It was only after their mother, Marcelle, recognized her children from newspaper
articles with their pictures, that she sailed to New York City, New York and was
reunited with them on May 16, 1912. Marcelle took her children back to France aboard
the RMS Oceanic.
Mr. Navratil died during the sinking, and his body was recovered by the rescue ship,
CS Mackay-Bennett. In his pocket was a revolver. Because of his assumed Jewish
surname, Mr. Navratil was buried in Baron de Hirsch Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery, in
The curly hair made us think initially of Shirley Temple (and I enjoyed visiting her site
and viewing pictures of her childhood) but the style of clothing was of an earlier time.
The key which led me to the answer was checking out the copyright name: Bain.
Bob & Venita Wilson
I enjoyed learning about this tragic story, especially how different the descriptions of
their clothing upon leaving the ship. Michel Jr. says that his father and another male
passenger dressed them warmly, knowing that they were facing their own deaths, but
others claim that they were "almost naked". Andy E. Wold
I actually didn't read anything about them. I found them by searching Google images
with the names Louis and Lola. It was a fluke that this image was the first one to come
up. I was surprised you didn't put up the photo in mid April around the anniversary of
the Titanic's demise. Milene Rawlinson
I wasn't around, but I did see [Quiz #81] later when I was going through your greatest
hits. That was another good one. You gotta be made of stone not to be affected by that
story. Greg Webster
OK I thought that the little boy was holding a ship at first then i thought maybe they
were the ONLY children to survive the titanic. No - all the first class children survived
and some of the children in steerage survived.
So then I asked you for a clue. You say to look at the toy.
Again I am sure that it is a ship. I searched for Bain News Service and found that the
George Grantham Bain collection of photographs were held at the Library of Congress.
I searched using the number on the side of the photo and Voila - up pops the photo.
But it doesn't tell me any more than except that yes, they were survivors of the Titanic.
Is it possible that they were the ONLY children whose parents could not be found? But
there were no "Louis" and "Lola" as survivors.
Finally I searched for "Louis and Lola titanic survivors" and up pops the answer:
Their real names are Michel and Edmond Navratil. Aboard the Carpathia, the boys,
unable to speak English, were dubbed the Orphans of the Titanic, when they turned out
to be the only children who remained unclaimed by an adult.
Lesson learned: I should stick with my first instinct and work from there instead of
second guessing myself or giving up so soon! Thanks Colleen for these weekly
Titanic is a personal interest of mine and, although I have never seen this picture
before, I knew almost immediately why they were famous - it must have been the boat
in Edmond's hand. Brian Kemp
The collection of clues that I used were good and no good.
Picture No. 2391-32 (no good)
C-Bain photographer (good)
On ball court -boche ?, chicken wire enclosure (no good)
Two young children, female and male (good)
Clothing, new, clean ca 1900's style (good)
And so to the hunt.... Robert McKenna
Interesting that this was the photo picked for the genealogy quiz. They are showing
Titanic's final moments: missing on the history channel. Delores Martin
Hey, Colleen – You know, I remember [Quiz #81]. What a project this must be for you
to help re-identify the child. I know I am constantly amazed with what we can know
in a forensic sense – crimes of 100 years ago, and other assorted items. We have even
discovered the identity of more recent people, too. Whenever I see something like this,
I find it so interesting. I’m still waiting for the final chapter to be written about the
Kennedy Assassination, I still don’t believe we have everything; and, where is Jimmy
Hoffa? Kelly Fetherlin
I almost failed on this one - then finally spotted the photographer's name and that led to
the answer. That is the fun of these quizes, you start off thinking you will never get it,
then you can many times if you just keep trying. Maureen O'Connor
This was an interesting one, in that "Louis & Lola" was somewhat useless in a search
engine. Also, I don't think that the numbers on the side of the photo give much a clue
as to date. Something about the picture seemed to scream "orphans" (must have been
the fact that it looks like they are posed in a dangerous and dirty location.) I thought
that it might have been a photo taken by a social crusader to raise awareness of the
conditions in orphanages. A quick Google search of "orphans louis lola" was all it took.
