We are continuing the story of the “orphans of the Titanic.” This is a true story, and it makes you wonder why the movies and books about the Ship of Dreams needed to make anything up. The ship and its sinking were full of real-life drama, including two boys, age 2 and 4, who were the last passengers to get into the last lifeboat. They had no idea they were in the midst of a custody dispute.
As we discussed in our last post, the boys’ father purchased the tickets under an assumed name. He also reportedly told other passengers that his wife was dead — another lie.
The truth was that the boys had been visiting their father over the Easter holiday. When he and his wife, very much alive in April 1912, had separated, his wife was awarded full custody. With the boys in tow, he visited Monte Carlo and traveled to England. There, he obtained three tickets under the assumed name and boarded the Titanic.
When no one claimed them, and they could not identify themselves to anyone, the boys made headlines. Newspapers published multiple stories that featured pictures of the brothers; eventually, one article made its way to their mother. She made her way to New York, and the family was reunited on May 16, 1912. They sailed back to Europe a few days later.
The older boy remembers his father’s last words. “My child,” the father said, “when your mother comes for you, as she surely will, tell her that I loved her dearly and still do.” He added, “Tell her I expected her to follow us, so that we might all live happily together in the peace and freedom of the New World.”
Source: The Daily Mail (UK), “The Titanic Orphans: Two brothers put on last lifeboat by father who died in disaster,” Kerry Mcqueeney, March 25, 2012