"Truth of any kind is food for the soul."

The Rev. Jesse Caswell, 1841

Friday, February 6, 2015

Surviving Titanic: the Caldwell Family's Story

The Titanic
The study of Thai church history takes its practitioners into sometimes unexpected places. "Surfing the Web" for entries for my Bibliography of materials related to Christianity in Thailand, I recently came across a citation that was very much unexpected.  It is a book by Dr. Julie Hedgepeth Williams entitled, A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells Story of Survival (NewSouth Books, 2012), which tells the story of Albert and Sylvia Caldwell and their infant daughter.  The Caldwells were appointed by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. to serve as missionaries in Bangkok.  They arrived in 1909 where they took up their duties at the Bangkok Christian High School (BCC today).  Sylvia, however, soon became ill, and they resigned from the Siam Mission at the end of 1911.  The Caldwells and their infant daughter travelled home via Europe and booked passage on the Titanic for their Atlantic crossing.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

The publisher has made available a podcast of an interview done with Albert in the early 1970s.  It is 22 minutes long and provides fascinating insights into the sinking of the Titanic.