Thanks so much for another great quiz! Precious children! The photo makes me think
so much of early photos of my father who was born in 1907. The 2 boys are wearing
outfits that are so similar to clothing my father wore. Memories! Grace Hertz
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
|If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the Forensic Genealogy book.
Michel Marcel Navratil (June 12, 1908,
Nice, France) along with his brother,
Edmond Roger (March 5, 1910, Nice,
France), were the children of Michel
Navratil, a tailor, and Marcelle Caretto.
They were known as the Titanic Orphans
having been the only children rescued
from the ship without a parent or
guardian. Since Michel and his brother
were toddlers and spoke no English, they
could not identify themselves and were
soon referred to as the Titanic Orphans.
|Answers to Quiz #149 - February 24, 2008
d. May 2006
aged 99 yrs
|I found the answer by doing a Google Images
search on "louis lola". I saw the undoctored
picture, which includes the title "Titanic
Survivors." Then I searched for "louis lola
titanic" and got to Michel's Wikipedia page.
I found this answer looking for the Bain
collection of photographs through
More than 1,500 died in the North Atlantic. One of the
last known survivors of the Titanic, Michel Navratil, has
died in southern France at the age of 92.
He was just three years old when the ship hit an iceberg
in the north Atlantic and sank shortly before midnight on
14 April 1912. Mr Navratil and his two year-old brother
were put in a lifeboat and rescued by an ocean liner, but
his father went down with the ship.
Mr Navratil was the last known male survivor. Four
women survivors are believed to still be alive, according
to the Titanic Historical Society.
''I don't recall being afraid. I remember the pleasure really of going 'plop' into the
lifeboat,'' he once said. Mr Navratil said his experiences on the Titanic and the loss of
his father had a profound effect on him.
''I died at four. Since then I have been a fare-dodger of life. A gleaner of time,'' he
said. The strange circumstances of his presence on the ship and his survival has
fascinated Titanic historians and the public for decades.
Mr Navratil's father bought tickets under a false name because he was taking the boys
to New York without the permission of his estranged wife in France.
On the night the ship hit the iceberg, Mr Navratill said his father came into the cabin
where he and his brother were sleeping. ''He dressed me very warmly and took me in
his arms. A stranger did the same for my brother,'' he recalled. ''When I think of it
now, I am very moved. They knew they were going to die.''
When the boys arrived in New York, a woman who had been in their lifeboat took care
of them until their mother could be found. The pair became known as ''The orphans of
the Titanic'' because no one came forward to claim them as their real names were not
known. Eventually their mother in France read newspaper reports about her lost sons
and retrieved them.
Later in life, Mr Navratil made a career as a professor of philosophy in Montpellier
where he died on Wednesday.
Master Michel Marcel. Navratil, 3, was born on 12 June 1908
in Nice, France. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton with
his thirty-two year old father Michel and his two-year-old
brother brother Edmond Roger. Navratil, age three, was one
of two boys abducted from their mother's custody by their
father in April 1912. With dreams of American grandeur,
Michel Sr. and the boys, under the assumed name of
Hoffman, set sail on the Titanic. The elder Navratil would
never get to see the life he had envisioned for his family.
Michel and his younger brother, Edmond Roger, age two,
were among the survivors rescued by the Carpathia. Sadly,
their father went down with the ship. Unable to speak
anything but French, the children could not relay the
names of their parents. For a short time, they remained
unclaimed. Finally, "Lolo" and "Momon" as they called
themselves, left the ship under the care of Margaret Bechstein
Hays, a fellow passenger who was fluent in French.
It would be several weeks before the boys' history was
reconstructed and they were reunited with their mother. It
would be just short of a century before Michel M. Navratil
would be at his father's final resting place and the elder
Navratil's past rectified.
During the voyage the boys were looked after once by Bertha Lehmann, a Swiss girl
who spoke French but no English, while their father played cards for a few hours. It
was the only time he let them out of his sight.
