Saturday, March 8, 2008
Edith Brown was born on October 27, 1896 in Cape Town, Africa. Her father was an Englishman but lived with his wife in Africa because he owned a hotel there. She was
going with her father and mother to Seattle, Washington where her father would open a new hotel.
She was to sail on the TITANIC to New York and then take a train to Seattle. In the hold, there were 1,000 dishes and many beds and tables. On April 14, 1912, her father had come into her cabin around 11:40. In a later interview, Edith said this: "Father appeared a few minutes later. He told us, 'You'd better put on your life jackets and something warm, it's cold on deck. It's just a precaution. We've struck an iceberg, it's nothing much. The steward in the corridor says it's nothing to worry about. We waited for ages on the boat deck for someone to tell us what to do. The ship's band was playing ragtime. They played to keep our spirits up. Everybody kept saying: 'She's unsinkable. She won't go down. Father kissed us and saw us into Lifeboat 14. Up to fifty people got in as it swung perilously over the side. One man jumped into the boat dressed as a woman. As we rowed away from the ship, we could still hear the band playing, but now it was hymns. We were almost six hours in the lifeboat and during that time we had no water and nothing to eat. I kept wondering if my father had got off the ship, that's all I could think of."
She was only 15 when she lost her father that fateful night. There are thousands of china littering the sea bed and any of them could be her father's. In May of 1917, Edith Brown met Fredrick Thankful Haisman and 6 months later, they married. She had her first son in 1918 and had 9 other children. Fredrick died in 1977. By 1993, she attended conferences and was present when they raised a large piece of the TITANIC'S hull. She and a fellow survivor, Eva Hart opened a garden memorial to the TITANIC. She was given a pocket watch thought to be her father's with the initials T.B.
(Thomas Brown ?). As she was leaving the wreck sight for the last time, she threw a rose over where her father died. Edith Haisman died on January 20, 1997 at the age of 100.