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TITLE
Highland Connections with the Titanic, part 3 of 3
EXTERNAL ID
RMS_TITANIC_03
DATE OF IMAGE
1912
PERIOD
1910s
ASSET ID
39003
KEYWORDS
ships
disasters
Highland Connections with the Titanic, part 3 of 3

On 23rd April the Inverness Courier Editorial returned to 'the full story of the Titanic's doom, a story of mingled heroism and horror, full of direct tragedy and unspeakable pathos'. News reports are again extensive and contain the first intimation of Highland loss of life:

SKYE WOMAN DROWNED
There is every reason to believe that Mr Andrew Johnston, plumber, Newmachar, accompanied by his wife and two children, were on board the Titanic, and that they are amongst the victims in the disaster.

Mr Andrew Johnston, who is the eldest son of Mr William Johnston, storekeeper in the Aberdeen Lime Company's sheds, Newmachar, left Aberdeen to go to America some time ago. He had booked to sail with a vessel timed to leave Southampton some time previously, but he afterwards transferred to the Titanic. The names of Mr Johnston and his wife and family do not appear in any of the lists, but his father, who had a letter and a paper from his son from aboard the Titanic, entertains no doubt that they are among the drowned.

Mrs Johnston was a native of Skye and along with her was her sister with several of a family also, and it is supposed that all of them have been drowned.


Mrs Johnston was Eliza Watson (34), the daughter of William Watson and Catherine Margaret Ross of Bracadale, in the Isle of Skye. She had married Andrew Emslie Johnston (35) on Christmas Eve, 1902, at the United Free Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, near Dumbarton. Their two children were William Andrew (8) and Catherine Nellie (7). Also on the passenger list were Eliza's sister Margaret (48), hoping to join her brother Thomas Watson in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and also her eldest daughter Frances, who worked as a domestic servant in Connecticut and was so impressed with her new life and its opportunities that she had urged her mother, whose husband Edward Ford had abandoned his family, to emigrate also, with her four other children, Dolina (20), Edward (18), William (16) and Robina (7).

The Watsons can be traced in Census records; Peggy Ross was from Alness and married William Watson there in 1851. They were both Gaelic speakers, as were all of their twelve children. William Watson died in 1891, at Glenbrittle; his wife Margaret died at Carbost, Minginish, Skye, in 1901.

With this party of nine was Alice Phoebe Harknett (21), a friend of Frances. The Johnstons had delayed their own emigration so that the two sisters and their families could all travel together. They all drowned.

The Northern Chronicle, in its issue of 24th April, uncovered a couple more victims with Northern connections:

Of those who have found a grave in the icy waters of the Atlantic, few were known personally in the Highlands. Mr James M. Smith, the junior 4th engineer, was a native of Elgin, and Mr John Hume, Dumfries, one of the heroic bandsmen who played "Nearer my God to Thee" until washed into the sea, was the son of a former librarian in Fochabers. Many in Inverness knew the redoubtable journalist, Mr W. S. Stead, who was speaking in the town not many years ago on the subject dearest to his heart - the promotion of peace.

Coverage continued well into the summer of 1912, as various Enquiries on both sides of the Atlantic responded to public outrage. Very gradually, the initial confusion as to numbers and survivors was resolved, but the recriminations lasted for years.

The photograph shows the Titanic departing Southampton on 10 April 1912. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

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Highland Connections with the Titanic, part 3 of 3

1910s

ships; disasters

Highland Connections with the Titanic

On 23rd April the Inverness Courier Editorial returned to 'the full story of the Titanic's doom, a story of mingled heroism and horror, full of direct tragedy and unspeakable pathos'. News reports are again extensive and contain the first intimation of Highland loss of life:<br /> <br /> <b>SKYE WOMAN DROWNED</b><br /> <i>There is every reason to believe that Mr Andrew Johnston, plumber, Newmachar, accompanied by his wife and two children, were on board the Titanic, and that they are amongst the victims in the disaster.<br /> <br /> Mr Andrew Johnston, who is the eldest son of Mr William Johnston, storekeeper in the Aberdeen Lime Company's sheds, Newmachar, left Aberdeen to go to America some time ago. He had booked to sail with a vessel timed to leave Southampton some time previously, but he afterwards transferred to the Titanic. The names of Mr Johnston and his wife and family do not appear in any of the lists, but his father, who had a letter and a paper from his son from aboard the Titanic, entertains no doubt that they are among the drowned.<br /> <br /> Mrs Johnston was a native of Skye and along with her was her sister with several of a family also, and it is supposed that all of them have been drowned.</i><br /> <br /> Mrs Johnston was Eliza Watson (34), the daughter of William Watson and Catherine Margaret Ross of Bracadale, in the Isle of Skye. She had married Andrew Emslie Johnston (35) on Christmas Eve, 1902, at the United Free Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, near Dumbarton. Their two children were William Andrew (8) and Catherine Nellie (7). Also on the passenger list were Eliza's sister Margaret (48), hoping to join her brother Thomas Watson in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and also her eldest daughter Frances, who worked as a domestic servant in Connecticut and was so impressed with her new life and its opportunities that she had urged her mother, whose husband Edward Ford had abandoned his family, to emigrate also, with her four other children, Dolina (20), Edward (18), William (16) and Robina (7). <br /> <br /> The Watsons can be traced in Census records; Peggy Ross was from Alness and married William Watson there in 1851. They were both Gaelic speakers, as were all of their twelve children. William Watson died in 1891, at Glenbrittle; his wife Margaret died at Carbost, Minginish, Skye, in 1901.<br /> <br /> With this party of nine was Alice Phoebe Harknett (21), a friend of Frances. The Johnstons had delayed their own emigration so that the two sisters and their families could all travel together. They all drowned.<br /> <br /> The Northern Chronicle, in its issue of 24th April, uncovered a couple more victims with Northern connections:<br /> <br /> <i>Of those who have found a grave in the icy waters of the Atlantic, few were known personally in the Highlands. Mr James M. Smith, the junior 4th engineer, was a native of Elgin, and Mr John Hume, Dumfries, one of the heroic bandsmen who played "Nearer my God to Thee" until washed into the sea, was the son of a former librarian in Fochabers. Many in Inverness knew the redoubtable journalist, Mr W. S. Stead, who was speaking in the town not many years ago on the subject dearest to his heart - the promotion of peace.</i><br /> <br /> Coverage continued well into the summer of 1912, as various Enquiries on both sides of the Atlantic responded to public outrage. Very gradually, the initial confusion as to numbers and survivors was resolved, but the recriminations lasted for years.<br /> <br /> The photograph shows the Titanic departing Southampton on 10 April 1912. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.