Reading accounts of survivors is no substitute for an actual interview. Here is one with Eva Hart that brings the story of Titanic to life.
1. First Titanic, then Empress: an Irish Man’s Lucky Escapes
There are those that survive not one but two major disasters in their lifetime. Such is the case with William Clark of Greenore, County Louth, Ireland. He was reportedly in the Boer War. In 1912 he signed on as a fireman on Titanic and listed Southampton as his home. He was one of the few fireman to survive Titanic and was in lifeboat 15.
How he escaped he does not know. He was caught in the swirl of waters as the vessel plunged down – dragged down into the ocean depths with the crippled leviathan as she sank to her last resting place. Even then his abnormal luck did not desert him. He never thought to come up again, but the force of the boiler explosion lifted him and rushed him up to the surface. He struck out vigorously; was pulled aboard one of the boats, and came home to tell the tale.
Then in 1914 he was a fireman on Empress of Ireland when tragedy would strike there as well. On 29 May 1914, the ship collided with the Norwegian coal freighter Storstad in the Saint Louis River at Pointe-au-Père, Quebec. Unlike Titanic which took over two hours to sink, Empress of Ireland would sink quickly resulting in over 1,000 deaths. Clark escaped but his description shows how harrowing it was:
His lifeboat station was No. 5, and somehow or other he got there, but he cannot remember how she was launched. His mind is a blank concerning some of those awful moments spent on the canting decks of the doomed liner. They had to crawl on hands and knees on the sloping hull in order to get the boat clear, and then their best chance of escape was to plunge into the water in the hope of being able to scramble aboard. Clark was drawn under several times before he got into the boat, and afterwards, he said, they were able to pull about sixty men into her.
Clark would remark later that if there was any luck in the sea, he had it all. He surely did to survive two major ship disasters and live to tell the tale.
1. First Titanic, then Empress: an Irish Man’s Lucky Escapes (Irish Times,27 Nov 18)
2. WILLIAM CLARK : FLIRTING WITH DEATH(Encyclopedia Titanica)
2.Irish firm’s virtual reality Titanic trip to launch on PlayStation (Irish Times, 15 Nov 2018)
Irish firm VR Education’s virtual reality trip on the Titanic is set for launch on Sony’s PlayStation later this month. Titanic VR puts players aboard the doomed vessel the night it hit an iceberg and sank in April 1912. It will be available from November 22nd. The Titanic experience has already been launched on PC, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality. But the company said it expects the PlayStation VR version to drive sales, replicating the experience of its Apollo 11 VR showcase.
This has been a quiet week for Titanic, so not a lot of news to report. Here are some interesting bits of news for you to consider.
1. You never know what lies waiting to be uncovered when cleaning out your home. Especially if you have not looked in those dust covered corners in closed up rooms, attics, or basements for a long time. A man found the portrait of Elsie Bowerman, a Titanic survivor, suffragette, and barrister. And it is now up for auction at Duke’s Auctioneers in Dorchester, Dorset, UK in March with an estimated price of £1,000.
Source: Titanic Survivor’s Portrait Discovered (BBC News,22 Jan 2016)
Information about Elsie Bowerman:
1. Miss Elsie Edith Bowerman (Encyclopedia Titanica)
2. ‘Suffragette, Barrister and Survivor of the Titanic disaster’ born in Tunbridge Wells (somagazines.co.uk, 12 April 2012)
2. The Titanic Hotel at Stanley Dock in Liverpool has won the Luxury Travel Global Guide Award of Luxury Hotel of the Year. The editor of Luxury Travel Magazine is quoted as saying they “were blown away by Titanic Hotel Liverpool’s profile.”
Source: Titanic Hotel wins at Luxury Travel Awards (BDaily,22 Jan 2016)
Finally to close out this Friday, I offer something for my friends facing a very snowy weekend back east and all those also having very cold temperatures.