Titanic Survivors Stories – Letter from Rose Amélie Icard Makes Headlines

rose-amelia-icard-newspaper-article2The handwritten letter penned by a then-83 year old woman nine years before her death in 1964. The letter is owned by a US Marine named Mike Delgado, who first caught Titanic fever at the age of 13 when his father took him to a Titanic exhibit. Delgado bought the letter in 2012 at a Titanic auction, along with Icard’s passport.  Recently, Delgado posted pictures of his most prized possession on Reddit, and so far, the letter has gotten thousands of hits, tons of comments, and people who know French have even translated its haunting words for the world.  Even though the RMS Titanic has been gone for almost 102 years, it is still amazing the Titanic survivors’ stories that are still coming out even to this day.

Rose Amélie Icard – Traveling as the made to Martha Evelyn Stone

rose-amelia-icard-letter-1Icard was 38 years old when she and the wife of George Nelson Stone got on board the RMS Titanic in Southampton, England.  When the Titanic hit the iceberg, Icard talked about how the impact of ice and steel was enough to “threw us out of bed.”  Icard asked an officer what was going on to an officer out in the hall, but he assured her that nothing was wrong and for the two women to return to bed, but they insisted that they could hear water coming into the ship. The women got dressed and went up on deck.

Once the Titanic started to sink, she and Stone were standing on the boat deck with one of the most famous couples on board, Isador and Ida Strauss. When it came time for people to go into the lifeboats, an officer offered both of the Strauss’ a chance to go into the boat, but Mr. Strauss did not want to go ahead of other men, so he refused. Ida Strauss was told to get into the boat, and she insisted that her maid go, but when she found out that her husband would not, according to Icard, “She hung on her husband’s neck while telling him, ‘We have been married for 50 years, we never were apart, I want to die with you.” Icard was moved by such a woman that refused to leave her husband, and she and Stone got into the lifeboat, which was number 6.

A Night That Lived On For 43 Years

Titanic sinkingIcard’s letter details Icard and Stone in lifeboat number 6, and the moment they got into it, the officer in charge told everyone in it that they had to get away from the Titanic before the suction from the gigantic shp would be so powerful that it would pull a lifeboat down with it.  Icard stated that she grabbed the oars, and rowed so hard and fast, that her hands were bleeding and her wrists were very sore.  Once the Titanic sank, the passengers in the water were moving around in the water and the descriptions that Icard gave sends shivers down the backs of people who read her handwritten note. Icard wrote, “suddenly, there was darkness, whole and inscrutable, shouts, horrible yells, rose in the middle of the creaks of the boat, then that was it.”

At the time that Icard wrote the letter, it was over 40 years after the Titanic sank, but even after so much time had passed, the horror of that night still haunted the maid-turned-seamstress. Icard stated that she still had nightmares about the Titanic; the screams and cries for help still haunted her dreams and did so until the day she died, which was in 1964.

Rose Amelie Icard was a 38 year old maid working for Martha Evelyn Stone on board the RMS Titanic. While on deck she was a witness to Isador and Ida Strauss refusing to go into a lifeboat, and she was also a witness to the death of over 1500 people. Icard’s hand-written letter is just another example of what happened the night the Titanic went down. There are many Titanic survivors stories, but the words of this maid, who later became a seamstress, are so vivid that some people got chills when they read the English translation of her original letter written in French.  A man named Mike Delgado now owns both Icard’s letter and her passport, and decided to share it with the world, and even though her words are hard to read, it is important for people to read them so they understand exactly what it was like the night the Titanic sank.

Previous post:

Next post: