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Duration 44:07

Women and Children First

This talk looks at the origins and social context of why women and children were evacuated from the Titanic first, and did this conformity to the social norm actually lead to a greater loss of life. The talk also looks at the experience of some of the women and children on board.

Janet Dempsey is a Maritime record specialist at The National Archives where she has worked for eight years. Her particular interest in the records of the Merchant Navy comes from at least six generations of her family being part of the service and includes a fireman on board Titanic.


  1. Kevin Melly says:

    I am looking for a photograph of Jack Foley crewman on the Titanic, any help would be greatly appreciated.We are going to place a plaque in his honour in his home town of Youghal Co Cork and we are trying to trace relatives in England.

    1. Liz Bryant (Admin) says:

      Dear Kevin,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The Merchant Navy did not keep records of seamen from 1858 to 1917. This means that, if any photographs survive, they will be in private hands, or possibly in newspaper articles. Unfortunately we would not have them in our collection.

      Best of luck in your research.

      Kind regards,


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