Mystery Deaths Aboard "Queen Mary"

Mystery Deaths Aboard "Queen Mary"

Postby Thomas Golembiewski on Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:30 pm

Chicago Tribune, Tuesday, August 11, 1936, p. 8:

GIRL, 20 MISSING AS LINER QUEEN MARY REACHES NEW YORK

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New York, Aug. 10---[Special]---The majority of her 1,806 passengers unaware that a girl of 20 had been lost at sea, the liner Queen Mary docked today.

An entry in the ship's log contains the name of Miss Jane Carey of Lynn, Mass., and the observation "presumed lost at sea." Miss Carey, who had been studying in Italy, boarded the Queen Mary at Southampton and shared a tourist class cabin on B deck with Miss M. R. Stewart of England.

Miss Stewart said they arose about 7:30 am yesterday. She left the room for about five minutes, and when she returned Miss Carey, who had been clad in a kimono, was missing.

Miss stewart waited for an hour, expecting her cabin mate to return, and when she did not notified the purser. An all-day search was vain, and it is officially assumed that she "jumped or fell" into the ocean, although the crew insisted it would be impossible to fall. Miss stewart said that Miss Carey had seemed depressed.

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Re: Mystery Deaths Aboard "Queen Mary"

Postby Thomas Golembiewski on Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:49 pm

Chicago Tribune, Wednesday, November 18, 1936, p. 8, c. 2:

QUEEN MARY DOCKS WITH A PASSENGER MISSING; 2ND SUICIDE

New York, Nov. 27--(AP)--A passenger giving the name of Garner Marshall, 70, of Hilton Village, Va., was reported today to have disappeared fromt he liner Queen Mary early yesterday.

Ship's officers said Marshall, who was traveling alone in the third class, left a note addressed to the purser saying he intended to take his life. It was the second suicide of a passenger since the ship was launched.

The liner docked at 7 a.m. today, twenty-four hours late.

Marshall's son, Montague C. Marshall, who met the ship at the pier, said his father had brooded since the death of his wife last March. A retired farmer, he had been spending the sunmmer with relatives in England.

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Re: Mystery Deaths Aboard "Queen Mary"

Postby David Haisman on Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:50 pm

Having served on both of the ''Old Queens'' as an Able Seaman /lookout man in the 1950's and early 60's, deaths onboard would not be considered to be too much out of the norm in those days due to the passenger and crew complement, especially during the summer runs. During Lookout duty, the ''farmer'' of the watch would do a stint on the docking bridge in some cases to relieve the QM and in other cases do a trick on the wheel, depending what may be deemed as necessary at the time. I've known the odd crew member to go missing and the deck department carry out a thorough search until it's realised that a suicide had taken place. Anybody being churned up by the turbulence at the stern of those ships when steaming at a rate of knots would stand little chance of survival, coupled with the extremely cold North Atlantic Ocean temperatures. Able Seamen Lookouts or QM's, ( there's no difference in their rating) would in those days, stand a suicide watch on the docking bridge aft throughout the voyage. Any members of the 1000 plus crew that passed away during any voyage, would be buried at sea if they had no next of kin or fixed abode. It should be pointed out that those ships never stopped for a burial at sea and after the service, the body in a weighted canvas shroud would be launched from the shell doors as the ship continued at around 28 knots. Many seamen in those days had no families to speak of and lived in Sailors Homes between voyages. Deceased passengers were kept on ice until arrival at either New York or Southampton. It's often been said that once a would-be-suicide hits the water at 28 knots, there's a rapid change of mind. I remember this from two seperate incidents of would- be -suicides on the South African run after picking them up from an accident boat in the Bay of Bisacy and the other some months later in the English Channel.
Mystery deaths aboard ''Queen Mary'' along with the '' Queen Elizabeth'' were just fractional when compared with the hundreds of thousands of passengers carried by those ''Old Queens'' during the war years and across the Atlantic. In those days sea travel for many was another world and a fascinating way of travel on those great old ladies of yesteryear.
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Re: Mystery Deaths Aboard "Queen Mary"

Postby Timothy Trower on Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:31 pm

David,

What a fascinating glimpse of a crewman's life on board the Queens. How I would love it if you were to write a long a detailed book with stories like these . . . maybe food for thought!
All the best,

Tim

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