Emma Eliza Bucknell - Titanic First Class Passenger
Emma Eliza Bucknell was 58 year old first class passenger travelling home to Philadelphia, United States from Europe. She boarded Titanic on 10 April 1912 at Cherbourg France, and occupied cabin D15. Travelling aboard Titanic with her was her maid Albina Bazzani.
She was born on 28th August 1853 in Assam, India. In around 1850, to be a Baptist missionary there, her father, William de la Garde Ward, moved from America to India with his wife, Cordelia.
Due to her becoming ill, and in hope of recovering, it was decided it would be best for her, Cordelia, Emma’s mother, to return home to the United States. In around 1859, Cordelia returned home with her children – to the home of her father in the state of New York. William remained in India.
Cordelia died on 1st November 1859. Following the death of their mother, Emma and her sister Mary were sent to live in a home in Cazenovia, New York.
In a letter written by Emma’s father, William Ward, in India to William Bucknell (born on 1st April 1811), to whom he corresponded with to do with his work in India, he mentioned the concern he had for his two daughters in Cazenovia; so William Bucknell, who was a wealthy businessman who had been widowed, went to meet them.
After spending time getting to know Emma, William eventually asked her to marry him. They had four children together: Howard, born on 12th May 1874; Margaret, born 29th May 1876; Gertrude, born on 26th July 1877; and Louise, born on 15th February 1880. William Bucknell died on 5th March 1890.
Along with her maid, Albina Bazzani, Emma had sailed to Europe, where she had visited her daughter Countess Margaret Pecorini, in Italy. She chose to return home aboard the maiden voyage of Titanic.
Before joining Titanic she is said to have started to have premonitions about the voyage, fearing something bad was going to happen. She is said to have told her daughter about them, and then later, while wail waiting to board Titanic at Cherbourg, to have remarked to Margaret Brown that she had “evil forebodings” concerning their journey home.
Emma and her maid escaped from Titanic at around 1 am, around 1 hour and 20 minutes after Titanic collided with the iceberg, in Lifeboat 8, now believed to be the first lifeboat to leave the port side of the ship. The lifeboat was rescued by Carpathia.
Emma Bucknell died on 27th June 1927. At the time she was at a camp at Upper Saranac Lake in New York. Her son, Dr Howard Bucknell, and her daughter, Countess Margaret Pecorini, were with her at the time. She was buried at Erieville Cemetery, Nelson, Madison County, New York.