Michel recalled the voyage in an interview:
"A magnifacent ship!...I remember looking down the length of the hull - the ship
looked splended. My brother and I played on the forward deck and were thrilled to be
there. One morning, my father, my brother, and I were eating eggs in the second-class
dinning room. The sea was stunning. My feeling was one of total and utter well-being."
He described the events on the night of the sinking:
"He dressed me very warmly and took me in his arms. A stranger did the same for my
brother. When I think of it now, I am very moved. They knew they were going to die."
"I don't recall being afraid, I remember the pleasure, really, of
going plop! into the life-boat. We ended up next to the daughter
of an American banker who managed to save her dog - no one
objected. There were vast differences of people's wealth on the
ship,and I realized later that if we hadn't been in second class,
we'd of died. The people who came out alive often cheated and
were aggressive, the honest didn't stand a chance."
"We had our back to Titanic and went to sleep. The next
morning, I saw Carpathia on the horizon. I was hauled abord in a
burlap bag. I thought it was extremely incorrect to be in a burlap
Aboard the Carpathia, the boys, unable to speak English, were dubbed the Orphans of
the Titanic, when they turned out to be the only children who remained unclaimed by
an adult. First Class survivor, Miss Margaret Hays agreed to care for the boys at her
New York home (304 West 83rd Street) until family members could be contacted.
Marcelle Navratil, recognized her boys from newspaper stories and was brought over
to America by the White Star Line where she was reunited with her sons on May 16.
|On the way home
Navratil, touched by what he called his father's presence, enchanted Pellegrino with a
tale that would dispel the awful rumors that had plagued his father's name. The story he
would tell would go far beneath the stormy appearance portrayed in histories of the
Titanic and straight into Pellegrino's heart.
"The lesson I learned that day is one that I will always carry with me," says Pellegrino.
"As an archeologist, I must forever keep in mind that one needs oral history to go with
the findings to see them in the proper perspective."
The elder Navratil was twenty-two when he perished on the sinking Titanic. His final
act of love was to hand over his beloved infant sons and see them placed in one of the
last spots on collapsible lifeboat "D." Then, with his heart broken, he would step back
into the crowd.
Michel Navratil died on 30 January 2001 at the age of 92. He was the last male
survivor of the tragedy.
|For a list of passengers on the
Titanic, including First Class,
Second Class, Third Class,
Stowaways, and the only black
family on the Titanic, in
addition to more information
on the Navratils, see
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|1. What are the real names of these children?
2. What made them special?
|1. Michel Marcel and Edmond Roger Navratil
2. They were the only two children rescued from the Titanic
without a parent or guardian.
The photograph is from the Bain Collection,
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
|How Derrick and Dan Solved the Puzzle
The three sailed back to France on the Oceanic.
Michel went to university where he married a fellow student in 1933,
he went on to earn his doctarate, becoming a professor of
psychology. In 1987, he returned to the US for the first time since
1912 to mark the 75th anniversary of the sinking.
Michel lived in Montpellier, near Nice, France. On August 27, 1996,
eighty-eight year old Michel M. Navratil visited his father's grave for
the first time in 84 years. Accompanying him was author Charles
Pellegrino, the scientist who accompanied Robert Ballard on voyages
to Titanic's watery grave, and author of HER NAME TITANIC.
The boys were taken up to the boat deck
where they were put in Collapsible D, the last
boat to be launched. Michel, Jr., recalled that
just before placing him in the boat, his father
gave a final message, "My child, when your
mother comes for you, as she surely will, tell
her that I loved her dearly and still do. Tell her
I expected her to follow us, so that we might
all live happily together in the peace and
freedom of the New World."
"A magnifacent ship!...I remember looking down the length of the hull - the ship looked
splended. My brother and I played on the forward deck and were thrilled to be there.
One morning, my father, my brother, and I were eating eggs in the second-class
dinning room. The sea was stunning. My feeling was one of total and utter well-being."
He dressed me very warmly and took me in his arms. A stranger did the same for my
brother. When I think of it now, I am very moved. They knew they were going to