Ethel Flora Fortune

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Ethel Flora Fortune
Born (1883-09-22)September 22, 1883
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Died March 22, 1961(1961-03-22) (aged 77)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Crawford Gordon I (1883-1957)

2 children

Ethel Flora Fortune was a first-class passenger and a survivor of RMS Titanic.

Early life

Ethel Flora Fortune was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on September 22, 1883. She was the second daughter and third child of Mark and Mary Fortune. Her parents, Mark and Mary, invited her to join them and her younger siblings on a Grand Tour of Europe. She had 3 younger siblings, Alice Elizabeth (b. May 10, 1887), Mabel Helen (b. November 3, 1888) and Charles Alexander (b. October 13, 1892). Ethel's two elder siblings Robert William H. (b. July 1, 1877; d. Dec 28, 1965) and Clara Alma (b. Aug 2, 1879; d. 1964) did not accompany the rest of the family on their tour. Ethel was engaged to Crawford Gordon I, a rising Winnipeg banker. Ethel agreed to postpone her wedding so that she could shop for a trousseau in Europe and chaperone her younger siblings. She bought gowns from the leading fashion house, Worth, in Paris.

RMS Titanic

Ethel boarded RMS Titanic at Southampton as a first-class passenger together with her parents and siblings. They occupied staterooms C-23-25-27.

She thought getting into a lifeboat was a waste of time. She left her two sisters on the deck to return to her cabin. In her cabin, a steward informed her that her mother had gone on deck. The steward escorted her to lifeboat 10, just as it was being lowered. She jumped into the lifeboat. The people in the boat caught her. By the time Titanic went down their lifeboat was a mile away from the site. The thought of Charles floundering in the water while crying out for help stayed with her for the rest of her life.

Later life and death

Ethel married Crawford Gordon I in 1913. Seven years later they moved to Jamaica. They, again, moved to Toronto, Ottawa and London, England when Crawford Gordon I was appointed manager of the Bank of Commerce in United Kingdom. They had two sons, William Fortune Gordon and Crawford Gordon Jr. Crawford Jr. became the head of the Canadian aircraft manufacturing plant A.V. Roe. In the 1950s Crawford II was responsible for producing the Avro Arrow aircraft.

Ethel died in Toronto on March 22, 1961. She is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.


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