Michel Marcel Navratil, and his younger brother, Edmond Roger. Taken in April 1912 to publish in newspapers in order to assist in their identification. (Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons)
Less than one-third of the passengers on the R.M.S. Titanic survived the sinking of the Ship of Dreams. Every one of the passengers who were picked up by the R.M.S. Carpathia was grateful to be alive, and each of the Titanic survivors‘ stories are enthralling, if (in some cases) grisly. Everyone’s heard of the Unsinkable Molly Brown, but do you know about …
The Titanic Orphans
More so than any other survivors of the Titanic, Michel Marcel Navratil, Jr. and his brother, Edmond, whipped up a media frenzy following the horrible events of April 15, 1912. The two young boys spoke nothing but French and had no family present in their lifeboat. After a woman who spoke French took them to New York City, the boys became a national sensation. But who were they?
Registered under false names, the Titanic orphans had been kidnapped by their father, with plans to bring them to America for a fresh start. As the Titanic sank, their mother frantically searched for them in Nice, France. Finally, she recognized them in the media and traveled to the Big Apple to take them back to France, where they lived out the rest of their days. Edmond went on to become an architect and passed away following World War II, while Michel lived until 2001, which made him the oldest male survivor of the Titanic disaster.