Sarah Stap (1st August 1864 to 27th March 1937)

 

Here I am at the headstone of Sarah Stap one of the 750 people who survived when the Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic ocean and sank.

 

Ironically she was born on a ship off the coast in the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean (her dad Henry was the commander.) She was one of five children (another sister was also born at sea.)

 

She was 47 when the Titanic set sale, working as a stewardess on 3, 10 shillings per month. Maiden voyages were nothing new to her as she had been on the Baltic and Adriatic ships. Her great nephew said she was more a matron than a stewardess.

 

On the fatal night she was asleep in bed and was awoken by a "slight bump". She lay in bed for a further forty-five minutes as she was used to ships thudding against big waves. She ascended to the decks to see lifeboats had already been slung out and the ship was sinking. A crew member ordered her to board Life Boat 11 immediately; it was already packed but could take one more person. She told the young cabin boy beside her that shed had lived a good amount of her life already and he should board instead. The boy picked her up and put her in the lifeboat. She was in the crowded boat for six hours not knowing if they would die of cold before rescue came.

 

This ordeal didnt steer her away from sailing and she returned to work on various liners. She never married or had children and lived nearby in Birkenhead with her sister for twenty years. She died in her sleep aged 72 and lies asleep here for eternity.

 

As I left the cemetery I passed a headstone comprising the Splatt family. So far Ive never knowingly met a Splatt.

 

 

Sarah was put on Lifeboat 11 (shown on left)