Faces of the Titanic - Survivor Ellen Shine's gripping story

Survivor of the Titanic - Ellen Shine who boarded the Titanic at the age of 17 and lived to the age of 98.

Ellen’s was case number 418 to be dealt with by the American Red Cross. The notes from this report record her saying she was aged 16 and that she had lost clothing and a cash sum of $500. She was awarded $100 in aid.

In later years, Ellen Shine married and became Mrs John Callaghan. Her husband, a firefighter, hailed from Kiskeam, also in Cork, and they settled in New York. They first returned to Ireland only in 1959, on the Mauretania, but made a number of visits thereafter. The couple had two daughters, Julia and Mary, whom Ellen would be fated to outlive.

In 1976 she moved from Manhattan to Long Island to be with her family following the death of her husband. In 1982 she entered Glengariff nursing home where she celebrated her 100th birthday in 1991 – three years early. By this stage, however, Ellen was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Never having discussed the Titanic disaster in nearly seventy years, she suddenly could not stop babbling about it. A torrent of Titanic revelations flowed from her loosened tongue, to the irritation of other residents. When Ellen finally wanted to talk about the disaster, no one was listening.

Ellen Shine Callaghan died on 5 March 1993, and is buried in St Charles Cemetery, East Farmingdale, New York.

A survivor of the Titanic Dies: Glen Cove woman was 101

Helen Shine Callaghan of Glen Cove, one of the last survivors of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, died yesterday at North Shore University Hospital at Glen Cove at the age of 101.

Callaghan, who was a resident of the Glengariff Nursing Home in Glen Cove, was 20 when she left her native Cork County, Ireland, for a better life in the United States, according to her granddaughter, Christine Quinn [in 2011, the Speaker of the New York City Council].

‘She was from a big family and her parents were deceased and her sister was head of the family and decided that some of the siblings had to go to America,’ said Quinn.

Like many of the survivors, Callaghan rarely discussed the tragedy. ‘I remember asking her questions as a girl. She never really answered them directly,’ Quinn said. ‘My mother only found out about it when she was in school and the teacher passed around a list with the survivors’ names on it and she saw her mother’s name on the list.’
- (Glen Cove Record-Pilot, 6 March 1993)

1911 census – Shine, Lisrobin.

Mary, widow (55). Had been married 21 years, nine children, eight yet living.

Maggie (30), Ellie (18), James (22), John (25), creamery manager.

Profile taken from Senan Molony's book "The Irish Aboard the Titanic"

Source - Mercier Press - Ebooks from Ireland – Irish author on Kindle, iPad, Nook and all ereading devices

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