Why didn't Lorraine Allison get in a boat?


Neil McRae

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I was just looking for an explanation for the negligent example of parenting by the Allisons that got their daughter killed. According to their bio on this site. They wouldn't let her go into a lifeboat while searching for their son (who ironically DID get into a lifeboat.) Did they not realize the gravity of the situation or were they foolish enough to think they could actually find him in time?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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negligent parenting?
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Rather a rash assumption there. Their son was missing, they had no idea where he was, they went looking for him. What parent wouldn't do the same?

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Dec 7, 2000
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I sort of agree. The son was nowhere to be found, however I don't see why they wouldn't put the daughter in a boat, especially when the situation was getting more desperate. I know that if I were 2 y/o and one of my younger siblings went missing, my parents would have definitely eventually placed me in a boat, to at least save me (even though they sacrificed themselves and were still looking for another child).
 
Jul 9, 2000
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The problem is that the Allisons may not have understood just how much trouble the ship was in until it was way too late. Captain Smith & Co. weren't exactly forthcoming with the information.

I get a little nervous of charges of parental negligence 90 years after the fact anyway. We can't know exactly what the Allisons were thinking, and they're no longer available to offer a defence. All we really know for sure is that they were looking for a lost child.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Charmaine Sia

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Nov 25, 2001
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I don't like to judge anybody, and certainly not the Allisons. The situation was precarious, and I'm sure they were also worried about their daughter.

Perhaps they didn't want to put their daughter into one of the lifeboats yet just in case they were unable to find her BUT managed to find their son after that. No one really knows, so the best that we can do is just guess.

Regards,
Charmaine
 

Beth Barber

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That is a difficult one. I can see all different viewpoints. But, being a parent myself, I can't imagine that they would not have put their daughter in a boat - had they really known how bad things really were. Could have been by the time they realized it - it was too late. - Beth in SC
 

Steve Arnold

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Jun 28, 2000
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People do things in moments of hysteria for which there is no rational explanation. The Allisons would have been frantic looking for the boy; their thoughts would not likely have been clouded by rationality.
 

Neil McRae

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Did it ever occur to them for a moment that someone (like say Miss Cleaver, who was also missing) might have put him in a lifeboat???
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Neil, it's hard to say what they were thinking. I can say it's a dicey proposition to guess at something you don't see happen so you might want to put yourself in their position.
1)One of your children is missing.
2)You have no idea where he is and you seem to have lost track of the governess as well.
3)You do know the ship is in trouble, but you're not really sure how much trouble until it's too late.
4)Understandably, you're worried and you don't want to guess or make assumptions.
5)With one missing, you really don't want to chance being seperated form the one you have. Again, quite understandable. You don't know if you'll ever see her again.
6)You don't have the advantage of seeing what the future holds as we do.

What do you do? Climb in a boat and hope for the best or do you go looking for the missing child?

Bear in mind, I'm not trying to put you on the spot. I'm just trying to illustrate the spot the Allisons found themselves in. It's not an easy call to make. We know that Allisons made the wrong choice, but then we have the advantage of access to certain information they didn't.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Dave Hudson

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Apr 25, 2001
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I must agree with Michael here. I sympathize with the Allisons. All they knew for sure was that their only son was missing and apparently with the maid, who also was no where to be found. They already were missing one child and the last thing they wanted to do was be separated from the other. To put Lorraine in a boat meant that their only daughter would be alone in a rowboat in the middle of the icy Atlantic. The parents certainly weren't going to split up. Besides, lifeboats seemed much more dangerous than Titanic and although the ever-increasing list showed danger was at hand, ignorance was bliss. The Allisons probably didn't want to believe that the ship was going to sink. They most likely searched 1st Class and made several trips around the Boat Deck and Promenade Deck. Seeing the crowd gathering at the stern, they decided to look for them there.

But who can say. For all we know, the Allisons found someone they knew who saw Miss Cleaver and Trevor get into Boat 11. They decided to get into a collapsible only to be separated when the wave hit. The parents made it to Collapsible B only to freeze and be pushed off. Little Lorraine, not knowing how to swim and without lifejacket, drowned.

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Or maybe she made it to a large piece of paneling only to be transported through time to the 21st century.

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David
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Mmmmmmmmmm...c-o-u-l-d be....stay tuned for further developments...when I get the time. This particular holiday of mine was a busy one. Christmas shopping at the mall is something of an aquired taste.
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Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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All,

The parents certainly weren't going to split up.

It is entirely likely that the Allison parents did not locate eachother until the last minute. We know that Hudson left the cabin to obtain information. A little later, Alice Cleaver grabbed baby Trevor and headed up to the boatdeck, leaving Bess and Lorraine in the cabin. Alice met Hudson coming back, but who's to say that the rest of his family hadn't left the cabin at this juncture in search of young Trevor, before Hudson returned?

