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Rev Ernest Courtenay Carter

Rev Ernest Courtenay Carter, 54, was born 17th February 1858 the son of George Carter.

Ernest Carter was educated at Charterhouse and Leamington College. In 1880 he went to Oxford to study (between 1881 and 1884 at St. John's College1). He graduated with a BA in 1884. From 1885 to 1888 he was Assistant Master at Godolphin School, Hammersmith, London and in that year took holy orders being made deacon and taking up a position as curate of Christ Church, Mayfair. He was made priest in 1889. Between 1889 and 1896 he was curate of Chieveley and in 1989 moved to the East end of London to be vicar of St Jude, Whitchapel. Between 1910 and 1911 he held a position at Sion College.

Ernest Carter married Lilian Hughes in 1890 and it was with her that he boarded the Titanic as a second Class passenger, at Southampton.

During the voyage Rev Carter was troubled by a cold and Marion Wright, whom the couple had befriended, found some medication that helped him.

On the evening of April 14th Rev Carter presided over a hymn service for about a hundred passengers in the second class dining saloon, he preceded each hymn with a history of the hymn and its author. Douglas Norman sat at the piano and Marion Wright sang a solo of Lead Kindly Light which, Rev Carter explained, had been written following the wreck of a vessel on the Atlantic. Among the other hymns sung were Eternal Father, Strong to Save (also known as For those in peril on the Sea), On the Ressurection Morning, There is a Green Hill Far Away (for which Marion Wright again sang solo), the funal hymn was Now the Day is Ended. Around ten o'clock the steward began to lay out coffee and refreshments and Rev Carter drew the proceedings to a close by thanking the Purser for the use of the Saloon and added that the ship was unusually steady and how everyone was looking forward to their arrival in new York. 'It is' he said 'the first time that there have been hymns sung on this boat on a Sunday evening, but we trust and pray it won't be the last.'

But it was and Rev and Mrs Carter died in the sinking, a fact that was recorded in one of the UK papers of the time:

Amongst those who went down with the Titanic were the Rev. Ernest Courtney [sic] Carter and his wife. Mr Carter was a St John's man1, who later than usual in life became ordained and did some wonderfully good work, especialy in his last parish, that of St Jude's, Whitechapel. Amongst his parishioners were many Jews, and is was by no means an easy sphere of action, but one of his chief characteristics was his vigourous optimism. It is said that he and his wife were told to get into one of the boat, but they said, "Let the others go first." His wife, a daughter of the famous "Tom Hughes" who wrote "Tom Brown at Oxford", had from the beginning refused to go with the women; they were a devoted couple and childless, and they died together. North Berks Herald - May 4, 1912, p7 col 1.


1From the St. John's College Register:

1881-2 Michaelmas Term

Carter, Ernest Coutenay (matric. MT 1880 as a non-collegiate student, migrated to St. John's College. 1881); b.17 Feb 1858, s. of George Carter, clerk in H.O.

Educ. Charterhouse; Leamington Coll. BA 1884. H.O. (d.1888; p.1889): Asst. master, Godolphin S., Hammersmith 1885-8; C. Christ Church, Mayfair (1888-9); Chieveley 1889-96; V. St Jude, Whitechapel 1898; Pres. Sion Coll. 1910-11.

M. 1890 Lilian Hughes.

Lost in the sinking of the Titanic 15 Apr 1912


North Berks Herald - May 4, 1912, p7 col 1.

St. John's College Register, Oxford

Rev. Juozas Montvila

Reverend Juozas Montvila, 27, was born January 3, 1885 in Nenriskai, Marijampole region (renamed after WW2 by the Soviet Union as Kapsukas), Lithuania.

Montvila studied at the advanced School (Gimnazia) of the City of Marijampole and at the Seminary of Seinai (today within the province of Lithuania in North-eastern Poland). He was ordained a priest on March 22, 1908 and was assigned a post as vicar in Lipskas where he secretly administered to the spiritual needs of the Uniates, a religious body proscribed by the Czarist regime. As a result of this service he was seized by the Russian government and was sentenced. He was to lose his assignment as vicarate and be denied his pastoral vocation. Awaiting a change of this harsh ruling, he worked for the Catholic newspaper in Seinai and wrote sermons for the publication Vadovas (The Leader). Gifted as an artist, he drew illustrations and vignettes for a number of newspapers and books published in the Vilnius (the Capital of Lithuania).

