Why did Edith Evans stay on the ship?

Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

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Although this doesn't relate to the mystery serounding her death, in 2001 James Cameron send one of his ROV's down to the forward staterooms on A-deck. Sadly all the wooden walls have been eaten away but all the white painted, Cot brass bed (which were supplied by Hoskins and Sewell) of the outboard staterooms (which were bolted on the floor) are still in their same place as they were in 1912. This is a screenshot of A-29 her brass bed, which was Miss Evans her stateroom. The in-board staterooms had oak Cot beds and are sadly eaten away.
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
There are about 4 pages of useless 'information' about Edith Evans in Judith Geller's book Titanic: Women and Children First. Like with most other subjects covered in it, there is a lot of author's fantasy with little fact that cannot be found in other sources. Geller speculates how Evans must have found the ship's magnificence, how warm and snug she must have been when the accident happened, how she watched the ship's lights disappear one by one and the floor giving way beneath her etc. All very well if Geller was writing a fictional poem about Edith Evans but worthless if one is after hard facts.....or at least 'soft' facts as told by survivors.
 
Cam Houseman

Cam Houseman

Member
There are about 4 pages of useless 'information' about Edith Evans in Judith Geller's book Titanic: Women and Children First. Like with most other subjects covered in it, there is a lot of author's fantasy with little fact that cannot be found in other sources. Geller speculates how Evans must have found the ship's magnificence, how warm and snug she must have been when the accident happened, how she watched the ship's lights disappear one by one and the floor giving way beneath her etc. All very well if Geller was writing a fictional poem about Edith Evans but worthless if one is after hard facts.....or at least 'soft' facts as told by survivors.
Something I've always wondered, was what stopped her from getting in? In Gracie's book (could be ANTR, its been a while since I've read it.) its described as an unseen obstacle. What do you think prevented her from getting into Collapsible D, Arun?
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Although this doesn't relate to the mystery serounding her death, in 2001 James Cameron send one of his ROV's down to the forward staterooms on A-deck. Sadly all the wooden walls have been eaten away but all the white painted, Cot brass bed (which were supplied by Hoskins and Sewell) of the outboard staterooms (which were bolted on the floor) are still in their same place as they were in 1912. This is a screenshot of A-29 her brass bed, which was Miss Evans her stateroom. The in-board staterooms had oak Cot beds and are sadly eaten away.
They were bolted? Neat. Somehow A-25's Brass Bed has considerably slid aft, to be touching where the wooden wall would be.
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
Something I've always wondered, was what stopped her from getting in? In Gracie's book (could be ANTR, its been a while since I've read it.) its described as an unseen obstacle. What do you think prevented her from getting into Collapsible D, Arun?

Why Edith Evans did not get into any lifeboat is a real mystery. Being in an A-deck cabin, she would have realized fairly early that there was trouble and I have read that by 12:25 she and the 3 sisters were aware that the ship was badly damaged and was likely to sink. But none of them got on board an earlier lifeboat despite being an all female group and it was not until 01:45 that Charlotte Appleton and Malvina Cornell left on Lifeboat #2. Caroline Brown stayed behind briefly with Edith Evans but left on Lifeboat #4 (I now believe that Mrs Brown was saved on Lifeboat #4 like she claimed and not on Collapsible D like Gracie thought).

IMO, the above suggests that the delay might have been due to Edith Evans' reluctance to get into a lifeboat and her companions might have spent time trying to persuade her to change her mind. I cannot comment on the truth about the "beware of the water" story but the fact that her family had lost relatives in the 1854 wreck of the Arctic and her own survival of the 1888 blizzard in which over 400 people died might have had something to do with it. My guess is that Charlotte Appleton and Malvina Cornell eventually gave up trying to persuade Edith and left on Lifeboat #2 while Caroline Brown stayed a few minutes longer before departing on #4. That parting seems to have been a deliberate act by Edith Evans (her telling Mrs Brown to go ahead as she had children etc) which suggests that the latter was rescued on Lifeboat #4. On the other hand, AB William Lucas' statement about the 2 women near Collapsible D almost 15 minutes later and whom he was unable to help points to one of them being Edith Evans.
 
Duquesa

Duquesa

Member
Why Edith Evans did not get into any lifeboat is a real mystery. Being in an A-deck cabin, she would have realized fairly early that there was trouble and I have read that by 12:25 she and the 3 sisters were aware that the ship was badly damaged and was likely to sink. But none of them got on board an earlier lifeboat despite being an all female group and it was not until 01:45 that Charlotte Appleton and Malvina Cornell left on Lifeboat #2. Caroline Brown stayed behind briefly with Edith Evans but left on Lifeboat #4 (I now believe that Mrs Brown was saved on Lifeboat #4 like she claimed and not on Collapsible D like Gracie thought).

IMO, the above suggests that the delay might have been due to Edith Evans' reluctance to get into a lifeboat and her companions might have spent time trying to persuade her to change her mind. I cannot comment on the truth about the "beware of the water" story but the fact that her family had lost relatives in the 1854 wreck of the Arctic and her own survival of the 1888 blizzard in which over 400 people died might have had something to do with it. My guess is that Charlotte Appleton and Malvina Cornell eventually gave up trying to persuade Edith and left on Lifeboat #2 while Caroline Brown stayed a few minutes longer before departing on #4. That parting seems to have been a deliberate act by Edith Evans (her telling Mrs Brown to go ahead as she had children etc) which suggests that the latter was rescued on Lifeboat #4. On the other hand, AB William Lucas' statement about the 2 women near Collapsible D almost 15 minutes later and whom he was unable to help points to one of them being Edith Evans.

