Cousin Nellie is the only survivor of the Titanic whose story is unfinished
A CENTURY has passed since the Titanic sank to the depths of the mid-Atlantic, but the disaster is far from forgotten in the family of one West Wales woman.
Maureen Quinn, 50, of Llandysul, has a copy of a letter written by her grandmother's cousin Ellen Walcroft (known as Nellie) who was onboard and survived the disaster.
The letter gives a fascinating account of the great ocean liner's doom after hitting an iceberg on Sunday, April 14, 1912.
Ms Quinn, who originally hails from Reading said: "I was always interested in the Titanic and it was not until I was around the age of 35 that my mother mentioned that we had a relative on board.
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"The original letter passed out from our family at an auction in Devizes back in 1999 for $13,200.
"I only have a reprint of the letter, which Nellie had also sent to the Maidenhead Advertiser newspaper, where her family lived."
Nellie had been working as a cook for a paper manufacturing household in Dulwich, London, before embarking for America aboard the Titanic — heralded as the unsinkable ship.
She was on her way to settle with her sister Lucy on a farm in the town of Mamaroneck, New York state, travelling with a friend Clear Cameron.
The letter had been written to Ms Quinn's great grandparents Albert and Sarah Stimpson, who were living in Reading.
Nellie had written the letter while in America, days after the ship's sinking. She tells of travelling by train from Paddington to Southampton docks where the Titanic sailed from — describing it as a ship that was "dwarfing everything else".
The letter — which she wanted Ms Quinn's great grandparents to pass onto her own mother — describes the evacuation of the ship, getting into the lifeboats and how she ended up safe on dry land but with "no luggage, no papers, no money and no hat!".
After reaching America on the Carpathian ship, Nellie lived there until returning to the UK in 1917 and served as a cook in Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps, for which she was awarded the British Empire Medal (Military Division).
She was presented with this accolade having again moved back to New York in 1920.
After 1920, little is known of her whereabouts.
Ms Quinn's brother Stephen, who lives in London, has done research but further details on Nellie's life have proved difficult to trace.
She added: "It is still not known when she died having returned to New York.
"Nellie remains the only Titanic survivor with an unknown end, much to the frustration of the Titanic Society researchers, who see it as a loose end in the ship's story and those who were onboard."