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Lillian Bentham, Second Class Passenger

Mrs.John Black (nee Bentham) wrote to Walter Lord on July 23rd, 1958, noting that she had turned down an invite as a guest and for an interview to mark the film release of "A Night To Remember", as she always avoided publicity:

"There was eleven in my party, returning from England and only three of us saved. One died several years ago and the other lady died July 8th Miss Emily Rugg of Wilmington Delaware [?]. We were in lifeboat #12 and it has quite a record. We saved several men who were on an upturned boat - I had the priviledge of helping to pull the men in our boat. If you recall it was a whistle that saved the lives of the men and, I have the honour of being the proud possessor of the whistle also five pieces of silver taken from the pocket of a man who died in our boat (given to me by a steward)."


Notes:


1. Spelling and punctuation have been preserved, where possible.
2. Lillian provided a black and white photo of the whistle: it is flat (so very different from this one. It has the word 'SCOUT' in raised emboss upon it.
3. Ed Kamuda wrote to Bentham's niece, "Of course, I think it quite sad the way your friend's whistle ended up in the various books.....as Lightoller's whistle!" Based on this flimsy evidence, its been said that the whistle belonged to a steward named Fitzpatrick, but Bentham was sure the whistle was Lightoller's.


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