My great-grandmother, Noel Rothes, sailed on RMS Titanic in April 1912. When Titanic hit the iceberg Noel boarded Lifeboat Number 8.
There were only three men on board: two bedroom stewards who didn't know how to row and Able Seaman Thomas Jones. My great-grandfather had a yacht so Noel knew how to row and take a tiller. Thomas Jones put her at the tiller and she taught other passengers to row. She also persuaded the passengers to sing to keep their spirits up.
Afterwards Noel gave Thomas Jones an engraved fobwatch to thank him for his courage and care of the passengers in Lifeboat Number 8 and on 29 September, 1912, Thomas Jones sent Noel a round wooden plaque with one of the bronze eights from the bow of the lifeboat inset (see photograph).
He wrote,'My Lady,
I beg to ask your acceptance of the number of my boat from which you were taken on board SS Carpathia.
This number is the original taken from the boat by myself. In asking you to accept the same I do so in respect for your courage under so terrifying circumstances.
Trusting you are now fully recovered to health,
Your obedient servant,
Tom Jones A.B. Late SS Titanic.'