As'ad Tannūs

Assed Thomas

Master As'ad Tannūs (Assed Alexander Thomas) was born in Hardīn, Lebanon on 8 November 1911.

He was the son of Iskandar Tannūs (b. 1890) and Thamīn Khūrī (b. 1895) who had married in 1910. His father worked selling fruit and vegetables in their home village.

It was decided that the family would emigrate and his father Alexander travelled ahead first, settling in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania where his married brother Bashīr (known in America as Charles) had previously emigrated to and who operated his own dry goods store there. Alexander sent Charles back to Lebanon to fetch his wife and son As'ad and return with them to Wilkes-Barre.

As'ad, his mother and uncle Charles Thomas (Bashīr Tannūs) and several others from their village of Hardīn left for Beirut where they would cross to Marseille and eventually arrive in Cherbourg. The party boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg on 10 April 1912 as third class passengers (Thelma and her son As'ad on joint ticket number 2625 which cost £8, 10s, 4d) and they were headed to 33 Loomis Street in Wilkes-Barre.

On the night of the sinking Thelma and her brother-in-law Charles brought baby As'ad to the upper decks but they got separated in the confusion, Thelma ending up in a lifeboat with Charles still clutching baby As'ad. It is not certain which lifeboat Thelma departed in: some sources would suggest that she left in lifeboat 14 with baby As'ad being passed to a woman (later identified as Edwina Troutt) who then entered boat 16. Other sources have Thelma departing in boat C and baby As'ad in the arms of Miss Troutt in boat D.

Thelma and her son survived the sinking and were reunited aboard Carpathia. Her brother-in-law Charles was lost.

Hospitalised in New York for the effects of shock and exposure Thelma and her son eventually landed in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and were reunited with As'ad's father Alexander. He settled with his family at 216 Stanton Street in Wilkes-Barre and he gained nine siblings: Sadie (b. 1914), Edward (b. 1916), Sarah (b. 1919), Helen (b. 1921), Joseph (b. 1923), Mae (b. 1925), Peter (b. 1927), Marjorie (b. 1930) and Jean (b. 1932).

As'ad (or Assed/Essid Alexander as he became known in the USA) died from pneumonia in White Haven sanatorium on 12 June 1931 aged just 20. He was buried in St Mary's Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre.

(Courtesy of Michael A. Findlay, USA)

References and Sources

The Wilkes-Barre Record, 13 June 1931: Survivor of Titanic Disaster Dies Here
Unidentified newspaper, 14 April 1979: DeCosmo Identified Titanic Baby's Rescuer
Sunday Independent, Wilkes-Barre, 10 April 1960
Unidentified newspaper, 13 April 1962, City Resident Tells Of Disaster At Sea
Unidentified newspaper, 15 September 1985: Titanic Discovery Stirs Memories For Mae Thomas
The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, 13 April 1992: The Night Lives On
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Judith Geller (1998) Titanic: Women and Children First. Haynes. ISBN 1 85260 594 4
Elias, Leila Saloum (2011) The Dream and Then the Nightmare: The Syrians who Boarded the Titanic, the Story of the Arabic-speaking Passengers. Atlas, 2011. ISBN 978-9933-9086-1-4

Research Articles

Titanica! (2017) Titanic Survivors' Untimely Deaths
The tragic stories of Titanic survivors who died prematurely...

Newspaper Articles

Washington Post (9 January 1974) Thelma Thomas, 78, Survivor of Titanic


As'ad Tannūs
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Comment and discuss

  1. G14 said:

    assad was give to violet jessop who carried him till the next morning and when they arrived on the carpathia his mother grapped him and ran off without saying a word

  2. Annie (1557) said:

    Actually I don't think that was his mother, If you look up violet jessop on wikipedia it says " Records indicate that the only baby on boat 16 was Assad Thomas, who was handed to Edwinda Troutt, and later reunited with his mother on the Carpathia."  :) (not meant to be rude in any way)

  3. Maticus **Boston** said:

    Yes plese do look it up on Wikipedia. If you do you will also see you are wrong. Assad was the only baby on life boat 16 and was handed to Violet Jessop (Not Edwinda Troutt) who then cared for the baby until their rescue the next morning. While on the Carpathia someone (Possibly Edwinda) took the baby from her without saying a word and Jiolet never saw the baby again. It was later reported that the baby was reunited with the mother (Who could possibly have been the one who took the baby away from Violet, no one really knows if its the mother or Edwinda). Violet documents all this in her... Read full post

  4. Mack said:

    you actually read their comment all wrong. the baby was handed to Jessop before she got on the lifeboat and she was ordered to care for him. then the next morning when the rescue boat came, a woman ran up and took the baby without saying a word.. it wasn't until years later he was reunited with his mother.. that's what he was saying, and that's what your saying. so if you try to correct someone yourself, make sure you don't say the EXACT SAME THING they said. just because you reword it, don't gives it a different meaning

  5. Maticus **Boston** said:

    Actually, I did not read the comment wrong nor did I reword what they said. The original comment said Violet was given the baby to care for and when they arrived on the Carpathia the next morning the mother grabbed the baby and ran off without saying a word. Annie attempted to correct this statement by pointing to Wikipedia, NOT the greatest source first of all, and said that the baby was not handed to Violet but was instead handed to Edwinda Troutt. Her statement also said the baby was returned to the mother the next day on the Carpathia. I simply pointed out that Annie's reference was... Read full post

  6. Lisa (1905) said:

    jeesh.. for someone who also has no idea what all really happened, you sure are a nitpicky pain in the rear. I'm guessing you are a spinster, right?

Reply Watch Thread


Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Leila Salloum Elias, USA

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) As'ad Tannūs (ref: #1256, last updated: 13th September 2018, accessed 31st July 2021 21:26:52 PM)

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