Sigrid Lindström

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Sigrid Lindström (Posse)

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Ängelholm (L), Sweden
Death: November 03, 1946 (89)
Lidingö, Stockholms län, Sverige
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Knut Lage Fredriksson Posse and Lovisa Aminoff
Wife of Carl Johan Lindström
Mother of Sigrid Sütterlin; Ebba Lindström and Mary Ewerlöf
Sister of Ebba Posse; Arvid Posse and Christer Posse

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Immediate Family

About Sigrid Lindström

Mrs Carl Johan Lindström (Sigrid Posse), 55, was born 18 December 1856 the daughter of late major and count Knut Lage Posse and niece to late Swedish prime minister Arvid Posse.

Married to Carl Johan Lindström, ex captain of Swedish grenadier guards, and lived in Stockholm, Sweden.

She came from Paris on her way to New York. She was on her way to her sister, Mrs Norbert in New York. On the Titanic, which she boarded at Cherbourg as a first class passenger, she got to know Mauritz Håkan Björnstrom-Steffanson, who escorted her to Lifeboat 6. She later sued White Star for some 6000 francs of lost cloths. She was widowed 1917 and died in 1946.


Mrs Carl Johan Lindström (Sigrid Posse), 55, was born 18 December 1856 the daughter of late major and count Knut Lage Posse and niece to late Swedish prime minister Arvid Posse.

Married to Carl Johan Lindström, ex captain of Swedish grenadier guards, and lived in Stockholm, Sweden.

She came from Paris on her way to New York. She was on her way to her sister, Mrs Norbert in New York. On the Titanic, which she boarded at Cherbourg as a first class passenger, she got to know Mauritz Håkan Björnstrom-Steffanson, who escorted her to Lifeboat 6. She later sued White Star for some 6000 francs of lost cloths. She was widowed 1917 and died in 1946.

References and Sources

Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0

  • Residence: Linköpings domkyrkoförsamling, Östergötlands, Östergötland, Sweden - Between 1886 and 1895
  • Residence: Linköpings domkyrkoförsamling, Östergötlands, Östergötland, Sweden - Between 1895 and 1905

Titanic Survivor.

She was daughter of late major and count Knut Lage Posse and niece to late Swedish prime minister Arvid Posse. Married ex. Military Captain Carl Johan Lindström. Boarded the Titanic in 1st Class. Survived the sinking in Lifeboat #6. She sued the White Star Line for the loss of her clothes. Carl Johan Lindström died in 1917. Sigrid Lindström passed away in 1946.

BOAT No. 6.* No male passengers.

Passengers: Miss Bowerman, Mrs. J. J. Brown, Mrs. Candee, Mrs. Cavendish and her maid (Miss Barber), Mrs. Meyer, Miss Norton, Mrs. Rothschild, Mrs. L. P. Smith, Mrs. Stone and her maid (Miss Icard).

Ordered in to supply lack of crew: Major A. G. Peuchen.

Said good-bye to wives and sank with ship: Messrs. Cavendish, Meyer, Rothschild and L. P. Smith.

Crew: Hitchens, Q. M. (in charge). Seaman Fleet. (One fireman transferred from No. i6 to row.) Also a boy with injured arm whom Captain Smith had ordered in.

Total: 28. (Br. Inq.)

INCIDENTS

Lightoller's testimony (Am. Inq., p. 79) : I was calling for seamen and one of the seamen jumped out of the boat and started to lower away.

British Report (p. 38) puts this boat first to leave port side at \2.65. LightoUer's testimony shows it could not have been the first.

The boat was half way down when a woman called out that there was only one man in it. I had only two seamen and could not part with them, and was in rather a fix to know what to do when a passenger called out :"If you like, I will go." This was a first-class passenger. Major Peuchen, of Toronto. I said: "Are you a seaman?" and he said: "I am a yachtsman." I said: "If you are sailor enough to get out on that fall — that is a difficult thing to get to over the ship's side, eight feet away, and means a long swing, on a dark night — if you are sailor enough to get out there, you can go down"; and he proved he was, by going down.

