vendredi 10 février 2012
A mystery of Titanic proportions !!!
So ... mes belles....get your thinking chapeaux on. How do we proceed with this?
A few weeks ago I bought this old 1900s carved trinket box mainly for the little bisque sailor doll which was inside it.
As I walked away the vendor told me that the name on the box was that of lady who had been on the ill-fated Titanic". I just thought it was a sales tactic and really didn`t think anymore about.
Later that day, out of curiosity more than anything else, I typed the name Caroline Endres into an internet search - and what came up did make me sit up and pay attention!!!
Caroline Endres was indeed a 'Titanic' survivor. I discovered that she had been the private nurse to one of the richest ladies on the Titanic, Mrs Madeleine Astor - wife of the American John Astor lV, one of the most famous and well-known businessmen of the time. I learned that Miss Endres had boarded at Cherbourg, her 1st class passenger ticket, number 17757, costing £247 10s 6d and paid for by the newly wed Mrs and Mrs Astor who had been travelling on their honeymoon.
She got in lifeboat No. 4 together with Mrs Astor and they survived; sadly Mr Astor and his Valet perished.
Caroline Endres was unmarried (as was the requirement at the time for nurses and maids to be so). Also in the party travelling with Mrs Astor was her French maid Mademoiselle Roasalie Bidois - who also managed to climb into lifeboat 4 and survived.
So, on reading all this, it suddenly all became very interesting. I managed to track down the vendor again who told me that he had found the box in his grandfather's attic when he was clearing out his house after his death.
He has no idea why the box was there and told me he knows nothing on his side of the family. I asked him how he had tied the box to the Titanic and he replied saying that there had been an old newspaper in the box about the disaster - but he had thrown it away thinking it was not important!!
And there on the red silk inside the box are the small fragments of an old newspaper; but I cannot make out any words!
I have also discovered that Caroline Endres had returned to New York on the 'CARPATHIA' with Mrs Astor and other survivors and stayed for a short while in the employment of Mrs Astor. After then the trail goes cold, although I have found out she never married so there are no relatives to help with the story.
I have found an old news story dated 1912 which comments on the brother of Caroline being overjoyed when he heard that she was safe, adding that it had been her seventh trip across the Atlantic.
I have also read that the Astors planned their long honeymoon travelling to Egypt and back via Europe and it was during this trip that the new Mrs Astor had became pregnant and had employed Caroline as her private nurse. As they wanted the baby to be born in America they travelled up through France stopping in Paris and then on to Cherbourg to go home in style on the new luxury, 'unsinkable' Titanic.
So..............I need to try to find whether there is a link between this box and the Caroline Endres who survived the 'Titanic' disaster. If it is her box why was it still here in France? Did she leave it behind or did she obtain it at a later date, if she ever returned to France? Was it a present bought for her by Mrs Astor which, for some reason or another, was left in France? .........................where to go next?
I have a sinking feeling that we may never solve the mystery.