Titanic has a Guntur connection!

An American family, then based in Guntur, was the only one from India on the ship

April 14, 2014 01:02 am | Updated May 21, 2016 11:05 am IST - VIJAYAWADA:

A still from the English film, "Titanic" starring Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet to be telecast on Vijay TV. Photo: Special Arrangements

A still from the English film, "Titanic" starring Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet to be telecast on Vijay TV. Photo: Special Arrangements

It’s exactly 102 years since RMS Titanic, the behemoth passenger ship, sank in the Atlantic on April 15, 1912, on its maiden voyage, after hitting a stray iceberg. There were 2,224 passengers and crew members on board. While 1,514 perished, 710 survived the tragedy. Among those 710 passengers, four were from Guntur district.

Yes, RMS Titanic has a Guntur connection and in the Timeline of Guntur in Wikipedia states: 1912 – A family from Guntur who were the only ones from India, travelled in the Titanic on the way to the United States and survived the accident. The family of four comprised Nellie E. Baumgardner Becker and her three children Marion Louise, Richard and Ruth Elizabeth. Ruth was then just 12 years old and later she became the oldest survivor of the accident, when she died in 1990 at the age of 90.

Nellie was the wife of Allen Becker, who was posted on a missionary work to take care of an orphanage in Guntur.

It was the ill-health of Richard that compelled Nellie to board the ship for a trip to the United States. Nellie reached Southampton via London through the Suez Canal and boarded Titanic on April 10. She and her children were accommodated in F-4 cabin in the second class passenger quarters.

Ruth later on many occasions said that she was separated from the rest of the family when they were being segregated into various lifeboats, but was reunited on the deck of SS Carpathia , the rescue ship.

Fading memories

Though Nellie never returned to India, as Allen, her husband later joined the family in the U.S. in 1913. In many subsequent interviews, Ruth did mention the fading memories of Guntur and the missionary work that her father was engaged in. (Source Wikipedia and Internet)

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