All the immediate newspaper accounts have their flaws. This is certainly Hugh, Aunt Marguerite Allan's son. But the lady with him is not a survivor. Where would she get a mourning outfit? It is, I think, his older sister Martha. They had rushed to Ireland from London. They may have even been in Liverpool for the Lusitania was due on the 8th, that day. It is hard for me to think that they would have waited for their mother and two sisters to arrive in London?
What is clear is that by Saturday night, a little more than 24 hours after the sinking that they were in Queenstown.
On the Sunday, Maud Orr-Lewis arrived at 10am on a special train and took Frederick, who was wearing a pair of flannel trousers and a borrowed coat, off to Cork.
But not before he had been part of yet more confusion. Overnight he had a message that Dorothy Braithwaite wanted to see him. It was a mistake. Not before he also had the sad duty of identifying Mrs Stephens body.
Meanwhile the Vice admiral of the Port had offered his residence to Lady Allan and she was moved there.
Martha and Hugh will stay here. They got this treatment because of the role that the Allans played in Queenstown. Queenstown was the key port in Irish immigration and the Allan line had been central to its fortunes.
Major Maitland Kersey and the CPR - Allan Line (They were now merged) Agent, a Mr Horne, took on the gruesome task of searching for the bodies of Gwen and Anna.
At this juncture, there were rumours that Gwen and Anna were alive. It had also been confirmed and printed in the press back in Canada that Dorothy Braithwaite had survived.
Sadly all three were dead. Dorothy and Anna were never found but Gwen was. Hugh and Martha would have had to see her body. Gwen was taken back to Canada and lies next to her parents who die many many years later.
And what of the Stephens family and their maids? Only Mrs Stephens was found. Baby John rests near the wreck as do his nurse Caroline and his mother's maid, Elise.
Strangely they are all reunited. Uncle Montagu arranged to have Mrs Stephens shipped back to Canada on an Allan line ship the Hesparian. It too was sunk close by the wreck of the Lusitania by the very same U-boat and crew that had sunk the Lusitania.
Thanks to Mike Poirier, here is a picture of the Hesparian as she was sinking. Mrs Stephens' coffin is in the hold. This link will take you to the entire story.
Here is how close they are.
The ripples of this tragedy touch nearly every actor in this story.
Lady Julia Drummond who had lost her own son, Guy on April 22n, the reason for Dorothy's trip now had the added sadness of helping her two widowed daughters in law grieve for their dead sister.
Henry Yates, still at sea on the Metagama with the Number 3 Canadian General Hospital, mourns the loss of his best friends daughters, Having lost his own son in 1911, he knows the pain that they suffer.
Uncle Montagu on his own in Ravenscrag is flooded with telegrams from all over the country and the world. He is helpless and too far away to do anything.
The Paterson's in Montreal, my great grandmother and father would have come by immediately. Great Granny had grown up in the Allan household and was like a sister. Her best friend Brenda Meredith, also an Allan, would have been there immediately. Maybe one of them took Uncle Montagu in to stay so that he would not have to sleep on his own.
Alec Paterson, my grandfather, was in France. He had just survived Ypres. Imagine his anger at the death of the girls. Imagine the anger of his fellow Montrealers. They could understand that they would die but not teen age girls. There was now a sense of injustice.
Robert Holt goes back to school at Marlborough and later joins the army. He survives the war.
The Kemps in Toronto, were Baby John's grandparents on the other side. My bet is that they must have been sad and also angry. They had not wanted Mrs Stephens to take John. They thought the idea selfish and stupid. Maybe they too blamed themselves for not protesting enough?
And poor Hazel and Chattan Stephens. They had lost their son and he his mother. Chattan's health already broken, never recovered and he died in 1918 of the flu and maybe a broken heart.
On May 11, Hugh and Martha take their mother on a special train to London. From there they go onto a house called Encombe in Sandgate just yards away from Shorncliffe Army camp which will become a little Canada over the next two years as 3 more divisions arrive and also the Number 3 Canadian Hospital and Henry Yates.
Henry Yates will be with them in a week.
Finally how do we remember a dead child? I think that many of us think back to when there were little. So here they all are. The most privileged children in Canada.
Martha, Hugh, Gwen and Anna in happier times in their summer home in Cacouna Quebec. All those memories, the sounds, the noises invade your mind and your dreams.
And then for Aunt Marguerite? The horror of those 18 minutes. How could she have let Gwen's hand go? How could they not have lived? Why did she live and not them?
And what of Hugh and Martha now?
What is it like to lose your younger siblings at such a tender age? For now they also have to care for their mother in a new place. Hugh stays on while his friends go to the front. I suspect that he made a commitment to stay out of danger. But, as we see later, he cannot continue to be safe when all his friends are dying.
Martha later leaves her brother and her mother and goes to France where she drives an ambulance and sees her fiancé, Captain Thierry Mallet who is in the French Army. Her reaction seems to be forward looking. For now.
For as with many families, 1915 is only the beginning. Loss will pile on loss. They enter the furnace.