Mrs Gold in Sydney : The Heroine of the Titanic

The Bathurst Times

The Heroine of the Titanic,

MRS. GOLD IN SYDNEY. LAST WOMAN TO LEAVE. SEA TRAGEDY RECALLED.

"It was fine and clear, that awful night. All the stars were shining. You would never have thought there was anything wrong with the giant ship with row upon row of lights blazing like a grand hotel. But she was gradually sloping forward. Line by line the lights went out as sho got lower and lower. Gradually she was sinking. The bows went under, and, at last, the stern part stood up steeply, with the White Star flag (showing out against the stars of heaven. There was an awful rattle of chains and machinery, and then she slid down and disappeared. In a few moments the water was, quite clear again, as if there never was such a ship. And the sea reflected the stars in the very spot where she had been."

In these words Mrs. Katie Gold, who was the last woman to leave the vessel, described the sinking of the White Star liner Titanic, which struck an iceberg while going at a high speed on Sunday night, April 14, 1912. off the coast of Newfoundland The Titanic, a monster floating' palace of 45.000 tons, was making her maiden trip from Southampton to New York.  With her perished 1635 souls.

Mrs. Gold was a stewardess of the vessel, and had been in the White Star service for 10 years. There are obvious reasons why it is not an easy matter for her to talk of the tragedy she witnessed. It is harder still to get her to say any thing about the heroic part she played in that great calamity. But survivors talk glowingly of her conduct, and the press of England and America has praised her high courage and coolness in the midst of disaster. She is a fresh-complexioned English woman, still voung, with steady grey eyes and a quiet, graphic way of speaking.

"When the Titanic struck the berg," said Mrs. Gold, "I was in my room reading. It was a quarter to 12. The book was a novel,  'The Panther's Cub.'1 I will never finish that book. Twenty minutes after, I heard Captain Smith come down to the room of Mr. Bruce Ismay - managing director of the company — which was only a few feet away from mine. I heard the Captain say to Mr .Ismay, 'We had better get the boats out.'

"I got my dressing gown on then, though I was not in tho least bit scared. A man on the watch came and said we had struck an iceberg, and that we had better get dressed and get lifebelts on. My thoughts went to a lady passenger who was sick, and about whom I was anxious. I found her already up and dressed. I saw to it that she was fixed up with a lifebelt."

Then Mrs. Gold went to Mr. Ismay's room and got a quantity of blankets, rugs, and quilts, which she handed to passengers who had forgotten to provide themselves with such articles, though the night was intensely cold. With no thought of herself; Mrs. Gold went about attending to this passenger and helping that, in the adjustment of lifebelts, and in other ways which are necessary at such times. Three-quarters of an hour after the collision Mrs. Gold went up on deck. On the port side, which was the side of the deck she came up on, all the boats had gone, and on the other side there were only one or two remaining. The officers were calling out for the women and children, but Mrs. Gold, in an extraordinary spirit of self-sacrifice, made no haste to get into the boat. She walked up the sloping deck of tho doomed ship to the stern, where the last, boat was being filled. There were some men there, but the heroic stewardess was the only woman. Still she made no move to enter the boat.

"Get in, stewardess," said Mr. Bruce Ismay.

"I am one of the crew, and should stand by the ship," was the simple reply.

"But you are a woman, and must get in the boat," commanded Mr. Ismay. It was only on his insistence and that of the other men that Mrs. Gold, entered the boat.

"I was not a bit afraid, somehow. I was quite cool. There was really nothing in it. After I entered the boat Mr. Ismay got in, making the 78th person in the boat, which was then lowered 80ft. into sea.  It was dangerously overcrowded. We pulled away a bit, and saw the Titanic go down at 20 minutes to 2 a.m. on the 15th. Some survivors say not, but to me just before she sank she seemed to break up. We heard terrible cries, but could not see where they came from too well.  They must have been from those in the freezing water. The cries of terror and distress blended, and sounded like shouting at a football match sounds from a distancme [sic]. I heard shouting like that over at Mosman 2 a few days ago. I went quite — oh, to think of it! To think of it!"

"No, I can. never, forget it," concluded Mrs. Gold. "It was too terrible for that to be. You see, we were nearly all old friends, the captain, officers, and crew having mostly been transferred together, from ship to ship of the White Star Company. We were more like a family. And there were so many of us that even now at times I suddenly recollect somebody whom I had not realised was lost in the Titanic.


  1. Probably the 1911 novel by Agnes and Egerton Castle.
  2. Mosman: A suburb of Sydney

Related Biographies:

Jane Kate Coulson Gold

Acknowledgements

The Heroine of the Titanic. (1913, September 6). The Bathurst Times (NSW : 1909 - 1925), p. 6. Retrieved July 11, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111195845

Citation

Encyclopedia Titanica (2013) Mrs Gold in Sydney : The Heroine of the Titanic (The Bathurst Times, Saturday 6th September 1913, ref: #19537, published 11 July 2013, generated 29th July 2020 07:59:54 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/mrs-gold-in-sydney-the-heroine-of-the-titanic.html