Caroline Bonnell - Titanic First Class Passenger
Miss Caroline Bonnell was an American, 30 year old, first class passenger travelling home aboard Titanic to Youngstown, Ohio, along with her aunt Elizabeth Bonnell, and her relatives George and Mary Wick and George’s daughter, Mary’s step daughter, Mary Natalie Wick.
The family boarded Titanic in Southampton, UK, and Caroline shared cabin C7 with Natalie Wick.
Caroline Bonnell, the daughter of John and Emily Bonnell, was born on Monday 3rd April 1882 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. By the time of Titanic’s sinking, Caroline was living in Youngstown, Ohio, USA.
Early in 1912, Caroline sailed to Europe for a pleasure trip. On the voyage to Europe she is said to have met Stephen Blackwell and Washington Augustus Roebling II, both of whom also sailed for home on the Titanic, and had also met up with Caroline and her family in France.
In Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912, Caroline boarded Titanic along with her family, including her British aunt, Elizabeth Bonnell, who was going to America to visit her family.
During the voyage, Caroline and Natalie had hoped that they would see an Iceberg, but they had been told that it was probably too late in the season; sadly an iceberg was in the ships path.
As Caroline and Mary Natalie lay half asleep in their cabin at 11.40pm on Sunday 14th April, they suddenly felt the iceberg crash into and fatally wound the ship. They become aware that it was an iceberg after they heard through their porthole window someone saying that the ship had struck an iceberg.
Seemingly not too concerned, they both stayed in their beds and discussed whether or not they should go up on deck to see the iceberg. Eventually they decided to put on some warm clothes and go up on deck to have a look. At some point Caroline remarked, “Well, thank goodness, Natalie, we are going to see our iceberg at last”. Out on the deck they saw nothing but calm.
As they were about to return to their cabin, Caroline said that an officer told them to go and get their lifebelts. After being told this, they went to the cabin of Natalie’s father, George Wick, who reassured them that everything was fine, before they returned to their own cabin, only for a crew member to soon knock on their door to tell them to go to A deck. Caroline then went to fetch her aunt Elizabeth.
On the port side boat deck, Caroline, Natalie, Mary Wicks and Elizabeth Bonnell all boarded lifeboat 8, one of the first to leave the ship. George Wick is said to have waved to them as the boat was lowered.
In the lifeboat during the night, Caroline had a go at rowing, which she found to be difficult. All in lifeboat 8 were rescued by Carpathia. George Wick was lost in the disaster.
As she arrived on the Carpathia she was given a blanket and a drink of brandy and water. She later spoke very highly of the passengers and crew of Carpathia, saying they were “kindness itself” and that they could not do enough for them.
Caroline later married Paul Jones, a federal judge, who is said to have been her childhood sweetheart. They lived in Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA, and had two children, Paul and Mary.
Caroline died at her home in Shaker Heights on 13th March 1950. Her funeral took place at Church of the Covenant, Cleveland, Ohio. She was cremated at Highland Park, Cleveland on 15th March 1950.