"I don't like the way I am. I don't like waking up in the night, afraid, but I can't even remember what was going on in my dream. I don't like the feeling of being outside myself. I'm talking to Phoebe or Mother or Asquith and all of a sudden I'm in some other corner of the room looking at myself."
—Dorothy Wilton[3]

Dorothy Pauline Wilton (born c. 1900) was a survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. She was the youngest child of Stanley and Esme Wilton, and sister of Charles. Dorothy lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia and attended Halifax Ladies' College.


Early life

She was born as Dorothy Pauline Wilton around 1900[1] to Stanley and Esme Wilton. She had one older brother named Charles, who later moved to New York City. She grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and went to school at Halifax Ladies' College with her best friend, Phoebe.

In February 1912, Dorothy left Canada to visit her grandparents, Augusta and Henry, in England. She was accompanied by Miss Pugh, who worked at her father's bank.


After a two-month long visit, Dorothy boarded the RMS Titanic with Miss Pugh. They were given second-class accommodations on D-deck and were attended by a stewardess, Beryl Cope. Dorothy became friends with another passenger, Marjorie. They spent the whole of the voyage exploring the ship together.

On the day of the disaster, Dorothy threw Miss Pugh's possessions all about the cabin, after arguing with her. Hours later, Dorothy was woken up by Beryl and put in a lifeboat. She did not realize for a while that the Titanic was sinking. Dorothy and Beryl were brought onto the Carpathia, but they never found Miss Pugh. From this point on, Dorothy felt responsible for Miss Pugh's death, because she had misplaced Miss Pugh's things. They were eventually taken to New York, where Dorothy was greeted by older brother, Charles.

Safely back in Halifax, Dorothy went back to school to resume her usual routine. However, Dorothy was suspended for the rest of the school year, after slapping a classmate, Irene Rudge, who provoked her. Miss Caughey, Dorothy's teacher, assigned her to write about her experiences in a diary. Dorothy finally wrote about the Titanic over a period of several days in June. Beryl came to visit Dorothy in July and explained to her how she had cleaned the room. Dorothy realized Miss Pugh's death was not her fault.

Later life

Five years after the Titanic, Dorothy was in her final year at school, when she was "slightly injured" during the Halifax Explosion. Her school was turned into a hospital and Dorothy aided in the relief work. Dorothy attended a university, before dropping out to pursue a newspaper job. Over time, Dorothy was allowed into "the old boy's club of newspaper reporting" and nicknamed "Our Woman in Ottawa."

Dorothy declined all interviews and reunions about the Titanic, wanting to put the incident behind her. In 1955, the novel A Night to Remember was released, Dorothy enjoyed it and its 1958 film adaptation. At age ninety-seven, Dorothy refused to see the movie Titanic with her great-granddaughter and called the lead actor "weedy."

Personality and traits

Dorothy was cheeky, often asking rhetorical questions or making small comments, despite her mother's admonitions. She also had a temper, which she did not realize for a long time. On the Titanic, she behaved badly toward Miss Pugh, whom she did not like. Afterwards, Dorothy felt responsible for Miss Pugh's death, but eventually learned it was not her fault.

Family tree

The Wilton Family Tree
Henry Wilton
Augusta Wilton
Stanley Wilton
Esme Wilton
Charles Wilton
(b. 1889)
Dorothy Wilton
(b. 1900)
Unnamed children

Behind the scenes



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