And even if they did reunite, Hudson may have gone in search of his son leaving Bess and Lorraine near a boat. Major Arthur Peuchen believed the loss of his friends was due to the fact that the couple could not find eachother.

Regards,
Ben
 
May 8, 2001
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OK here is another "mothers" thoughts on this subject. Remembering first that Lorraine was not quite 3 and Trevor was not quite 1, and speaking as a parent of 2 children spaced almost the same as the Allison children, (and the younger one, now the age of Lorraine who loves his mama) I will continue.
When he is awake, he knows exactly where mama is, and where I go he goes, or is nearby for the most part. Knowing his personality, I do not have to imagine very hard to know what sort of fit he would throw if I would wake him up and try to hand him off to a stranger in the cold and dark. His terror, panic and cries would not only be heart wrenching to me, but all those around. If she perceived that they had some time, keeping them together so they could enter the lifeboats together instead of worrying about another child, who depending on the child may attempt escape and fall in the water, or get back on board, was most likely her objective.
Knowing how tired a mother with two babies can be, (nanny or not)! I am certain that the LAST thing on the Allison's mind was to have a predetermined "escape plan" on this ship. Taking Hudson Allison's education and business savvy into consideration, If there were any trepidation of danger on this liner, he would have more than likely just made other travel arrangements. Since lifeboat drills were not performed, no one knew where to meet or if everyone was safe. I seem to recall that Alice Cleaver was a replacement nurse in which case, in a time such as they were faced with, one is never to assume what someone will do in a state of panic, or that someone else has your baby. In an interview given by Don Lynch, he explained that Mrs. Allison was starting to become panicky, and Nurse Cleaver just wrapped up baby Trevor and left.(Dare I say, kidnapped him!) How did they know for sure if crawling, toddling, baby Trevor didn't get out through an open door and was wondering through the halls? It is just one more tragic story in the death of this ship.
IMHO......
Colleen
 

Kris Muhvic

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Jul 3, 2001
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Hello all-

A few points on this unfortunate subject I wish to make, having been haunted by the Allison tragedy since first hearing of it.

The thing I can't get out of my head is why Cleaver took Trever. Look, she was employed to take care of two-TWO- children. Sure, Trevor would have taken up more time, what with diapers, feedings (hmmm...Bess nursing, or the breast-pump method, I do not know what was practiced by mothers of the Allison's social standing in 1912). I ask because that would give an inclanation as to how involved nanny was to mother. Anyway, Lorraine was probably more of a handful.

The story I get is when Mr. Allison is out figuring what is going on (yes, an educated man in business, but since a ladies' maid and a nanny were employed, I do not think he was much educated in the ways of motherhood; not to say he didn't love his children, just that he, like most men of his generation, would be distant from the day-to-day child rearing), Miss Cleaver took only one of her charges. OK, so Bess was "hysterical", does that make an excuse to pick and choose which child to grab? But then, who knows what really happened....

Here is a piece from the old 1912 copy "The Sinking of the Titanic- and Great Sea Disasters", ed. by Logan Marshall. Now, I know alot of this book is melodrama, grain of salt sort of thing, but I'll show this bit and maybe someone can input a validity/in-validity in this story:

"BABY TRAVERS" (sic)

Still more pitiable in one way was the lot of the baby survivor, eleven-months-old Travers Allison, the only member of a family of four to survive the wreck. (... )
Baby Tavers, in the excitement following the crash, was separated from the rest of the family just before the Titanic went down. With the party were two nurses and a maid." (I think the surviving cook, booked in 2nd class, got jumbled up in there-KM).

"Major Arthur Peuchen, of Montreal, one of the survivors, standing near the little fellow, who, swathed in blankets,lay blinking at his nurse, described the death of Mrs. Allison. She had gone to the deck without her husband, and, frantically seeking him, was directed by an officer to the other side of the ship.

She failed to find Mr. Allison and was qickley hustled into one of the collapsible life-boats, and when last seen by Major Peuchen she was toppling out of the half-swamped boat." (... )

"Describing the details of the perishing of the Allison family,the rescued nurse said they were all in bed when the Titanic hit the berg.
" "We did not get up immediatly," said she, "for we had not thought of danger. Later we were told to get up, and I hurriedly dressed the baby. We hastened up on deck, and confusion was all about. With other women and children we clambered to the life-boats, just as a matter of precaution, believing that there was no immediate danger. In about an hour there was an explosion and the ship appeared to fall apart. We were in the life-boat about six hours before we were picked up." "

Well, there is... something. I do not know, nor can I say if this is a true, genuine account, or a hodge-podge of misinformation. Just a contemporary account that might have meaning tucked away. Would love to hear an interrpertation... always wondered about Peuchen's statements, if indeed they were his statements.

