On April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank into the freezing cold waters of the North Atlantic with over 1500 people still swarming its decks. The only survivors were 705 people that were in 20 lifeboats, and those poor souls watched in horror as the most beautiful ship in the world sank slowly, and they were completely helpless to do anything about it. The people who were in those lifeboats were men and woman, but what people failed to realize is that there were children too, and those little boys and little girls had a horrific memory that would stay with them for the rest of their lives especially if they lost a parent on the deck of the doomed ship. One such young boy that survived the disaster was nine-year-old Frankie Goldsmith, and his father, Frank Goldsmith, was one of the grand ship’s victims.
The Birth of Frank John William Goldsmith Junior
Strood, Kent, England is the place where Frank John William Goldsmith was born on December 19, 1902. Goldsmith was the oldest child, and he had a little brother named Albert John, but the child died of diphtheria at the very young age of six leaving Goldsmith an only child at the age of nine. One year later in 1912, the Goldsmiths decided that there were more job opportunities for a tool maker would be better in Detroit, Michigan, than they were in Kent, so it was time to relocate to America.
The Goldsmith Family and Friends On the RMS Titanic
The Goldsmith family purchased tickets on the Titanic as Third Class passengers. The Kent family was not traveling along, they had friends with them named Thomas Theobald and Alfred Rush. While on board the big ship, young Goldsmith found a lot of English boys that were his age, and the group of them often wandered the ship together. As described in his book, Goldsmith and his friends even went down into the boiler room and watched the men there do their job, and were singing songs while shoveling the coal. Out of the seven boys that Goldsmith hung around with, only Goldsmith and one other boy would actually make it into a lifeboat and survive the disaster.
On the night of April 14, 1912, when the giant Titanic scraped alongside the iceberg, it was the elder Goldsmith, Frank Sr. that was actually the one that felt the shudder of the metal meeting ice, and woke up his son, his wife, and their two traveling companions. Goldsmith did not hesitate, and instantly took his family and friends up to the boat deck. At that time, collapsible C was being loaded, and 10-year-old Frankie, and his mother, were put into a lifeboat. According to Goldsmith’s book, the 16-year-old Alfred Rush was offered a place in the lifeboat, but the young man, who had turned 16 that very day on April 14th, refused it saying that he would prefer to stay back with the other men. Alfred Rush died as a 16-year-old man. At the time, the young boy had no idea that the ship was sinking, and that he would never see his father again. Goldsmith got a pat goodbye from his father, and then their other friend, Thebold, took off his wedding ring, and asked that Mrs. Goldsmith please give it to his wife.
From the lifeboat, Goldsmith was able to see the entire Titanic sink, and he sat there with his mother and watched as the ship sank lower into the water. As the time toward 2:20 am drew near, the Titanic was in her final plunge, Mrs. Emily Goldsmith decided that the sinking of the ship that would end the life of his father was too dramatic for the young boy and held his head into her shoulder. However, what Mrs. Goldsmith did not realize is that her son was able to lift his head enough to see things anyway, and actually witnessed the final plunge of the might ship the RMS Titanic.
Like the other 704 survivors that were in the lifeboats, the night had just begun, and their ordeal was just getting started, and they all had a long few hours to wait until the rescue ship Carpathia arrived to get them all on board and take them back to New York.