I loved this theory, except for the part where Malvina and Charlotte could have tried to persuade Evans and left for boat 2, this doubt may have even happened, but why would they leave their sister and niece behind?

I would like to share this theory that my friend created and to know the opinion of all of you, he also challenges the fact that Caroline got on boat 4.
Here it is:

''The three sisters went to the deck on A deck at about 00:15-20, they were with Colonel Gracie and Edith came in at 00:20-25, they stayed there until like 00:45 because they were told that boat 4 was not going to start filling up on that deck, so they were all to go to the deck of the boats above they went there and must have seen boat 8 and 6 sailing away, because Caroline gave an interview saying "we never got close to the boats in the beginning, it was a big mess and we prefer to stay away but watch".
After seeing them, the people in boat 4 were sent down again more or less after boat 6 set sail, at 01:20-25, they went and stayed on A deck ahead of boat 4, waiting with the other groups to start filling.
When they got there at about 01:35 they must have gone to the front of boat 2, because it was the only one there at that time, but there were a lot of people ahead, there had already been shots and everything, but the sisters Charlotte and Malvina managed to get in.
Caroline said in a newspaper that "In the end, we went from boat to boat, never getting in because there was a big mess
And she said that it was in that mess of getting into a boat that she got separated from her sisters, so what we deduce is that Charlotte and Malvina didn't notice that Caroline and Edith stayed behind and were only lifted into the boat
After boat 2 left, at 01:45, they must have gone down again to boat 4 because Caroline saw the Astors getting into the boat
They must have been stuck in the confusion again, unable to get in, after which they went to the boat deck again to the starboard side, standing still not knowing what to do.
at this time around 01:55-02:00 Colonel Gracie saw them and took them in their arms and took them halfway across the boat from the boats, he said I'm going to edith to make the way first with the caroline back.
Then they arrived at D and most likely it was like Caroline said, they took Edith but she said to take your aunt first (not in the sense of wanting to stay on board but just to avoid what happened to the sisters, who didn't noticed that the other two were left behind)
So caroline got in first and maybe they said no more women could get in, because caroline said she protested the entry for Edith to get in first, but she was thrown into boat D and she said she only heard edith saying calmly "don't worry, I'll catch the next boat"
Then Caroline said that she was in the boat that caught the survivors of boat B, which was supposedly boat 4 that caught them, but she said that before catching the survivors she changed boats (many did this to gain more space) so we deducted that she switched from boat D to boat 4, and then picked up the survivors of B.''
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
Things could have happened the way you say but I believe that your times are a bit off key. Gracie appears to have first met the Lamson sisters on the boat deck at about 00:15 am, which was when Edith Evans joined them. At that stage Gracie soon left them to "attend to other matters" (which could mean more of his somewhat overbearing 'support' to unattended women) but met them again around 12:40 am, by which time Lightoller was in the process of lowering Lifeboat #4 on to the A-deck. Gracie probably knew that and initially took the 4 women there but only found 6th Officer Moody, to whom he "handed over" the responsibility of the women. But Moody probably had orders by then to supervise getting the port aft boats ready and we know that he was soon working on Lifeboats #16, #14 and #12. Therefore, it is very likely that from 00:45 or so onwards, the 4 women remained in the vicinity of the empty Lifeboat #4 while other boats were being loaded and lowered. In the confusion, the temptation to remain near a lifeboat apparently ready to start loading any time would have been there. I believe that's where Caroline Brown's "we preferred to stay and watch" quote comes in.

But as we now know, Lifeboat #4 remained on A-deck for a long time before it even started loading and after a while the 4 must have decided to split-up, with Charlotte Appleton and Malvina Cornell going up to the boat deck to check what was going on while Caroline Brown and Edith Evans remained near Lifeboat #4. By then there were increasing crowds moving around and it is very likely that the two pairs lost sight of each other. Mrs Brown and Miss Evans must have then searched for their companions in vain ----quote:
Caroline said in a newspaper that "In the end, we went from boat to boat, never getting in because there was a big mess
Elsewhere, Mrs Appleton and Mrs Cornell could have done the same thing but in the end, allowed themselves to be shepherded into Lifeboat #2, guessing that the other two would also get into another boat. (It is quite likely that before they split-up into twos, each pair agreed that should they miss each other later, to go ahead and get into the next available lifeboat). That would be about when Gracie found Mrs Brown & Miss Evans again and ushered them into Lifeboat #4, which by then was almost ready to be lowered. Exactly why Edith Evans did not follow Mrs Brown into Lifeboat #4 is difficult to say; Lightoller had reportedly fixed the side of the boat to the ship and so despite the port list there was no large gap that Miss Evans had to negotiate. One possibility is that Lifeboat #4 appeared to be crowded and so even though there was room for her, Miss Evans might have wrongly believed that there wasn't; that ties in with what Mrs Brown later reported about her last conversation with the other woman.

The next port Lifeboat to be loaded was Collapsible D and when she got there, Edith Evans might have found herself hemmed in by the crowd. Also, unlike with Lifeboat #4, there was a large gap between Collapsible D and the ship, something that Edith Evans might have been scared of. Able Seaman William Lucas, placed in charge of and already in Collapsible D, testified that he saw Edith Evans and another young woman in the crowd but was unable to help them as the Lifeboat was lowered.

Finally, Edith Evans might have made it to the higher starboard side and Collapsible A and is very likely one of the 4 or 5 women that Steward Edith Brown saw "struggling in the water" after the wave hit but was unable to help. George Rheims, who was eventually rescued on Collapsible A, claimed that Edith Evans actually swam across to the lifeboat but did not have the strength to pull herself up and he could not help her either. Like Evans, Rheims was a First Class passenger and would have most likely known her by sight.

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