About Maude "Maudie" Roberts (Sincock)
- Name: Miss Maude Sincock
- Born: Friday 17th April 1891
- Age: 20 years
- Last Residence: in St. Ives Cornwall England
- 2nd Class passenger
- First Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
- Ticket No. 33112 , £36 15s
- Destination: Hancock United States
- Rescued (boat 11)
- Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
- Died: Monday 21st May 1984
- Cause of Death: Pneumonia
- Buried: Forest Hill Cemetery Portage Township Michigan United States
Miss Maude Sincock, known as "Maudie", was born on 17 April 1891 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of Mr Francis (Frank) Sincock (a Plumber in St Ives for Mr J. J. Johns) and Mrs Melinda Sincock, a Canadian. She was sister to Frank, Gordon, Mildred and Inez. Her father was originally from Cornwall, England and they moved bac k to Halsetown, St Ives, Cornwall when Maude was young.
Her father emigrated to Hancock, Michigan in september 1911 taking one of Maude's elder sisters with him. He worked for the Quincy Mining Company. Maude left Halsetown, St Ives in early April 1912 leaving her mother and several brothers behind, to travel to her father and mother's family in Hancock, Houghton County, Michigan.
She travelled to Southampton and boarded Titanic, as a second class passenger, along with friends of her mother's, Mrs Agnes Davies and her sons John Davies and Joseph Nicholls. She and her friends had been booked on another ship, however the coal strike had forced other ships to transfer their coal and passengers to the Titanic. Maude was not upset "It was a lovely ship."
They boarded at noon and were very excited. Sincock, Mrs Davis, and young John Davis shared a room in second class with Alice Phillips. Maude held ticket C.A. 33112. Lunch was being served as the Titanic left dock. It was a lovely day and Maude found the other second class passengers to be very friendly. The next days were wonderful, they had excellent weather all of the way. On the night of 14 April, Maude was in bed. The Titanic struck the iceberg and according to Miss Sincock, "It didn't seem so bad to me, but very soon after a steward came along banging on every door calling, 'Everyone on deck with lifebelts!'"
Maude got up quickly and put a rain coat over her nightgown. She opened the door and watched people ask the steward if the Titanic was going to sink. He told them it was only a precaution. She went down the passage toward the second class elevator, only to find the lift boy gone. She then had to climb five or six decks up before reaching the boat deck.
Crowds of passengers were on deck, jostling each other as they tried to find friends. Maude found it useless to try to get through the crowds and stayed put, although she went to the railing and watched the lifeboats being filled. Maude carried her lifebelt, rather than putting it on. She waited her turn. A sailor said, "This boat is full enough," but Maude came along and got into that one. She turned and looked back toward the deck and saw the firemen coming up, wearing their working clothes. She realized then that the situation was bad. In the distance, Maude could hear the band playing. The boat lowered into the water. The ocean was calm, the air very cold. A sailor told her, "She's going fast." Looking back, she could see the lights disappearing as the bow sank down, water pouring into open portholes. Flares were being fired, although they failed to bring help.
As the Titanic sank and broke apart, Maude thought the loud noise she heard was the boilers exploding. The lifeboat rowed around all night long among the icebergs. As morning came a sailor called out, "That's a ship," as he saw a speck appear on the horizon. The lifeboat rowed toward the Carpathia, everyone was very thankful. Getting aboard the Carpathia involved getting into a bosun's chair, facing the side of the ship, and "walking" up the side as two sailors hoisted you up. Maude found the passengers aboard the Carpathia to be very helpful. "They did all they could for us." On board the Carpathia, she discovered that Mrs Davis' son, Joseph Nichols, had been among those who perished. Maude spent her 21st birthday aboard the ship.
The St Ives Times newspaper of 3 May 1912 carried the following letter written by Maude on the Carpathia to her mother in Cornwall.
