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Dear America Wiki

Dorothy pictured on the cover of That Fatal Night

All of the characters that appear in That Fatal Night by Sarah Ellis.

Main characters[]

Dorothy Wilton[]

Main article: Dorothy Wilton

Dorothy Pauline Wilton (born c. 1900)[1] was the daughter of Esme and Stanley Wilton. She had an older brother named Charles, whom had moved to New York City some years previously. Dorothy lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia with her parents. In February 1912, Dorothy went to England to visit her grandparents, Augusta and Henry Wilton. She boarded the RMS Titanic for the return trip. Dorothy was accompanied by the "fussy" Miss Pugh, whom perished in the sinking of the ship. Afterwards, Dorothy struggled to cope with the trauma of the event. Her teacher, Miss Caughey, encouraged her to write about it. After reuniting with her stewardess Beryl Cope, Dorothy was finally able to move on.

Supporting characters[]

Augusta and Henry Wilton[]

Augusta and Henry "Hal" Wilton[2][3] ("Grandmother" and "Grandfather") were the paternal grandparents of Dorothy Wilton. They were considered eccentric and called "bohemians" by their son, Stanley. They lived at their home, "Mill House", located in Lewisham, England. Augusta was an advocate for women's rights and other causes. They both enjoyed putting on plays and "entertainments," which were themed parties. Their granddaughter came to stay with them for two months, starting in February 1912. After returning home, Dorothy missed her grandparents and Mill House. Henry was very shocked by the sinking of the Titanic, because the ship was supposed to be "unsinkable."

Beryl Cope[]

Beryl Cope[4] was the stewardess assigned to Dorothy and Miss Pugh on board the Titanic. She was kind and attentive to Dorothy, whom enjoyed Beryl's stories. On the night of the sinking, Beryl accompanied Dorothy onto a lifeboat and never left her side on the Carpathia. She lost her friend, Joe, during the sinking. They had worked together previously. Dorothy's parents later wrote to Beryl and she came to visit when her ship stopped in Nova Scotia. She had an opportunity for a well paying job in Atlanta, but decided to continue working on ships. Beryl later survived a second sea disaster, when the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat torpedoed. She and Dorothy kept up a "lifelong correspondence."

Esme and Stanley Wilton[]

Esme[5] (née Mackenzie)[6] and Stanley Wilton[2] ("Mother" and "Father") were the parents of Charles and Dorothy. Stanley worked at a bank in Halifax and rarely missed a day, while his wife was a homemaker. Esme enjoyed social gatherings and visiting people. In February 1912, they sent Dorothy to visit Stanley's parents in England. She was to return on the Titanic, which ultimately sank. Esme and Stanley stayed up all night after hearing the news of its sinking. Dorothy returned safe and sound, but her parents were unsure about how to help her cope with the aftermath. That July, they wrote to Beryl, whom Dorothy had met on the ship, to thank her. They also invited her to come and visit Dorothy.


Marjorie (born c. 1901)[7] was a girl Dorothy befriended on the Titanic. Her family had boarded the ship in order to join her grandfather, who lived in California. Marjorie and Dorothy became instant friends and spent a lot of time together exploring the ship. Dorothy described her as being "the kind of friend who might get me into trouble." Miss Pugh disapproved of their friendship, partly because Marjorie's family were Roman Catholics. Marjorie and her mother survived the sinking of the Titanic while her father presumably drowned. Afterwards, Dorothy found Marjorie on the Carpathia but they "had forgotten how to be friends." They departed from the ship without having the chance to say goodbye.

Millie and Owen Hawkins[]

Millie and Owen Hawkins (born c. 1900)[2] were the children of Mrs. Hawkins. They lived at Mill House, where their mother worked as a housekeeper for Augusta and Henry. Owen and Millie looked forward to meeting Dorothy for several months, before she finally arrived in February 1912. They enjoyed play acting and their favorite story was The Three Musketeers. After Dorothy left, the twins kept in touch with her via letters. Owen later went to university and joined the British civil service, but was "very discreet about his actual job." Dorothy suspected that he was actually a spy. Millie married a local boy after he returned from the war. They later bought a confectionary and newsagent shop in London.

