Encyclopedia Titanica

Selena Cook

Selena Cook
Selena Cook

Mrs Arthur Henry Cook was born Selina Rogers on 6 April 1890 in Rotherfield, Sussex, England.  She was the daughter of James Henry Rogers (b. 1857), a poultry worker, and Margaret Howard (b. 1856). Her father was native to Rotherfield whilst her mother was a northerner, originally from Sedbergh in Yorkshire; they had married in 1886.  Selina had four siblings: Harold (1888-1961), Effie (b. 1892), Hilda Jane (b. 1893) and Charles John Howard (b. 1896).

The family appear on the 1891 census living at Legswood Lodge, Withyam, Sussex; moving to Birchden (?) Cottage in Rotherfield by the time of the 1901 census. Selina's father died in 1903 aged 46 and her mother Margaret took to domestic work to support her family. The 1911 census shows Margaret Rogers and her daughter Effie residing at 9 Harcourt House, Cavendish Square, London where she was the caretaker to a wealthy retired gentleman, George Scott. Her other children were scattered around different addresses around the country but Selina's whereabouts at this time are not certain but she is believed to have been living in Oxford. Her mother emigrated later that year, settling in Manhattan.

Selina was married in London over the closing months of 1911 to Arthur Henry Cook (b. 26 November 1883), a native of Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland who worked as a footman.

Selina was to visit her mother in New York and boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger (ticket number 14266 which cost £10, 10s). During the voyage she shared a cabin (F-33) with Amelia Brown, Amelia Lemore and Elizabeth Nye. During the voyage Mrs Cook was nursing a toothache.

After the collision on the night of Sunday 14 April Selina berated Amelia Brown who was reluctant to get up even when their cabin-neighbour George Swane and her own roommates encouraged and warned her of the danger. Only when Selina exclaimed that she was surely the only person on the entire ship to remain in bed, did she stir.

Selina was rescued in lifeboat 14.

Miss Selina Rogers: Miss Rogers, of Woodstock road, Oxford was also on board the vessel, but her name fortunately appears amongst the list of those saved.
The Oxford Chronicle (Berks and Bucks Gazette), 19th April 1912 (p.7)

The New York Sun (25 April 1912) reported that Selina had been carrying some £250 in cash, intended for her mother which had been lost in the sinking. Without the money, the article stated, Mrs Rogers was unable to take her daughter in. She also had her wayward tooth extracted which she kept as a memento for the rest of her life; the tooth has been displayed in different exhibitions over the past few years. 

Given some money by the Titanic Relief Committee and offered a job as a lady's maid, Mrs Cook was later joined in America by her husband and they settled in Pennsylvania where her husband worked as a private chauffeur. The couple had one child, their daughter Gladys (b. 1913).

Selina became an officer in the Daughters of the King organization and was also an active member of her church and the local history society. Although her husband did become a US citizen it is uncertain as to whether Selina ever relinquished her British citizenship. Her mother later died in New York on 4 August 1937.

Selina and her family are listed on the 1930 census living at an address in Scranton, Pennsylvania and on the 1940 census as living on Carbondale Road in Waverly, Abington, Pennsylvania where she would live for many years. The Titanic disaster did not deter her from sailing and she and her husband made numerous cruises and returned to England to visit relatives at least twice, once in 1922 aboard Aquitania. In 1953 she was a guest at a special screening of Fox's Titanic alongside other survivors. 

Selina Cook died suddenly1 on 12 September 1964 aged 74 in Wayne Memorial Hospital and was interred in Glenwood Mausoleum; her widower Arthur died in 1971. Later a large collection of her personal effects were donated to the Titanic Historical Society.

A young relative of hers, Doris May Punchard (b. 19 July 1904) of Ipswich, Suffolk recalled Selina travelling on Titanic and the anxious wait for news about her. Doris went on to become one of Britain's oldest living people before her death on 12 August 2015 aged 111. 


  1. Her cause of death is listed as a sudden onset of severe haemorrhaging from her stomach and oesophagus. 

References and Sources

The Oxford Chronicle (Berks and Bucks Gazette), 19 April 1912, p.7

Newspaper Articles

Worcester Evening Gazette (19 April 1912) HOLDS BACK MEN AT PISTOL POINT
Selina Cook after watching Fox's Titanic in 1953


Don Lynch & Ken Marschall (1992) Titanic: An Illustrated History, London, Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0 340 56271 4
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Comment and discuss

  1. Tara Christine Ward

    Tara Christine Ward

    any info. on this passenger would be helpful. thank you! (student)

  2. Benjamin MacHale

    At 4:30 in 'In Search of...Titanic from 1981 (which you can see on YouTube) you can see a champagne cork with a note attached saying, "Cork from bottle of champagne drank to health of Mrs. Selena Rogers Cook prior to sailing on Titanic." At 4:43 you can see a handkerchief from her.

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Selena Cook (née Rogers)
Age: 22 years and 9 days (Female)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Arthur Cook
Last Residence: in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 14266, £10 10s
Cabin No. F33
Rescued (boat 14)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Cause of Death:
Buried: Glenwood Mausoleum, Clark's Summit, Pennsylvania, United States

Linked Biographies

Amelia Mary Brown

Cabin Companion
Amelia  Lemore

Cabin Companion
Elizabeth Nye

Cabin Companion

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