Remembering the Other Victims of the Titanic Tragedy

Exactly 100 years ago today, the titanic sank into the Atlantic Ocean killing 1517 people on board. Today is all about remembering and paying respects to all those who lost their lives in the sinking of the Titanic, the most famous shipwreck in modern history.

Films, documentaries and exhibits have mainly focused on the lives and deaths of the people on-board the ship rather then the numerous animals that also lost their lives. Just like now, the people on-board considered their dogs to be family and as far as I'm aware no exhibit or documentary has explored or shown the relationship the people had with their pets and the loyalty some people showed towards their pets as the Titanic was going down. 

There were a number of different animals on board the Titanic. According to various articles there were at least 9 dogs on board, a cat (to control the stowaway rats!), birds, chickens, fish and small mammals such as hamsters. In fact, had the Titanic not sank in the early hours of the morning on the 15th of April 2012, first class passengers were due to participate in a dog show. 

Most of the dogs were kept in kennels in the lower decks while some stayed in the cabins of the first class passengers (without the knowledge of the crew!). 

Some records of the dogs on board were found and these included : 
* A King Charles Spaniel and and elderly Airedale Terrier - These were owned by William Carter and his family. The entire family survived while both dogs lost their lives at sea.
* A champion French Bulldog called Gamin de Pycombe - Owned by Robert W. Daniel. Gamin de Pycombe  did not survive the sinking
* Another dog of unknown breeding
* A Chow Chow
* Another Airedale Terrier called Kitty - Kitty was owned by Colonel John Jacob Astor and his wife, Madeline. Colonel Astor and Kitty did not survive, while Madeline was lucky enough to get space on a lifeboat. Rumour has it that it was Colonel Astor who freed all of the dogs trapped in their kennels
* A Pomeranian - This was owned by Margeret Hayes, both she and her pom survived the sinking. The pom went on to live until 1919
* Frou-Frou - He was owned by a newlywed called Helen Bishop. She had to leave him behind in her cabin and she was said to be very upset at the thought of leaving him behind. The dog tried to stop her leaving by  biting her dress and would't let go until the seam tore. Afterwards she was to have said "The loss of my little dog hurt me very much. I will never forget how he dragged on my clothes. He so wanted to accompany me" 
*A Pekingese called Sun Yat Sen - He was owned by Henry Harper who owned Harper Publishing. His wife, Myra, and dog both survived
* Another Pomeranian dog - This belonged to the Rothchilds and survived, possibly because it was bundled into Mrs. Rothchild's bag, even though Mr. Rothchild perished with the ship.
* A St. Bernard - This belonged to a lady called Ann Isham. He died during the sinking of the ship 

More dogs were probably on-board but unfortunately their details and records did not survive. Of all the dogs travelling on board only 4 of them survived. 

The ship also had a 'mascot' cat called Jenny, who was brought on-board to capture and kill any rats and mice. The story goes that Jenny had kittens on board the ship but disembarked in Southampton ... which some people say was premonition of what was to come. 

I find it amazing how people showed complete and utter love  and loyalty to their pets right until the very end, and in some cases choosing to save them over the lives of their friends, family and even other humans on-board the ship.

100 years later and we still have so much to learn from the titanic and it's passengers. They must of had some amazing stories and some terrifying moments. It's an amazing story and event but also one that will never be repeated.

May they all Rest in Peace xx

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