November 9, 2007


Barbara Dainton (Daily Telegraph, 09/11/2007)

Barbara Dainton, who has died aged 96, was the last but one British survivor of the Titanic disaster; as Barbara West, and at just 10 months old, she was one of the youngest individuals to come through the sinking alive, but almost invariably refused to discuss it.

A mere babe in arms, Barbara, her pregnant 33-year-old mother and her elder sister were rescued and returned safely to England, but her father, Arthur West, aged 36, drowned along with some 1,520 other passengers and crew when the "unsinkable" White Star liner RMS Titanic, bound for New York on her maiden voyage, struck an iceberg shortly before midnight on April 14 1912.

Barbara Joyce West was born on May 24 1911 at Bournemouth, the daughter of Edwy Arthur and Ada West. She was 10 months and 18 days old on the day the following April on which the family left Britain for America, en route for Gainesville, Florida.

The family boarded Titanic at Southampton on the morning of Wednesday April 10 1912. The group comprised the infant Barbara, her parents and elder sister Constance.

Embarking aft of C deck through the main second class entrance with its red-carpeted stairway and light oak railings, the Wests joined 274 other second class passengers at Southampton, on a family ticket - number 34651 - that had cost Barbara's father £27 15s.

Our ten year old just prepared for a cruise by reading Walter Lord's great account, A Night to Remember, then regaled his sister with comparisons of the Titanic to the Disney boats.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 9, 2007 6:51 AM

I would also recommend Charles Pellegrino's Her Name, “Titanic".

Posted by: Mike Morley at November 9, 2007 8:51 AM