Mrs Florence Kate Thorneycroft (née Stears)

Mrs Percival Thorneycroft (Florence Kate Stears), 32, was born in Hollingbourne, Kent, the daughter of John Stears and his wife Christina.

She was married to Percival Thorneycroft on 26th December, 1899.

In the 1911 census the couple are living in Bearsted, Maidstone,Kent.  Staying them was a lodger and Florence's mother Christina.

They boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers (ticket no. 376564, £16 2s) bound for Clinton, New York. Their ultimate destination was Canada where Percival's brother Albert lived and where they intended to settle.Travelling with them was Robert Guest.

Kate Thorneycroft was rescued from the sinking, possibly in lifeboat 10. Her husband was lost in the disaster. When Kate arrived in New York, her brother in law, Albert met her there. She did not settle well in New York and she and Albert eventually returned to England.  They married in Kent in 1913 and settled in South London (Penge) to be near her family.

Kate frequently spoke of the events of the sinking and her arrival in New York but in later life was said to have suffered from 'mental problems' though the description suggests she suffered from dementia. Her family believe this arose because of the trauma of the sinking and the loss of her husband. She coined a phrase which is still used by members of the family today - 'I firgit so' - a phrase she used whenever she became confused.

Kate Thorneycroft died in the early 1950's.

Phillip Gowan, USA
Elizabeth Kelso, UK
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Geoff Whitfield, UK

References and Sources
British Census 1881
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183
Names and Descriptions of British Passengers Embarked at the Port of Southampton, 10 April 1912 (PRO London, BT 27/780B)

Articles and Stories

Mrs Thorneycroft's Account

Utica Herald-Dispatch  (1912) 


Florence Thorneycroft marriage


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