Saturday, August 23, 2008
Lawrence Beesley was born on December 31, 1877. He went to school at Derby, England. He did well and Caius College, Cambridge where he later became a scholar and teacher. His favorite subject was Natural History which probably led to he later deciding to become a science teacher in his hometown of Derbyshire. In 1904, after 2 years of teaching, he became a science master in Dulwich College. He married Gertrude Cecil Macbeth and together, they had a son named Alec. When Alec was young, Gertrude unfortunately died. He later quit his job to go on a long vacation in Toronto, Canada where his brother lived. He was going to New York on the TITANIC and then, on to Canada by train. He left his son, Alec in England and boarded in Southampton on April 10, 1912 as a 2nd class passenger. He was reading a book that he borrowed on the night of April 14, 1912. Then, he felt a bump or a jar. It later surprised him that he didn't fall out of bed. He saw a brief whiteness pass by his window. He put the book down and went out to the corridor where he saw a steward. He asked what was wrong and the steward said that there's nothing wrong and told him to go back to bed. He did so and read on in his book. At around 1:00 A.M; he heard a knock on the door and answered. He was told to go up on deck. He did so and noticed a slight list towards the bow-port side. He saw the crew loading boats. He helped all the women and children he saw into the lifeboats but there was three women. They were met by Lawrence and directed them to a boat. Later, he saw them again and they had gotten out to make room for others. They were redirected to a boat and they got in. He was watching the loading of Boat No. 13. He was asked to get in by an officer, and that's how he survived. He and the 64 others were rescued and he later returned to England. Nine weeks after the disaster, he wrote and published a book called "Loss of the S.S. Titanic." It made him a famed survivor and when you read his book, you walk the decks of the sinking ship along with him. In 1958, the movie A Night To Remember was made and he appeared on the set. He was able to meet with other survivors and relate their stories. He died of natural causes on February 14, 1967 at the age of 89.