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.  She is buried in Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island, New York, buried as Eileen Schefer (section lll, sub K, lot 7).

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).
 

Comment and discuss

  1. greg robertson said:

    What happened to Eileen Lenox-Conyngham? I know she was present at the 1988 convention, but i cant find any material on her.

  2. avatar

    Phillip Gowan said:

    Eileen died on October 8, 1993.

  3. James Metzger said:

    I read that Eileen attended the 1988 survivors' re-union but can't seem to find anything more about her. Has anyone ever met her or know when she passed away? Best Wishes, James M.

  4. Eric S. Silvia said:

    Hi James, There was a large article that appeared in the 'Titanic Commutator' on Eileen Lenox Conyngham Schefer. (the Titanic Historical Society's Journal- May-July 1994) She passed away on October 8, 1993 resulting from a massive stroke. She is buried on Staten Island with her husband and his parents. If someone doesn't beat me to it, I will type up some info on Eileen for you!

  5. George Behe said:

    Hi, James! I was fortunate enough to sit next to Eileen at the 1988 THS banquet. She was a very nice lady, a bit on the quiet side but also blessed with a marvelous sense of humor. She had an interest in the paranormal, too; when she learned that my book on Titanic/psychic accounts was about to come out, she held the folks at our table spellbound with a story (which she claimed was true) of a death in her family that was accompanied by the shrieking of a banshee. It was quite an experience to hear such an eerie story from someone who clearly believed it to be true. Eileen was a... Read full post

  6. James Metzger said:

    Hi Eric and George, Thank you for your replies. Like so many survivors, Eileen sounds like she was very special. I wish I could have had the pleasure of meeting her. Best Wishes, James

  7. Joan David said:

    Mrs Alice Lenox-Conhyngham travelled in company of her children -Miss Eileen Lenox-Conyngham -Master Dennis Lenox-Conyngham

  8. Bob Godfrey said:

    Not quite, Joan. Miss Alice Lenox-Conyngham was unmarried. She was travelling with her sister-in-law Barbara, who was the mother of the two children also in the group.

  9. Anthony Cunningham said:

    Hello Folks I am researching children on board the Titanic for a book. Is there anyone who knows if a) there is photograph of the young Eileen Lenox Conyngham out there that I might use and b) I believe she wrote a charming letter on board the crossing. Did she write a more detailed account later on? Thank you so much in advance for any help you can furnish me with. :-)

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Credits

Trevor Baxter, UK

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
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2019) Eileen Lenox-Conyngham (ref: #2224, last updated: 19th November 2019, accessed 5th July 2020 01:27:22 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-biography/eileen-lenox-conyngham.html