Miss Amelia Mary Brown was born in Kensington, London, England on 18 August 1893.
She was the daughter of Frank Brown (b. 1862 in Crawley, Hampshire) and Esther Tilbury (b. 1860 in Burnham, Buckinghamshire). Her father, a printer compositor, was married to her mother in Buckinghamshire on 7 February 1892. She had only one sibling, a brother named Sydney (b. 1900).
Amelia first appears on the 1901 census living at Osborne Terrace in Lambeth living with her parents and 9-month-old brother. She would not, however, be listed with her family on the 1911 census who were by then living at 29 Hanover Gardens, Kennington, London; her whereabouts at this time are unknown.
Photo: © Pat Mayhew / British Titanic Society
Amelia, known as Millie, was hired by the wealthy Allison family of Montréal and she and their chauffeur George Swane were booked as second class passengers on Titanic whilst the Allisons would travel in first class. She boarded the Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912 (ticket number 248733 which cost £13) and she shared a cabin with Amelia Lemore, Elizabeth Nye and Selina Cook.
On the night of the sinking Amelia was reluctant to rise from her bed despite the warnings from her roommates and George Swane. She only rose when Selina Cook exclaimed that she was surely the only person on the entire ship still in bed.
Mildred was rescued in lifeboat 11 and wrote to her mother from the Carpathia. The letter is postmarked Grand Central Station, New York, 10am, 19 April 1912.
29 Hanover Gdns
My dear Mother
At last I have made myself sit down to write. I don't know how the time has gone since the wreck But I can't help thinking how lucky I was to be amongst the rescued. There were 2000 people about that on board and only about 700 were rescued. If happened at 11.30 Sunday night. Our boat ran into an iceberg and within 1 1/2 hours the vessel had sunk I couldn't believe that it was serious and would not get up until Swain [sic] came and made me that was the last / saw of him poor fellow. No sooner was I on deck that I was bustled to the first class deck and pushed into one of the boats and I found nurse (Alice Cleaver) and the baby (Trevor Allison) were there. It was awful to put the lifebelt on it, seemed as if you really were gone.
Then came the lowering of the boats I shut my eyes in hopes I should wake up and find it a dream. Then came the awful suspense of waiting till a vessel happened to pass our way. The wireless telegraphy had beer used and this vessel that was southward bound came miles out of its way to pick us up. By the time we had got out of reach of the suction we stopped to watch her go down and you could watch her go too. It went in the front until it was standing like this then all the lights went out. Shortly after we heard the engines explode and then the cries of the people for help. Never shall I forget it as long as I live. I don't let myself think of it. We were on the water from 12 till 6 in this small boat. Thank goodness it was a calm clear night or I don't know what would have happened. We were nearly frozen as there were Icebergs all round us.
Ever since I have been on here I have felt in a stupor. Everything seems too much trouble and I don't care what happens to me. I found Sallie (Sarah Daniels) had got on alright but poor girl she keeps worrying about her things, of course we have lost everything bar what we stand up in. I had my watch on my arm in fact it hasn't left it since we sailed and my money was in my pocket. I have not seen Mr and Mrs Allison. I suppose they have gone under but there is just the hopes that they may have been picked up by another- boat but still I am not going to worry about that as they have several friends on board and then there are the partners of the firm. We have been offered a home until they can find us a place suitable. This vessel has turned back to New York with us. I have slept on the Dining Room floor both nights. We had a most awful thunderstorm last night and today it's that foggy. I shall be glad to be on terra firma again. We had a bad start. The New York broke adrift and ran into us at Southampton Harbour.
Well I won't write any more now. Will you let Neil read this and Aunt Em or anyone that you think as I don't feel like going all over it again. Don't worry about me as I shall be well looked after and I have made several well-to-do-friends.
Lots of love to all,
From your ever loving daughter
Amelia's employers, the Allisons, were lost in the sinking and she later returned to England.
Amelia was married in 1931 to James Edward Barrow (b. 1886), a native of Lambeth, London, and they settled in Surrey. James Barrow died on 30 July 1965. Amelia outlived her husband by over a decade and she died on 30 June 1976 aged 82.
Don Lynch & Ken Marschall (1992) Titanic: An Illustrated History. London, Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0 340 56271 4
Atlantic Daily Bulletin, Journal of the British Titanic Society (1995) No.3, p.5.