Miss Edwina Celia Troutt

Edwina Celia Troutt

Miss Edwina "Winnie" Celia Troutt, 27, was born in Bath on 8 July 1884. She was the daughter of Edwin Charles Troutt (brewer and part-time cabinet maker) and Elizabeth Ellen Troutt (née Gay). The family lived at 40 Claverton Street and Winnie was sister to Edwin, Edgar, Elsie, Louisa L, Emmeline, Harry E. and Herbert W.

She made her first Atlantic crossing in 1907, already having been a pre-school teacher and a clerk in her brother-in-law's tobacconist shop. She was to spend nearly five years in America, first working as a waitress in New Jersey and later as a domestic in Auburndale, Massachusetts. She returned to her family home in Bath in 1911. Her sister, by then Mrs Elsie Scholz, who was living in Auburndale, Mass was nearing the end of her pregnancy in early 1912 and Winnie decided to be with her for the birth. For her journey to America she was to travel on Oceanic but was transferred to Titanic as a result of the coal strikes.

She boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger (ticket number 34218, £10 10s). She shared cabin 101 on E Deck with Susan Webber of North Tamerton, Cornwall and Nora A. Keane of Limerick, Ireland.

When the ship hit the iceberg, she left her cabin to investigate. Being told of the iceberg, she went on deck and upon seeing lifeboats being uncovered and prepared for loading she went back to inform her cabin mates. On the way she ran into two of her table companions, Jacob Milling and Edgar Andrew.

"What is the trouble, Miss Troutt?" asked Milling, "What does it all mean?", "A very sad parting for all of us!" she replied. "This ship is going to sink." Trying to comfort her, Milling said, "Don't worry. I am sorry such a thing has happened, but I sent a wireless today. We are in communication with several vessels and we will all be saved, though parted. But I won't go back home on so big a ship."

When Winnie returned to her cabin, one of her cabin mates, Susie Webber had already left. The other, Nora Keane, was still dressing. After replacing her dressing gown with a warmer coat, Winnie dealt with the nervous woman. When Nora insisted on trying to put on a corset, Winnie grabbed it from her and flung it down the narrow passage leading to their porthole. While Nora Keane would leave on Lifeboat 10, Miss Troutt was rescued in (probably) lifeboat 16. Winnie later recalled hearing the ship's band playing Nearer My God to Thee in the ship's last moments.

In my boat, '' she said, ''there were 20 women, not less than a dozen babies, and five members of the crew in charge of Master-at-Arms Bailey. One of these women was Mrs. Harry Faunthorpe, a bride. She was an Englishwoman who had been married in January. With her husband she was making a pleasure trip to California. Her husband bade her good-bye with a smile and a pat of encouragement and placed her in the boat. As she stepped in I called to her husband and asked him to take my seat. But he merely laughed and replied: Remember. I am an Englishman...'' - Boston Herald, 26 May, 1912

Winnie has been suggested as the woman that rescued Assad Thomas. As she waited for her boat to be lowered a Lebanese passenger, Charles Thomas, came past with his nephew. He begged for the child to be saved and Winnie took the child into the boat with her. As the boat was lowered she clutched a toothbrush, a prayer book and the 5-month-old child.

Initially, she slept on a table on the Carpathia, but when she became hysterical, brought on by a storm the third day after the sinking, she was given a bed and some brandy. It would be several months before she would fully recover emotionally.

She later filed a claim against White Star Line for a marmalade machine valued at 8s 5d.

Edwina Troutt Petersen and her husband Alfred Thorvald Peterson in 1923
Courtesy of Thomas G. Herwer

In 1916 she moved from Massachusetts to Southern California where she joined the Army Corps as an apricot picker. It was in California in 1918 that she married her first husband, Alfred Thorvald Peterson originally from Denmark. They subsequently ran a bakery together in Beverley Hills until his death in 1944. Her second marriage was to a Mr James Corrigan on 23 July 1955. On 30 November 1963 she married for a third time to James Mackenzie. She lived out her retirement in Hermosa Beach, California.

 Edwina Mackenzie

Edwina Mackenzie in middle age
Courtesy of Thomas G. Herwer

On her 90th birthday in 1974 she received a letter from Richard Nixon, the then President of America. She last crossed the Atlantic in her 99th year after at least 10 previous crossings.

Edwina Mackenzie

Edwina Mackenzie at the 1982 Titanic Historical Society Convention in Philadelphia
Courtesy of John Stranton

Winnie was a favourite at Titanic functions and conventions even until she was in her late 90's. She died on 3 December 1984 in Redondo Beach, California at the age of 100, one of only five Titanic centenarians.

Image
Winnie Troutt MacKenzie celebrating her 100th birthday, June 30, 1984
Courtesy of Don Lynch

References and Sources

Dayton (Ohio) Daily News 13 April 1982
State of California Certificate of Death
Titanic Commutator

Judith Geller (1998) Titanic: Women and Children First. Haynes. ISBN 1 85260 594 4

Newspaper Articles

Unidentified Newspaper Mrs. Petersen James Corrigan Wed in Torrance
Newark Evening News (20 April 1912) SURVIVOR VISITS MONTCLAIR
Los Angeles Times (4 December 1958) Titanic Survivors meet Titanic film producer
Edward C. Burks New York Times (9 October 1973) Titanic Survivors Recall the Night to Remember
Milwaukee Sentinel (15 April 1977) OLDEST SURVIVOR REMEMBERS THE TITANIC

Images

Edwina Troutt
Edwina Troutt
Edwina Troutt
Edwina Troutt
Edwina Troutt and James Corrigan 1955
Edwina Troutt Petersen and her husband Alfred T Petersen.
Photographed in 1923
Boston Herald (1912) Titanic Survivor Now Waitress at Norumbega

Documents and Certificates

(1984) Edwina Celia Troutt (Death Certificate)
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. MARK BRAY said:

    DOES ANYONE KNOW ABOUT HER FAMILY, IF SHE EVEN HAD ONE LIKE CHILDREN, I DO KNOW SHE WAS MARRIED. IN THE PICTURE ET PROVIDES IN HER BIO, WHO ARE THE PEOPLE WITH HER? IS ANY OF HER FAMILY LIVING TODAY? MARK BRAY PLEASE HELP ANYONE!!!!!!!

