitfield, is going to speak at the BTS convention and hopefully Alan will shed more light on the actual contents of this work and what he and Shutlak intend for it. Word is they hope to annotate it and have it published - this is only a rumor, as far as I know, though.

Hope this is of some help, O M

Best regards,
Cook
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Hi Cook,

Just curious - do you refer to Alan Hustak or Alan Ruffman? Both have copies of the diary but they haven't disclosed who they've shared the great find with. Hilda's writings are most interesting but are vague in many areas.

I have seen nothing by Slayter which would positively placed her in boat #13. My information comes entirely from Beesley (the Clonmel, Ireland connection) who also noted that there was a woman in his lifeboat who had trouble climbing the rope ladder on the Carpathia. I thought he may have been referring to Fanny Kelly.

Up until the discovery of Hilda's writings, much of what we knew about her experiences came from the newspapers of the period. From reading them, she claims that she was in the boat with the Navratil boys - indicating collapsible D. It cannot be determined if Hilda was in error reporting this or if the reporter was at fault.

As I'm at the office right now, I will check my files at home and will get back to you with additional info.

Regards,

Mike Findlay
 

Pat Cook

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Apr 26, 2000
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Hey Mike,

This was some few months ago. Alan Ruffman sent me some detailed info in exchange for some 'Beesley' to corroborate what he was, at that time, still decyphering. It was during this time, we got into the Fanny Kelly question. I believe Alan Hustak and I emailed each other around this time but I didn't know he had also seen the 'diary' - perhaps at that time he hadn't. I have a feeling that Ruffman, during his BTS speech, will disclose a bit of info. I have Geoff Whitfield on my payroll to 'mole' for me.

Will appreciate anything else you may have on the matter.

Best regards,
Cook
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Mike Findlay..Mike, could you send me an email? Your address has been lost! I have a large amount of information on Marion Smith - I'm just trying to prove that I have got the right Marion Smith!!!! Will happily share it with you should it prove correct!
Geoff
 

Philip Hind

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Staff member
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Hilda Slayter's Lifeboat

I am grateful to Alan Ruffman for the following contribution:


Quote:

By dint of hard work and some very good luck, Alan Ruffman, author of TITANIC Remembered: The Unsinkable Ship and Halifax, and numerous other TITANIC-related articles, has turned up what he calls the handwritten 'Undated recollections of Mrs. Henry Reginald Dunbar Lacon (nee Hilda Mary Slayter; April 5, 1882-April 12, 1965), written "in old age" circa the late 1950s, of early periods in her life in Halifax, Nova Scotia and in Paris, Prance, circa 1888-1901, in South sea, near Portsmouth, England, circa 1902-1904, onboard and surviving the TITANIC loss in 1912, and during the December 6, 1917 Explosion in Halifax Harbour, as recorded in pencil in her own hand in a 10" 'plain' unruled scribbler published by 'Gage'.' which cover several parts of her life and incidents such as the 1917 Explosion in Halifax Harbour, and her survival of the TITANIC. Wendy Findley and Alan Ruffman have now made a laborious exact transcript which will be considered for possible publication. Laborious because the whole text is written in pencil on a very poor grade of off-white paper in a scribbler, and the hand is at times difficult to decipher. Garry Shutlak at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia has now proofed the transcript, and the next stage is to integrate and to check Garry's comments.
While there is much in this volume of recollections, recent speculation as to in what lifeboat she escaped TITANIC can be put to rest. Her account makes it clear that Hilda Slayter was in the same lifeboat as Lawrence Beesley. Her account parallels his in many aspects. hence if Beesley was in No.13. so was Hilda Mary Slayter. It is also clear that Fanny Lydia Kelly was boosted up on the outside ladder by Hilda to reach the boats some time before Hilda herself followed: so that it is rather likely that Fanny, Hilda's second class cabinmate, went off TITANIC in an earlier lifeboat rather than in Lifeboat No.13.




© Copyright 2001 Alan Ruffman. All Rights Reserved

Alan Ruffman is President of Geomarine Associates
and Research Associate
Nova Scotia Museum Complex,
Maritime Museum of the Altlantic,
Halifax,
Nova Scotia
 

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