The question of precisely why Edith Evans failed to find a seat in Collapsible D beside Caroline Brown has been exhaustively debated over the years. I'd like a solution to this perplexing conundrum as much as anybody. All sorts of theories have been advanced, some of them quite imaginative - was she wearing a constrictive hobble-skirt which prevented her from making the jump from the deck into the boat? Did she believe that it was her destiny to die in a shipwreck? - but we're no nearer to achieving a definitive answer.
It should be remembered that Colonel Gracie, who was actually there on the night in question, was similarly flummoxed. By his own account, he questioned the surviving crewmen who had been stationed near Collapsible D on this very point but failed to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. It could be that, lady or no lady, and with the situation reaching a truly critical stage, she was simply prevented from boarding the boat by those desperate to get it away in time. A fact which, although understandable, resulted in the unnecessary death of a young woman and was conveniently over-looked during the myth-making process of selfless male gallantry which took place in the days and weeks following the sinking.
It is certainly curious, though, that Mrs Brown is not, to the best of my knowledge, on record as making any kind of adverse comment on the behaviour of the men stationed near Collapsible D. She seems to have stressed in no uncertain terms that Edith made the conscious decision not to board when she might have done - which is surely not a line she would have taken had she believed that her friend's life had been needlessly sacrificed?
Now, at the distance of nearly a century, I don't suppose we'll ever know for sure. Just another tantalising, frustrating enigma to add to the long list of those we're left with from that night.
hello, everybody. Actually, I believe Caroline Brown entered boat 4, based on her interviews, and not D. There were other ladies near No. 4, besides Edith Evans, who did not enter it; Martta Hiltunen and Mrs. Chapman, e. g.
Sorry for not having my notes readily available, and I know we have discussed this matter numerous times before regarding Mrs. Brown being either in boat 4 or boat D, but didn't William Lucas, who left in D, call up to Miss Evans on the deck, "There is another boat going to be put down for you!"
Yes, I remember Mrs. Brown's account which did seem to indicate she could have been in boat 4, but given Col. Gracie's research and the statement made by Mr. Lucas, I still believe the ladies were at boat D. Just my opinion, of course.
Twenty years since we first met, Peter, and we're still trying to place these survivors in their proper lifeboats!
Hello, Mike, delighted to hear from you! Actually, I don't think it was ever established who, if any, called to Miss Evans that there was another boat...
Perhaps I am mistaken, however, but I cannot remember who said this....At any rate, Miss Evans was not the only lady in that area.
Absolutely. Yes, I will have to check William Lucas' testimony. I distinctly recall that comment to Miss Evans coming from Walter Lord's book, A Night to Remember so perhaps this is where I'm thinking Walter was basing his writing on Lucas' version of events. Poor Walter did in fact, a few times, take some liberties and "added" some details of his own to the book. He freely admitted to me that his editor encouraged it in some instances for dramatic effect.
I recall reading an account that said that Mr.Futrelle was forced away from "a lifeboat" (which I presume was D) at gunpoint. Is this right? I can't put my hand on the story at present, but it came from Mrs.Futrelle via another source.