I am saved but I have lost everything. I must however be thankful for my life. I have not a penny and no clothes. I was thrown on board a little boat in my nightdress and boots. I had no stockings on. We were in this little boat in the middle of the ocean for six hours, and I was nearly frozen when we were picked up. I shall be a pretty sight when I land. We were rescued by a passing ship, the Carpathia. The Titanic struck just before midnight and was underwater about 2 o'clock. There were over 1000 persons on board when she foundered. Mrs Davis and her son John Morgan (of the Stennack, St Ives, who sailed in the same ship) are saved, but we have seen nothing of Joe [Mrs Davis' son by her first husband]. We think he is drowned. We have not seen anything of the other 'boys' [William J Berriman and William Carbines] who left St Ives. We could hear the screams from the men as the Titanic was sinking. I think there are hundreds drowned.
Mrs Davis told me to ask you to send a message to Balnoon to tell her aunt she is saved, but that we don't know anything about Joe. I don't know what I shall do when I get to New York..........I am frightened to death nearly, and I am afraid I shall catch my death of cold by the time I get to Hancock. I will write again as soon as possible and tell you more news. I don't know where they are going to put us when we get to New York. -
Your loving daughter Maud'
Maude left the Carpathia with Mrs Davis and her son and were invited into the home of a stranger for the night, "They were so very nice to us." They had to wait in New York City until the White Star line gave them money to reach Hancock. Several days later she arrived home, happy to see her father and other relatives. Soon she was appearing at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock and later at theatres in Marquette and Ishpeming, Michigan, telling the story of her rescue.
Maude married Arling Roberts (born december 14, 1896) in March 1918. Arling worked on the docks in Ripley, Michigan, hoisting coal and cargo. Maude worked in the telephone office of Michigan Bell Company. After the publication of A Night to Remember, she spoke at the local Lion's Club. Her 1956 talk was well received, "Oh course I was scared in the life boat. All I could see was water and sky." She recalled that many of her fellow passengers were so confident in the Titanic that they were unwilling to get into the boats. She attributed the high loss of life among the third class to their distance from the lifeboats.
The Roberts' celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1968, with their son Francis Roberts and Virginia Roberts Piipponen in attendance. Another daughter, June Talbot, had passed away in 1957. Arling Roberts in Houghton, Michigan in October of 1969. Late in her life, Maude lived in a senior citizen's apartment, Lakeside Manor, in Hancock. She kept busy by participating in card and bingo parties, and travelling to Chicago to visit her sisters several times a year. She was active in the First United Methodist Church in Hancock, the Women's Society of Christian Service, and was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and was an honorary member of the Titanic Historical Society. She was often interviewed on television, radio, and newspapers. In 1980, Maude said that the Titanic "is in my mind."
A broken leg prevented her attendance at the 1982 Titanic Historical Society convention in Universal City, California. The following year she was photographed with her great-great granddaughter.
Maude Sincock Roberts died May 1984 at the Houghton County Medical Care Facility after a month's illness. She is buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Houghton. Maude made only one trip on an ocean liner, she never returned to England. Her son Francis Roberts now lives in Houghton, Michigan and her daughter Virginia Piipponen lives in Hancock, Michigan. Her sister Mildred was born July 1, 1905 and died in Appleton, Wisconsin on September 11, 1993. Her brother Gordon B. Sincock is still living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- Daily Newspaper (Hancock Michigan), May 22, 1984, Obituary
- State of Michigan Certificate of Death
- Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
- Daily Mining Gazette (Hancock, Michigan), 28 Jan 1956, 14 Feb 1956, 30 March 1968, 18 October 1980, 14 April 1982, 21 June 1983, 22 May 1984
- The Story of the Titanic by Maude Sincock Roberts
- Virginia Piipponen, USA
- Steve Coombes, UK
- Phillip Gowan, USA
- Arne Mjaland, Norway
- Homer Thiel, USA
Travelling Companions (on same ticket)
- Mrs Elizabeth Agnes Mary Davies
- Master John Morgan jr Davies
- Mr Joseph Charles Nicholls