encyclopedia titanica

THE centenary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 15 will have stirred many family memories and not just in Belfast where the ship was built or Southampton starting point of the Titanics maiden voyage to New York which lost 500 members of the crew among the 1500 who died Beryl Browse of Ripponden has a poignant letter from America about her great aunt Charlotte Ashdown Pearson and her husband Silas originally from Kent but living in London at the time They were emigrating to the United States in 1912 and might well have travelled on the Titanic but didnt because Charlotte thought the liner the most sumptuously designed ship ever built was for rich people not them Silas was already in the US where he had gone to find work and a home for Charlotte and the couples six children Silas Nellie Frank Ivy Florence and Stanley When he called on them to join him Charlotte and son Silas went to buy tickets for the voyage The ticket office tried to sell them tickets for the Titanic but Charlotte refused them and instead bought berths on the USS Philadelphia which took them safely to America in August 1912