Titanic survivor’s relative recounts the tragedy to Stoke Newington school kids
The great-grandaughter of a hero who operated the wireless on the sinking Titanic described the tragedy to Stoke Newington schoolchildren last week.
Jessica Wilson, 25, read the children from Jubilee School in Filey Avenue an article her great-grandfather, Harold Bride, had written for the New York Times after surviving the shipwreck.
The passenger liner struck an iceberg in the north Atlantic Ocean on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York and sank on April 15 1912, killing 1,517 people.
Ms Wilson described how Mr Bride, then aged 22, and another man Philips were sending wireless messages dressed in their pyjamas from control room while the ship was sinking.
“The captain came in and said, “You’ve done all you can, get out,” but they continued to send them,” said teacher Rosie Beck, , who invited her friend Ms Wilson to speak.
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“It was a story of friendship as although they only knew each other on the ship they were the last two left on the ship,” she added.
Mr Bride escaped in a lifeboat but sadly realised Philips had drowned when he was pulled aboard.
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“Bride said he was astounded by the bravery Philips showed because he was up to his knees sending the messages,” said Ms Beck.
Bride was left with frostbite in his legs and had to be carried off the boat once it reached New York.
Mr Bride never spoke of the disaster again after writing the newspaper article, finding it too painful to relive.
The pupils have been working on a Titanic-themed project all term, each investigating a different character on board and finding out whether they survived.
“What we’ve been trying to press on the children is that ultimately it was a massive tragedy,” said Ms Beck.
“It was good for them to have a link to the Titanic because although we are talking about the fact it was 100 years ago, to them it’s the past but ultimately someone alive has a living link to it.”