Faces of the Titanic: Bridget Delia Bradley saved - crippled by fear she tried to climb back aboard the sinking ship
She won $153 in a court case from the White Star Line for the personal affects she lost
Profile taken from Senan Molony's book "The Irish Aboard the Titanic"
Ticket number 334914. Paid £7 14s 6d.
Boarded at Queenstown. Third Class.
From: Ballinahulla, County Kerry; bordering Kingwilliamstown, County Cork.
Destination: 29 William Street, Glen Falls, New York.
She was saved – sitting securely in a lifeboat that was beginning its jolting descent to the water. But Bridget Delia Bradley felt she had to escape from the vessel of her salvation. Demented with fear, she tried to get back on the doomed ship:
"There was a girl from my place, and just when she got down into the lifeboat, she thought that the boat was sinking into the water.
"Her name was Bridget Bradley. She climbed one of the ropes as far as she could and tried to get back into the Titanic again, as she thought she would be safer in it than in the lifeboat. She was just getting up when one of the sailors went out to her and pulled her down again."
-(Daniel Buckley, testifying to the US inquiry, day 12, 3 May 1912)
Buckley also mentioned Bridget in a letter he wrote home from the safety of the rescue ship Carpathia:
"Thank God some of us are amongst the saved. Hannah Riordan, Brigie Bradley, Nonie O’Leary and the Shine girl from Lismore are all right."
-(Letter printed in The Cork Examiner, 13 May 1912)
Bridget’s family believed she was rescued in lifeboat No. 4, launched from the starboard side of the sinking Titanic at 1.55 a.m., but this is inconsistent with her being seen by Daniel Buckley, whose own lifeboat departed a little earlier.
Bridget was interviewed by the Daily Times while still recovering from her ordeal at St Vincent’s Hospital in New York:
"I was in bed at the time the accident occurred and the shock, which was a comparatively slight one, did not disturb me greatly. A knock on the doors of our rooms caused us to get up and dress ourselves. I slipped on a lightweight black dress and wrapped a small shawl about me, the only clothes I saved, and went to the deck where I found the most of the passengers assembled.
"There was no disorder on the deck that amounted to anything, and all the officers acted in a manner that convinced us the ship was not in grave danger. The story that the men on board acted like heroes is true in every detail, and it was ‘women first’ in nearly every case except for a few of the steerage passengers who tried to fight their way to the lifeboats and who I have been told were shot by officers of the boat.
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