Lucile Carter - Titanic First Class Passenger
Mrs Lucile Carter was a 36 year old first class passenger returning home from the United Kingdom to the United States. Boarding Titanic in Southampton on 10th April 1912, she was travelling with her husband William Ernest Carter, her son William Thornton Carter, her daughter Lucile Polk Carter, her maid Auguste Serreplan, her husbandís manservant Alexandre Cairns and, accommodated in second class, their chauffer Charles Aldworth. The Carter family occupied cabins B96 and B98.
Lucile Carter, the daughter of William and Louisa Stewart, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, United States on 8th October 1875. She married William Earnest Carter in 1896, and had two children, Lucile Polk Carter (born on 20th October 1898) and William Thornton Carter (born on 14th September 1900. The Carter family lived in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
In 1911 Lucile Carter and her family travelled to Europe, where, in the United Kingdom, they stayed in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. They were not originally planning to sail back to America on Titanic Ė they had in fact booked passage back to America aboard Titanicís sister ship Olympic but for some reason they had decided not to travel aboard Olympic, but to travel home a two or so weeks later aboard the maiden voyage of Titanic.
Onboard Titanic Lucile Carter, accompanied by her husband, attended a dinner party in Titanicís ņ la Carte Restaurant attended by and held in hour of Titanicís captain, Captain John Edward Smith. The dinner party had been held by First class passenger George Widener. Later that same evening, while Lucile Carter was in her cabin, Titanic struck the iceberg. .
Lucile Carter, her two children and her maid were rescued in Lifeboat 4, which left the port side of Titanic at around 1:50am Ė one of the last lifeboats to leave the ship. Unusually, Lifeboat 4 was lowered to A Deck, and passengers, through the promenade deck windows, were loaded into the lifeboat from there. After Titanic sank, Lifeboat 4 rescued five of Titanicís survivors from the water, as well as gaining three crew members by them climbing down ropes to the lifeboat, a further crew member by swimming to the lifeboat before Titanic sank, and finally gaining around twelve of those rescued from amongst those on top of Lifeboat B, that had floated off the ship and ended up upside down.
Lucile Carterís husband, William Carter, managed to board Lifeboat C, the last lifeboat successfully lowered from the starboard side of the ship. He was already aboard the rescue ship, Carpathia, waiting for his family to arrive, when Lifeboat 4 was rescued. Alexandre Cairns, her husbandís manservant, and Charles Aldworth, their chauffer were lost in the sinking. .
Shortly after the Titanic disaster, dated 24th May, Lucile Carter wrote a letter to Joseph Bruce Ismay, who was a survivor of Titanic and was the Managing Director of the White Star Line. In the letter she wrote that she was glad that he had arrived home safely, commented that they were pleased to read about the "great ovation" he had when he returned home to Britain as "no one realised more than [her and her husband] how much [he] had been through, and how wonderful [he had been] through it all." She went on to criticise the American press, referring to its coverage of the disaster and what had been printed about him; but said that it had died out. She also said that she had enclosed a letter ďreceived in behalf of our chauffer's widow" and asked if he could "send her name into the fund". The letter ended with sending him many kind wishes, and that she hoped to see him next winter when they planned to hunt at Melton Mowbray.
Lucile and William Carterís marriage did not last long after the Titanic disaster. They divorced in 1914. It was indicated in the divorce papers that William Carter had deserted his wife aboard Titanic. This is probably, though, an unfair statement to have been made.
When the First World War broke out, Lucile Carter and her daughter, also called Lucile, were in Paris, France, and then soon crossed the English Channel to get to the United Kingdom. Before returning home, in London on 16th August 1914, she married George Brooke (born 5th July 1867). Her marriage to George Brooke was supposed to have taken place at later date but due to the outbreak of war and difficulties in returning home they decided to marry early. They very soon afterward returned home to the United States, sailing aboard Titanicís sister ship Olympic. George and Lucile Brooke had a daughter, said to have been born on 14th April 1916 Ė exactly four years after Titanic struck the iceberg Ė named Elizabeth.
Lucile Brooke died on 26th October 1934. She was buried at Saint Michaels Cemetery, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. Her husband, George Brooke, who died on 10th August 1953, is buried with her.