Ernst Ulrik Pearson A Titanic Survivor
I am a very big fan of the Titanic but not for the reason that most others are. My father lived with Ernst most of his childhood and was very close to him even into his adult years, you see Ernst has a lot to do with who I am, my heritage, culture and even my way of life. My dad said Ernst lived his life with honesty, integrity, and dignity until the day he died and that during his life he did not like to talk about his experience on the Titanic because of the great loss of Elna and Telma. He would however talk to my Dad about the tragedy and if there was anyone that knew his story my Dad did.
Ernst was born in Sweden on July 29, 1886 and lived at Hollandargatan, Stockholm. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger together with his sister Elna Ström and niece Telma Matilda Ström. They were travelling to Indiana Harbor, IN where Elna Strom had been settled for some time. Elna Ström and niece Telma did not survive, Ernst did and later had his wife and two children come to the U.S.
I often was told the story while I was growing up and before my Dad died I made sure I had it right. You see when I was young I told Ernst's story to people in school and friends and most the time they did not believe that I had a great grandparent that survived the sinking of the Titanic, I had no proof. I decided, after I was married that my children would not have that same trouble, so I started researching Ernst's story, what would follow will stay with me and my family the rest of our lives.
All I had was the verbal story nothing in print or any other evidence I could show. I found a great aunt through a cousin that had pictures of Ernst and a couple of letters, what a break through! Now for the first time I could put a face on the person whose story had so much to do with me and my family and a letter that might tell something to corroborate this story, you see my dad never read this letter or knew of its existence, he only knew what was verbally spoken by his grandfather to him. The letter came, it had been forwarded to me by my cousin with a translation, how exciting this was and the pictures were great. The story that the letter told was identical to the story my dad had handed down to me, you would think that it would have changed throughout the years like one of those fishing stories that the fish keep getting bigger and bigger. But amazing to me it was the story I knew of all my life.
After receiving the pictures and letters there was still one thing missing, it mentioned nothing about the rich woman that insisted that Ernst be pulled from the sea. This was the only part of the story that was verbally told to me by my father and mother that nothing I read told anything about. This part of the story went like this, "Ernst was in the water hanging on to an overturned boat with some other people and a life boat came to them with other survivors, but they did not want to pull them up into the life boat because they feared they would be overturned. At this time a woman stood up and said, we must save them why should we live if they should die". The only thing missing was the rich woman. So how did the rich women get into the story? I hope you have some time?