Edmond (left) and Michel (right)
Michel Marcel Natravil was born on June 12, 1908 in Nice, France to Marcelle and Michel Natravil. Edmond Roger was born on March 5, 1910. Marcelle and Michel always fought and were never happily married. In early 1912, the couple finally separated and when they went to court, Marcelle got the children. This made Michel upset. When he decided to go to the New World of America he kidnapped the children and while waiting for the TITANIC in Southampton, England he used the name Louis M. Hoffman. He used that name on the ship also and never let his children out of his sight once except when he asked Betha Lehmann to watch them for a few hours. When asked about his wife, he said that she was deceased. No one knows what happened after the iceberg struck except that he put them on Collapsible D and stepped back. His body was recovered and they found a revolver in his pocket. They found out his true identity by papers in his pocket. Michel Jr. and Edmond only understood French and not one of the survivors knew their names so they were labeled the TITANIC ORPHANS by the newspapers and were taken care of by a fellow survivor until their mother recognized them in the papers and came to get them on the Oceanic. They returned back to France where she took care of them. Marcelle escaped the publicity after Michel and Edmond graduated from college and ran away to Australia where she lived under an assumed name. Michel later recalled the TITANIC and said "A magnificent ship!... I remember looking down the length of the hull — the ship looked splendid. My brother and I played on the forward deck and were thrilled to be there. One morning, my father, my brother, and I were eating eggs in the second-class dining room. The sea was stunning. My feeling was one of total and utter well-being." I don't recall being afraid. I remember the pleasure of going 'plop' into the lifeboat." Michel became professor of philosophy and was present when they raised a large portion of the TITANIC'S hull. He visited his father's grave in Nova Scotia for his first and last time. He died on April 18, 2001 at the age of 92. Edmond became an architect and joined the French in WWII. He was taken prisoner of war but escaped. He died in 1953 at the age of 43 from some unknown disease that he picked up in the prison.