Yours-
Kris
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Kris,

Very interesting indeed. You are right it is a sad mystery but it touches us all and also tends to make us mad. I know I've always wondered why the nurse ran off, as it certainly looks like she did.

Fear? Stupidity? I think a little of both. I do also feel some blame lies with Mrs. Allison as she should have exercised more control over her employee than what it appears she did. And if there was some difficulty with this nurse being either high-strung or otherwise unstable, all the more reason to keep close watch on her. And I think Mr. Allison should have stepped in as disciplinarian if his wife was unable to cope with this nurse.

I realize it may be unwise to make assumptions as to the personalities of those involved in this little saga but I can't help thinking that Mrs. Allison was not quite a responsible mother, that the nurse was erratic and thus unfit for her position, and that Mr. Allison was indifferent or else not very observant.

In my opinion it was ridiculous for that couple to think that their baby son was not already safely away in a lifeboat. Even if they truly thought he and the silly nurse were lost somewhere, why not save their daughter at least? If they had elected to stay together, why subject their child to that horrible death?

It boggles the mind, that story.

Oh, and thanks, Kris, for sending the excerpt from The Liners. No, I've never read those passages and it is very true. The American buyers like Edith Russell who criss-crossed the ocean several times a year were truly the seasoned travellers, far more so even than the glitterati.

Randy
 

Kris Muhvic

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Jul 3, 2001
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---And let us not forget the maid than seemed to run off before anyone else! If not for the fact the ship was sinking, I would take that as a solid "I quit!".

And that could have been the problem. Quite possibly Bess depended more on her (soon to be abscent) maid than the newly-hired nanny/nurse. We may never know.

One thing I thought of is that Titanic is always considered a microcosim of the Gilded Age, and the Allisons could be a further, broken down version of smug, arrogant complacency. Unfortunatly, tragically backfiring.

Randy- I'm glad you took interest in the buyers parts. Not much, I know, but what I could offer!

Also, your questioning Bess's responcibility: she did come from WI; I have been there, wonderful, and a hearty lot they are...not the gilt-caged doves one would think of Bess being!

Take care-
Kris
 
May 8, 2001
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Hi guys. I have looked at this a little more, and would like to add more to the mix...
I believe that Sara Daniels was Loraine's nurse, and shared a room with her, so as far as to why Alice took Trevor and not Loraine, I would have to say because she wasn't paid to.
Sara woke Hudson due to the fear of danger, and he became angered at her, so I suppose she decided to save herself, left and got into a lifeboat. Had he not blown up at her, and both she and Alice been together dressing the children and agreeing on a plan of action for BOTH the children with Bess, this doubtfully would have happened. Sometimes people react so unlike themselves in high stress, dangerous situations like this, no one can really know what she was thinking. Once panic sets in, it is like wildfire, and near impossible to get under control.
The sad part is she and Loraine WERE in a lifeboat at one point, and instead of understanding the seriousness of it, she got out to go to the other side to be with her husband.
This is just one story that we know. Think of the hundreds of others in second and third class that were played out similarly that will never even be mentioned.
Truly, a sad sad story...
cry.gif

Colleen
 
M

Mathew Owen

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Does anyone know anything about Alice Cleaver supposedly killing her own baby? Apparently, a baby was found having been thrown off a train, found to be Alice Cleavers, she was tried for it but pleaded insanity, and was let off (from Titanic: An Illustrated History). Obviously if this was true, the Allisons weren't aware of it. However, suppose Alice was recognised while on board as no doubt her face would have been in the papers. Perhaps Mrs Allison found out of the crime and this would explain why she was so anxious to find her little boy? If anybody's seen the 1996 miniseries 'Titanic', it tells the story of the Allisons, a stewardess recognises Alice, though the Allisons never find out. What if this suggestion was true? This would definitely explain Bess' panic to find baby Trevor.
 
Mar 10, 1998
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Mathew,
Alice Catherine Cleaver was the Allison's maid and never was in jail and never killed anyone. She was born to a postal employee in 1889, married and had three daughters and lived to be 95, dying in 1984 in England.

The child murderer was a woman named Alice Mary Cleaver who was the illegitimate child of an illegitmate child and then she herself had an out-of wedlock son--the one that she killed. She was judged insane and incarcerated and was never really released to freedom. She suffered from tuberculosis and in its end stages was moved to a sanitarium called the Hostel of God where she died in February of 1915.

As I recently said on another thread, this story has taken on a life of its own and will never go away. It is a matter of confusing two women with similar names.

Hope this clears it up.

Phillip
 

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