Mr George Alexander Lucien Rheims

Mr George Alexander Lucien Rheims was born in New York City on 6th January 1879.

Resident in Paris, France at the time, he was travelling to New York City with his brother in law Joseph Loring. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a first class passenger.

Image
New York Herald, April 17, 1912

Rheims jumped from the ship just before the sinking. On April 19 1912 he wrote, in French, to his sister to relate what he had seen.

Rheims was pulled aboard Collapsible A.  He would later file a substantial claim for compensation over lost effects.

For comprehensive biographical information see Homer Thiel's biographical article in Titanic Research.

 

Pictures

George Rheims
GEORGE RHEIMS
George Rheims passport 1917
GEORGE RHEIMS PASSPORT 1917
George Rheims
GEORGE RHEIMS
George Lucien Rheims
GEORGE LUCIEN RHEIMS
George Lucien Rheims
GEORGE LUCIEN RHEIMS
George Lucien Rheims
GEORGE LUCIEN RHEIMS
George Loring Rheims, son of George Lucien and Marie Loring Rheims
GEORGE LORING RHEIMS, SON OF GEORGE LUCIEN AND MARIE LORING RHEIMS
Marie Loring Rheims, wife of George Lucien Rheims
MARIE LORING RHEIMS, WIFE OF GEORGE LUCIEN RHEIMS
Marie Loring Rheims, wife of George Lucien Rheims
MARIE LORING RHEIMS, WIFE OF GEORGE LUCIEN RHEIMS
Marie Loring Rheims, wife of George Lucien Rheims
MARIE LORING RHEIMS, WIFE OF GEORGE LUCIEN RHEIMS
Marie Loring Rheims, wife of George Lucien Rheims
MARIE LORING RHEIMS, WIFE OF GEORGE LUCIEN RHEIMS
George Lucien Rheims
GEORGE LUCIEN RHEIMS
 

Articles and Stories

Titanica! (2012) 
UPDATED BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON TITANIC SURVIVOR GEORGE RHEIMS.
Titanica! (2008) 
WHAT TIME DID THE FIRST LIFEBOAT DEPART THE TITANIC?
New York Times (1912) 
New York Times (1912) 
The Times (1912) 
 

Comment and discuss

  1. Charles Provost said:

    Is it possible to obtain the original letter written by George Alexandre Lucien Rheims in French to his wife in France. To my knowledge, I think he wrote it right after the Carpathia docked in New York, and lenght several pages. So far I have been able to recover some bits & captions of it, but never found the entire letter. Thanks to anyone who can help. All my best, Charles Provost

  2. avatar

    Dave Gittins said:

    I think that's a good question. There are alleged translations of it about but so much has been made of the allegations in the letter that I'd like to see the original. Too much Titanic evidence has been filtered through newspapers and the like. A notable example is Charlotte Collyer's story, which has obviously been dramatised by the magazine.

  3. Charles Provost said:

    How true. You are perfectly right. I once saw an English translation of it, not complete, and that seemed to me a little exaggerated. I felt I would make a mistake by buying it. I would give everything I have to see the original letter written in French by Mr. Rheims. The French being my primary language, it would not be too difficult for me to understand it! Thanks for your input, Dave. Charles

  4. Charles Provost said:

    Anybody knows?

  5. avatar

    Mike Poirier said:

    I believe the letter was in the possesion of a nephew named Richard de Roussey de Sales ( sp? ) Mike

  6. avatar

    Phillip Gowan said:

    Richard de Roussy de Sales used to live in Dallas but I think he is dead now--at least he would be in his 90's if living. His mother, Lily, was George Rheims' sister. She died in 1948 in San Francisco--I don't know of any living Rheims relatives other than George's grandson, George Loring Rheims (Jr.), who lives in France.

