Faces of the Titanic: Bridget Delia Bradley saved - crippled by fear she tried to climb back aboard the sinking ship

Bridget Delia Bradley, aged-22, survived the sinking of the Titanic

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PHOTOS - photographs of some of the Irish on board

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.

"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.