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Captain's Steward: James Arthur Paintin

Mr James Arthur Paintin, 29, of Shakespeare Avenue, Southampton, was the son of Mr William Paintin, of 52 Marlborough Road, Oxford.

As a boy Mr. Paintin sang in the choir at All Saints Church, Oxford. For some years he was in the service of Mr. Justice North. Around 1907 he left his home city to join the White Star line. Paintin travelled considerably in his years with the White Star Line. He had visited India, but during the past four years had chiefly been on the North Atlantic run. As Tiger (steward) to Captain Edward John Smith he served on both the Adriatic and the Olympic before joining the Titanic.

He wrote to his parents in a letter that was posted when the ship docked briefly at Queenstown:

On board RMS Titanic, Queenstown 11/4/1912

My Dear Mother and Father Many thanks for your nice long letter this morning received before leaving. I intended writing before we left, but there did not seem time for anything. I cannot realise that I had ten days at home, and am very sorry I could not get to Oxford, for we have now commenced the quick voyages all the summer (bar accidents). I say that because the Olympic's bad luck seems to have followed us, for as we came out of dock this morning we passed quite close to the 'Oceanic' and 'New York' which were tied up in the 'Adriatics' old berth, and whether it was suction or what it was I don't know, but the 'New York's' ropes snapped like a piece of cotton and she drifted against us. There was great excitement for some time, but I don't think there was any damage done bar one or two people knoicked over by the ropes.

Now as regards the Hearts of Oak, I should like to join if you will tell me how to get aboutr joining, and I will do so at once. I have been in a stewards club since last August and the benefits start after 12 months.

Please let me know how to set about the Hearts of Oak if you are not too busy with the Thames St affairs, what an awful business it must be settling everything. I hope it will turn out better than you expect. My cold is still pretty bad, but nothing like it was last week. We spent Easter very quietly for Henry could not get away. I hope the cyclists had a good time of it, and I hope Mr Barker made a good impression.

Bai jove what a fine ship this is, much better than the Olympic as far as passengers are concerned, but my room is nothing near so nice, no daylight, electric light on all day, but I suppose it's no use grumbling. I hope to make up a bit for last voyage I saved nothing to think of.

I wonder if I shall see Nellie before she leaves home, I think you had better bring her down to Southampton for a day or two while we are there, for I don't see any chance of getting away. Do you think she has enough money to go on with? If not, let her have some from Elsie's account, for no doubt she wants a lot of extra things. Alice was very pleased with book and I told her to return it when she has finished. Now I think I must say au revoir once again. With best love to all from Your ever loving son Arthur.

Mr Paintin was married to Alice in November 1911. His wife, who has been visiting Oxford at the time of the disaster, journeyed hurriedly to Southampton in the hope of gaining news from the White Star offices, but only later would she discover that her husband was dead.

Edwina Celia Troutt

Miss Edwina "Winnie" Celia Troutt Troutt, 27, a former schoolteacher from Bath, England boarded the Titanic at Southampton. When the ship hit the iceberg, she left her cabin (E-101) to investigate. Being told of the iceberg, she went on deck and upon seeing lifeboats being uncovered and prepared for loading she went back to inform her cabin mates. On the way she ran into two of her table companions, Jacob Milling and Edgar Andrew.

"What is the trouble, Miss Troutt?" asked Milling, "What does it all mean?"

"A very sad parting for all of us!" she replied. "This ship is going to sink."

Trying to comfort her, Milling said, "Don't worry. I am sorry such a thing has happened, but I sent a wireless today. We are in communication with several vessels and we will all be saved, though parted. But I won't go back home on so big a ship."

When Winnie returned to her cabin, one woman, Susie Webber had already left. The other, Nora Keane from Ireland, was still dressing. After replacing her dressing gown with a warmer coat, Winnie dealt with the nervous woman. When Nora insisted on trying to put on a corset, Winnie grabbed it from her and flung it down the narrow passage leading to their porthole. While Nora Keane would leave on Lifeboat 10, Miss Troutt was still on deck when the final lifeboat Collapsible D was being loaded. She thought it "wicked" that single girls should be saved when so many men with families were forced to stay behind and she decided to stay to the end, hoping to save her family the cost of a funeral. Then a man holding a baby begged someone to save the infant. Winnie decided this was reason enough to be saved and took the baby with her into boat D.

Winnie later recalled hearing the ship's band playing "Nearer My God to Thee" in the ship's last moments.

Initially, she slept on a table on the Carpathia, but when she gave way to hysterics, brought on by a storm the third day after the sinking, she was given a bed and some brandy. It would be several months before she would fully recover emotionally.

In 1916 she moved to Southern California and married a baker, and settled in Beverly Hills. Widowed three times, she lived out her retirement in Hermosa Beach, California, passing away in late 1984, five months after celebrating her 100th birthday.