  7. Charles Provost said:

    Is anyone else puzzled by Mr. Rheim's account? I find some details very confusing. First, his cabin location. In his deposition to the United States District Court, he said that his stateroom was A21 on the port side of the ship. Now, unless I've had too much wine, A21 is located on the starboard side. He even drew a little sketch (exhibit A), marking the location of his stateroom, and sure enough he wrote down "A21" on the port side. To complicate things, A21 is attributed to another passenger, Mr. Brady. Could it be that Mr. Rheims got the number wrong? He seemed to be sure that his... Read full post

  8. Charles Provost said:

    Just noticed: the deckplans here on ET indicate that there ARE windows on both sides of the passageway where the baths are located. On the White Star Line's "Plan of first class accommodation" (that I was using as a reference), there are no windows. The passageway seems closed on both sides. If the plans reproduced here are right, it is possible that Mr. Rheims was coming out of one of the three "bath rooms" (closer to the elevator hall), and not out of the "gents lavy", which is located urther ahead. I might have cleared my second point all by myself. But his cabin location is still... Read full post

  9. Bob Godfrey said:

    You raise a good point. For somebody standing at the door of either of the two bathrooms at the forward end of A Deck there would be no line of sight to any window. The same goes for two of the bathrooms further back alongside the elevators (there are no windows at the ends of the transverse passage in which they are located). The third (most starboard) of the row opens into the main fore-aft passage and from there a window would be visible at the far end of the passage - facing forward and not likely to provide a view of an iceberg passing to starboard. Also it might just have been... Read full post

  10. Charles Provost said:

    Very, very interesting Bob. Thanks for your input. It makes you wonder how the whole thing happened. Rheims had no interest in lying to the Court, so I don't see why he would make up such a situation. He even went as far as providing a sketch so his words could be verified. Are you positive there were no windows at the ends of the transverse passage in line with the bath rooms? Some plans indicate there were, others don't.

  11. Bob Godfrey said:

    I've not seen a plan which shows windows at the ends of that particular transverse passageway. If Rheims' account is accurate, then the only possibility for him to see anything other than solid walls as he turned to the right at a bathroom door on A Deck is the view backwards and to starboard from the one bathroom which opened onto the main corridor, and that would require a line of site through the 'baized doors' (which did have glazed ports) at the end of the corridor, across to a window at the far corner of the First Class entrance, then through the small windows of the walled-in... Read full post

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  12. Charles Provost said:

    Honestly, I don't know what to make of this! Another mystery...

  13. avatar

    TimTurner said:

    I haven't had time to look into the details of this yet, but the subject interests me. I see two possibilities here, either the man is lying, or he didn't understand where he was at in the ship, or our understanding of the facts is in some way wrong. 1. It's possible he lied about the iceberg just to get his name in the paper and have a good story to tell. Seeing the iceberg is a lot more interesting than just having been there. 2. It sounds like this man doesn't know his starboard from his port. He might have been lost, and given the wrong location. If so, then there must be a bathroom... Read full post

  14. Bob Godfrey said:

    There are certainly differing views about where Rheims' cabin was actually located (some have suggested B Deck) but I think you'll find no bathroom or toilet on any deck that would offer any better prospect of glimpsing a passing iceberg. And a merest glimpse is all he could have had in the scenario I've suggested. An impression of light reflected back from something passing by and seen through three layers of windows - he certainly couldn't have seen enough to draw a picture of the berg, which is what he seems to have done. Rheims' deposition can be seen on the Titanic Inquiry... Read full post

  15. avatar

    TimTurner said:

    Thank you, I found his deposition. I was looking in the wrong place. Notably, he claims to have had some memory loss due to the accident, so it may be he has an unusually imperfect memory of the events. His deposition was also given in November 1913, over a year and a half after the sinking. His iceberg drawing is not the iceberg he saw out the window. He only saw "something white" out the window. The iceberg drawing is of the nearest and largest of 4 icebergs he saw in the morning at about dawn. It was about 2 miles off from him. Also important to this discussion is his drawing of... Read full post

  16. Bob Godfrey said:

    That sketch drawn by Rheims would have to be the forward lavatory block, imperfectly remembered. The transverse passageway in which the door was located is shown to be continuous with the passages which extended from the main fore & aft corridors to the inner windows of the promenade deck. These passages were in fact a short distance further aft and not visible from the lavatory passage. Probably what actually happened was that Rheims came through the lavatory door, turned right (as he recalled) but did not see the iceberg. Rather he walked for a few seconds to the main... Read full post

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Credits

Tad Fitch, USA
Homer Thiel, USA

References and Sources

Rustie Brown (1981) The Titanic, the Psychic and the Sea, Blue Harbor Press
Walter Lord (1986) The Night Lives On: Thoughts, Theories and Revelations about the Titanic. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 140 27900 8
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2012) George Alexander Lucien Rheims (ref: #238, last updated: 12th October 2012, accessed 11th July 2020 06:58:18 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/george-rheims.html