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15 Comments | Vintage
Michel (left) and edmond (right) where the only children who rescued from the titanic without a parent or a guardian, they were labeled the "Titanic orphans" michel was 3 going on 4 when the disaster happened and edmond was 2.michel was born in june 1908, edmond was born in march 1910 both in nice, france (pronounced niece) to Michel Navratil, a tailor and Slovak immigrant to France, and Marcelle Caretto, an Italian, whom he had married in London, England.The marriage was troubled, and in early 1912, his parents separated. Marcelle was awarded full custody of the boys. She allowed them to stay with their father over the Easter weekend, but when she went to collect them, they had disappeared. Michel had decided to emigrate to the United States, taking the boys with him (yeah, this is pretty much kidnapping). After a brief stay in Monte Carlo, they travelled to England where they boarded the RMS Titanic.
Michel, Edmond, and their father boarded the Titanic at Southampton, England on 10 April 1912, as second-class passengers. For the journey, Navratil assumed the alias "Louis M. Hoffman", and the boys were booked as "Lola and Momon". On board the ship, he led passengers to believe that he was a widower.
After the collision with the iceberg at 11:40 pm on 14 April 1912, Navratil placed Michel and Edmond in Collapsible D, the last lifeboat successfully launched from the ship. Michel, although not quite four years old at the time, later claimed to remember his father telling him, "My child, when your mother comes for you, as she surely will, tell her that I loved her dearly and still do. Tell her I expected her to follow us, so that we might all live happily together in the peace and freedom of the New World."
i’m not supposed to give my opinion, but this seems a bit….. y’know, overly dramatized. especially that he remembers it when he was only 3
Their father died in the sinking, and his body was recovered by the rescue ship, Mackay-Bennett. In his pocket was a revolver. Because of his assumed Jewish surname, he was buried in Baron de Hirsch Cemetery, Halifax, a Jewish cemetery in Nova Scotia.
While in Collapsible D, Michel was fed biscuits by first-class passenger Hugh Woolner. When the rescue ship Carpathia arrived at the scene, he and Edmond were hoisted to its deck in burlap sacks. Since they were toddlers and spoke no English, they could not identify themselves and were soon referred to as the "Titanic Orphans". French-speaking first-class passenger Margaret Hays cared for them at her house until their mother could be located, which occurred as a result of newspaper articles which included their pictures. She sailed to New York City and was reunited with them on 16 May 1912. She took them back to France aboard the Oceanic.
michel does have some memories of the titanic, but they werent’ really that important, they’re on his wikipedia article if you’re curious.
L A T E R L I F E
Michel attended college and in 1933 married a fellow student. He went on to earn a doctorate and became a professor of philosophy. In 1987, he travelled to Wilmington, Delaware to mark the 75th anniversary of the sinking. It was his first visit to the United States since 1912.
The following year, he joined ten fellow survivors at a Titanic Historical Society convention in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1996, he joined fellow survivors Eleanor Shuman and Edith Brown on a cruise to the location of the wreck, where attempts were made to bring a large portion of the hull to the surface. On 27 August 1996, before his return to France, he travelled to Halifax, Nova Scotia to see his father’s grave for the first time.
and lived the rest of his life in montpellier, france. he died on the 30th of january, 2001. making him the last surviving male victim of the titanic
edmond worked as interior decorator and then became an architect and builder. He was married. During World War II he fought with the French Army, was captured and made a prisoner-of-war. He managed to escape from the camp in which he was held, but his health had suffered and he died in the early 1953 aged 43.
The little one looks like a cabbage patch doll.
The little one looks like a baby Joe Pesci
Part of me wishes they don’t remember any of the events of that night. That’d be enough to haunt anyone for their entire life.
Those poor little babies but so glad they made it.
Kid on the right looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid.
Colourisation might be a little off here, especially on the hair
Nonetheless very interesting
I can’t tell if the one on the right is 2 or 62
Didn’t know they had cabbage patch dolls back then
The one on the left is holding a magical and very powerful "vortex sphere"
It’s a very good job. There is something a little off about the child on the right. I’m not 100% certain but I think it might be that the shadow of the chin is just a little too deep.
But this amazing, way beyond anything I can do. Thank you for sharing this fascinating bit of history with us.
Kid on the right looks like a cabbage patch doll
I don’t know if I’d call them titanic, they look pretty normal sized to me.
That cabbage patch kid on the right though. Wtf.
So I did a little google and turned up an interesting tidbit.
Turns out Michel (left) and Edmond (right) Navratil were French children born to a Slovak father (also named Michel) and an Italian mother who separated at the beginning of 1912.
The mother allowed the boys to visit their father over Easter. Instead of handing the children back to their mother, the father left with the boys aboard the Titanic to commence a new life in the United States, in what could be construed as international parental child abduction. They travelled under false names, assuming the identities of Louis, Lola and Momon Hoffman.
Michel Navratil was also actually the last male survivor of the Titanic disaster.
He didn’t return to the United States until 1987. And a neat little fun fact? The name Navratil coincidentally translates in Czech/Slovak to, more or less, ’he returned’.