With the passage of time and the realization that he was not likely to be allowed, in the foreseeable future, to return to pastoral work in Lithuania, he prepared to emigrate to the United States. Following a stay in England, he booked passage aboard the Titanic, boarding at Southampton.

Some confusion exists over Montvila's plans after arrival in America. According to a friend of Montvila's sister who lived in the Lithuanian quarter ("Little Lithuania") in Brooklyn, Montvila was to head a parish in that growing community. However, the Jackson (Miss.) News and the Worcester Evening Gazette both said he was en route to Worcester, Massachusetts.

Second Class passenger Ellen Toomey told reporters after the disaster that he, Fr Peruschitz and Fr Byles said Mass every day on board the Titanic.

Lawrence Beesley recorded the following observations of passengers in the Second Class library:

In the middle of the room are two Catholic priests, one quietly reading-either English or Irish, and probably the latter-the other, dark, bearded, with a broad-brimmed hat, talking earnestly to a friend in German and evidently explaining some verse in the open Bible before him...'

After the collision, according to reports, the "...young Lithuanian priest, Juozas Montvila, served his calling to the very end." by refusing a place on one of the ship's life boats, choosing to administer his priestly duties and offering solace to his fellow travellers.

Montvila died in the sinking his body was never recovered. However, he was considered a hero in Lithuania and is currently under consideration for canonization by the Roman Catholic church.


Paskutinioji Titanic'o kelione (The Final Journey of the Titanic) (1914)

Lietuviu Enciklopedija (Lithuanian Encyclopedia), Volume XIX (Mi-Na) pp. 248-249. A 36 volume set published in 1959 in South Boston.

Lawrence Beesley (1912) The Loss of the Titanic.


George Behe

Steve Belies (Montvila's great nephew)

Don Lynch

Mrs Nils Pålsson

Mrs Nils Pålsson (Alma Cornelia Berglund), 29, was born on August 3, 1882 in Gruvan, Bjuv, Sweden. Alma was travelling from Bjuv, Sweden to Chicago, Illinois with her four children: Torburg, Paul, Stina, and Gösta. They were rejoining her husband, Nils Pålsson, who had emigrated to the United States a year or two earlier. The Pålsson's joined the Titanic at Southampton.

The entire Pålsson family died in the sinking. Mr Pålsson, who lived at 754 (?94) Townsend Street in Chicago was informed at the Chicago offices of the White Star line that his family was gone.

Paulson [sic] looked pale and ill when he leaned hungry eyed over the desk and asked in broken English if his wife or children had been accounted for. Chief Clerk Ivar Holmstrom scanned his list of third class passengers saved. He failed to find there any of the names enumerated by Paulson. "Perhaps they did not sail," he suggested hopefully. Then he looked over the list of those who sailed third class on the Titanic...The process of elimination was now complete. "Your family was on the boat, but none of them are accounted for," said Clerk Holmstrom.

The man on the other side of the counter was assisted to a seat. His face and hands were bathed in cold water before he became fully conscious. He was finally assisted to the street by Gust Johnson, a friend who arrived with him. Paulson's grief was the most acute of any who visited the offices of the White Star, but his loss was the greatest. His whole family had been wiped out.

Alma's body was recovered (#206).


CLOTHING - Brown Coat; green cardigan; dark shirt; brown skirt under; boots; no stockings.

EFFECTS - Wedding ring; brass keeper; mouth organ; purse and two coins; a letter; 65 kroner; had four children with her; letter from husband, Neil Paulsson, 94 Townsend St, Chicago.


She was buried in Fairview cemetary in Halifax on May 8, 1912 where her grave stands feet away from that of her son Gösta.

Lars-Inge Glad (a relative of Alma Pålsson) adds: What became of Nils remains unknown, in the late 1920s Nils was joined in USA by my grandfather Axell Tollof Kvist, born April 14 1896 also from Gruvan, Bjuv. He was to send for my grandmother to join him in USA but noone ever heard from him.


Nils changed his name to Paulsson.


Chicago Daily Tribune (Illinois), 20 April 1912

Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew SS Titanic


Homer Thiel

Lars-Inge Glad

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