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
"All the lifeboats were lowered while I was on deck and it looked for a time as if I would be left. I saw men lead their wives to the lifeboats and leave them there, returning to the deck, and we on deck were not so horribly frightened as might be thought. Every one of us thought that it was impossible to sink the ship.
"Just as the last lifeboat, the one with Mr Ismay in it, was launched over the side, one of the officers shouted ‘There’s more room in that boat’ and I and eleven other women were crowded into it. This was after 1 o’clock. I don’t know how much, but it was after one. The lifeboat was manned by enough men to care for it properly and immediately on touching the water, the men rowed with all their strength to get away from the ship, so that, if it did go down, we would not be caught in the suction.
"The night was extremely cold, and we womenfolk had little wraps to keep us warm and we huddled there in clusters watching the great ship as it slowly sank. Not until we got off the boat did we fully realise the danger. Then we saw that the boat had tilted forward and that slowly, but surely, she was sinking.
"We saw the bottom row of lights disappear under the water and watched as line after line disappeared, showing us the rapidity of the sinking of the ship. We were entirely surrounded by large cakes of ice and there was no food or water on the boat, and in the long wait for the Carpathia the majority of us prayed for the coming of the ship. When the welcome ship hove in sight many of us were too much exhausted to realise the greatness of the disaster …
"We were picked up at 6 o’clock and I am informed that every one of the boats that were launched from the Titanic were picked up, with the exception of one which turned over and drowned every one on board. The relief that we experienced when on board the Carpathia is beyond description, but there was with many a fear that this ship might meet the same fate as the Titanic and it was not until the ship touched the port of New York that we all felt safe.
"To realise what we passed through is impossible for anyone who was not on the ship. The hand of death was over us and as we floated out in the frail lifeboats, with no food or water, and as our thirst began to increase, the thought that we might not be picked up, and huddled up in this manner should die of starvation, made us beside ourselves, and as we prayed the smoke-stack of the Carpathia hove in sight …"
Practically two out of every three who sailed on the Titanic are now at the bottom of the ocean, and when I realise that I was one of the last twelve to leave the ship, I cannot help thinking what might have been.
The brave men who went down have left a memory in the hearts of every one of us survivors that will linger as long as we live. The ‘women first’ rule was carried out to the letter and those who had womenfolk on board devoted their time to getting the women in the small boats while they themselves were content to remain on deck.
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