Encyclopedia Titanica

Rhoda Mary 'Rosa' Abbott

Rhoda Mary 'Rosa' Abbott
Rhoda Mary 'Rosa' Abbott

Mrs Stanton Abbott (?Rosa ?Rhoda), 35, of Providence, Rhode Island, was the wife of Stanton Abbott, a former middleweight champion of England, but had separated from him in early 1911. She was of medium height, had a dark complexion, and long, dark hair. Mrs Abbott supported herself and her sons Rossmore (16) and Eugene (13) by sewing. She was also a soldier in the Salvation Army.

In August of 1911 Mrs Abbott decided to move to England to live with her mother in St. Albanshurst, and she and her boys made the crossing to England on board the Olympic. It wasn't long, however, before Rossmore and Eugene became homesick for Providence, and Mrs Abbott eventually decided to return to the states for her sons' benefit. In April of 1912 she booked her little family's passage back to America as steerage passengers on board the Titanic (ticket number C.A. 2673, £20 5s). Rosa's cabin was close to that of Amy Stanley.

As the Titanic took her final plunge Mrs Abbott and her two sons jumped from the deck, she managed to get into Collapsible A but the two boys were lost. The boat had been swamped as it was launched and its occupants balanced precariously in knee-deep water boat until they were eventually picked up by Collapsible D. Fifth Officer Harold Lowe ensured the survivors were transferred. It drifted away with three bodies still in it, their faces covered by lifebelts.

Amy Stanley later recalled:

"We were very close since we were on the Titanic together. And her stateroom had been near mine. I was the only one that she could talk to about her sons because I knew them myself. She told me that she would get [sic] in the lifeboat if there hadn't been so many people around. So she and her sons kept together. She was thankful that [the] three of them had stayed with her on that piece of wreckage. The youngest went first then the other son went. She grew numb and cold and couldn't remember when she got on the Carpathia. There was a piece of cork in her hair and I managed to get a comb and it took a long time but finally we got it out."

During the voyage to New York Mrs Abbott stayed in a makeshift bed on a padded sheet in the smoking room because her legs were badly damaged from the effects of cold water. Indeed, according to one source (Pellegrino 1988) her injuries were so severe that she did not stir from her cot on the Carpathia until New York and then spent at least two more weeks hospitalized. She was looked after from there by her church (Grace Episcopal Church) in Providence, Rhode Island where her son Rossmore had once been in the boy's choir. It is thought that the Abbott's 3rd class passage back to the U.S. had been arranged by members of Grace Church.


References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
John P. Eaton & Charles A. Haas (1994) Titanic: Triumph & Tragedy, 2nd ed. Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1 85260 493 X
Walter Lord (1976) A Night to Remember. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 14 004757 3
Don Lynch & Ken Marschall (1992) Titanic: An Illustrated History. London, Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0 340 56271 4
Charles Pellegrino (1988) Her Name Titanic

Research Articles

Robert L. Bracken Voyage (2004) The Mystery of Rhoda Abbott Revealed
Unravelling a Titanic enigma
Taking a Titanic tour of New England

Newspaper Articles

Bridgwater Mercury T. Threlfall, leading fireman
Chicago Daily News (19 April 1912) BURY FOUR OF THE DEAD AT SEA
Impressive Services Over Victims Are Held Aboard the Carpathia
Worcester Telegram (20 April 1912) Mrs Abbott Is Still In Hospital
Pawtucket Times (22 April 1912) MRS. ABBOTT SAYS 7 WOMEN WERE LEFT
Herts Advertiser & St. Albans Times (4 May 1912) Account of Thomas Threlfall
New York Times (4 May 1912) MINIA REPORTS TWO BODIES
Ship Returning to Halifax---Patrick O'Keefe's Story of Rescue


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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Rhoda Mary 'Rosa' Abbott (née Hunt)
Age: 39 years 3 months and 1 day (Female)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Divorced
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. CA2673, £20 5s
Rescued (boat A)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Monday 18th February 1946 aged 73 years
Cause of Death:
Ashes Scattered: Mortlake Crematorium, Richmond, Surrey, England on Saturday 23rd February 1946

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