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June 5th 1912
"Mr.Milling, Mr.Andrew and myself were in the library talking over various things. We went to bed about 10,30 and at 10,55 [sic] I heard the ship make a stumbling noise, enough to wake me (I was sound asleep). In my state room were two other women and I being the younger suggested them remaining in bed and I would see if there was anything the matter. I met only a few curious women and Mr.Andrew, I tried to find out what was the matter and the officer told me, Its only an Iceberg. You must go back to your stateroom or you'll catch cold. I went to the stateroom and told my companions everything would be allright. Its only an Iceberg. I would go up on the boat deck and try to get further particulars. I saw them lower one lifeboat with no one in it and noticed the men were also uncovering another. I then realized that something was the matter, I at once went to the staterooms of all my friends and told them to dress in case we were called up. The I met Mr.Milling and he said, What is the trouble Miss Troutt. What does it all mean. I said, A very sad parting for all of us. This ship is going to sink (Mr.Andrew laughed at me and said impossible). Your husband caught hold of my two hands and said, Don't worry. I am sorry that such a thing has happened, but I sent the wireless today and we are in communication with several vessels and we will all be saved, though parted, but I won't go home on so big a ship.- No thought was given to letters. I left Mr.Milling talking with several men. Mr.Andrew and I then went looking for other friends and so many of them couldn't do anything for themselves so we helped them with their life preservers and it was after 1 o'clock when I was pushed into the lifeboat. It was so dark that I couldn't see a soul I knew. I have regretted so many times that I hadn't the presence of mind to ask the men if they had any letters for me to mail as your husband and Mr.Andrew wrote letters every morning..."
During the release of the filmed version of "A Night To Remember", various people claiming to be survivors of the disaster wrote to the film studios with their stories; snippets of these letters were passed on to Walter Lord and he wrote back to them. One of them was Edwina Troutt (even though she had claimed to have heard "cows mooing and chickens clucking" [!] during the sinking.
The Rank film distributors sent a letter to Lord dated 11/11/58 detailing an interview between Rank's Geoffrey Martin and Edwina Peterson Corrigan (nee Troutt). Edwina Was "74 years young." His notes are below:
"[She was] Booked to cross on another ship, the sailing was cancelled due to one of the many coal strikes of the period. Her travel agent managed to obtain an alternative passage on the Titanic.
Mrs.Corrigan was on deck when the collision with the "New York" was narrowly avoided. A sailor standing nearby was the first to suggest the impending disaster with the remark: "There goes old Captain Smith again trying for third time unlucky! He's already had two collisions!"
Mrs.Corrigan was a second class passenger and at Queenstown she received two stateroom companions: Miss Nora Keane and Miss Susie Webber. She saw very little of the latter as she spent all her time with her brother who was travelling 3rd class (presumably James Webber who embarked at Southampton).
Her table companions were a charming Danish gentleman about ten years older than herself, Mr.Jacob C.Milling, and a young man called Andrew (Reference passenger list: Edgar or Frank). He was an English boy whose home was in Beunos Aires and he had been over to England for his education. Both were lost.
Nora Keene was very superstitious and on finding she had left her crucifix behind knew that they were heading for disaster. From the moment they left Ireland various minor events were signs of their impending fate.
Mrs.Corrigan's description of the collision added nothing new to the information in Mr.Lord's book.
She emphasised the wonderful job done by priests in avoiding panic.
Without I am sure meaning to be callous Mrs.Corrigan described how a horde of foreigners tried to break out from the bowels of the ship, all carrying their possessions on their heads. "Horrible people" she said, "they must have been fourth class passengers." When asked what happened to them she explained that thanks to the vigilance of the crew and the officers with their revolvers, they were kept back behind the barriers and prevented from swamping the lifeboats.
Mrs.Corrigan was placed in a lifeboat (she believes it was number 13); it was under the command of Master at Arms Bailey.
She was asked to take care of a baby and a woman next to her said, "If you save that baby, you will have it all your life." She ignored this brutal remark and the child was finally united with its mother on the Carpathia.
She knew the Navratil twins; they were in her lifeboat and were in the custody of a Miss Hays (or Haye) in New York. These French children in their little beaver hats were later hoisted on to the Carpathia in mail bags.
Once they had pulled clear, Bailey had as many as possible in the boat singing. Mrs. Corrigan explained that this was not so much to overcome the screaming of the drowning but to drown the horrible cursing of men in her boat.
The rockets caused a lot of alarm in her boat as people thought they were explosions.
There was one woman who had lost her husband who kept on screaming "Titanic - my man!" When she saw the Carpathia she was convinced it was the Titanic and renewed her frantic screaming.
1. Spelling and punctuation have been preserved, where possible.
2. Master at Arms Bailey was saved in boat 16; the Navratil twins were in boat "D"