Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Eva Hart, Titanic Survivor's Account

Titanic




Everyone knows the tragic tale of the "unsinkable" Titanic.  For nearly a century, the maiden (and final) voyage of the world's largest liner has been retold in countless books and on the big screen.  Who can fail to remember Jack and Rose standing in a romantic embrace at the bow of the giant ship in James Cameron's cinematic masterpiece?  From India to Iceland, from Jamaica to Japan, you only have to say the word "Titanic" and people either break into song (Celine Dion's "My heart will go on") or confess to having shed a tear when Jack slipped from this world to the next, descending slowly and lifelessly into the cold murky darkness of the abyss, leaving Rose to go on without him.

At exactly 11.40pm on Sunday the 14th of May 1912, Titanic struck an iceberg.  Less than 3 hours later, she lost the battle to stay afloat and slipped down below the surface, coming to rest on the sea floor, where she will stay forever. 

For those who survived, the memory of that terrible night continued to haunt them for the rest of their lives.  One survivor was Eva Hart, and this is her account of what happened the terrible night Titanic struck an iceberg.


Activity One


You are going to listen to an interview with Eva Hart, who was on the Titanic the night it sank in the Atlantic Ocean on the 15th of May 1912.  Before you listen to the interview and answer the questions, take a moment to write down any information you know about the Titanic.  Some information has been given to help you.


The Titanic was built in Ireland.
The Titanic set sail for Southampton, where it picked up passengers.
Many passengers died in the disaster.




Activity Two


Now you have done that, look at the photos below and think about the following:


1. What the conditions onboard would have been like for passengers in first class?

    First Class

2. What conditions onboard would have been like for passengers in steerage class?



Steerage Class


 Activity Three


Now answer the following questions:


1. How do you think the passengers might have been feeling before the ship set sail on its maiden voyage? 


2. How do you think the passengers might have been feeling when the ship first struck the iceberg?


3. How do you think the passengers would have been feeling as the ship started sinking?


4.  How do you think the survivors would have been feeling as they watched the ship sink below the surface?


5. How do you think you would have been feeling, had you been a passenger on the Titanic?




Activity Four


Now read the questions below.  Use your dictionary to find the meaning of words you do not know.  Once you have done that, click on the link and listen to the interview with Eva Hart.  Then answer the questions.


Good luck!


Titanic Listening Questions



1. Why did Eva and her family end up on Titanic?

2. How many people were travelling in her party?

3. Where were they bound for?

4. Where were they due to alight Titanic?

5. How did her mother feel about travelling on Titanic?

6. What did her mother do each night?

7. What was Eva doing when the iceberg struck Titanic?

8. How did her mother describe the moment of impact?

9. What did her father do when the alarm was sounded?

10. How did Eva get up on deck?

11. What did her father say to her mother prior to going up on deck?

12. Where did her father put her and her mother when they got up on deck?

13. What time was it when they got up on deck?

14. What was the atmosphere like when they first got up on deck?

15. What did Eva have to keep her warm?

16. Who put her in the lifeboat?

17.  When was the last time she saw her father?

18. Why did the lifeboats move away from the ship?

19. What could she hear as ship starting sinking?

20. What does she think was the cause of the loud explosions?

21. How does she describe her mood as she sat in the lifeboat?

22. What impact did the event have on her?

23. How did she become separated from her mother?

24. What was the worst part of that night?

25. What could she see at daybreak?

26. How does Eva feel about the mission to go down and explore the wreck?

27. What does she say would be totally unacceptable?









Eva Hart, Titanic Survivor's Account (Answer Sheet)

1. Why did Eva and her family end up on Titanic?
They were due to sail on a ship called the Philadelphia. However, there was a coal and dock strike, so they family was offered a second-class ticket on Titanic.

2. How many people were travelling in her party?
Three - Eva, her mother and father.

3. Where were they bound for?
Canada.

4. Where were they due to alight Titanic?
New York.

5. How did her mother feel about travelling on Titanic?
She couldn't bear the thought of going on the ship, but didn't know why.

6. What did her mother do each night?
She stayed awake at night (and slept during the day).

7. What was Eva doing when the iceberg struck Titanic?
She was sleeping.

8. How did her mother describe the moment of impact?     
She described it as being like a freight train pulling into a station... a jerk.

 
9. What did her father do when the alarm was sounded?
He went up on deck to investigate.

10. How did Eva get up on deck?
Her father carried her.

11. What did her father say to her mother prior to going up on deck?
He told her to put her coat on.         
12. Where did her father put her and her mother when they got up on deck?
Next to a lifeboat.

13. What time was it when they got up on deck?
Midnight.

 
14. What was the atmosphere like when they first got up on deck?
People were enjoying themselves.

15. What did Eva have to keep her warm?
A blanket.

16. Who put her in the lifeboat?
Her father.

17.  When was the last time she saw her father?
When he put her in the lifeboat.

18. Why did the lifeboats move away from the ship?
Because of the tremendous suction as the boat sank.

19. What could she hear as ship starting sinking?
Panic of the people rushing around on deck.


20. What does she think was the cause of the loud explosions?
The cold water hitting the hot boilers.

21. How does she describe her mood as she sat in the lifeboat?
She was absolutely terrified.

22. What impact did the event have on her?
She was terrified for years afterwards.

23. How did she become separated from her mother?
There were too many people in the lifeboat, so her mother was moved to another lifeboat.

24. What was the worst part of that night?
Hearing the screams of passengers drowning.

25. What could she see at daybreak?
A ring of icebergs on the horizon, quite beautiful like white-sailed yachts.

26. How does Eva feel about the mission to go down and explore the wreck?
It would be wonderful to go and photograph the wreck.

27. What does she say would be totally unacceptable?
To remove any of the contents of the ships.



Photos taken from the following sites:

1. titanicuniverse.com
2.titanicbranson.com
3. szallas.travelport.hu

© James Evans 2011


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