About Minnie Coutts
Mrs William Coutts (Winnie ‘Minnie’ Trainer), 36, was born in Ireland on 2nd February, 1876. She moved to London, England and was married to William Coutts and had two sons, William and Neville.
In 1912 she was living in Southampton. Her husband had been working in New York as an Engraver. After a year he was able to send enough money for Minnie and the boys to join him. To further save money Minnie bought third class tickets (ticket number C.A. 37671, £15 18s).
She boarded the Titanic, with her two sons, at Southampton to join her husband in Brooklyn, New York.
On the night of the disaster Minnie was awaked by the commotion outside her stern cabin. She looked out to see what was happening but decided to wait for official orders before wakening her sons and taking action. Soon she could wait no longer and dressed her two sleepy children, but could find only two lifebelts in her cabin, which she secured on her two sons. She darted into the chaotic hallways but found herself lost. A crewman directed her up to the lifeboats but she found her way barred by a gate. Fortunately another crewman happened to pass who gave her alternate directions and his lifebelt, asking her to pray for him if she be saved. Minnie did find her way to the boat deck where she located lifeboat 2. She encountered problems, however, when the officer in charge of that boat’s launching refused to let her elder son William enter because he looked too old in his straw hat. She was finally able to persuade the officer to let the nine-year-old pass.
The family moved to Pittsburgh in 1920. Mrs Coutts and Neville left for California about 1940, and later moved to Maplewood, New Jersey, where she lived for the rest of her life. She never liked to talk about the Titanic.
She died on 29 February 1960, aged 84.