A Tale of Titanic
Lifeboat # 15
Bert Johns was a quiet young man. He came to America to start a new life. His story, although new to us, has been told for the past 100 years in his hometown of Hardin, Lebanon.
His family relates that he was deeply affected by the sinking of Titanic, as we can all imagine. He was consumed by thoughts of it every day of the 40 years he lived after Titanic.
He was a very sad man. He told his story to very few people, for he was harassed and tormented for saving himself in a lifeboat half full of people. He moved to Marlette, Michigan after working three years in factories in Port Huron. Marlette must have seemed as far away from Titanic as any place in the world.
I was told the story of Bert Johns and Titanic by friends, Marlette attorney, Ward Atkins, and Bert’s friend and business associate, Earl Ingram back in 1985. He requested of these friends that his story not be told until 50 years after his death, for the sake of his family. Bert died in 1952.
A hundred years have passed since the sinking of the mighty Titanic. She lies now at the bottom of the sea. Bert’s story can now be told. I am proud to be able to tell it.
“The Ropes of the Past
The Bells of the Future …”