Arthur Merchant

Amy Elsie Stanley

Miss Amy Zillah Elsie Stanley, 24, was born in the spring of 1888 the only daughter of Thomas James Stanley, a grocer who ran a general store in Green Rd, Upper Wolvercote, Oxford, and his wife Eliza Agnes Stanley1. She had four brothers: John, William, Alfred Margetts (born August 9, 1889), and Walter Fredrick Stanley (born April 7, 1894). Amy grew up to become a dressmaker in Oxford, before going into domestic service in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. Amy was moving to New Haven, CT to become a children's maid and purchased her ticket through Thomas Cook & Son, Ludgate Circus, London. She left Wallingford in April 1912 to join the Titanic at Southampton. According to contemporary newspaper reports, she would have made the journey earlier but for the coal strike, by which she was delayed.

My two cabin mates were a Nurse and an 11 year old child, her name was Elizabeth. The child was alone, because her parents were still in Europe and she was going home to America.

Amy's cabin mates were almost certainly Dowdell, Miss Elizabeth (30) and Emanuel, Miss Virginia Ethel (5).

Amy was rescued in Collapsible C and completed the journey to New York on board the rescue ship Carpathia. During the journey the Carpathia's Radio Office accepted the following Marconigram, however it was nover tramsmitted due to lack of time:

To: Mrs. Stanley, Wolvercote, Oxford. ''Saved Carpathia.- Amy''.

Whilst on board the Carpathia Amy also made a happy discovery:

I found Elizabeth and the Nurse I roomed with on the Titanic, I was so glad they survived the trauma.

After her arrival Amy wrote to her parents:

Dear Father and Mother, I have had a terrible experience, one that I shall never forget as long as I live. I seemed to have a presentiment that something would happen to the boat I was going to sail on. I enjoyed the first part of the voyage immensely. I had not been sea-sick all the voyage. I am now only suffering from shock and exposure to intense cold, with scarcity of clothing. I was writing a postcard the night that the boat struck the iceberg. It was about 11.30 p.m. I got out of bed and put my coat on and went out on deck and asked the steward what was the matter. He told me it was only the engines stopped, and ordered all the women back to bed. But I did not go. I shared a cabin with an American lady and child. I assisted them to dress, and then we went up on deck. We tried to reach the boats. Then I saw two fellows (whom we met at meals, the only men we made real friends of) coming towards us, who assisted us over the railings into the lifeboat. As we were being lowered a man about 16 stone jumped into the boat almost on top of me. I heard a pistol fired-I believe it was done to frighten the men from rushing the boat. This man's excuse was that he came because of his baby. When we rowed off the child must have died had I not attended to it.

We were rowing for several hours. I seemed to have extra strength that night to keep up my nerves, for I even made them laugh when I told them we had escaped vaccination, for we were all to have been vaccinated that day (meaning the Monday). I will say no more of that awful row, except that I was able to fix the rope round the women for them to be pulled up on the Carpathia while the men steadied the boat-the women seemed quite stupefied-yet when I was safe myself, I was the first to break down.

The sight on board was awful, with raving women-barely six women were saved who could say they had not lost a relative. Oh! the widows the Titanic has made! The last three days have been terrible. I attended to a woman [Rosa Abbott] who was picked up on a raft with four men. The latter died, but she lived. She has lost two sons on the Titanic. Their cabin was next to mine. She was the last woman I spoke to on the ship's deck. I am staying in a Woman's League Hotel, but I am quite well, and these people are fitting me up with clothes. I have telegraphed to Grace but have not yet received a reply. I long now to be with her. I will not write again until I am safe in Newhaven [sic]. Don't you think I have been lucky throughout?

I remain your loving Daughter


P.S. I nearly lost the boat at Southampton.

Amy later expanded on her meeting with Rosa Abbott:

We were very close since we were on the Titanic together. And her stateroom had been near mine. I was the only one that she could talk to about her sons because I knew them myself. She told me that she would get [sic] in the lifeboat if there hadn't been so many people around. So she and her sons kept together. She was thankful that [the] three of them had stayed with her on that piece of wreckage. The youngest went first then the other son went. She grew numb and cold and couldn't remember when she got on the Carpathia. There was a piece of cork in her hair and I managed to get a comb and it took a long time but finally we got it out.

Amy was give $200 by the American Red Cross (Entry no.431) and she travelled on to New Haven to start her new life.

Amy married Eugene Sheldon Tanner Sr. on November 1, 1918 in Brooklyn, NY. Through connections with the family she worked for in New Haven Amy managed to get Eugene an early honorable discharge from the Navy so they could be married.

On July 22, 1921 (in North Attleboro, MA) Amy gave birth to Alfred Stanley Tanner (Sr.). A second son, Eugene Sheldon Tanner Jr. was born in Providence, RI on August 8, 1926.

Amy Tanner (nee Stanley) died on April 23, 1955 in Providence, RI.


1 Amy's father died on August 4, 1921 aged 73. Her mother died on December 27, 1937 aged 77. The couple are buried in the graveyard of St Peter's Church, Wolvercote, Oxford.


The American Red Cross (1913) The Emergency and Relief booklet


Jessica Tanner (great granddaughter of Amy Stanley)

Brian Ticehurst

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