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Eugene Daly

Mr Eugene Daly, 29, from County Athlone, Ireland, was travelling to New York City. He boarded the Titanic at Queenstown. Daly played "Erin's Lament" on his uileann (elbow) pipes (a traditional Irish instrument) for his fellow steerage passengers, as the Titanic steamed away from Queenstown, bound for the new world. He would later file a claim for $50 for their loss. Similar pipes, possibly Daly's, were recently salvaged from the wreck. After the collision Daly found his way to the boat deck, his description of events there made for sensational headlines in newspapers hungry for dramatic accounts of the sinking:


Says Officer Shot Two Men Who tried to Enter Boat

A graphic description of the scene on the Titanic after the boats had gone is given by an Athlone survivor, Mr Eugene Daly, in a letter to his sister. He says he aroused two local lady passengers from his district and all three knelt down in the gangway and prayed.

"We afterwards went to the second cabin deck," he continues, "and the two girls and myself got into a boat. An officer called on me to go back, but I would not stir. They then got hold of me and pulled me out.

At the first cabin, when a boat was being lowered, an officer pointed a revolver and said if any man tried to get in he would shoot him on the spot. I saw the officer shoot two men dead because they tried to get into the boat. Afterwards there was another shot, and I saw the officer himself lying on the deck. They told me he shot himself, but I did not see him.

I was up to my knees in water at the time. Everyone was rushing around and there were no more boats. I then dived overboard and got in a boat.

Daily Sketch, Saturday, May 4, 1912

Daly was rescued in collapsible B after being pulled from the water. In later years he would claim that only the thickness of his overcoat kept him alive in the freezing water and that whenever he travelled he took this lucky coat with him. Daly arrived penniless in New York as he described in the following article:


Steerage Passenger and Sailor Referred to Red Cross Managers of Fund

Two survivors of the Titanic called on Mayor Gaynor to-day. One is a sailor who was assigned to help man a lifeboat, the other a steerage passenger who, wearing a life-belt, leaped overboard from the sinking ship, was picked up by passengers aboard an already over-burdened liferaft, again to be hurled back into the ocean and again to be saved by the occupants of a lifeboat. They sought immediate assistance, having lost every possession when the Titanic sank. Eugene P. Daly, the rescued steerage passenger, was playing the bag pipes in the third cabin to the amusement of his fellow passengers shortly before the iceberg was struck. Daly says he was just about to retire when the impact startled him. He grabbd some clothing and started for the deck. Stewards went through the steerage and reasured the passengers, saying there was no danger. "Most of the women believed these statements," said Daly, "until it was too late. That is why so many of the women in the steerage were drowned. When they finally realized that the ship was sinking they tried to reach the boats, but could not get through the crowd of other frightened pasengers.

"I managed to don a life preserver and failing to get a seat in a lifebot or on a raft jumped overboard and struck out just before the ship sank. The water was icy and for the first few minutes I thought I could not survive the cold shock. I do not know how long I was in the water when I caught the edge of a liferaft or collapsible boat already crowded. It upset, but the people in it did not drown. Some of them scrambled back while others, including myself were dragged into a lifeboat containing women and a few men. My sufferings in the lifeboat were intense until we reached the Carpathia, where I was made comfortable.

"Here I am now, stripped of every worldly possession, including my beloved bag pipes, my baggage and ninety-eight pounds sterling which I saved in fourteen years in anticipation of spendng the rest of my days in the United States."

Daly is living with friends at No. 901 Dean street, Brooklyn. Secretary Adamson gave Daly a note to those in charge of the mayor's relief fund at the headquarters of the American Red Cross Society at No.1 Madison Avenue...

The Evening World, Monday, April 22, 1912

The article went on to describe the experience of able bodied seaman Robert Hopkins who also sought relief from the Mayor. Eugene Daly, made several trips back to Ireland to visit relatives. He died in 1963 and is buried at St. Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx.


Dave Bryceson (1997) The Titanic Disaster: As Reported in the British Natonal Press April-July 1912

John Eaton & Charles Haas (1992) Titanic: Triumph & Tragedy

Robin Gardiner & Dan van der Vat (1995) The Riddle of the Titanic

Don Lynch & Ken Marschall (1994) Titanic: An Illustrated History

The Evening World April 22, 1912

The Southern Star, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, February 7, 1998


Leslie Mallory

Able Bodied Seaman: Robert Hopkins

Mr. Robert Hopkins was from Belfast.

Hopkins was assigned to lifeboat 13. At around 1.40 a.m. the boat was lowered but when it reached the water Hopkins and Fred Barrett had to work quickly to cut the boat free from the falls as it drifted under lifeboat 15 which had begun its descent.