F. Fleet, L. O. (Am. Inq., 363) and (Br. Inq.) : Witness says there were twenty-three women. Major Peuchen and Seamen Hitchens and himself. As he left the deck he heard Mr. Lightoller shouting: "Any more women?" No. 6 and one other cut adrift after reaching the Carpathia,

Major Arthur Godfrey Peuchen, Manufacturing Chemist, Toronto, Canada, and Major of Toronto's crack regiment. The Queen's Own Rifles (Am. Inq., p. 334), testified:

I was standing on the Boat Deck, port side, near the second officer and the captain. One of them said: "We must get these masts and sails out of these boats; you might give us a hand. I jumped in, and with a knife cut the lashings of the mast and sail and moved the mast out of the boat. Only vi^omen were allowed in, and the men had to stand back. This was the order, and the second officer stood there and carried it out to the limit. He allowed no men, except sailors who were manning the boat. I did not see one single male passenger get in or attempt to get in. I never saw such perfect order. The discipline was perfect. I did not see a cowardly act by any man.

When I first came on this upper deck there were about 100 stokers coming up with their dunnage bags and they seemed to crowd this whole deck in front of the boats. One of the officers, I don't know which one, a very powerful man, came along and drove these men right off this deck like a lot of sheep. They did not put up any resistance. I admired him for it. Later, there were counted 20 women, one quartermaster, one sailor and one stowaway, before I was ordered in.

In getting into the boat I went aft and said to the quartermaster: "What do you want me to do?" "Get down and put that plug in," he answered. I made a dive down for the plug. The ladies were all sitting pretty well aft and I could not see at all. It was dark down there. I felt with my hands and then said it would be better for him to do it and me do his work. I said,

'Now, you get down and put in the plug and I will undo the shackles/' that is, take the blocks off, so he dropped the blocks and got down to fix the plug, and then he came back to assist me saying, "Hurry up." He said: "This boat Is going to founder." I thought he meant our lifeboat was going to founder, but he meant the large boat, and that we were to hurry up and get away from it, so we got the rudder in and he told me to go forward and take an oar. I did so, and got an oar on the port side. Sailor Fleet was on my left on the starboard side. The quartermaster told us to row as hard as we could to get away from the suction. We got a short distance away when an Italian, a stowaway, made his appearance. He had a broken wrist or arm, and was of no use to row. He was stowed away under the boat where we could not see him.

Toward morning we tied up to another boat (No. 16) for fifteen minutes. We said to those In the other boat: "Surely you can spare us one man If you have so many." One man, a fireman, was accordingly transferred, who assisted in rowing on the starboard side. The women helped with the oars, and very pluckily too.*

We were to the weather of the Carpathian and so she stayed there until we all came down on her. I looked at my watch and it was something after eight o'clock.

Mrs. Candee's account of her experience is as follows :

She last saw Mr. Kent in the companionway between Decks A and B. He took charge of an ivory miniature of her mother, etc., which afterwards were found on his body when brought into Halifax. He appeared at the time to hesitate accepting her valuables, seeming to have a premonition of his fate.

She witnessed the same incident described by Major Peuchen, when a group of firemen came up on deck and were ordered by the officer to return below. She, however, gives praise to these men. They obeyed like soldiers, and without a murmur or a protest, though they knew better than anyone else on the ship that they were going straight to their death. No boats had been lowered when these firemen first appeared upon the Boat Deck, and . it would have been an easy matter for them to have "rushed" the boats.

Her stateroom steward also gave an exhibition of courage. After he had tied on her life preserver and had locked her room as a precaution against looters, which she believed was done all through the deck, she said to this brave man: "It is time for you to look out for yourself,'* to which the steward replied, "Oh, plenty of time for that, Madam, plenty of time for that." He was lost.

As she got into boat No. 6, it being dark and not seeing where she stepped, her foot encountered the oars lying lengthwise in the boat and her ankle was thus twisted and broken.

