Miss Lillian Cribb Led Through Passageways on Titanic to Lifeboat
To the rare presence of mind of her father, John H. Cribb, who lost his life when the Titanic sank, Miss Lillian M. Cribb, 17 years old, believes she owes her life. Controlling her overtaxed nerves as best she could upon her arrival at the home of her uncle, John W. Welch, at 106 Pennington street, last night, she recited the incidents attending her rescue aboard the Carpathia.

It was a beautifully clear night, with the stars lighting the sky, that but few of the third cabin passengers had retired. I myself had been asleep only a few minutes when the alarm was sounded, and hardly realizing any danger, I dressed and went out. I found my father waiting for me. He grasped me by the hand and almost dragged me to the deck above by a passageway which was known only to persons familiar with the ship.

As a butler in prominent homes around New York he had acquired friendships which gave him entry to circles of that vocation, and some of those acquaintances renewed on board the Titanic stood him in good stead at this time, for we were permitted to mount to the upper decks by this stairway, used ordinarily only by employees. He escorted me to a lifeboat and, placing me in one which was about to be lowered, he bade me good-by, saying that he would get into another and meet me in a short while.


I did not see him again. But, oh, the awfulness of it all did not come to me until long afterward. I didn't think it was so serious. I kept hearing them say over and over, "Women and children first," and I permitted myself to be placed into a lifeboat, but I could not realize that it was anything but a sort of a dream. There were thirty-five people in our boat, which was the fourth to leave the Titanic, and all but five, who were sailors sent to man the boat, were women.

We pushed away and the men rowed as hard as they could, so, as they said, we would not be caught in the suction when the vessel should go down. I saw the big iceberg which we struck and it looked as though the ship was stuck fast into it. The lights were lit for perhaps a half-hour after we left the ship and they disappeared and we did not see the ship or the iceberg again. After drifting about until daylight we discerned a wide field of ice with several high icebergs protruding, but I could not say that any one of them was that which we had struck.


When we were taken aboard the Carpathia we were asked to what class we belonged. I, of course, told them I was of the third-class, as did others, but immediately we became aware that there was a difference between the accommodations of the two ships for the same classification of passengers. Such things as table linens and other homelike features were missing in our new habitations, we found. But eventually foreigners of a certain class were relegated to another part of the ship and we were given what was probably more attention than was usual for that grade of passengers. In fact, there was one of my father's old friends who saw that I and some of my new acquaintances got some of the things on the bill of fare that the second-class passengers got, and so we did not fare so badly after all, so far as eating was concerned.

Miss Cribb is decidedly English in her speech and manner, but by birth she is an American, having been born in Newark seventeen years ago. The last eight years she has lived in Bornemouthe, England, where her mother and two brothers and a sister still remain. She and her father had preceded the rest of the family on what was to have been their return to this country for the purpose of making their home.

Mr. Cribb was for several years assistant steward of the Essex Club of this city and he was later butler for Herbert Ballentine. In a similar capacity he was in the employ of Frank Gould on the yacht, Helenita, and until last September was butler at the home of E. S. Repello, 841 Madison avenue, New York. It was to the last mentioned place to which he had expected to return on his arrival upon the Titanic.

Related Biographies:

John Hatfield Cribb
Laura May Cribb

Relates to Ship:



Mark Baber


Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) GIRL SAYS FATHER SAVED HER IN WRECK (Newark Star, Saturday 20th April 1912, ref: #3079, published 24 June 2004, generated 23rd November 2020 10:21:17 PM); URL :