After his arrival in New York Hopkins left the White Star Line, and applied to the American Red Cross for relief as reported in a newspaper of the time. The somewhat inaccurate remarks attributed to Hopkins reflect the confusion generated in the rush to get first-hand accounts of the sinking.


Steerage Passenger and Sailor Referred to Red Cross Managers of Fund

Two survivors of the Titanic called on Mayor Gaynor to-day. One is a sailor who was assigned to help man a lifeboat, the other a steerage passenger who, wearing a life-belt, leaped overboard from the sinking ship, was picked up by passengers aboard an already over-burdened liferaft, again to be hurled back into the ocean and again to be saved by the occupants of a lifeboat. They sought immediate assistance, having lost every possession when the Titanic sank... ...Robert Hopkins, the sailor of the Titanic, was also refered to the fund managers. He was asigned by a superior officer to get into one of the boats whose occupants all were women and to help handle the boat. He says that when he put off from the sinking Titanic he was under orders to steer a course towards lights which were burning on the distant horizon. "We all believed that those lights came from the Frankfurd [sic] but she was steaming away, we found out when we tried to row toward her." said Hopkins.

Hopkins is one of the White Star crew who refused to sail back to England by company's orders. He said he had to quit the company and expected therefore no relief from that quarter.

Hopkins threw some additional light on the so-called "millionaires special," lifeboat No. 2 [sic], which was one of the first boats to leave the Titanic. This boat, Hopkins said, contained Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon, Lady Duff Gordon, a man who was indicated as a millionaire and only ten others, including a few women. The millionaire, according to Hopkins, who recieved the story afterward from fellow crew members, offered to do handosmely by the crew in boat No. 2 [sic] if they "put right away from the Titanic," although there was plenty of room for others. "the crew did as requsted by the millionaire." continued Hopkins, "and after they had boarded the Carpathia the millionaire gave each of the Titanic's crew who had handled his boat a check for five ponds uspon [sic] Coutts's Bank. If anybody can get hold of one of these checks the identity of the millionaire will be established."

The Evening World, Monday, April 22, 1912

Duff Gordon and the others actually left in lifeboat 1. Whether he attempted to bribe the crew of that boat to row away from the Titanic remains a matter for debate. The steerage passenger mentioned in the article was Eugene Daly who had also sought relief from the Mayor.


John Eaton & Charles Haas (1992) Titanic: Triumph & Tragedy

Don Lynch & Ken Marschall (1994) Titanic: An Illustrated History

The Evening World April 22, 1912

Paul Chevré

Mr. Paul Chevré, 45, was born in Brussels, Belgium of French parentage. Chevré was a sculptor who achieved success in Canada. In 1896 Chevré won the contest to produce a statue of Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635), founder of the city of Quebec. The statue, which is situated on the terrasse Dufferin-Montmorency, near the Château Frontenac, is considered to be the most majestic of the city of Quebec. Chevré remained in the Old Capital for several weeks to present his model and to finalize plans for the location and installation of the monument, he then returned to his home and studio in Paris to work on the commission which was shipped to Canada for the inauguration. The project was financed through pubic subscription and the monument was unveiled on September 21, 1898 by general governor of Canada, Lord Aberdeen.

Chevré was back in Quebec in the autumn of 1909 where a contest was being held to find a sculptor to design a statue of Honoré Mercier (1840-1894), prime minister of Quebec from 1887 to 1892. It was announced the following year that Chevré had won the commission ahead of Montreal sculptor Louis-Phillipe Hébert (1850-1917). Despite the outcry on the part of some delegates of the parliament of Quebec, the choice of Chevré was defended by Louis-Alexandre Taschereau (1867-1952), then public works minister and a future prime minister of the province. To pacify the storm, the sculptor passed another month in Quebec (September-October 1910) to present his model of the statue (which is situated adjacent to the parliament). Chevré returned to Quebec in 1911 to presented a model of a statue in honour of the historian François-Xavier Garneau (1809-1866), the statue was the gift of businessman and member of the city legislative council; Georges-Élects Amyot.

At this time Chevré was also working on a marble bust of the first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1841-1919) which was to be placed in the new Château Laurier Hotel in Ottawa. Charles Melville Hays, president of the Great Trunk Railways, and a fellow passenger on the Titanic had had been responsible for the construction of the hotel.