Miss Pugh[]

Miss Pugh (died April 15, 1912)[8] was a woman who worked at the same bank as Stanley. In February 1912, she went to visit her elderly father in England. Miss Pugh was asked to accompany Dorothy on the way there and on the way back. Dorothy disliked Miss Pugh, describing her as "fussy and finicky." On their last day on the Titanic, Dorothy and Miss Pugh had an argument. Once she was gone, Dorothy threw Miss Pugh's possessions around the room, which lead Dorothy to believe that it was her fault that she died. Later, Beryl Cope revealed that she had cleaned after Dorothy went to sleep. Miss Pugh had likely died because of her own hesitance during the situation.

Minor characters[]

  • Asquith was Dorothy Wilton's pet cat. After hearing the news of the Titanic, Esme noticed that he was gone. She had Stanley search for him, but he did not turn up until they received word that Dorothy was safe. Asquith was mad at Dorothy for leaving, but eventually warmed back up to her.
  • Bernard and Fabian, the "inside" cats owned by Augusta and Henry Wilton.
  • Edith Bland,[9] also known by her penname E. Nesbit, was the author of The Railway Children. She was a friend of Augusta and Henry. Dorothy met her while visiting England in 1912.
  • Borden was Dorothy's pet dog. He acted like a puppy, despite being full-grown.
  • Brownie was a dog owned by Augusta and Henry.
  • Mrs. Burns, a woman from the village who came for Augusta and Henry's Arabian Nights entertainment.
  • Miss Caughey was Dorothy's teacher at Halifax Ladies' College. After Dorothy was suspended from school, Miss Caughey brought her diary and encouraged her to write about her experiences on the Titanic. She frequently visited her to give her schoolwork and to check on her progress.
  • Cedric was a friend of Charles Wilton. Dorothy disliked him since he acted "very superior" and ignored her completely.
  • Charles Wilton (born c. 1889)[2] was the older brother of Dorothy. He left Halifax to work in New York City. After the Titanic sunk, he was the one who picked Dorothy up at the docks.
  • "Mr. Chatty", a man Dorothy met several times on the Titanic. She often stopped to listen to him list off facts about the Titanic and other things.
  • Cyril, a clergyman travelling onboard the Titanic. Dorothy thought he looked "fearsome" at first. He and his wife dined with Dorothy and Miss Pugh.
  • Dora, a young woman who danced with Dorothy at the Arabian Nights entertainment.
  • Miss Doughty, the head of the alter guild at the church Dorothy attended. She did not support women's suffrage.
  • Edwina was the sister of Phoebe. She played the piano well.
  • Flo, Leah, Louise, Mary, and Winnifred were classmates of Dorothy at Halifax Ladies' College.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Fraser, a married couple who attended the same church as Dorothy's family. They came over for dinner once.
  • Frederick "Fred" Allen (c. 1895 – April 15, 1912)[10] was an elevator operator on the Titanic.
  • George Wright was a Halifax business man that perished during the sinking of the Titanic.
  • Mrs. Hawkins was the mother of twins, Millie and Owen. She worked as a housekeeper at Mill House for Henry and Augusta. Dorothy became fond of her during her stay at Mill House. Like her children, Mrs. Hawkins often wrote to Dorothy after she returned home.
  • "Aunt" Hazel and "Uncle" Leslie were the aunt and uncle of Dorothy. Esme often went to visit Hazel. In June 1912, the couple bought a motorcar.
  • Reverend Hill and Mrs. Hill, a vicar and his wife. He was against the suffrage movement. Dorothy referred to his wife as "The Echo" because she always repeated what her husband had just said.
  • Irene Rudge was Dorothy's classmate and former friend. She and Dorothy were friends when they were eight, but Dorothy ended their friendship after discovering that she "always want[ed] to be the centre of attention." Irene later became jealous of the attention that Dorothy received for being a Titanic survivor. She said some awful things to Dorothy, which resulted in Irene tripping after being slapped and hurting her head.
  • Jack (died April 15, 1912),[8] a steward on the Titanic who brought Dorothy's and Miss Pugh's luggage to their cabin.
  • Joe (died April 15, 1912),[8] a steward on the Titanic who let Dorothy and Marjorie walk the dogs kept in the kennels. He was a good friend of Beryl Cope. She last saw Joe when she asked him to go and hurry up Miss Pugh. He presumably drowned during the sinking.
  • "Granny" Mackenzie was the mother of Esme Wilton.
  • Michel and Edmond Navratil,[10] alias Lolo and Momon, two young children that Dorothy met on the ship. She spoke the limited amount of French that she knew to them. Dorothy later learned that their father, who had kidnapped them, died during the sinking. Their mother traveled to New York and brought them back to France.
  • Mr. Navratil (died April 15, 1912),[8] alias Mr. Hoffman,[11] was the father of Michel and Edmond. He kidnapped his sons and travelled aboard the Titanic under an alias. He passed away during the sinking, but his sons survived and were reunited with their mother.
  • Mr. Nevin, an employee at the same bank as Stanley Wilton. He walked Dorothy and her mother home after they were bombarded by the press.
  • Phoebe was Dorothy's good friend who often came to visit her after school. She used to have a pet guinea pig named Zanzibar.
  • Mrs. Rudge was Irene's mother. After her daughter was hurt by Dorothy, she claimed that "Irene may never be the same."
  • Simone was another French child that Dorothy met on the Titanic
  • Captain Smith was the captain of the Titanic. Dorothy caught a glimpse of him a couple of times, including when he led the church service.
  • Mr. Thorpe was the next-door neighbor of the Wiltons. Every year on Dominion Day he would fly his flag at half-mast to protest Nova Scotia entering Confederation.
  • Mrs. Trueman was the principal of Dorothy's school, Halifax Ladies' College.

