AuthorHouse author David Haisman continues his fascinating life’s story along with his mother. Edith Brown Haisman became the oldest living survivor of the Titanic in 1985, when she reached her 100th birthday.
Raised on the Titanic
By David Haisman
I was born in Southampton in the U.K. on the 28th of April 1938 before the outbreak of World War Two, becoming the youngest son of a very large family of eight boys and two girls. During the war years that followed, my four eldest brothers were away at sea fighting in that war, three of them in the Royal Navy and the fourth in the Merchant Navy. My father worked as a draughtsman for the Admiralty during those days and in 1943, received a posting to Simonstown Naval Dockyard in South Africa. My mother, (Titanic survivor Edith Brown Haisman), along with the rest of us younger members of our family, were to wait it out and follow at a later date.
Awaiting the Call from Cape Town
After our father’s arrival in Cape Town later that year, our mother was hoping that it wouldn’t be too long before we could all join him as promised by the Admiralty. It turned out to be a wait of over a year and at that time things didn’t go as well as she would have hoped. There were long periods of not receiving any mail from the four elder brothers as war raged on, coupled with the experience of being separated from her husband for the first time in 26 years of married life.
During that period, my 3rd eldest brother Geoff, arrived home on survivors leave after being bombed and torpedoed at sea and my eldest brother Fred, escaping from a prisoner of war camp. My other two brothers were on Russian convoys along with the heavy bombing raids on Southampton, which made all of this a worrying time for our mother.
Travelling in Secrecy
However, in 1944, a letter finally arrived from the Admiralty confirming that arrangements were under way for us all to join our father in Simonstown but details were being kept secret. I well remember the excitement at that time as we packed and prepared for our journey to Swansea to join a troopship of which we were to learn later was called the Empire Grace en route to St. Helena with 500 troops.
David Haisman’s AuthorHouse Bibliography