May Howard's account

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

'I started from Southampton, England to visit my sister in Albion and owing to the coal strike was prevented from shipping on one of the smaller ocean liners that left previous to the Titanic. I left Southampton with a friend of mine, Mrs. Emily Goldsmith, her husband and son.

I had not undressed for the night when the collision came,'' she said, ''and (I am?) now wearing the same clothes I wore at the time of the wreck. On my first attempt to gain the deck I was thrown down the stairway by the crush of people who were trying to get out that way. Later I reached the deck and found a great crowd of people, nearly all of whom were strangers to me.

One of the officers grabbed Mrs. Goldsmith and myself and pushed us to the edge of the ship where the lifeboat was being filled with women and children. An officer there shouted ''All men back, women come first.'' There was no attempt of any of the men to get into the boat and when we left the Titanic our boat would easily have carried fifteen more had they cared to leave the ship, but they did not realize that the ship was in danger and refused to enter the small boats....The life boat in which I left the Titanic was the last but one of those picked up by the Carpathia. Our boat was a collapsible one and the one that followed us was the one that was washed off the deck as the ship sank.

My friend Mrs. Goldsmith and her son left the Titanic in the boat with me and were saved....Our boat was rowed by two men in it and none of the women assisted them during the four or five hours between the time we left the Titanic and the time when the Carpathia rescued us. We saw none of the dead bodies floating around our boat that some passengers are credited with having seen. I saw the Titanic when she blew up and sank. She seemed to stand with stern pointed to the sky for a few moments then dove beneath the surface of the ocean with scarcely any ripple to the water which was very cold but absolutey smooth.

Mr. Ismay was in the boat that followed the one in which I left the ship. In our boat three women and one man died of exposure after leaving the Titanic and were buried from the Carpathia.

Miss Howard reached Albion with another woman and an English gentleman who were also survivors. The man, Joseph Duquemine, comes from the isle of Guernsey and tells a story of climbing into a life boat from the water, and later assisting an elderly gentleman to a seat in the life boat. This man, he claims, came to him on the Carpathia and, taking his name and address, said he would hear from him later.''

Related Biographies:

May Elizabeth Howard


Peter Engberg


Encyclopedia Titanica (2013) May Howard's account (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Wednesday 24th April 1912, ref: #19261, published 22 January 2013, generated 28th May 2020 07:33:09 PM); URL :