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Family begins search for Norwich's Titanic couple

PUBLISHED: 12:22 15 April 2011

Lauren Bacon with a mock Titanic boarding pass which she received on entering the modern exhibition in London about the Titanic

Lauren Bacon with a mock Titanic boarding pass which she received on entering the modern exhibition in London about the Titanic

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A mother and daughter from Norwich are hoping to find out more about a local couple who were rescued from the Titanic.

It is a moment in history which has captured the imaginations of millions of people. The luxurious passenger ship sank in April 1912 after hitting an iceberg, claiming the lives of 1,517 people.

For Alison Bacon, 50, and her daughter Lauren, 19, their interest in the “unsinkable ship”, which was prompted by the Oscar-winning epic starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet, has taken an unexpected twist.

The pair, who visited the Titanic exhibition at the O2 Arena in London earlier this month, were shocked after Lauren was handed a boarding pass at the event belonging to Mrs Edward Beane – from Norwich.

Mrs Bacon, who attended the exhibition as part of her 50th birthday celebrations, said: “As you go in you’re all given a boarding pass to find out what happened to your passenger.

“We had never even heard of anyone from Norwich being on the Titanic before. It was so unusual to get one like that. It was really interesting – her husband was also from Norwich.”

The exhibition, which revealed that the couple survived the tragedy, has inspired the mother and daughter team to find out more about the Beanes – who had been on the ship celebrating their honeymoon.

Mrs Bacon, a secretary at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital who lives in Eaton with husband Steven, 53, and has another daughter Lindsay, 21, said: “We got home and looked it up on the internet to find out about her.”

They found a newspaper article from 1931 which stated that Mr Beane got into the lifeboat with his wife after swimming around for hours – something of which Mrs Bacon is unsure. She said: “I have found other articles about the couple which say Mr Beane
got into the lifeboat with Mrs Beane, which I think is
probably true, although it was supposed to be women and children first so I’m not sure how he managed it.

“Apparently he came from Norwich too but had gone to work in New York and then returned to Norwich to get married.

“The story says he swam about for hours before being picked up but this would be impossible because the sea was too cold. He would’ve died within minutes of being in the sea.

“It’s interesting that they obviously tried to hide the fact that he got into a lifeboat when he wasn’t supposed to – it was women and children first.”

Mrs Bacon said she would be interested to find out more about the couple, who went on to live in America where they had at least two children, but particularly their past in Norwich.

She said: “It would be interesting to know where they lived in Norwich and where they got married.”

The 882ft long vessel, which weighed 46 tonnes, left Southampton for its maiden voyage to New York and sank on April 15.

Its hull was not discovered until 1985, on the sea-bed two miles down and about 600km south east of Mistaken Point, Newfoundland.

The discovery followed a joint American French expedition led by Jean Louis Michel and Dr Robert Ballard.

Do you have any information about Mr and Mrs Beane’s Norwich past? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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