Just before her boat was lowered away a man's voice said : "Captain, we have no seaman." Captain Smith then seized a boy by the arm and said: "Here's one." The boy went into the boat as ordered by the captain, but afterwards he was found to be disabled. She does not think he was an Italian.

Her impression is that there were other boats in the water which had been lowered before hers. There was a French woman about fifty years of age in the boat who was constantly calling for her son. Mrs. Candee sat near her. After arrival on the Carpathia this French woman became hysterical.

Notwithstanding Hitchens' statements, she says that there was absolutely no upset feeling on the women's part at any time, even when the boat, as it was being lowered, on several occasions hung at a dangerous angle — sometimes bow up and sometimes stern up. The lowering process seemed to be done by jerks. She herself called out to the men lowering the boat and gave instructions: otherwise they would have been swamped.

The Italian boy who was in the boat was not a stowaway, he was ordered in by the captain as already related. Neither did he refuse to row. When he tried to do so, it was futile, because of an injury to his arm or wrist.

Through the courtesy of another fellow passenger, Mrs. J. J. Brown, of Denver, Colorado, I am able to give her experiences in boat No. 6, told in a delightful, graphic manner; so much so that I would like to insert it all did not space prevent:

In telling of the people she conversed with, that Sunday evening, she refers to an exceedingly intellectual and much-travelled acquaintance, Mrs. Bucknell, whose husband had founded the Bucknell University of Philadelphia; also to another passenger from the same city, Dr. Brewe, who had done much in scientific research. During her conversation with Mrs. Bucknell, the latter reiterated a statement previously made on the tender at Cherbourg while waiting for the Titanic. She said she feared boarding the ship because she had evil forebodings that something might happen. Mrs. Brown laughed at her premonitions and shortly afterwards sought her quarters.

Instead of retiring to slumber, Mrs. Brown was absorbed in reading and gave little thought to the crash at her window overhead which threw her to the floor. Picking herself up she proceeded to see what the steamer had struck; but thinking nothing serious had occurred, though realizing that the engines had stopped immediately after the crash and the boat was at a standstill, she picked up her book and began reading again. Finally she saw her curtains moving while she was reading, but no one was visible. She again looked out and saw a man whose face was blanched, his eyes protruding, wearing the look of a haunted creature. He was gasping for breath and in an undertone gasped, "Get your life preserver." He was one of the buyers for Gimbel Bros., of Paris and New York.

She got down her life preserver, snatched up her furs and hurriedly mounted the stairs to A Deck, where she found passengers putting on lifebelts like hers. Mrs. Bucknell approached and whispered, *'Didn't I tell you something was going to happen?" She found the lifeboats lowered from the falls and made flush with the deck. Madame de Villiers appeared from below in a nightdress and evening slippers, with no stockings. She wore a long woollen motorcoat. Touching Mrs. Brown's arm, in a terrified voice she said she was going below for her money and valuables. After much persuasion Mrs. Brown prevailed upon her not to do so, but to get into the boat. She hesitated and became very much excited, but was finally prevailed upon to enter the lifeboat. Mrs. Brown was walking away, eager to see what was being done elsewhere. Suddenly she saw a shadow and a few seconds later someone seized her, saying: "You are going, too," and she was dropped fully four feet into the lowering lifeboat. There was but one man in charge of the boat. As it was lowered by jerks by an officer above, she discovered that a great gush of water was spouting through the porthole from D Deck, and the lifeboat was in grave danger of being submerged. She immediately grasped an oar and held the Lifeboat away from the ship.

When the sea was reached, smooth as glass, she looked up and saw the benign, resigned countenance, the venerable white hair and the Chesterfieldlan bearing of the beloved Captain Smith with whom she had crossed twice before, and only three months previous on the Olympic. He peered down upon those in the boat, like a solicitous father, and directed them to row to the light in the distance — all boats keeping together.

Because of the fewness of men in the boat she found it necessary for someone to bend to the oars. She placed her oar in an oarlock and asked a young woman nearby to hold one while she placed the other on the further side. To Mrs. Brown^s surprise, the young lady (who must have been Miss Norton, spoken of elsewhere), immediately began to row like a galley slave, every stroke counting. Together they managed to pull away from the steamer.

