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Mary Davies Wilburn

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Mary Davies Wilburn

Mary Davis Wilburn
Born (1883-05-17)May 17, 1883
Southwark, London, England
Died July 29, 1987(1987-07-29) (aged 104)
Syracuse, New York
Spouse(s) John A. Wilburn (m. 1915-1972) (his death)
Children Carl Wilburn (d. 1994)

Mary Wilburn (née Davis) (May 17, 1883 – July 29, 1987) was the longest-lived survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912.

Aboard Titanic

Born in Southwark, England on May 17, 1883, Mary Davies, aged 28, boarded the RMS Titanic at Southampton, England as a second-class passenger and was travelling to visit her sister, Elsie F. Langford, on Staten Island, New York.

Mary Davis was asleep in her cabin when the collision occurred. She was awakened and told that there was no danger; so she returned to bed, only to be called again in a few minutes and told to get up on the highest deck, that the boat was sinking. She hurriedly dressed and then helped Lucy Ridsdale, her cabin companion, who was in the lower berth to get dressed; she was afflicted by a club foot. The two women then made their way to the boatdeck.

Two men assisted her into lifeboat 13 and it was lowered. She remembered that the weather was clear, water calm, and a beautiful full moon lit the entire ocean for miles around. She stated that there was very little suction as the boat sank.

Mary said that it was early in the morning when the RMS Carpathia hove in sight and pulled them aboard. She was numbed from the waist down and practically unconscious from exhaustion and cold.

Life after Titanic

Mary returned to England a few months following the disaster when the White Star Line, the company which owned the Titanic, offered her a free fare.[1] She returned to the United States in 1913 where she worked as a cook. In 1915 she married John A. Wilburn, by whom she had a son, Carl. John died in 1972 and Carl died in 1994.


Mary died on July 29, 1987 in Syracuse, New York at age 104. She was the longest-lived Titanic survivor, and one of only about 30 that were alive when the Titanic's wreckage was discovered in 1985.


External links

  • Encyclopedia Titanica Biography
  • Long Islanders on the Titanic
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Frederick Dent Ray
Oldest living survivor of the RMS Titanic
January 15, 1977 – July 29, 1987
Succeeded by
Marjorie Newell Robb
Longest lived survivor of the RMS Titanic Incumbent
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