Miss Violet Madeline Mellenger (or Mellinger) was born in Walthamstow, Essex, England on 22 February 1899.
Better known as Madeline, she was the daughter of Claude Leinard Deschamps Mellinger (1874-1952)1, a clerk, and Elizabeth Anne Maidment (1870-1962). Her father was born in Wimbledon, Surrey to French parents whilst her mother hailed from Pimlico, Middlesex and they were married in 1895. She had four siblings: Eugenie Claudine Emily (b. 1895), Alexander Leinard Deschamps (1896-1975), Edmund Reginald (1900-1992) and Constance Sylvia (b. 1904).
The family are shown (minus her father who is listed at their home address, 10 Pembar? Road, Walthamstow) on the 1901 census as visitors to an address in Bournemouth. Her parents later became estranged and her father emigrated to Australia sometime before 1910, leaving her mother apparently destitute. Madeline appears on the 1911 census as an inmate at a children's home located at 34 Worple Road, Wimbledon, Surrey and her mother had become a domestic to make ends meet.
In early 1912 Madeline's mother had gained a position as a housekeeper in Bennington, Vermont on the Fillmore Farms, the estate of the Colgate family who had founded the toothpaste brand. She and her mother boarded the Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912 as second-class passengers (ticket number 250644 which cost £19, 10s). Also aboard, albeit in first class and bound for the same destination, was Charles Cresson Jones, the Fillmore Farms superintendent. He reportedly visited them in second class to show them pictures of Bennington.
Madeline and her mother survived the sinking. They entered lifeboat 14 and were later transferred to boat 12 by Fifth Officer Lowe. In an interview with the Toronto Star on 15 April 1974 she said:
"We were asleep in our berths when a man banged on our door and told us to put on warm clothes and lifebelts and to get on deck."
She said she and her mother were hurled into a half empty lifeboat and she shivered in the drifting boat, the cries of the drowning all around her.
"I could see the lights of the ship starting to go under water, then soundlessly, perhaps a mile away, it just went down. It was gone. Oh yes, the sky was very black and the stars were very bright. They told me the people in the water were singing, but I knew they were screaming."
After arriving in New York, they went to see the widow of Charles Cresson Jones in Bennington. They returned to England after the sinking but emigrated to Canada around 1915, settling in Toronto. She was married there on 1 October 1921 to David Daniel Mann (b. 4 June 1898 in London, Ontario), a banker, and they had four sons: Alex, Bill, Don and Carl.
On 15 April 1939 Madeline and her mother together with fellow survivors Emma Bliss and John Collins met for a Titanic reunion dinner at the Royal York Hotel, Toronto. During the 1950s Madeline related her memories to Walter Lord during his research for A Night to Remember and she later attended at Titanic Historical Society convention in the 1970s.
Madeleine died on 27 May 1976 in Toronto. Her cremated remains were interred in St. John's Ridgeway Anglican Cemetery near Welland, Ontario. Her widower David died on 1 October 1994.
I was fortunate enough to meet Madeleine Mellenger (Mrs. Mann) in l972 and spent a couple of afternoons with her. She was very kind and told me her story of the sinking and rescue. She was a good friend of Walter Lord. Mrs. Mann (nee Mellenger) was kind enough to give me a special letter signed with her name as it had appeared on the passenger list. She was 13 at the time and was travelling with her mother. She was going to meet her father in New York. Sadly, Mrs. Mann died several years ago but I treasure the two letters she wrote to me after our meetings. She was a charming lady and told me...
How did Madeleine Mellinger's copper bracelet end up in the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN?
Hi All. Elizabethmellenger was my Grandmother. and madeline My aunt. I was fortunate to meet them both.. I am curious that a Bracelet Is in a museum In Pigeon Forks. TN.. must try to visit some day. all the best. this is being posted on the anniversary of the sinking.april 15th 2011 Richard C Mellenger. Surrey BC .
In the museum it tells of how the bracelet came to be there. Family members ended up giving it to a close friend of the family and he happened to be with collecting items from the Titanic and thats how it came to be there. But, it tells in the museum in Piegon Forge in more details...... I can't remember it all. : )
I got her boarding pass when I visited the Titanic Attraction in Pigeon Forge. It states that her lucky copper bracelet is on display courtesy of Ed and Karen Kamuda of the Titanic Historical Society. She actually lost this bracelet when she was boarding a lifeboat and later found it in on the floor on the front of the boat. It's pretty banged up and dented. From I remember of the story she gave it to Ed to put on display.
was this the girl who had her diary published by the "my story" series? Because I know I've heard her name at school and we are reading the book.
I am doing a report on the Titanic and Miss Mellinger is so getting in it!! Does anyone know her religion???
How can I get in touch with you
How can I get in touch with you? I am doing a project on Madeline and I would like to find out some more information.
That is so amazing! I am currently writing a novel about your aunt and grandmother! They were such amazing people!
Hi Rosa, Madeline is my great, great grandmother. Would love to hear about the book you're writing. Thanks, Evan
Some inaccuracies in this report, They went to Welland Ont, where Elizabeth had a brother, Reginald, had been working for him for a few yrs prior, and had gone back to England and accompaned my dad A L Mellenger to New York