By this time E and C Decks were completely submerged. Those ladies who had husbands, sons or fathers on the doomed steamer buried their heads on the shoulders of those near them and moaned and groaned. Mrs. Brown's eyes were glued on the fast-disappearing ship. Suddenly there was a rift in the water, the sea opened up and the surface foamed like giant arms and spread around the ship and the vessel disappeared from sight, and not a sound was heard.

Then follows Mrs. Brown's account of the conduct of the quartermaster in the boat which will be found under the heading presently given, and it will be noticed that her statements correspond with those of all others in the boat.

The dawn disclosed the awful situation. There were fields of ice on which, like points on the landscape, rested innumerable pyramids of ice. Seemingly a half hour later, the sun, like a ball of molten lead, appeared in the background. The hand of nature portrayed a scenic effect beyond the ken of the human mind. The heretofore smooth sea became choppy and retarded their progress. All the while the people in boat No. 6 saw the other small lifeboats being hauled aboard the Carpathia. By the time their boat reached the Carpathia a heavy sea was running, and. No. 6 boat being among the last to approach, it was found difficult to get close to the ship. Three or four unsuccessful attempts were made. Each time they were dashed against the keel, and bounded off like a rubber ball. A rope was then thrown down, which was spliced in four at the bottom, and a Jacob's ladder was made. Catching hold, they were hoisted up, where a dozen of the crew and officers and doctors were waiting. They were caught and handled as tenderly as though they were children.

women and children first i3i kitchens' conduct

Major Peuchen (Am. Inq., p. 334) continued:

There was an officers' call, sort of a whistle, calling us to come back to the boat. The quartermaster told us to stop rowing. We all thought we ought to go back to the ship, but the quartermaser said "No, we are not going back to the boat; it is our lives now, not theirs." It was the women who rebelled against this action. I asked him to assist us in rowing and let some of the women steer the boat, as it was a perfectly calm night and no skill was required. He refused, and told me he was in command of that boat and that I was to row.

He imagined he saw a light. I have done a great deal of yachting in my life. I have owned a yacht for six years. I saw a reflection. He thought it was a boat of some kind; probably it might be a buoy, and he called out to the next boat asking them if they knew any buoys were around there. This struck me as being perfectly absurd.

I heard what seemed to be one, two, three rumbling sounds; then the lights of the ship went out. Then the terrible cries and calls for help — moaning and crying. It affected all the women in our boat whose husbands were among those in the water. This went on for some time, gradually getting fainter and fainter. At first it was horrible to listen to. We must have been five eighths of a mile away when this took place. There were only two of us rowing a very heavy boat with a good many people In It, and I do not think we covered very much ground. Some of the women In the boat urged the quartermaster to return. He said there was no use going back, — that there were only a "lot of stiffs there." The women resented It very much.

Seaman Fleet (Am. Inq., p. 363) :

All the women asked us to pull to the place where the Titanic went down, but the quartermaster, who was at the tiller all the time, would not allow It. They asked him, but he would not hear of It.

Mrs. Candee continues :

HItchens was cowardly and almost crazed with fear all the time. After we left the ship he thought he heard the captain say: "Come alongside," and was for turning back until reminded by the passengers that the captain's final orders were: "Keep boats together and row away from the ship." She heard this order given.

After that he constantly reminded us who were at the oars that if we did not make better speed with our rowing we would all be sucked under the water by the foundering of the ship. This he repeated whenever our muscles flagged.

Directly the Titanic had foundered a discussion arose as to whether we should return. Hitchens said our boat would immediately be swamped if we went into the confusion. The reason for this was that our boat was not manned with enough oars.

Then after the sinking of the Titanic Hitchens reminded us frequently that we were hundreds of miles from land, without water, without food, without protection against cold, and if a storm should come up that we would be helpless. Therefore, we faced death by starvation or by drowning. He said we did not even know the direction in which we were rowing. I corrected him by pointing to the north star immediately over our bow.

