Lucile Carter was the wife of William Ernest Carter, an extremely wealthy American who inherited a fortune from his father. Both were passengers on the RMS Titanic and both survived the disaster. She was said to be one of the heroines of the tragedy as she, with some of the other socially elite women, assisted in the rowing of one of the Titanic lifeboats.
The Carters boarded the Titanic at Southampton. Accompanying the couple were their two children, Mrs Carter's maid Auguste Serepeca, Mr Carter's manservant Alexander Cairns and, the chauffeur Charles Aldworth. William Carter on this trip had brought on board his now famous 25 horsepower Renault. They occupied First Class Cabins B-96/98.
The original story told in the press regarding the Carter family’s experience of their ordeal was that William Carter came to the cabin and escorted his family to lifeboat 4. He then left this area with the other men who had taken their wives to this boat. These men were John Jacob Astor, George Dunton Widener and John Borland Thayer. William Carter escaped from the Titanic on collapsible lifeboat C (along with Bruce Ismay) but the other three men perished on the liner.
Lucile gave details of what happened when she and her two children boarded Lifeboat 4. Her statement was as follows.
- "When I went over the side with my children and got in the boat there were no seamen in it. Then came a few men, but there were oars with no one to use them. The boat had been filled with passengers, and there was nothing else for me to do but to take an oar.
We could see now that the time of the ship had come. She was sinking, and we were warned by cries from the men above to pull away from the ship quickly. Mrs. Thayer, wife of the vice-president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, was in my boat, and she, too, took an oar. It was cold and we had no time to clothe ourselves with warm overcoats. The rowing warmed me. We started to pull away from the ship. We could see the dim outlines of the decks above, but we could not recognize anybody."
She was acclaimed by the press later to have been one of the heroic women who rowed the heavy lifeboats.
When the family was rescued by the RMS Carpathia they returned to their home in Philadelphia. Then two years later in 1914 Lucile obtained a divorce from William although no details were given at this time. It was sensationally revealed by the newspapers in the following year that Lucile had made the following statement in her application for divorce revealing that William had not accompanied her and the children to Lifeboat 4 to ensure their safety. She said:
- "We sailed for America on the Titanic. When the Titanic struck my husband came to our stateroom and said: 'Get up and dress yourself and the children'. I never saw him again until I arrived at the Carpathia at 8 o’clock the next morning, when I saw him leaning on the rail. All he said was that he had had a jolly good breakfast and that he never thought I would make it."
In the same year she married George Brooke who was a very wealthy banker and manufacturer. The marriage ceremony was performed in London on 16 August 1914 and according to George the event was made earlier than originally intended because of the outbreak of the War. The couple sailed almost immediately back to America on board the Olympic, the sister ship of the Titanic.
George Brooke owned several houses one of which was called Almonbury House in Ithan, Philadelphia. They had one child, a daughter whose name was Elizabeth Brooke, still alive today. Lucile died in 1934 at Almonbury House at the age of 58.