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Mary/May Sloane, Stewardess

The following account is a letter that Mary Sloane wrote on her way home back to England following the disaster.

S.S. Lapland, April 27th, 1912

My Dear Maggie,

I expect you will be glad to hear from me once more and to know I am still in the land of the living. Did you manage to keep the news from Mother? I hope you got the cablegram all right.

I never lost my head that dreadful night. When she struck at a quarter to twelve and the engines stopped I knew very well something was wrong. Dr. Simpson came and told me the mails were afloat. Things were pretty bad. He brought Miss Marsden and me into his room and gave us a little whiskey and water. I laughed and asked him if he thought we needed it, and he said we should. Miss Marsden was crying, he was cross with her. He asked me if I was afraid, I replied I was not. He said, "Well spoken like a true Ulster girl". He had to hurry away to see if there was anyone hurt. I never saw him again. We helped him on with his great coat, I never saw him again. I felt better after, then I saw our dear old Doctor Laughlin [sic], I asked him to tell me the worst. He said, "Child, things are very bad." I indeed got a life belt and got on deck. I went round my rooms to see if my passengers were all up and if they had lifebelts on. Poor Mr. Andrews came along, I read in his face all I wanted to know.

He saw me knocking at some of the passengers doors, he said that was right, told me to see they had lifebelts on and to get one for myself and go on deck.

He was a brave man. Last time I saw and heard him was about an hour later helping to get the women and children into the boats, imploring them not to hesitate, but to go when asked as there was no time to be lost. Mr. Andrews met his fate like a true hero realizing the great danger, and gave up his life to save the women and children of the Titanic. They will find it hard to replace him and I myself am terribly cut up about him. I was talking to him on the Friday night previous as he was going into dinner. The dear old doctor was waiting for him on the stair landing, and calling him by his Christian name Tommy. Mr.Andrews seemed loth to go, he wanted to talk about home, he was telling me his father was ill, and Mrs.A. was not so well. I was congratulating him on the beauty and perfection of the ship. He said the part he did not like the Titanic was taking us further away from home every hour. I looked at him and his face struck me at the time as having a very sad expression. He is one of the many who can be ill spared.

Well, I got away from all the others and intended to go back to my room for some of my jewelry, but I had no time at the last. I went on deck the second time, one of the little bill [sic - bell] boys recognised me, and pointed me to a crowded boat said, Miss Sloan, thats your boat No.12. I said, child, how do you know, I will wait for another, so it pushed off without me. I was still standing when I saw Captain Smith getting excited, passengers would not have noticed [but] I did. I knew then we were soon going. The distress signals were going every second, so I thought if anyone asked me again to go I should do so, then there was a big crush from behind me, at last they realized the danger, so I was pushed into a boat. I believe it was one of the last ones to leave. We had scarcely got clear when she began sinking rapidly.

We were in the boats all night. I took a turn to row. The women said I encouraged them, I was pleased. We picked up 30 men. Standing on an upturned boat, among them was one of our officers, Mr.lighttoller, we then took charge until the Carpathia picked us up, about seven in the morning. i only hope I shall never have a like experience again. Mr. Lightoller paid me the compliment of saying I was a sailor. We are arriving about midnight on Sunday night. I don't know what the White Star people are going to do with us, I shall wait and see. I have lost everything. I will stay in Marland Terrace, so you can write to me there.
Should love to see you all and talk to you.
We are arriving on the Lapland, I think I told you this before. Trusting this will find you all safe and well.

Your Loving Sister,


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