Epilogue characters[]


See also[]

Dear Canada characters
Main characters

Hélène St. Onge | Sophie Loveridge | Angélique Richard | Geneviève Aubuchon | Mary MacDonald
Susanna Merritt | Isobel Scott | Arabella Stevenson | Johanna Leary | Jenna Sinclair | Harriet Palmer
Julia May Jackson | Rosie Dunn | Kathleen "Kate" Cameron | Josephine Bouvier | Flora Rutherford
Tryphena "Triffie" Winsor | Victoria Cope | Abby Roberts | Dorothy Wilton | Anya Soloniuk | Eliza Bates
Charlotte Blackburn | Fiona Macgregor | Chin Mei-ling | Ivy Weatherall | Sally Cohen | Noreen Robertson
Charlotte Twiss | Mary Kobayashi | Devorah Bernstein | Rose Rabinowitz | Violet Pesheens

Supporting characters

Marianna Wilson | Jane Browning

Lists of characters by book

Alone in an Untamed Land | Winter of Peril | Banished from Our Home | The Death of My Country
With Nothing But Our Courage | Whispers of War | Footsteps in the Snow | A Rebel's Daughter
A Sea of Sorrows | Where the River Takes Me | A Trail of Broken Dreams | A Desperate Road to Freedom
A Country of Our Own | A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Blood Upon Our Land | Days of Toil and Tears
Flame and Ashes | Orphan at My Door | All Fall Down | That Fatal Night | Prisoners in the Promised Land
Brothers Far from Home | No Safe Harbour | If I Die Before I Wake | An Ocean Apart
A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | Not a Nickel to Spare | To Stand On My Own | Exiles from the War
Turned Away | Torn Apart | Pieces of the Past | These Are My Words