  2. avatar

    Mike Poirier said:

    She was widowed three times with no children. And a friendly tip.... All capitals equates yelling!

  3. Mark Bray said:

    I am sorry about the caps. I just like writing in them. I understand it indicates yelling, sorry again, but thanks for replying. Mark : )

  4. Roselle Zubey said:

    To anybody who might know-I am doing research for a historical novel about the Titanic disaster. For my research for this novel I am wondering if anyone knows what role second class survivor Edwina Troutt McKenzie played in the reform of maritime law. I'd really appreciate knowing about this because I think working on the reform of maritime law would be something good for my fictional female survivor to do. If anyone has any information that might be of help they can either respond to this post or email me privately at the e-mail address above. Thanks in advance. Roselle Zubey

  5. Rolf Vonk said:

    Hello, I've read somewhere that Edwina Trout brought her marmalade machine with her on board as bagage. I want to know if this is true, because I can't find that back in the cargo list. Is there anyone who can tell me something about a kind of bagagelist from Titanic?? Greetings Rollie

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  6. avatar

    Michael H. Standart said:

    If it was a peice small enough to be packed inside the baggage, it's not the sort of thing you would see listed on the cargo manifest. Unwanted baggage was identified as to owner and placed in baggage stowage, but the contents wouldn't have been inventoried. Cordially, Michael H. Standart

  7. avatar

    Philip Hind said:

    Wonder who the mystery curator is? An important six-page TLS to the curator of a Historical Society, giving extraordinary details about her experiences and the experiences of others the night the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank. In part: "...I shall remember it the rest of my days. I can never forget what I call the 'Scream of Death' which happened the moment the Titanic gave up life and 1,500 people hit the icy water at the same moment..." Signed, dated and titled in blue ballpoint ink at the top of the 1st page, in full: "1979. The experience of a Titanic passenger named E.C. Troutt.... Read full post

  8. Randy Williamson said:

    The Troutt memoir is up for bid again on Sothebys.

  9. Magda Natalia Piotrowska said:

    Hi there! Can anyone know info about Winnie Troutt, second class passenger's life (how many did she married?). I'm interested in what did she do at the Titanic board and other news too. Regards, Magda

  10. avatar

    John Clifford said:

    Hi Magda. An excellent source on information about Edwina Troutt, later McKenzie, is Don Lynch. He knew her for several years. An interesting story about her was that, in 1915, she accepted a job in Bermuda, and during her trip there, the ship she was on encountered rough seas, probably trying to avoid a hurricane. Anyway, upon disembarking the ship, another passenger made a remark to her, to the effect of, "I'll be that trip made you never want to get on another ship, ever". Without elaborating, Edwina shrugged and said "I've been through worse". In 1984, there was a big... Read full post

  11. Magda Natalia Piotrowska said:

    Thanks, John! Do you know did Winnie has children? Regards, Magda

  12. avatar

    John Clifford said:

    Hi Magda. Unfortunately, I never met Edwina, nor Ruth Becker Blanchard (both lived in Southern California). Don Lynch can answer most, if not all, your questions, though, right now, I am not sure of his schedule (we have not spoken in a couple months, due to various factors; yes, both of us have non-Titanic commitments to deal with).

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  13. saskia linders said:

    Hello Magda, As far as I know about Edwina Troutt, I can tell you she married four times. Her first husband was a baker in Southern California. She has lived in Beverly Hills. Later she lived in Hermosa Beach where she was known for her social activities. Well, it's not much, but this is all I know about her.

  14. Magda Natalia Piotrowska said:

    In which lifeboat was Edwina Troutt rescue? In many sources I found different boats: 13, 16 or collapsible D. Please help me!

  15. Manuel Reiprich said:

    Look at the part of the page called "Passengers": Edwina Troutt was (most likely) rescued in lifeboat 16.

  16. George Behe said:

    Hi, Magda! Don Lynch (who knew Edwina and the details of her story better than anyone else) believes that she was in Collapsible D instead of boat #13. Don once told me that he'd like to write a brief essay for my website detailing the evidence pertaining to Edwina's lifeboat, so I'll let the ET board know when (or if) he gets around to writing the article in question. All my best, George

  17. Magda Natalia Piotrowska said:

    Thanks greatly, Manuel and George! Regards, Magda

  18. Lester Mitcham said:

    Hi George, Manda, Manuel, I believe that Winnie was in boat 16. Althought I no longer recall her exact wording; I remember Winnie saying to me that the man in charge of her lifeboat was the Master-At-Arms, Mr Bailey. Hope that helps, Lester

  19. George Behe said:

    Hi, Lester! Edwina told me about Bailey, too. (When Don and I visited Bailey's daughter in England, she also mentioned that her father was in #16.) I don't know everything that Don knows about Edwina, though, so I'll wait to see what he has to say about the matter. All my best, George

  20. Lester Mitcham said:

    Hi George, Thank you for that. With my best wishes, Lester

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Credits

Steve Coombes, UK
Frank Dukat, USA
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Mike Friedman, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Thomas G Herwer, USA
Don Lynch, USA
Arthur Merchant, USA

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2019) Edwina Celia Troutt (ref: #582, last updated: 25th October 2019, accessed 11th June 2021 16:52:28 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/edwina-troutt.html

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