Joseph Phillippe LeMercier LaRoche (1886 - 1912) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Cap-Haitien, Nord, Haiti
Death: Died
Cause of death: Titanic victim
Occupation: Engineer
Managed by: Christine LeBrun
Last Updated:

About Joseph Phillippe LeMercier LaRoche

Mr Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche was born in Cap Haitien, Haiti on 26 May 1886. In 1901, at age 15, he left Haiti and travelled to Beauvais, France, where he hoped to join the high school to study engineering.


While visiting nearby Villejuif Joseph met Miss Juliette Lafargue; After Joseph graduated and got his degree, he and Juliette were married in March of 1908. Their daughter Simonne was born 19 February 1909; a second daughter, Louise, was born prematurely on 2 July 1910, and suffered many subsequent medical problems.


Racial discrimination prevented Joseph Laroche from obtaining a high-paying job in France. Since the family needed more money to cope with Louise's medical bills, Joseph decided to return to Haiti to find a better-paying engineering job, the move being planned for 1913.


In March 1912, however, Juliette discovered that she was pregnant, so she and Joseph decided to leave for Haiti before her pregnancy became too far advanced for travel. Joseph's mother in Haiti bought them steamship tickets on the La France as a welcome present, but the line's strict policy regarding children caused them to transfer their booking to the Titanic's second class. On April 10 the Laroche family took the train from Paris to Cherbourg in order to board the brand new liner later that evening.


Joseph - who is thought to have been the only black passenger on the Titanic - died in the sinking but his family were saved, possibly in lifeboat 14.

Links and Resources

Titanica

See also -

What Happened To The Only Black Family On The TITANIC by Zondra Hughes

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Joseph Phillippe LeMercier LaRoche's Timeline

1886
May 26, 1886
Cap-Haitien, Nord, Haiti
1908
March, 1908
Age 21
1909
February 19, 1909
Age 22
Villejuif, Val-de-Marne, Île-de-France, France
1910
July 2, 1910
Age 24
Villejuif, Val-de-Marne, Île-de-France, France
1912
April 15, 1912
Age 25
December 17, 1912
Age 25