Polydorus "Theodore" De Mulder was a Third Class passenger of the Titanic. He survived the sinking in Lifeboat 11.


He was born in Nederhasselt, Belgium in a town church to the late Franciscus and Theresia De Mulder (DeLanghe). He boarded the RMS Titanic on April 10th, 1912 at Southampton as a Third Class passenger.

"And our grandfather traveling from Aspelare with a coatch with horse to the station in Haaltert and there took the train to Antwerp. There they took a boat to London and from there on with the train to Southampton, that was already a big journey because most of them never left there small village. And then the trip itself on that mastership, unsinkable, must have been a great experience till the day they sank and then the story of his life started again. Totally different life"
    - Erwin De Mulder, Theodore's grandson

Theodore was one of four Belgian men who would survive the sinking. According to him, he reached the Boat Deck with Jean Scheerlinckx and Jules Sap. All three would later give numerous and conflicting accounts of how they survived so it remains unclear just how they left the Titanic. All later claimed to have jumped into the sea and were rescued by passing lifeboats. Theodore himself told how he was rescued after clinging to a chair he had thrown into the sea. More than likely, much of the evidence seems to indicate that all three men left together in either Lifeboat 11, 13, or 15, since a large percentage of Third Class men escaped in these boats. Sap had mentioned years later that several women had hid him under their skirts—an action that would not have taken place aboard one of the two collapsibles that floated free of the ship.

After his rescue, De Mulder joined his friends Sap and Scheerlinckx in a travelling road show. When they lost all their promised money, the American Red Cross assisted him. De Mulder received $300.00 with the notation that he had "a wife and two young children, as well as a dependent aged father and mother-in-law in Belgium." He had lost all his baggage and money which was valued at $200.00.

After surviving the sinking he opened a roadside café and named it "In Den Titanic," or "In the Remainder of the Titanic." Theodore died on April 19th, 1954; only four days after the forty-second anniversary of the Titanic's sinking. His wife erected a white cross in 1912 to thank God for saving her husband.


The White Cross Jeanette erected in Belgium.

Once, he gave us the whole story, talking to his good friend Urbain Gerry who were neighbors when they were living in Canada, as farmers.

Theodore was so impressed by what he had seen he never really spoke of it, subsequently, grandson Erwin did so in his place. Many stories about what had happened to him on the Titanic. Especially at his family home, he never spoke on the disaster.

Elsewhere Theodoor was a bit more revealing about what he had witnessed. Erwin said that "apparently he has ever told you about here and there: With friends or occasionally in a pub to his good friend Urbain* he has ever, once, explained the whole story in detail. Theodoor apparently, when he would, realized that there were no more lifeboats, jumped into the icy sea without a life jacket, because he had forgotten in his cabin. He then began to swim to a lifeboat which later he tried to board several times, but all his efforts were in vain . But then he clattered some ice cold water from his sleeve into the boat, so people bailed back. He took his chance and he crawled quickly in the now vacant place. And they let him down.

Perpendicular to seaEdit

Erwin realizes that he will never know the true story. "We're not sure how it went, for the same money is my grandfather just in a lifeboat can step". But at that time such a thing was not easy to admit. By indestructible credo 'Women and children first "was the rather sensitive to the folks in the street that men had managed to save their own skin. But it was not that part of the story which Urbain is asking questions, he later told Erwin: "My grandfather claimed against Urbain that the" Titanic"just before the sinking was almost perpendicular to the water." "But it can not, can not!" Cried Urbain dumbfounded; "I swear to you, that boat was all right" said my grandfather. In retrospect, of course, it turned out he was right. Only in 1985, when the discovery of the wreck of the Titanic, did it become clear that the ship was broken in two and the stern had come all the way up. "

Theodore's grandson explained what happened to his grandfather after he survived the sinking of the Titanic. "Eventually, my grandfather continued to live in America for 20 years and there is my father was born. Is the family early 30th returned to Belgium Here in Aspelare has Theodoor when a cafe opened - at that time. Just about everyone loved café -. He has aptly called In the remaining of the Titanic That pub has existence in the late 40th and was known in the area. Even older people still talk on to me about it."


Although Theodore was always studiously silent about the Titanic, he named his pub after it. "That's true," says Erwin, "but I do not know if the Titanic really a trauma for him. He has never had depression, he could just live on. But it will surely have something special. If you hear an agony carry around so many people and you can hardly anyone help ... it is something you carry your whole life. To what extent, I do not know. I just know my grandfather himself. " One hundred years after the sinking, Titanic's story lives on, it still remains in Aspelare. Erwin: "It happens that a stranger getting off on me and says, "You are the grandson of the Titanic but I do not like because there I do not have any merit I do think there should have been.? to "In the remaining of the Titanic reopen. I would do that for my three children, so that they can continue the family story."

Erwin's son Denver Ocula, also spoke of the disaster. His story is told in the following Dutch youth news show. [2]

Beyond The TitanicEdit

Besides the Titanic Theodore also lived a very determined life. For example, he once swam four miles to file suit. Theodore was once champion swimmer of the Belgian Army. He was a man who gave it his all. He was traveling to America to earn more money for his wife, children, and his dependent father and mother-in-law, Philemon and Victorine Van D'Hondtette (Nieuwenhowve)

Titanic Impressions and 100 years of TitanicEdit

This impressions and texts are contributed by Hein van den Brempt, of Ninove, Belgium.

