Saturday, April 14, 2012

An Ocean of Memories

As you all may or may not know, the 14th and 15th of this month mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic. As I'm typing this I'm reading the tweets from @TitanicRealTime and listening to the soundtrack. It is a wonder I'm not sobbing like crazy.

I'm not directly related to anyone on the Titanic. That I know of anyway. But I have found some distant cousins. And in the process some (obviously) sad stories.

For example. Mr. Daniel Warner Marvin, first class passenger. Only 19 years old. My 16th cousin thrice removed. Recently married, coming back from his honeymoon.

On the night of the accident Daniel assisted his wife to a boat with the words "It's alright, little girl. You go. I will stay."

I mean how can that not get to you. And here's another one. I can just picture the scenario too.

Bessie Waldo Allison is my 14th cousin thrice removed.

When the Titanic hit the iceberg, Alice Cleaver took Trevor and left with him in lifeboat 11 . Bess Allison was put in a boat with Loraine, but refused to leave the ship without her baby. She dragged Loraine out of the boat and started searching for Alice and Trevor.

"Mrs Allison could have gotten away in perfect safety," Major Arthur Peuchen told the Montreal Daily Star "But somebody told her Mr Allison was in a boat being lowered on the opposite side of the deck, and with her little daughter she rushed away from the boat. Apparently she reached the other side to find that Mr Allison was not there. Meanwhile our boat had put off."

Major Peuchen, also gave this account of Mrs. Allison's last moments "She had gone to the deck without her husband, and, frantically seeking him was directed by an officer to the other side of the ship. She failed to find Mr. Allison and was quickly hustled into one of the collapsible life-boats, and when last seen by Major Peuchen she was toppling out of the half-swamped boat."
Trevor Allison was the only survivor having been rescued by the child's nurse Alice Cleaver. Bess's body, if recovered, was never identified.

The whole family. Except the son. But even so Trevor still died young. Only 18 from Ptomaine poisoning. 

There are many more stories on the encyclopedia titanica site. Here are the links to the two people I mentioned:

As I mentioned before Titanic makes me think of my Bieda's. They were probably third class. And  came over not even a whole year after the Titanic sank. I can totally see them partying it up down in third class. Lewis knew how to play several instruments (accordion, violin, and concertina) which makes me think Jakob would've known too. And Polish people like to polka. And drink. From what I heard about a wedding shindig that went down years before I was born. 

Watching the film now that I'm older just seems to be more meaningful. I know about some of the characters and can point them out. Like the couple in bed when the water is rising, Isidor and Ida Straus. Or Benjamin Guggenheim who was dressed up and prepared to go down as a gentleman. 

It's all so sad. Which is probably what attracts so many people. But really? Only 705 people survived? It makes you want to go back in time and smack some people. In a similar way to discovering your family is listed on an illegible census record and wanting to smack the census taker for their horrible handwriting.

Lastly, I leave you with this:

Hope you have your tissues ready.

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