Published in Windlesora 28 (2012)
On 15th April 2012, it will be the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Windlesora 26 featured an article called Drowned at Sea about Windsor Lad Owen George Allum who sailed on the fated ship and whose body was returned to England to be buried in Clewer churchyard.
My personal connection with the ship is through my Uncle Gustav, an older brother of my mother. She often talked about her dashing sailor brother Gustav, who got a job on Titanic as a steward and interpreter., and how proud she was, aged 11 when he bid her farewell to take up his new appointment. He was due to sail from Bremen to Southampton the following day.
The whole family was devastated when they heard the terrible news and waited anxiously for the list of survivors. But what arrived instead was a postcard from New York. It had a photo of Titanic’s sister ship, RMS Olympic, with a message from Gustav telling his family that he was safe and well.
Due to fog in the North Sea, he had been delayed. and got into Southampton to see the RMS Titanic steaming out of port. He was taken on as crew of the Olympic, which got a distress call from the Titanic on 14, April bit was too far away to help in any rescue.
Uncle Gustav disappeared during the Second World War, and I never knew him. His postcard, which I loved to look at, was in my mother’s desk until she died, and then it disappeared.