TITANIC Week Day 6: Titanic and the Iceberg: Part 4 Steerage Class Irish Family
TITANIC Week here on “Once Upon a Story.” Day 6: Part 4 Steerage Class Irish Family
Today on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.
Would you have survived?
What were your chances?
Find out in my posts today (4 total throughout the day) as we experience what it was like that night through the eyes of a first class lady, a second class gentleman, and an Irish family in steerage class.
You might be surprised.
Steerage Class Family
It is time to speak of the steerage passengers, who until now have waited patiently for a steward to bring them up on top to get into the lifeboats.
Well, not all the third class passengers have been patient.
How could you be if you’re a good wife and mother and your family’s lot depends on you getting to the lifeboats?
Holy Mary, you’ve had time of it since you boarded the Titanic at Queenstown. Getting the two little ones, Mary and Bridget, settled in their bunks with Danny, a lad of ten, wanting so to follow his da around the ship.
And then there’s Patrick, your man. A strong, blustering bloke with strong hands and a big heart. Him always ready to enjoy a pint after a hard day’s work and eager to give you a hug and a kiss when you’re weary from toiling from dawn till night.
“You’ll have a better life in America,” he promises you, after buying passage on the grand ship. And now look at the lot of you. Huddling in the stairway down here on E deck like drowned rats after the seawater came flooding into your cabin. The ship hit an iceberg, they say, split her open where you’re quartered in the fore part of the ship in the married couples section.
And would you believe the likes of them stewards shouting and hollering to put on lifebelts that don’t exist? Only through the help of the good Lord did Patrick find belts for you and the children. And now they won’t let you through the gate to go topside?
“Have you no heart, man?” Patrick yells to the steward, asking him to let his family through. No, he tells him, you have to wait. Then you put your hands over the girls’ ears when Patrick lets go with a barrage of expletives and his fists. He pushes the steward aside and bangs on the barrier. With help from the other men, down it goes with a loud crash.
Then Patrick picks up the girls, one in each arm, and orders you to grab Danny and go ahead of him. Up the stairs you go, the companionway taking you up to the next deck. Then someone says go through the second class door and somehow through Divine grace you find your way up on top.
Oh, such chaos you’ve never seen. People yelling and rushing about like frightened mice with their tails caught in the jaws of a hungry cat. Patrick, good man that he is, doesn’t stop. From boat to boat he goes until he finds one that will take you and the girls. And Danny.
But not him.
“Women and children first,” orders the ship’s officer, shaking his head. Patrick nods. He knew all along there’s no place for him, but he didn’t let anything stop him until his family was saved.
God bless him.
“A kiss to you, lass,” he says, brushing your lips with his, then he tosses you into the boat and it’s lowered away. You huddle in the lifeboat with your children close to you. The sea is so calm, so smooth, the piercing screams and pitiful pleas for help sound sharp and clear in your ears, but you can’t cry. That will come later. Now you have to be strong. For the girls and Danny.
Patrick would want it that way.
And there you have it. A trio of passengers and how they fare on that fateful night. Then at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the Titanic breaks in two and sinks into the North Atlantic, a pale gray vapor hanging like smoke over the spot where she disappears.
For the passengers and crew, cold and freezing in the lifeboats, it will be hours before the rescue ship Carpathia reaches them. Then it’s on to New York. Between twenty and thirty thousand people crowd Chelsea Piers when the Carpathia steams into New York Harbor around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 1912.
Even the aftermath of the Titanic is dramatic. Reporters hire their own tugboat to try to get to the passengers first and buy their exclusives stories; the newspapers blast the headlines for days about the society folks on board (third class passengers don’t fare as well—they’re sent to homeless shelters and their names don’t appear on the survivors’ list); and the U.S. Senate subcommittee holds hearings at the Waldorf-Astoria, interviewing first class passengers and crew.
We’ve come to the end of our journey on the Titanic and a grand tale it is. Before I go, I want to take one last look at the ship of dreams, though I shan’t walk her decks or open doors to her cabins.
No, I want to take one more walk down her sweeping Grand Staircase with the great glass dome overhead like Katie O’Reilly, my heroine, does in Titanic Rhapsody. We see the stars peeking through, heavenly witnesses to all that is elegant and romantic. A place of enchantment where everything is unique to this time, this place. Katie can’t believe she’s really here and neither can I.
I quicken my pace and leave the ship, knowing the Titanic will stay with me always.
Tomorrow I will pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the Titanic and answer your questions.
I pray you will join me.
Coming up tomorrow: TRIBUTE to the TITANIC and its passengers
Check out my Titanic novel, “Titanic Rhapsody,” about a poor Irish girl who escapes the law for a crime she didn’t commit in a grand house in Ireland and becomes a countess aboard the Titanic…
Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.
My Titanic romance “Titanic Rhapsody” is available in the US and the United Kingdom:
US: Amazon Kindle and Amazon KU http://a.co/1wSE0rb
UK: Amazon Kindle and Amazon KU http://amzn.eu/75Lw9NS
Posted on April 14, 2018, in 1912, Amazon, books, drama, heroine, historical, Ireland, Irish, Kindle, romance, sexy, Titanic, travel, Uncategorized, writer, Writing and tagged 1912, Amazon, Anniversary, books, countess, gambler, historical romance, Ismay, kindle, kindle unlimited, rhapsody, romance, ship, ship of dreams, Titanic, Titanic 106, Titanic Anniversary, Titanic week. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.