Who Was Lady Duff Gordon's Stewardess


Randy Bryan Bigham


I'm wondering if those of you who know a bit more about the crew of Titanic (George? Phillip? Calling all hands!)know which stewardess might have been assigned to Lady Duff Gordon in cabin A-20?

I have long been intrigued by Duff Gordon's passing but affectionate reference to this mysterious woman in her memoirs but, in looking over the crew list provided here on ET, I'm still not sure who she was. Duff Gordon's reference to her is tantalizing but vague. She refers to her as:

"...my merry Irish stewardess with her soft brogue and tales of timid ladies she had attended during hundreds of Atlantic crossings..." (p164, Discretions & Indiscretions)

Duff Gordon also mentions the same stewardess further along in her narrative. When on board the Carpathia she awoke in a cabin disoriented:

"...Then a stewardess came in with some tea and on seeing her instead of my Irish stewardess of the Titanic, suddenly everything swept over me in a tide of remembrance..." (p 179, D & I)

Does anyone have an idea who this "merry Irish" woman was who made such an impression on Lady Duff Gordon and, no doubt, other first class ladies. I think her name deserves to be recorded, especially if she was not among the survivors.

The transcription of the "Birkenhead News" article on stewardess Sarah Stap's ET Bio indicates that Miss Stap was Lady Duff Gordon's stewardess. This makes me wonder whether Stap was indeed of Irish lineage (she listed her birthplace as 'at sea' on the ship's articles.)
Hi Chris,

I did read Miss Stap's bio & am also unclear if she was the one. Miss Walsh is listed as Irish born as is Miss Sloan. It's too bad we don't have the cabin assignments the stewardesses would have had. Although Lady Duff Gordon doesn't say the stewardess she was speaking of was an older woman she does at least seem to have been a veteran at sea - unless she or LDG exaggerated as to "hundreds of Atlantic crossings." This may turn out to be a clue. But comparatively little seems to be known re: the female members of the crew. A great pity.

Thanks Chris.