On April 10, 1912 the RMS Titanic, one of the largest and most luxurious ocean liners ever built, began its maiden voyage departing Southampton, England. Just four days into the journey, at 11:40pm, the ship failed to avoid an iceberg and ruptured at least five of its hull compartments. At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, the ship labeled “unsinkable” sinks into the North Atlantic Ocean about 400 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada. Of the 2,200 passengers and crew, more than 1,500 people died that day. This day is dedicated to their memory. Out of this tragedy, there were an estimated 705 survivors who lived to tell the story, including a little girl from London, England named Eva Hart.

“I was 7. I had never seen a ship before. It looked very big. Everybody was very excited. We went down to the cabin and that’s when my mother said to my father that she had made up her mind quite firmly that she would not go to bed in that ship. She would sit up at night. She decided that she wouldn’t go to bed at night and she didn’t!”

Eva Hart, Titanic Survivor 

Eva boarded the ship with her parents as second class passengers because their original booking on the Philadelphia was cancelled due to a coal strike in Southampton. Her mother, Esther, was instantly worried about the trip, fearing some sort of catastrophe might happen. Esther felt calling a ship “unsinkable” was flying in the face of God. She would not only refuse to sleep, but would remain in her cabin fully dressed throughout the night when on the fourth evening, her worst fears would come true. Though only a child at the time, Eva would retain vivid memories of the tragedy that would unfold.

Soon after the Titanic struck the iceberg, her father, Benjamin, rushed into their cabin. Unlike her mother, Eva had been sleeping and was suddenly being wrapped in a blanket by her father and carried to the upper deck. Benjamin placed his wife and daughter in Lifeboat No. 14. From outside the lifeboat, he bent down and told Eva to “be a good girl and hold Mommy’s hand” as the boat was lowered into the water. These would be the last words little Eva would ever hear her father speak and the last time she would ever see him again.

“I saw that ship sink…I never closed my eyes. I didn’t sleep at all. I saw it, I heard it, and nobody could possibly forget it. I can remember the colors, the sounds, everything. It seemed as if once everybody had gone, drowned, finished, the whole world was standing still. There was nothing, just this deathly, terrible silence in the dark night with the stars overhead.”

Eva Hart, Titanic Survivor

Eva and Esther were picked up by the rescue ship RMS Carpathia and arrived in New York City on April 18. Eva would grow up to become one of the most outspoken survivors, specifically concerning the lack of sufficient lifeboats. She was stunned that so many had to lose their life to an act of nature simply because there were not enough lifeboats to save them. People disputed her claim that the ship broke in half until the discovery of the wreckage on September 1, 1985 proved she was right. Though she passed away at the age of 91, she left behind her autobiography, Shadow of the Titanic, where she tells her story.  Despite experiencing tragedy at such a young age, Eva learned that even our worst memories of the past shouldn’t keep us from fearlessly moving into the future.

“People I meet always seem surprised that I do not hesitate to travel by train, car, airplane or ship when necessary. It is almost as if they expect me to be permanently quivering in my shoes at the thought of a journey. If I acted like that I would have died of fright many years ago—life has to be lived irrespective of the possible dangers and tragedies lurking round the corner.”

Eva Hart, Titanic Survivor

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Ultramarine Blue, Perylene Magenta, Azo Orange, Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Teal, Cobalt Blue, and Nuetral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

41 replies on “National Titanic Remembrance Day

  1. What a moving tribute to both those who lost their lives and to the survivors – and what an extraordinary story through the eyes of a 7 year old girl. Your watercolour as as sensitive as your writing – thank you Charlie for choosing this today and doing it so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow – Wow – Wow – EXTRAORDINARY doodlewash of the Titanic, Charlie! And what a powerful story! Thanks for sharing Eva’s inspirational story with us. A very serious post today. You paid it such great reverence!🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Your ship is most excellent Charlie! And what an inspirational story! 💕💖 Thank you for sharing your own risk in painting something new. Very impressive – your skills keep getting better and better, my friend! 🎨💕😊🚢

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great doodlewash of the ship – you’ve caught the pomp of the vessel! I like how you did the seawater too.

    What a very sad account, and one I’d not heard before; it’s one of those terrible events where you just can’t imagine what it’s like for the poor people caught up in it. Much to be taken from the final quote, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for the doodlewash and Eva’s story. And though people think of Leo and Kate when you hear Titanic, there was a real tragedy..I’m glad you reminded us of the real story. I’ve seen several exhibits about the Titanic and it it’s incredible how big it truly was and how tremendous the loss was.. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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