My fourth eldest brother, Leo, joined the R.M.S. Aquitania as a Bell Boy in the early 1930's. This was to be his first trip to sea and a bit of a nightmare for my mother. Remembering the Bell Boys on the Titanic, she stressed on him that before he unpacked his sea bag, he should make quite sure that he knew where his lifeboat station was. Years later she could never understand why 5 of her sons, Fredrick, Kenneth, Geofrey,(R.N.) and Leo and myself (M.N.) could choose the sea life after what she had endured herself. After Titanic and then a possible U.Boat encounter with six of her children on board the Empire Grace whilst steaming in the South Atlantic for St. Helena with 500 British troops on Board. We had been on Action Stations for several nights, spending many hours by the lifeboats with the ship in black-out routine. She had shown complete calm throughout until on arrival in Cape Town, a ship's officer had told her that there hadn't been anything to worry about. He told her that she, and each child, had been allocated to a soldier in case of shipwreck. Her reply apparently was '' Why the hell didn't you tell me that at the start of the voyage !! It was so unlike her.
I remember cycling down to Southampton docks to see the Aquitania, this great old Cunarder, leave port for the last time for the breakers yard. A bugler sounded the last post high up on the funnel deck as the Cunard White Star flags were lowered for the last time before she left for Gareloch.
David Haisman, Author, TITANIC, The Edith Brown Story