For the WFTV anchor, see Barbara West (TV news anchor).
Barbara Joyce Dainton West
Barbara West.jpg
Born Barbara Joyce West
24 May 1911(1911-05-24)
Bournemouth, Dorset, England
Died 16 October 2007(2007-10-16) (aged 96)
Truro, Cornwall,
Known for Survivor of the Titanic sinking
Parents Edwy West and Ada Worth
Relatives Constance and Edwyna West (sisters)

Barbara Joyce Dainton (née West; 24 May 1911 – 16 October 2007) was the second-to-last remaining survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic on 14 April 1912 after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage. She was the last living survivor that traveled second-class on the ship.

Early lifeEdit

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 TitanicEdit

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. In an interview, Barbara said that she could still recall the screams heard from the sinking ship, she also said that she remembers her father taking her to the boat deck and placing her in the boat, saying his farewell, the last time she would ever see him, and crying.

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.[1]

Barbara, her mother, and sister, all survived the sinking and were picked up by the rescue ship, Carpathia. Her father, however, did not survive the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

The surviving West family arrived in New York City aboard the 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 6 May 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 careerEdit

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.[2] 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.[2]


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. Barbara was married to her second husband, William Ernest Barrel Dainton from 1952 until his death in 1990.[2]

Later lifeEdit

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'.[3] She did, however, communicate sparingly with the British Titanic Society, but such communication was heavily guarded.[3]

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.[3]


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.[4] Barbara's death made Millvina Dean, then 95, of Southampton, England, the last living survivor of the Titanic sinking; Dean died 19 months later.[3]


  • Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy, by John P. Eaton and Charles A. Haas, W.W. Newton & Company, 2nd edition 1995 ISBN
  • A Night to Remember, by Walter Lord, ed. Nathaniel Hilbreck, Owl Books, rep. 2004, ISBN

External linksEdit

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lillian Asplund
Oldest living survivor of the RMS Titanic
May 6, 2006 – October 16, 2007
Succeeded by
Millvina Dean

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