STORIES AT TITANIC EXPERIENCE COBH
*Cobh was renamed as Queenstown in 1849 in honour of the arrival of Queen Victoria. In 1921 when the Irish Free State was established, the name reverted back to Cobh in its Irish form. As Titanic sailed in 1912 you will find most Titanic related stories will reference the town as Queenstown.
THE RICE FAMILY
Margaret Rice was 39 years old and was travelling 3rd class with her five young sons, Albert aged 10, George aged 9, Eric aged 7, Arthur aged 4 and Eugene just 2 years old. Margaret had returned to Ireland after the tragic death of her husband two years earlier.
Margaret subsequently made the decision to return to America with her sons. She had originally booked passage in May 1912 but as family friends were travelling in April on board Titanic, she changed her plans to travel with them, believing it would be better to have company when travelling with such a young family.
THE ODELL FAMILY
Lily Odell, along with her son Jack, sister-in-law Kate and her two brothers Richard and Stanley May, travelled on Titanic from Southampton to Queenstown. The Odell/May party occupied three First Class suites on B-Deck.
On arrival at Roches Point they disembarked, boarding the tender ‘America’ to bring them ashore. Kate Odell took some of the last ever photographs of the Titanic while sailing away from the ship towards Queenstown. Little did they know the fate that would befall their fellow passengers just days later.
Here at Titanic Experience Cobh, we have a selection of personal items from the Odell/May family collection, relating to their trip aboard Titanic.
THE LUCKY STOKER
John was a 23 year old stoker working for the White Star Line Shipping Company. Having worked on Titanic’s sister ship Olympic for a time, John signed up to work on Titanic in order to gain free passage home to Cobh to visit his family. On arrival in Queenstown he hid among the mailbags and made it ashore undetected.
THE CHIEF PURSER
The author notes that while “The Captain may be the best, unless the Purser knows everybody and everything, and combines the perfection of urbanity, tact, prompt appreciation of circumstances – in fact, is the best of fellows – his passenger list does not fill all the time, but on any ship which Chief Purser McElroy has filled that position, the booking has always been complete well in advance of the sailings.”