Miss Henriette Virginie Yvois

Henriette Yvois

Henriette Virginie Williem Yvois was born in Paris, France on 22 April 1889.

She was the daughter of Modest Henry Theobad Yvois (b. 1860), a restaurant worker originally from Vézannes, Yonne, and Maria Ann Williem (b. 1867), a florist from Brussels, Belgium.

Her parents married after her birth in 1891 and she had a younger brother, René Émil Henri (1891-1952).

Henriette, a model, lived at 5 Rue des Pyramides Paris. She boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger (ticket number 248747, which cost £13) and it appears that she travelled together with the film maker William H. Harbeck (ticket number 248746); there is speculation that they were lovers but there may be a more innocent explanation. It would appear that they were the couple observed playing cards for much of the journey by Lawrence Beesley.

"In the opposite corner are the young American kinematograph photographer and his young wife, evidently French, very fond of playing patience, which she is doing now, while he sits back in his chair watching the game and interposing from time to time with suggestions. I did not see them again."

Henriette Yvois died in the sinking and her body, if recovered, was never identified. Harbeck, who also perished, later had his body recovered from the ocean and among his possessions was a lady's purse which was later identified as belonging to Miss Yvois.


1. There is disagreement over the spelling of her name. When "Brownie Harbeck" identified the purse found with the body of William Harbeck she told officials it belonged to Henriette Yvois; another source spells it "Yrois".
2. What is the evidence for the suggestion that Yrois was Harbeck's mistress? i. The closeness of the ticket numbers.
ii. Beesley's observations of a man and his "wife". Presumably Beesley assumed that a man an unmarried young woman would not be unchaperoned and concluded from their behaviour that they were married.
iii. The fact that Yrois' purse was identified with Harbeck's body, although how "Brownie Harbeck" knew this remains a mystery.


Henriette Virginie Yvois

Articles and Stories

Titanica! (2018) 
Titanica! (2007) 

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Gavin Bell, UK
George Behe, USA
Alan Hustak, Canada
Hermann Söldner, Germany

References and Sources

Lawrence Beesley (1912) The Loss of the Titanic: Its Story and Lessons. Houghton Mifflin
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)
Portrait from a recent auction sale (thesaleroom.com)
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2019) Henriette Virginie Yvois Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #609, updated 11th December 2019 08:50:26 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/henriette-yvois.html