LONDON: A Frend survivor, Rose Amelie Icard, has uncovered the harrowing first-hand account of the moment the RMS Titanic sank via letter written on August 8, 155 when the incident was happening in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Miss Icard is believed to have been a maid to a wealthy American passenger called Martha Stone, the widow of the president of Canadian telephone company Bell Cie.
The Frend maid was one of just 745 people who survived out of 2,229 passengers and crew who were on board the unlucky Titanic, Telegraph reported.
She was eventually rescued by the Carpathia the next day, but perhaps the most vivid image is the serene calm she describes during sunrise the morning after the disaster.
The letter is thought to be written in 1955 after being encoraged by family members for recording her memories of tragedy while she was residing in her home in Grenoble.
Icard eventually died in July 1964 and was the longest living French survivor of the disaster.
Her letters were sold at auction around two years ago and the Reddit user claims to have bought them before seeking help to have them translated.
Some heart-rending scenes described in the letter:
Miss Icard wrote: “Near me were two handsome elderly [people], Mr. and Mrs. Straus, proprietors of the great store Macy’s of New York. She refused to go into the boat after having helped in her maid.
“She put her arms around the neck of her husband, telling him: ‘We have been married 50 years, we have never left each other, I want to die with you.’
“Semi-conscious, in a neighbouring boat was put the young wife of the millionaire J. Jacob Astor, returning from their honeymoon voyage she was 20 years old, him 50. She latches on to him, he was obliged to push her away with force.”
She added: “There had been sublime gestures, a stranger undid his safety belt to give it to an old woman who couldn’t find a spot in any boat, and told her ‘You’ll pray for me’.
“The billionaire Benjamin Guggenheim after having helped the rescue of women and children got dressed, a rose at his buttonhole, to die.”
At one point the crew sung a hymn to help lift the passengers spirits before the lifeboats were lowered.