Daily Home News

   Hide Ads
Relatives, However, Hope That They May Be Among the Titanic Waifs in New York---Father Was Returning Home With Many Diamonds.
Many tales of heroism displayed by men, women and children aboard the Steamer Titanic during the last few minutes of its stay above the water will never be known. As told in the Home News last night, Austin Van Billiard and his two sons, aged 9 and 12 years, were among those who were drowned in the terrible disaster. Van Billiard is a brother of Monroe Van Billiard, of this city, who is in the employ of the Public Service Electric Company.

Two children were among the survivors, but neither answers to the description o [sic] the the [sic] two sons of Austin Van Billiard. His brother her, [sic] in talking of the sad affair, believes that the boys refused to leave their father on the doomed ship and remained with him to the last. Austin Van Billiard was married, and left his wife and four other children in England, intending to visit his old home in South Wales, Pa., It was his first trip to this country in ten years. He had been in the diamond mines in South Africa, and in letters to his brother in this city looked forward to his visit. Monroe Van Billiard planned a trip to South Wales on the arrival there of his brother, whom he had not seen in ten years.

Mr. Van Billiard started to pack up yesterday, on receiving the sad news of his brother, intending to go home, but later changed his mind, knowing that he could do nothing at the present.

He is too heart-broken to talk much of the affair. He has been living with Michael Egan at 140 Hamilton street.

Two young boys were saved by Margaret Hays, of New York, one of the survivors of the Titanic, and efforts are being made to identify them. Both of these boys are much younger than the Van Billings boys.

There is a probability that the boys may be among the band of waifs from the vessel who are being held in New York, and relatives have gone there in the hope that the missing brothers may be found.

Austin Van Billiard is the son of James V. Van Billiard, a wealthy marble dealer of Wales, Pa. The father received the following brief cablegram from the missing man’s wife, who is in London:

“James W. Van Billiard:
“Austin and two eldest children sailed on Titanic.

This simply worded cablegram received from Mrs. Austin Van Billiard added another pathetic chapter to the story of the Titanic disaster. Because their son had written positively that he would not sail for at least two weeks, the Van Billiards had not the slightest inkling of their loss until yesterday. With no apprehension of the disaster, a royal welcome was being planned on the son’s arrival home. Although traveling in the steerage, it is believed by the family that Austin Van Billiard was returning home with many thousand dollars’ worth of diamonds, mostly uncut stones. He was extremely fortunate in his mining ventures in Africa. It is believed that the man sailed earlier with the expectation of surprising his relatives.

This morning the Philadelphia North American contained the pictures of the two boys, James and Walter.

Add a comment Share on FaceBook Twitter

Related Biographies:

James William van Billiard
Walter John van Billiard
Austin Blyler van Billiard


Mark Baber

Comment and discuss

  1. Sophieclark01 said:

    I nearly cried at this how brave of the 2 boys to refuse to go on the other life boats and go down with there dad, how sad for there family to find out tht there 9 and 12 year old sons drowned on the titanic along with her husband as well I could of cried its so sad x thinking about all 3 of them now brave all of them x

  2. Jack pemble said:

    What made it so sad was the fact that they wasn't even meant to be on the titanic just he chose to sail 2 weeks earlier to surprise his family in North wales PA.

Leave your comment


Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) VAN BILLIARD BOYS MAY HAVE STUCK TO FATHER (Daily Home News, Tuesday 23rd April 1912, ref: #2326, published 7 February 2004, generated 23rd September 2021 09:04:51 AM); URL :