When our boat came alongside No. 16, Hitchens immediately ordered the boats lashed together. He resigned the helm and settled down to rest. When the Carpathia hove in sight he ordered that we drift. Addressing the people in both boats Mrs. Candee said: "Where those lights are lies our salvation; shall we not go towards them?'* The reply was a murmur of approval and immediate recourse to the oars. Hitchens was requested to assist in the toilsome rowing. Women tried to taunt and provoke him into activity. When it was suggested that he permit the injured boy to take the tiller and that Hitchens should row, he declined, and in every case he refused labor. He spoke with such uncivility to one of the ladies that a man's voice was heard in rebuke: "You are speaking to a lady,'* to which he replied: "I know whom I am speaking to, and I am commanding this boat.

When asked if the Carpathia would come and pick us up he replied: "No, she is not going to pick us up; she is to pick up bodies." This when said to wives and mothers of the dead men was needlessly brutal.

When we neared the Carpathia he refused to go round on the smooth side because it necessitated keeping longer in the rough sea, so we made a difficult landing.

In Mrs. Brown's account of her experience she relates the following about the conduct of the quartermaster in charge of the boat in which she was:

He, Quartermaster Hitchens, was at the rudder and standing much higher than we were, shivering like an aspen. As they rowed away from the ship he burst out in a frightened voice and warned them of the fate that awaited them, saying that the task in rowing away from the sinking ship was futile, as she was so large that in sinking she would draw everything for miles around down with her suction, and, if they escaped that, the boilers would burst and rip up the bottom of the sea, tearing the icebergs asunder and completely submerging them. They were truly doomed either way. He dwelt upon the dire fate awaiting them, describing the accident that happened to the S. S. New York when the Titanic left the docks at Southampton.

After the ship had sunk and none of the calamities that were predicted by the terrified quartermaster were experienced, he was asked to return and pick up those in the water. Again the people in the boat were admonished and told how the frantic drowning victims would grapple the sides of the boat and capsize it. He not yielding to the entreaties, those at the oars pulled away vigorously towards a faintly glimmering light on the horizon. After three hours of pulling the light grew fainter, and then completely disappeared. Then this quartermaster, who stood on his pinnacle trembling, with an attitude like some one preaching to the multitude, fanning the air with his hands, recommenced his tirade of awful forebodings, telling those in the boat that they were likely to drift for days, all the while reminding them that they were surrounded by icebergs, as he pointed to a pyramid of ice looming up in the distance, possibly seventy feet high. He forcibly impressed upon them that there was no water in the casks in the lifeboats, and no bread, no compass and no chart. No one answered him. All seemed to be stricken dumb. One of the ladies in the boat had had the presence of mind to procure her silver brandy flask. As she held it in her hand the silver glittered and he being attracted to it implored her to give it to him, saying that he was frozen. She refused the brandy, but removed her steamer blanket and placed it around his shoulders, while another lady wrapped a second blanket around his waist and limbs, he looking "as snug as a bug in a rug."

The quartermaster was then asked to relieve one or the other of those struggling at the oars, as someone else could manage the rudder while he rowed. He flatly refused and continued to lampoon them, shouting: "Here, you fellow on the starboard side, your oar is not being put in the water at the right angle. No one made any protest to his outbursts, as he broke the monotony, but they continued to pull at the oars with no goal in sight. Presently he raised his voice and shouted to another lifeboat to pull near and lash alongside, commanding some of the other ladies to take the light and signal to the other lifeboats. His command was immediately obeyed. He also gave another command to drop the oars and lay to. Some time later, after more shouts, a lifeboat hove to and obeyed his orders to throw a rope, and was tied alongside. On the cross- seat of that boat stood a man in white pajamas, looking like a snow man in that icy region. His teeth were chattering and he appeared quite numb. Seeing his predicament, Mrs. Brown told him he had better get to rowing and keep his blood in circulation. But the suggestion met with a forcible protest from the quartermaster in charge. Mrs. Brown and her companions at the oars, after their exercise, felt the blasts from the ice-fields and demanded that they should be allowed to row to keep warm.

