Chevré, Mr. Paul Romaine Marie Léonce
Passenger: 1st Class
4 Jul 1866
20 Feb 1914
Paul Romaine Marie Léonce Chevré was born in Brussels to French parents in 1867. His father ran a foundry, and at an early age, Chevré demonstrated an aptitude for sculpture. His fame and reputation grew in Canada where he would win numerous commissions. He would divide his year equally between his studio near Paris and winning work in Canada.
One such commission was from Charles Melville Hays for the lobby of his new hotel in Ottowa. Chevré boarded the Titanic to travel to Canada for the official opening of the hotel.
On the night of the disaster Chevré was playing cards in the Café Parisien with Pierre Maréchal, Alfred Fernand Omont and Lucien Philip Smith. When the ship stopped, Chevré felt it was too cold to go outside to investiage so asked a steward to open a porthole and take a look. Despite the fact things did not seem to be very serious, Chevré and Ormont collected their cards and took no chances, boarding one of the first lifeboats to be lowered, no. 7.
After arrival in New York, he was interviewed for the Montreal Herald, the story was sensational and reprinted in various outlets in English. It included an account of the suicide of the Captain by gunshot. It also stated that the statue destined for Ottowa had been lost. It was a complete fabrication, and it is unclear if the reporter created it or did not understand French.
When Chevré arrived in Montreal on April 22 he was the centre of a scandal. He made his way to the French language newspaper La Presse to set the record straight. He stated everything attributed to him in English was a "tissue of lies". He explained the bust was safe, as it was actually aboard another ship. Chevré spent another six months in Quebec before returning to France. He would never sail teh seas again.
He died in February 1914, and although ofen cited as suffering from the weight of guilt of his survival, it is widely understood he died due to kidney complications.
Ottowa, Ontario, Canada
Primary source : Encyclopaedia Titanica