Titanic Survivors Stories – Frank Goldsmith – Part Two

titanic-survivor- frank-goldsmith-2There were 705 survivors floating in the North Atlantic after the great ship, the RMS Titanic sank into the freezing cold waters of the ocean.  The survivors consisted of men, women, and children, and among them were 10-year-old Frankie Goldsmith and his mother.  Goldsmith’s father, Frank Senior, had placed his wife and son in one of the last lifeboats to leave the ship, and he stepped back, joined the other men, and his met his fate bravely.  While Mrs. Goldsmith, and her young son Frankie, floated around the North Atlantic in a collapsible boat, they get to see the RMS Titanic as it sunk slowly in the middle of the night.  Though Frankie’s head was placed in his mother’s shoulder to block his view from such a horrific scene, the young boy got to see the ship sink anyway.

Rescue From the Frigid Ocean – Being On Board the Carpathia

After being in the lifeboat for around two hours, the RMS Carpathia made its way to the location of where the RMS Titanic went down.  While on the Carpathia, the little ship played host to not only the 700 passengers and crew, but the 705 Titanic survivors as well so things were quite difficult because there were not enough beds, and people were sleeping on the floor with blankets. Naturally, the mood on board the rescue ship was a heavy one, women had lost their husbands, and children, like Frankie, were now without their fathers.  In order to help pass the time, many of the Carpathia passengers and Titanic survivors did what they could to help one another. One such volunteer was Mrs. Goldsmith, who wanted to take care of her fellow survivors. When the Titanic had struck the iceberg, most of the passengers of the mighty ship were in bed, and ended up leaving the ship in just their night gowns and slippers.  Mrs. Goldsmith helped occupy the time by taking material and sewing it into clothes for her fellow passengers to wear, and she also did her best to help her young son too keep his mind off of everything that had happened on the Titanic and to his father.  Frankie was tasked with the care of a surviving Titanic fireman named Samuel Collins, who proudly took the young boy under his wing, and he and the Carpathia were so taken with the young man they made him a member of the crew. The young man was so proud of passing the fireman’s initiation that he began to cry, but was quickly comforted by the Carpathia’s crew.

Life After Arriving In New York

titanic-survivor- frank-goldsmith-4Once they arrived in New York, Frankie Goldsmith, and his mother, got help from the Salvation Army, who helped them both get to their destination of Detroit, Michigan.  In Detroit, Frankie and his mom had relatives, and the two eventually settled into a home that was very close to the famous Navin Field, a baseball stadium in Detroit.  The sound of the baseball players hitting balls, and the crowd breaking into a roar, reminded Frankie of the night the Titanic sank, and he never set foot in the field even as an adult due to the memories those cheers and cries reminded him of. Because Frankie was very young, he really had no idea that his father was dead, and it took him years to truly understand that his father was never coming home again. At age 23, Frankie got married, and had three sons, relocated to Ashland, Ohio, and served in World War II as a photographer, which lead him to open his own photography supply store in Ashland.   Goldsmith wrote a book about the Titanic sinking, and it was published nine years after his dead in 1991 by the Titanic Historical Society, and remains the only book that was ever written by a Third Class passenger.

Frankie Goldsmith died at the age of 79 in 1982. Goldsmith’s last wish was to be cremated, and he wanted his ashes to be scattered at the place where the Titanic sank so he could be reunited with his father.  On April 15, 1982, on the 70th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, Goldsmith got his wish, and his ashes were scattered over the North Atlantic.

To this day, the relatives of Frankie Goldsmith still talk about their brave Third Class passenger, and all he endured, and many of his family members give lectures and share his brave story to classrooms and museums around the world.

Rest in Peace Frankie, may you be playing with your father on the deck of the RMS Titanic.


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