In April 1912 Chevré planned to return to Canada to supervise the installation and unveiling of his latest work. He boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg. On the evening of April 14th Chevré was playing cards, in the Café Parisien, with Pierre Maréchal and Alfred Fernand Omont and Lucien P. Smith when the collision took place:

Chevré, Marechal and Omont were all rescued in lifeboat 7, they described their rescue in an article that appeared in Le Matin and The Times:


We were quietly playing auction bridge with a Mr. Smith from Philadelphia, when we heard a violent noise similar to that produced by the screw racing. We were startled and looked at one another under the impression that a serious accident had happened. We did not, however, think for a catastrophe, but through the portholes we saw ice rubbing against the ship's sides. We rushed on deck and saw that the Titanic had a tremendous list. There was everywhere a momentary panic, but it speedily subsided. To the inquiries of a lady one of the ship's officers caustically replied, "Don't be afraid, we are only cutting a whale in two." Confidence was quickly restored, al] being convinced that the Titanic could not founder. Captain Smith nevertheless appeared nervous; he came down on deck chewing a toothpick. "Let everyone," he said "put on a lifebelt, it is more prudent." He then ordered the boats to he got out. The band continued to play popular airs in order to reassure the passengers. Nobody wanted to go in the boats, everyone saying "What's the use'?" and firmly believing there was no risk in remaining on board. In these circumstances some of the boats went away with very few passengers; we saw boats with only about 15 persons in them. Disregarding the advice of the officers many of the passengers continued to cling to the ship. When our boat had rowed about half a mile from the vessel the spectacle was quite fairylike. The Titanic, which was illuminated from stem to stern, was perfectly stationary, like some fantastic piece of stage scenery. The night was clear and the sea perfectly smooth, but it was intensely cold. Presently the gigantic ship began to sink by the bows, and then those who had remained on board realised to the full the horror of their situation. Suddenly the lights went out, and an immense clamour filled the air. Little by little the Titanic settled down, and for three hours cries were heard. At moments the cries were lulled, and we thought it was all over, but the next instant they were renewed in still keener accents. As for us we did nothing but row, row, row to escape from the obsession of the heartrendering cries. One by one the voices were stilled.

Strange to say, the Titanic sank without noise and, contrary to expectations, the suction was very feeble. There was a great backwash and that was all. In the final spasm the stern of the leviathan stood in the air and then the vessel finally disappeared - completely lost. In our little boat we were frozen with cold, having left the ship without overcoats or rugs. We shouted from time to time to attract the attention of the other boats, but obtained no reply. With the same object a German baron [Alfred Nourney] who was with us fired off all the cartridges in his revolver. This agonizing suspense lasted for many hours, until at last the Carpathia appeared. We shouted "Hurrah" and all the boats scattered on the sea made towards her. For us it was like coming back to life.

A particularly painful episode occurred on board the Titanic after all the boats had Seft. Some of the passengers who had remained on the ship, realizing too late that she was lost, tried to launch a collapsible boat which they had great difficulty in getting into shapc. Nevertheless they succeeded in lowering it. The frail boat was soon half full of water and the occupants one after the other either were drowned or perished with cold, the bodies of those who died being thrown out. Of the original 50 only 15 were picked up by the Carpathia, on board which we joined them.

We cannot praise too highly the conduct of the officers and men of the Carpathia. All her passengers gave up their cabins to the rescued women and the sick, and we were received with every possible kindness. Similarly we bear sorrowful tribute to the brave dead of the Titanic. Colonel Astor and the others were admirable in their heroism and the crew fulfilled with sublime self-sacrifice all the dictates of humanity. Much useless sacrifice of life would have been avoided but for the blind faith in the unsinkableness of the ship and it all the places in the boats had been taken in time. What have we saved from the wreck? Omont has a hair-brush, Marechal a book "Sherlock Holmes" and Chevré nothing. We all three send to our families resurrection greetings, and it is with immense joy that we cry from this side of the Atlantic 'A bientot."

Once aboard the Carpathia, Chevré telegraphed to Quebec that he was healthy and safe. The message was addressed to Philéas Corriveau (an attorney), who quickly boarded a train to New York. The Carpathia arrived in New York Thursday April 18th.

Chevré arrived in Montreal on Friday April 20th in company of Corriveau and the architect John - Merchant Omer (1872-1936). He then travelled on to Quebec where he remained for a month before returning to Paris to supervise the casting of the statue of François-Xavier Garneau.

On June 25, 1912, the statue of Honoré Mercier was unveiled by Sir François Langelier, lieutenant-governor of the province of Quebec. Chevré was not present as the previous day he had been in Ottawa to witness the installation of his bust of Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Two months later Chevré returned to Quebec bringing with him the statue of François-Xavier Garneau. The statue was unveiled on October 10 close to the city fortifications.

In 1913 Chevré designed a monument to France, for the Viger Square, Montreal and began work on a statue of the Sacré-Coeur for a church in the parish of Lévis, Quebec. Chevré died (February 20, 1914, aged 47) before its completion and it was finished by his father and associates.


Daniel Drouin

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