Alfred Nourney

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Alfred Nourney
Alfred Nourney and his pets, 1912
Born (1892-02-26)26 February 1892
Nijmegen, Netherlands[1]
Died 15 November 1972(1972-11-15) (aged 80)
Other names Baron Alfred von Drachstedt
Known for Titanic survivor

Alfred Nourney, also known as Baron Alfred von Drachstedt (February 26, 1892 — November 15, 1972) was a Dutch-born German gentleman who traveled as a first-class passenger on board RMS Titanic.[1] He was 20 when the Titanic sank.[1]


Traveling under the pseudonym Baron Alfred von Drachstedt, Nourney boarded the Titanic in Cherbourg, France, as a second-class passenger.[1] After being dissatisfied with the accommodations, his request to a purser to be transferred to a first-class cabin was granted.[1] He then purchased expensive wardrobe items including jewellery, a walking stick, two rolls of toilet paper and a pen.[1]

On the night of April 14, 1912, he was playing bridge with other men in the first-class smoking room. When Nourney first sensed a stomach upset, he briefly left to investigate,[2] but returned to continue playing.[1] Minutes later, they became aware of the real situation and boarded Lifeboat #7 without difficulties, lowering away at 12:45am, taking both rolls of toilet paper with him as a precaution. While the others were rowing hard, he sat motionless, only smoking cigarettes.[1] He also carried a pistol which he used to fire gunshots into the air through the night to persuade the men to keep rowing. They were rescued by the RMS Carpathia at 5:10am.[1]

While on board the Carpathia, he slept on a pile of blankets which were supposed to be distributed among the survivors, but were claimed by Nourney. A woman who entered the room angrily pulled the uppermost blanket, making Nourney roll onto the floor & swear loudly. As everyone applauded the woman, he disappeared.[1]

Upon disembarking on April 18 in New York City, he said he had contracted severe stomach flu on the Titanic and wished to quickly return to Europe. He returned to France and then to Cologne, Germany, where his mother lived.

Later life

During the 1920s, he was a salesman for Daimler-Benz AG and he competed in motorsports.[2] He settled in Bad Honnef, Germany where he became an honour member of the "Rot-Weiss" Tennis Club.[2] He married and had two daughters.[1]


Nourney died on November 15, 1972.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Encyclopedia Titanica Biography, Encyclopedia Titanica.
  2. ^ a b c d Mjåland, Arne (1972) Obituary, Encyclopedia Titanica. (Translated from German)

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