Miss Bertha Lehmann, c.17, from Berne, Switzerland boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a second-class passenger. She was travelling to Central City, Iowa to live with a sister, Mrs. Charles Zumbrunnen. She said her father, who escorted her to the train station in Basel, Switzerland, expressed premonitions of disaster saying, "Bertha, every time you come along with me I have some sort of bad luck, and I feel now like something is going to happen to you."
Bertha was impressed with how nice Second Class was on the Titanic. While she was sea-sick the first two days, she finally left her cabin for lunch on Saturday, sharing a table with a young married couple and a man with two little boys, Michel Navratil and his two sons. She conversed with the boys in French and the next day, Mr. Navratil asked her to watch the boys while he played cards. He had thought that since she didn't speak English, his secret (that he was stealing his sons from their mother) would be safe. This was the only known time he let them out of his sight.
On the night of Sunday 14th April, she read in bed before settling into a light sleep. She likened the impact to a train "grinding to a very sudden stop." She eventually made her way to the lifeboats after realizing that while she couldn't understand her fellow passengers they seemed excited and agitated.
Miss Lehmann was reported as having boarded the very last lifeboat (probably Collapsible D). She recalled hearing three loud reports and then saw the ship break apart. She recalled her boat picking up at least three men from a capsized lifeboat (Collapsible A).
Bertha lived with her sister for a year then married a man named Zimmerman. He was killed in World War I, leaving her with a young son to raise. She moved back with her sister and they later moved to Minnesota. She met her second husband, Carl Luhrs and they raised five more children. In her old age she lived around Dubuque.
She passed away in December 1967 at the age of 72.
Don Lynch & Ken Marschall (1992) Titanic: An Illustrated History
The Brainerd Dispatch (Minnesota Newspaper), 1930s
Thomas Francis Myles
Mr Thomas Francis Myles was born in 1850, at Brook Lodge, in Fermoy, Ireland the son of Michael and Margaret Barry Myles. Thomas' father was a successful businessman and landowner.
Thomas Myles studied at St. Coleman's College and on graduation he sailed from Liverpool to India aboard a cargo ship commanded by a cousin, visiting Bombay and Calcutta. Later he travelled to America and sailed the length of the Mississippi. He decided he settle in America and in 1875 he arrived in Boston, with only one pound to his name and no family.
Thomas eventually earned enough to invest in real estate and owned at least ten rental properties by the time of his death.
In 1890 he built a home in Cambridge Mass for his family which he named "Idlewild". He had planned to build a new home in Waban, Mass.
In late 1911, he travelled back to Ireland to settle part of the family estate and oversee custodianship of his mentally retarded brother James, who was the last family member remaining in Ireland. Myles return journey was booked on an earlier White Star liner which was withdrwn from service due to the coal strike . He transferred to the Carpathia but it was filled to capacity so he finally booked second class passage on the Titanic. Myles boarded the Titanic at Queenstown and died in the sinking.
He was survived by his widow Mary Kennah Myles, two sons, Dr Leo Thomas Myles of Cambridge and Frederick Kennah of Indianapolis, Indiana, and four daughters living at home, Gertrude Ellen, Agnes Mary, Elizabeth Kennah and Eileen Lane.
Three weeks after the tragedy a survivor from New York City visited the family to tell them that Myles had been in a lifeboat but stepped out saying "Women and children first". The survivor also told them he saw Myles leading a group in prayer trying to encourage and calm them. They knelt with him on the deck and together they said the rosary and asked god for protection and help in their hour of need. But this was probably Fr Thomas Roussel Byles.
Titanic Communtator (1997) - Don Lynch's Passenger Manifest
Elizabeth Mahan (grandaughter of Thomas Myles)
Mr Philip Zenni boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a third class passenger. He was rescued, possibly in lifeboat 14.
His account appeared in the Niles Daily News (Niles, Ohio) on 25th April 1912.
SURVIVOR FROM TITANIC ARRIVES IN NILES
Philip Zanni Tells a Tragic Story of His Rescue - Assisted in Rowing Lifeboat Away from Sinking Ship
The first survivor of the ill fated ship the "Titanic" that has reached Niles is Philip Zanni [sic], and [sic] exceptionally well-spoken Assyrian who arrived in the city last night at 8 o'clock from New York and is a guest in the home of his friends: Messrs Shaker and Abraham of Furnace Street, who are doing everything in their power to assist him in recuperating from the effects of the great fright and shock to which he was subjected in his miraculous escape from the fast sinking vessel.
A representative of the News called on Mr Zanni this morning and he told him his story in a most graphic manner. He and a companion had retired for the night and were sound asleep. Zanni was awakened by his companion who heard the crash of the boat against the iceberg and both leaped from their berths and ran to the upper deck. The greatest confusion was evident on all sides and men were lowering the lifeboats. Zanni made an effort to leap into one of the boats, but an officer of the boat stood with a drawn revolver in his hand and all the men were compelled to stand back at the command "Women first." Zanni made a second unsuccessful attempt to leap into the boat and was again ordered back by the officer, but a moment later the officer turned and he made a leap, landing in the middle of the boat. He took refuge under one of the seats and the boat was pulled away. There were twenty women and three men in the boat and in order to escape from the suction of the great ship those in the boat realized that it was necessary to row quickly. The men called on the women to row, when Zanni made known his presence and was placed at one of the oars. They rowed a distance of about two miles guided only by the morning star which shone brightly in the heavens and stopped when they believed themselves to be safely away from the ship, and watched the great "Titanic" sink with its cargo of souls aboard. The cries of distress from those on board are still ringing in the ears of Mr Zanni and he feels just as all the other survivors feel that many more lives might have been saved in the boats. The sight of the sinking ship, after one plunge, bow downward, will never be forgotten by any of the people who were in the lifeboats. It was nearly five o'clock when they sighted the "Carpathia" coming toward them, and one great cry went up from the lifeboats, and lanterns were waved frantically.
Mr Zanni tells of the kindness shown toward them by the captain and officers of the [illegible] boat and of the [illegible] trip to [illegible] New York. On their arrival they were shown every kindness by the waiting throngs. He was taken to the office of the Hebrew sheltering and immigration Aid Society where he was provided with clothing and rendered every assistance.
An incident which tends to prove the utter selfishness of shallow-minded people is related by the young man. When the survivors were being raised into the Carpathia a woman who was in his lifeboat pleaded with him to save her dog, which she had clasped tightly in her arms since leaving the "Titanic." Zanni informed her politely that human beings came first and the clung desperately to the little animal until someone lifted her to the deck of the boat.
Mr Zanni was married four months ago and left his wife in France. He goes to Cincinnati soon where he will engage in business.
What became of Mr Zenni is currently unknown but it is thought he eventually died from pneumonia