For those who know me well, they will know that one of my earliest introductions to history was through my mother’s interest in the story of the Titanic. It was through her quest to learn as much as she could about the disaster that I learnt about private collecting. My Mum has a very expansive collection of Titanic “stuff”! This extends to books, models, movie memorabilia and so much more!
When we were younger, we really enjoyed visiting Fox Studios in Sydney where they had the Titanic experience. This wasn’t a “cheap” experience it was fantastic as far as the level of detail and assuming you viewed it as being an "extra" in a movie not necessarily the recreation of a major tragic accident that saw the loss of of life of thousands of people! I could talk about this a lot but instead I’ll share a clip I found online (check this out - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09wnxCk7J44)
Today (10 April 2022) marks 110 years since the Titanic departed Southampton on her maiden voyage on 10 April 1912. As this is a topic, I hold dear and am very interested in here is a super quick timeline and facts about the voyage. Coming very shortly will be a feature on six women from the ship. (see here - link coming soon)!
These stories I actually put together when I was a “tween”. Even back then I needed to write and research to understand topics better! I recently came across these pieces on an old hard drive, so I thought it was a great trip down memory lane to remember them.
Passengers began embarking the ship at Southampton in the morning of 10 April 1912, many having travelled down by train from London. By 12pm, when the ship was set to sail, 920 passengers had boarded the ship (179 1st Class, 247 2nd class and 494 3rd class).
That afternoon the ship arrived in Cherbourg, France however due to the size of the Titanic passengers had to be transported to the ship via tenders. While 24 passengers left the ship an additional 274 joined Titanic (142 1st class, 30 2nd class and 102 3rd class).
At 8pm the ship departed Cherbourg heading for one final stop before setting sail across the Atlantic.
on the 11 April 1912, the Titanic arrived in Queenstown, Ireland at 11:30am. As in Cherbourg the ship was too big for the port, so tenders had to be used.
Just seven passengers disembarked while another 123 joined the ship (3 1st class, 7 2nd class and 113 3rd class).
At 1:30pm Titanic’s anchor was raised, and she set sail for open water.
By noon on the 12 April 1912, 110 years ago, the Titanic had travelled 484 nautical miles. The first days of the crossing passed without incident and the 885 crew were kept busy with their daily tasks.
Just 23 of the crew were women and around 40% of the crew were natives of Southampton, England where they joined the ship on the 6th April 1912.
The captain received the highest wage of £105 a month (equal to approximately $22,360 Australian today) while the lowest paid crew member made just £3 (equal to approximately $639 Australian today).
On 13 April 1912, the Titanic had sped up covering more ocean, in fact 519 nautical miles were covered but the next day she’d cover even more!
There were 1,317 passengers making the crossing of which 107 were children (there were possibly more not correctly listed on the passenger list of the third class). Did you know that the ship could actually accommodate 2,453 passengers? Image how many more lives could have been lost if she was sailing at full capacity!
The cheapest ticket was about £7 (equal to approximately $1,500 Australian today), while the most expensive suite would have cost £870 (equal to approximately $185,000 Australian today) during peak season!
The 14th April 1912 is forever remembered as a fateful day but for those sailing on the Titanic during the voyage it was a day like the two at sea before it. As night fell the seas were very clam and the temperature dropped further. A number of ice warnings were received but the ship continued on at speed.
In recent years one of the theories for why the Titanic sunk (in addition to the iceberg) was the presence of a fire in the boiler rooms that weakened the structure. On this day, 110 years ago, the fire was finally extinguished. To this time, it had burnt for over 10 days having begun before the Titanic even left port.
In the end, the 14th would end in disaster with the Titanic colliding with an iceberg at 11:40pm.
Just over two hours later, on 15 April 1912, at about 2:20am the Titanic sank beneath the waves in the north-Atlantic.
It would be almost another two hours before the Carpathia arrived to offer assistance to those in the lifeboats. At least 1,500 people lost their lives and just five people who went down with the ship survived and rescued by lifeboats. 710 people survived.
As mentioned earlier there were just 23 female crew members of the Titanic. All of these women, except for two, were stewardess; the other two worked in the a la carte restaurant, as cashiers.
These women ranged in age from 20 to 50 years and hailed from various English towns. Just three of these women did not survive the disaster. These were the two second class stewardesses, Lucy Snape and Kate Walsh as well as the Third-Class Matron, Catherine Wallis.
Stay tuned for the next blog that pays tribute to the stories of six women who were on the fateful voyage.