Monday, May 16, 2011

picture of the day

titanic survivors, 1912. April 22, 1912. Lolo (Michel) and Edmond Navratil, survivors of the Titanic disaster whose father went down with the ship. Lolo, the last remaining male survivor of the Titanic sinking, died in 2001.
found via shorpy.

their story:

Mr Michel Navratil was born in Szered, Slowakia, he later moved to Hungary and then, in 1902, to Nice, France where he became a tailor.

He married Marcelle Caretto (died 1974), from Italy, in London, (District of Westminster), on 26 May 1907. They had two sons, Master Michel M. and Edmond Roger (Lolo and Momon), however, by 1912 the business was in trouble and Michel claimed that Marcelle had been having an affair. The couple separated, the boys going with their mother. They went to stay with their father over the Easter weekend, but when Marcelle came to collect them, they had disappeared.

Navratil had decide to take the boys with him to America. After stopping in Monte Carlo, they sailed to England where they stayed at the Charing Cross Hotel, London. He purchased second class tickets (ticket No.230080, £26) and boarded the Titanic at Southampton, the boys being booked on as Loto and Louis. His assumed name of "Louis M. Hoffman" was adopted from his friend Louis Hoffman, who helped him to leave France.

He led his fellow passengers to believe "Mrs Hoffman" was dead and rarely let the boys out of sight. Once, he allowed himself to relax at a card game and let one of his tablemates, Bertha Lehmann, a Swiss girl who spoke French but no English, to watch the boys for a few hours.

Mr Navratil wrote to his mother in Hungary, while on board, asking if his sister and her husband could care for the boys; possibly as a backup plan if they couldn't stay in America.

On the night of the sinking, Michel aided by another passenger, dressed the boys and brought them to the boat deck. When Second Officer Charles Lightoller ordered a locked-arms circle of crew members around Collapsible D so that only women and children could get through, Navratil handed the boys through the ring of men. Margaret Hays took care for them in the lifeboat. Michel, Jr., recalled that just before placing him in the boat, his father gave a final message, "My child, when your mother comes for you, as she surely will, tell her that I loved her dearly and still do. Tell her I expected her to follow us, so that we might all live happily together in the peace and freedom of the New World."

He perished in the sinking. His body was recovered (#15) with a revolver in his pocket.

via encyclopedia titanica.

the titanic sank april 14, 1912, 1500 people died and 700 survived.

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