Over into their boat jumped a half-frozen stoker, black and covered with dust. As he was dressed in thin jumpers, she picked up a large sable stole which she had dropped into the boat and wrapped it around his limbs from his waist down and tied the tails around his ankles. She handed him an oar and told the pajama man to cut loose. A howl arose from the quartermaster in charge. He moved to prevent it, and Mrs. Brown told him if he did he would be thrown overboard. Someone laid a hand on her shoulder to stay her threats, but she knew it would not be necessary to push him over, for had she only moved in the quartermaster's direction, he would have tumbled into the sea, so paralyzed was he with fright. By this time he had worked himself up to a pitch of sheer despair, fearing that a scramble of any kind would remove the plug from the bottom of the boat. He then became very impertinent, and our fur-enveloped stoker in as broad a cockney as one hears in the Haymarket shouted: "Oi sy, don't you know you are talkin' to a lidy?" For the time being the seaman was silenced and we resumed our task at the oars. Two other ladies came to the rescue.

While glancing around watching the edge of the horizon, the beautifully modulated voice of the young Englishwoman at the oar (Miss Norton) exclaimed, *'There is a flash of lightning."

'It is a falling star," replied our pessimistic seaman. As it became brighter he was then convinced that it was a ship. However, the distance, as we rowed, seemed interminable. We saw the ship was anchored. Again the declaration was made that we, regardless of what our quartermaster said, would row toward her, and the young Englishwoman from the Thames got to work, accompanying her strokes with cheerful words to the wilted occupants of the boat.

Mrs. Brown finishes the quartermaster in her final account of him. On entering the diningroom on the Carpathia, she saw him in one corner — this brave and heroic seaman ! A cluster of people were around him as he wildly gesticulated, trying to impress upon them what difficulty he had in maintaining discipline among the occupants of his boat; but on seeing Mrs. Brown and a few others of the boat nearby he did not tarry long, but made a hasty retreat.

R. Hitchens, Q. M. (Am. Inq., p. 451. Br. Inq.) explains his conduct:

I was put in charge of No. 6 by the Second Officer, Mr. Lightoller. We lowered away from the ship. I told them in the boat somebody would have to pull. There was no use stopping alongside the ship, which was gradually going by the head. We were in a dangerous place, so I told them to man the oars — ladies and all. "All of you do your best.*' I relieved one of the young ladies with an oar and told her to take the tiller. She immediately let the boat come athwart, and the ladies in the boat got very nervous; so I took the tiller back again and told them to manage the best way they could. The lady I refer to, Mrs. Meyer, was rather vexed with me in the boat and I spoke rather straight to her. She accused me of wrapping myself up in the blankets in the boat, using bad language and drinking all the whisky, which I deny, sir. I was standing to attention, exposed, steering the boat all night, which is a very cold billet. I would rather be pulling the boat than be steering, but I saw no one there to steer, so I thought, being in charge of the boat, it was the best way to steer myself, especially when I saw the ladies get very nervous.

I do not remember that the women urged me to go toward the Titanic. I did not row toward the scene of the Titanic because the suction of the ship would draw the boat, with all its occupants, under water. I did not know which way to go back to the Titanic. I was looking at all the other boats. We were looking at each other's lights. After the lights disappeared and went out, we did hear cries of distress — a lot of crying, moaning and screaming, for two or three minutes. We made fast to another boat — that of the master-at-arms. It was No. 16. I had thirty-eight women in my boat. I counted them, sir. One seaman. Fleet; the Canadian Major, who testified here yesterday, myself and the Italian boy.

We got down to the Carpathia and I saw every lady and everybody out of the boat, and I saw them carefully hoisted on board the Carpathia, and I was the last man to leave the boat.

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Sigrid Lindström's Timeline

1856
December 18, 1856
Ängelholm (L), Sweden
1889
August 23, 1889
Age 32
1892
August 7, 1892
Age 35
Linköping
1894
October 25, 1894
Age 37
Sweden
1946
November 3, 1946
Age 89
Lidingö, Stockholms län, Sverige