Miss Eileen Lenox-Conyngham

Eileen Lenox-Conyngham, 11, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 11 July 1900 the daughter of Rev George Lenox-Conyngham and Barbara Josephine Turton.

Mrs Lenox-Conyngham intended to take Eileen and Denis on an educational visit to France while her husband would take the other children to Ireland. 

Travelling with her aunt Alice (George's youngest sister) the family boarded the Titanic at Southampton, they disembarked the same day at Cherbourg.  While on board the Titanic she wrote a letter to her nursery nurse Lousia.

On Board RMS Titanic

Wednesday 10 April 1912

Dear Lusia,

The Titanic is the bigest ship in the world there is a swimming bath a gymnation Turkish baths in it. the ship started at about 12.15 then we had a long delay because this ship broke the ropes of another ship the Oceanic as it went floating about and knocked into this ship but they got it allright after a bit. 

This is the first long voyage the Titanic has ever made, it is quite calm.

Yesterday we went in a boat on the river Denis and I rowed a lot, yesterday morning we motored to the sea. Last Monday Denis went out fishing with a little boy, Denis did not catch anything but found an eel which we had for breakfast the next day.

It is quite calm now nobody has been sick so far. We should arrive in Cherbourg at five but I do not think we will get there will six.

Please write soon to me

Love from Eileen

The children spent their time exploring the ship and tried the equipment in the gymnasium. "The gym instructor was very kind to us and allowed us to experiment with all the machinery." She later recalled.

Eileen married Ernest Edward "Ned" Schefer (18996-1968) on 27 May 1942 and settled in Falls Church, Virginia. They founded a school for children with special educational needs: the Schefer School.

When her former nurse Louisa died, her daughter Patricia decided to sell the letter written aboard the Titanic and Eileen managed to buy the letter back at auction in Manchester.

Eileen died on 8 October 1993 at the age of 93. After her death the letter she had written as a child was left to her son Anton1. When he passed away in 2010 it was returned to the ancestral family home of Springhill, now under the care of the National Trust.

 

Notes

  1. Anton Edward Bonner Schefer (13 November 1943 - 18 February 2010).

References and Sources

Daily Mirror (1912) Schoolgirl's unseen letter tells of Titanic accident before it even set off on doomed voyage, 8 March 2012
The Peerage (#373585)
University of Virginia Lenox-Conyngham Scholarships

Link and cite this biography

(2017) Eileen Lenox-Conyngham Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #2224, updated 27th August 2017 05:23:01 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-biography/eileen-lenox-conyngham.html

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