The well-known tour of the "Three Titanic Survivors"Edit

After their rescue and arrival at Detroit, Jules Sap, Jean Scheerlinckx, and Theodore De Mulder formed a temporary trio The Titanic Survivors with a certain Sommeville.

The retouched photo was initially meant to be a postcard, which was sold during the performances of the three Flemish survivors to the public. The smart Sommeville had ten thousand (?) Of them printed, to sell at 25 cents each. For two weeks, they did their story, well exaggeated of course since they had to put money where their mouths were for the public.

None of the three Flemish people spoke English, so Sommeville answers freely translated into English.  Especially the stories of the rescue were exaggerated and fabricated.

“The blood rushed to my head, I got furious right after and jumped into the sea”

“And later I was standing in the lifeboat; some men wanted to throw me out, but the women have covered me with their garments and 8 hours I was on the bottom of the boat hidden by my companions, Jules Sap.

"When the boat was about to sink into the abyss, I grabbed a First Class couch; threw it into the water and jumped on. I held it under my body as best I could, and after a half an hour of wandering, I reached a small boat which I was allowed to board. But only just after I had taken place three people swam towards it, which all three crawled in, but all along the edge itself. And look! Neither was all in, the boat turned over, and again we were the prey of the ocean, Theodore DeMulder. 

That success came to an abrupt end when Sommeville along with - quote Jules Sap - . “Missie who sold the postcards ' absconded and left the three rescued ones. At start they were promised five dollars a day.

In the garden of the family De Mulder Aspelare still stands a memorial cross. Theodore De Mulder, " Lord, save us: we perish " After his adventures with Sommeville Theodore stayed temporarily in Canada. In 1920 he settled with his wife Jeanette D'Hondtette and children in Michigan and became an American citizen in 1932. Theodore and his family returned to Aspelare in 1934. He opened a café "In the Titanic" and told there his Titanic Stories. Popularly Titanic café was a bus stop. In gratitude ability to rescue her husband planted his wife Jeannette D'Hondtette a man-sized crucifix saying: “Lord save us, we perish."


The US government decided Third Class passengers of the Titanic after a short inspection at the port of New York shrift in the United States to let. Jean Scheerlinckx Theodore DeMulder and Jules Sap went together on board. The 3 Flemish passengers Jean Scheerlinckx, Poli by the Mulder, and Jules Sap from Zwevezele could go through a happy coincidence to lifeboat 11. 01:25 am was this lifeboat, sixth, understaffed left to the water. To save more passengers was briefly stopped in A Deck, Tthird Class. Theodore DeMulder married in 1907 with Jeanette D'Hondtette and went to live on the Wildrendries (now Geerardsbergsesteenweg) in Aspelare. He heard the operator also “fantastic " stories about America and decided to leave. His wife would come with the children once Theodoor settled there.

The Story Lives OnEdit

Theodore DeMulder has multiple descendants dependent on his Titanic survival. The following is a list of accounts:

Descendants of Theodore DeMulder

The Remaining Accounts of Urbain GerryEdit

Urbain Gerry is 91, other then customers to the café and (MAYBE) other neighbors, Urbain Gerry is a person who's accounts are very important to us. We will interview him shortly, here are some of the questions I intend to ask him. The questions answers will also be posted, as they are answered. Q:Did Theodore ever speak of his experiences on the Titanic before it sunk?If so what were they?

Q:What do you know about his childhood?/ life before Titanic?

Q:When was your best time together?

Q:What do you remember about the time you guys spent in Canada?

Q:Did you make friends with any of his children? If so what do you remember about them?

Q:If you were living in Canada, was moving back to Belgium dependent on your relationship with Theodore?

Q:What do you remember about Theodore Demulder's café?

Q:Have you ever heard that Theodore 's real name is Polydorus? When, how, and where did you and Theodore first meet?Tell me about your first experiences together.

Q:What was Theodore's address in Canada?

Q:What else do you know about his work in the Belgian Army other than the fact he was champion swimmer?

Q:Also, what ship did Theodore go on to get back to Belgium, or did he get there some other way, if so what way and what was that object named?

Footnotes and Fun FactsEdit


  • Erwin DeMulder, son of the late Edmond son of Theodore. Edmond passed away in 1996.
  • Aunt Mary was born in the United States along with Theodore's children Edmond and Harry she was alive when these words were spoken, but passed away on November 2nd, in 2014
  • Urbain Gerry's parents were farmers in Canada, also Theodore's neighbors. Urbain's wife recently passed away, and the funeral which was held Saturday, April 4th in Belgium.

Fun Facts:

  1. While it is unknown just where Theodore Demulder's cabin is, most Third Class passengers were located on the F Deck . Also, Third Class men traveling solo were placed on the Bow Section. So we can assume he was probably located on the bow part of the F Deck.
  2. Theodore was related to (as far as we know) 9 other Titanic passengers. Through a complex family tree (see. [3] ) This link does not provide the tree connecting these passengers, but the personal genealogies of these passengers.
  3. Theodore's café was indeed demolished, but a house was later built to the right of the white cross with nearly the same architecture. This house belongs to Edmond Demulder's wife, Emily, who is also the mother of Erwin. Erwin lives behind the White Cross.
Theodore DeMulder01:31

Theodore DeMulder

A video I made, regarding Theodore DeMulder

Titanic Theodoor De Mulder11:03

Titanic Theodoor De Mulder

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