About Ellen Wallcroft
Miss Ellen "Nellie" Wallcroft
- Born: Thursday 9th December 1875
- Age: 36 years
- Last Residence: in Maidenhead Berkshire England
- 2nd Class passenger
- First Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
- Ticket No. 13528 , £21
- Destination: Mamaroneck New York United States
- Rescued (boat 14)
- Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
- Died: 1947
Miss Ellen "Nellie" Wallcroft 1 was born on 9th December 1875 the daughter of John Wallcroft (Brewer's labourer) and his wife Rebecca (née Broughton). At the time they were living at West Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire. She had an older brother, Fred (b. c.1873) and a younger brother Walter (born co.1879) 2.
Nellie worked as a cook in the household of Mr Evan Spicer (a paper manufacturer) in Dulwich. In order to earn more money she decided to go to her sister Mrs Lucy Land who lived at Ruddington Farm, Mamaroneck, New York.
Travelling with her friend Clear Cameron Nellie originally booked on another vessel, but they were transferred when their ship was laid up because of the coal strike. The two ladies boarded the Titanic at Southampton as second class passengers (ticket number F.C.C. 13528, £21). On the Titanic they shared a second class cabin for two on E-Deck.
Nellie Walcroft wrote a letter to the Maidenhead Advertiser dated 23 April 1912 telling her story.
She recounted how she had left Maidenhead on 9 April, stayed in London and caught the special train to Southampton at 8.30 am, 10 April. A sister and a friend said goodbye to her. The train arrived at Southampton Dock station at 10.15 am.
On Sunday night, the 14th, they went to their stateroom about 10.30 p.m. and soon fell asleep. Suddenly there was a crash and she was nearly thrown out of her berth. She woke her friend Clear, by shouting: "Clear, what's that?". The engines had stopped. A steward arrived and said: "Go back to your beds, no danger!", but she heard outside "an iceberg". They dressed and went on deck. There they walked around, when suddenly rockets went up. They finally entered lifeboat 14. Officer Lowe was in command. He shot twice, over the side of the ship, to keep men away from the lifeboat. Then it was lowered and they rowed away.
Nellie said saw the ship split and heard two more explosions from underneath the water, when the Titanic went down. For a few moments it was silent, then terrible crying arose from the people left behind. This seemed to last for hours. When day broke, they saw six large icebergs. Nellie and Clear were transferred to boat 10 when Lowe decided to go back to search for survivors. Six were pulled from the water, two of them died.
At a quarter to seven they were picked up by the Carpathia. They found they had to sleep on the tables of the Dining Saloon. They arrived at New York about 8 p.m. on 18 April where her sister and brother-in-law met her. Mr Carl Land was a chauffeur who had been lent the family car to collect the girls.
From Mamaroneck she sent a cablegram to her parents at 'Briarwood' 4 Furze Road, Furze Platt, Maidenhead, England: "Arrived, well, Nellie".
Miss Walcroft later put a claim to White Star for her loss valued at $651.
Nellie Walcroft stayed for some time at Ruddington Farm. She got a job as cook at Mamaroneck, but she felt very unhappy. Another job at Rye, New York, was no better. Leaving Rye in August, she went to Springfield to look for another job. This didn't materialize so she spent a month at Ruddington Farm with her sister. She tried several other jobs, but could not find one to suit her.
It has been suggested that at around this time, October 1913, Nellie was married 3.
She returned to England during the first world war, and served as a forewoman cook in Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. Her efforts were rewarded in 1919 by the British Empire Medal, Military Division, which was presented to her by the Consul General in New York on 1 November 1920.
It is not known when Nellie Walcroft died 4.
At an auction in Devises, England, in January 1999, a letter she had written, detailing her travails, was sold for $13,200.
Notes 1. Most documents, including the Titanic passenger list, spell her surname "Walcroft". 2. In the 1881 census the family are listed as living at 6 Norfolk Park Cottage, Cookham, Berkshire. 3. A reference by Nellie's friend Clear Cameron in her letter to her sister was made as to Nellie's forthcoming marriage. No documentary evidence has yet been found to support the suggestion that Nellie ever was actually married. Her B. E. M. scroll, awarded years later, gives her name as "Nellie Walcroft" 3. It is not clear when Nellie died. One family member states that she died in 1947. Another indicates that she was visted in her Brooklyn apartment, apparently still a spinster, sometime between 1947 and 1953.