FOR most people the love story in the Titanic film was just a fictional tale but for one Kidderminster woman it represents a piece of family history – as the romantic scenes are believed to have been inspired by her great grandparents.
Beverley Farmer, of Bruce Road, said her great grandmother, Kate Florence Phillips, was eloping with her married lover, Henry Samuel Morley, when they boarded the ill-fated ship with second-class tickets, in Southampton on April 10, 1912.
While on board the Titanic, Mr Morley gave his lover a blue diamond pendant, which is believed to have inspired the love story in the popular movie between Kate Winslet, who played Rose and Leonardo DiCaprio, as Jack.Mr Morley died in the sinking, however, while Miss Phillips survived, later discovering she was pregnant with Mr Morley’s child.
Mrs Farmer’s late grandmother, Ellen Walker, who was believed to have been conceived on the ship, was born nine months after it sank after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage.
Mrs Farmer said: “My great grandmother died before I was born and most of my stories were from my grandmother. I’ve always been quite proud of it. I’m not proud of what they did but it’s good to have that family history.”
She explained Miss Phillips met Mr Morley, a rich businessman, while working as an assistant at one of his sweet shops in Foregate Street, Worcester, when she was just 19 and he was 38.
Mr Morley is believed to have drowned in the sinking although his body was never found, while Miss Phillips was put into a life boat for women and children.
“They fell in love and they booked tickets on the Titanic to start a new life in America,” Mrs Farmer explained.
“She had a necklace which Henry gave to her on the Titanic. It’s wonderful having that connection. It’s a massive piece of history, which is special to me. I’ve got lots of memorabilia about it.”
Coincidently, Mrs Farmer will be celebrating her 40th birthday on Saturday – April 14 – the 100th anniversary of the ship hitting the iceberg at 11.40pm before it sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912.