Encyclopedia Titanica

Lily Odell

RMS Titanic Cross-Channel Passenger

Lily Odell
Lily Odell

Lily Odell (née May) was born 17 Octobr 1871 in Clapham, London the daughter of Richard William May (1832-187) and Susan Ellen Mann (1833-1913). His father had risen from being a porter to becoming a successful fishmonger at Billingsgate fish market.

She had six siblings: Richard William May (1858–1938), Philip Charles May (1859–1900), Walter Moss May (1861–1893), Stanley James May (1866–1946), Susan Amy May (1868–1950), and Fred May (1872–1936).She boarded the Titanic at Southampton for the short journey to Queenstown Ireland, together with her son Jack, her sister-in-law Kate and brothers Richard May and Stanley May. Her husband Herbert Odell had bought a ticket for six passengers at a cost of £24. But in the end, he was unable to join the party. 

Lily and the family left the Titanic at Queenstown.

Lily Odell was widowed on 13 February 1947 and she died in 1966 at the age of 95.  She was cremated at Kent County Crematorium, Charing, Ashford Borough Kent, England, and her ashes were scattered on the East Lawn (1st Oak Opposite 2nd Rose Bed).

Research Articles

John Atkinson ('Brian Odell') Titanica! (2011) The Odell Titanic Album
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Comment and discuss

  1. Richard G. Hall

    I am a child of adoption who is researching my biological father's family, the Odells, (thanks to a typo at Ellis Island, the name is incorrectly spelled "O'Dell" here in the states), and it was suggested I address my questions to this forum regarding my family's cabin aboard from South Hampton to Queenstown. I am interested in any new info that I can glean the wealth of knowledge here.

  2. Erika E. Lagares

    I have a picture of a boy on a deck, im not sure if it's a boy or a man,his name is Jan Odell, or so the picture's name is. I haven't seen his name before, and I don't seem to find anything about him. Has anyone heard or read about him?

  3. Michael H. Standart

    Actually, it's 11 year old Jack Odell and if I'm not mistaken, he's the young lad who was caught by Fr. Brown's camera spinning a top out on deck. Fortunately for him and the rest of his family, they got off the ship in Queenstown. What little there is on him can be found at

  4. Dave Gittins

    The boy spinning the top was Douglas Spedden. Jack Odell is the lad with the camera in a photo that I recall. I think it's in Titanic: An Illustrated History. He's also on page 99 of Father Browne's Titanic Album.

  5. Michael H. Standart

    >>The boy spinning the top was Douglas Spedden.

  6. Dave Gittins

    Here's a query. While googling for photos of Jack Odell, I found plenty of an older man of the same name. He was the technical expert behind Matchbox toy cars. Could he be the the lad from Titanic? His age would be about right for him to be an expert in making model cars in the 1950s. I do know Odell lived to a great age but I don't have details.

  7. Bob Godfrey

    The Jack Odell connected with Matchbox Toys (and the founder in the 1980s of his own company Lledo Toys) was certainly active within the last couple of years, and not looking like the oldest man in the world! :-) Jack Odell the toymaker was in fact born in 1920.

  8. Dave Gittins

    Thanks for that, Bob. It was just the long arm of coincidence.

  9. Bryan R. Carroll

    A possible link to the ODell family?

  10. Kathleen Poulin

    Hi, I just checked my copy of 'The Last Days of Titanic' which has the Odell photos and photo credit is only given to "The Father Browne SJ Collection." Perhaps check with the Irish Jesuits? HTH, Kathleen

  11. Zack Wyatt

    Zack Wyatt

    Jack Dudley Odell looks cute in the picture of him and his family on the boat deck!

  12. Kevin Saucier

    Kevin Saucier

    I have three or so signed large pics of Jack Odell on my website. Check it out under the "Pictures & Autographs" section and see if they match yours.

  13. Brian O'Dell

    Brian O'Dell

    I am trying to dig into my family's past and find out about the Odell family. My name is actually John Atkinson, yet my original surname was Odell but after my mother divorced her old husband and remarried into the Atkinson family, my name was changed to Atkinson. I know when the Odell's arrived at Ellis Island, there was a mix up and the name was spelt O'Dell instead of the right way. I was told about Lily Odell who was a wife of a fish merchant from London. Her brothers Richard and Stanley accompanied her on the voyage as well as her sister-in-law, Kate. Jack Odell told relatively... Read full post

  14. Mike Poirier

    I would go through the back issues of THS and I believe there is a story on them

  15. Brian O'Dell

    Brian O'Dell

    Thanks. I'll check that out.

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Lily Odell (née May)
Age: 40 years 5 months and 29 days (Female)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Herbert Odell
Last Residence: in London, England
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 84, £24
Disembarked: Queenstown
Ashes Scattered: Kent County Crematorium, Ashford, Kent, England

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