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The Titanic

Heroism of Irish Titanic stewardess revealed

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The Titanic

Catherine Walsh, 32, was one of more than 1,500 people who died when the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, but the heroism of the Irish stewardess is remembered by her great-grandson.

Adrian Nesbitt, who lives in Sydney, Australia, has devoted years to researching his great-grandmother, who comforted stranded passengers during that tragic night.

Catherine, from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, was married with one child but pretended she was single to get a job on the luxury liner. She had married John Roche in 1897 and lived in London. Their daughter Kathleen, Adrian Nesbitt's grandmother, was born in 1908.

Catherine had wanted to save enough money for the family to move the United States.

"I believe Catherine Walsh adopted her single persona to increase her chances of sailing," Mr Nesbitt told the Irish Independent.

Catherine's orphaned daughter was supported, until she was 19, by small payments from the Titanic Victims Relief Fund. Kathleen, who grew up in England, relocated back to Ireland where she settled and married in Limerick. She remained extremely reluctant to talk about the Titanic until her death in 2001 and refused to watch James Cameron's film 'Titanic.'

Nesbitt discovered a reference to his great-grandmother in 'Titanic Voices' by Alastair Forsyth.

"Catherine is remembered by a passenger, Selina Rogers: 'We had a very nice stewardess. . . Miss Walsh.' And a few hours before the ship struck the iceberg, she wrote: 'I was feeling very sick. The stewardess was very kind and brought me a glass of milk'."

Catherine's duty station on the liner's F deck meant that she was close to where the lifeboats loaded passengers -- but she clearly decided to stay at her post.

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