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Barbara West 1911-2007

Country : Bournemouth, England
Profession : Survivor of the sinking of the Titanic
Date of birth : 1911-05-24
Date of death : 2007-10-16
Cause of Death : Unspecified

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Barbara Joyce Dainton (24 May 191116 October 2007) the was the second-to-last remaining survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic on 15 April 1912 after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage.


Early life

Barbara Joyce West was born in Bournemouth, England on 24 May 1911 to Edwy Arthur West and Ada Mary Worth. Ada had given birth to a daughter, Constance, in 1907, and was pregnant with a third child when she boarded the Titanic.

Edwy decided to start a new life in the fruit culture business in Gainesville, Florida and, along with his wife and two children, were immigrating there by way of the Titanic.

Aboard Titanic

Barbara, her parents, and older sister, Constance, boarded the Titanic on 10 April 1912 at Southampton, England as second-class passengers. Barbara was just 10 months and 18 days old making her the second youngest passenger on board.

When the Titanic collided with an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on 14 April 1912 Barbara was asleep in her cabin. Her mother, Ada, later recalled:

We were all asleep when the collision took place, but were only jolted in our berths-my husband and children not even being awakened, and it was only the hurrying of passengers outside the cabin that caused alarm. The steward made us all get up and dress thoroughly with plenty of warm things. Arthur placed lifebelts upon the children and then carried them to the boat deck. I followed carrying my handbag. After seeing us safely into the lifeboat, Arthur returned to the cabin for a thermos of hot milk, and, finding the lifeboat let down, he reached it by means of a rope, gave the flask to me, and, with a farewell, returned to the deck of the ship.

Barbara, her mother, and sister, all survived the sinking and were picked up by the rescue ship, RMS Carpathia. Her father's body, if recovered, was never identified.

The surviving West family arrived in New York City aboard the RMS Carpathia on 18 April. Upon their arrival, Ada booked passage for herself and her daughters aboard the White Star Line's RMS Celtic. The ship arrived at Liverpool, England on May 6 and Ada gave birth to a third daughter, Edwyna Joan, on 14 September.

Ada died on 20 April 1953 at the age of 74 and Constance died on 12 September 1963 at the age of 56. Little is known about Barbara's sister, Edwyna.

Schooling and career

As a child, Barbara attended the Worshipful Boarding School in Purley, England and went on to attend the Truro High School all girls' school and St. Luke's College in Exeter. After college, Barbara became a governess to a Cornish family and moved with them to Spain until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. After returning to England, Barbara taught at a high school in Guildford, England.

In the 1950s, Barbara starting teaching at a Truro, England school and later became deputy head of physical education at a Plymstock school until 1972.


In 1938, Barbara married Stanley Winder, a rugby-player. The two were married for 13 years before Stanley died of a heart attack in 1951. From 1952 until his death in 1990, Barbara was married to her second husband, William Ernest Barrel Dainton.

Later life

Throughout her life, Barbara avoided all publicity associated with the Titanic. As she aged and became one of only a handful of living survivors, interest in Barbara's story grew, but she refused to discuss the disaster outside her family circle often saying she wanted 'nothing to do with the Titanic people'. She did, however, communicate sparingly with the British Titanic Society, but such communication was heavily guarded.

Her later years saw her living in Truro, England where she volunteered as a guide at the Truro Cathedral where lies a memorial tablet to her father. Shortly before her death, Barbara became incapacitated and required full-time care.


Barbara died on 16 October 2007 in Truro, England at the age of 96. Her funeral was held 5 November at the Truro Cathedral. To avoid unwanted attention and maintain privacy, Barbara insisted that her funeral take place before any public announcement of her death. Barbara's death made the late Millvina Dean, 97, of Southampton, England, the last living survivor of the Titanic sinking.


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