Mrs Ada Mary West (née Worth)

Mrs Edwy Arthur West (Ada Mary Worth) was born in Truro, Cornwall, England on 17 February 1879, later being baptised in St Paul's Truro on 24 April that same year.

Ada was the youngest child of Thomas Worth (1831-1904), a printer and book seller, and Ruth Pearce (1837-1915), both Truro natives who had married in 1866.

She had four elder siblings: Reginald Kempthorne (1867-1932), Thomas Vivian (1869-1894), Henrietta (1871-1940) and Arthur Pearce (1874-1945).

Ada and her family appear on the 1881 census living at Prospect Place in Truro followed by the 1891 and 1901 censuses when the family are listed as living at 6-7 Lemon Street in St Marys, Truro. By the time of the latter record Ada, then 22, had no stated profession. Her father died in 1904 and he was buried on 14 April that year in St Mary's, Truro.

She was married just over a year later on 12 September 1905 to Edwy Arthur West (b. 1875), a native of Perranzabuloe, Cornwall. The couple moved to Bristol and their daughter Constance Miriam was born there in 1907. They later settled in Bournemouth where her husband worked for the department store JJ Allen as a shopfloor walker. The family appeared on the 1911 census residing at Livadia, 79 Paisley Road, Stourwood, Bournemouth and their second daughter Barbara Joyce was born later that year.

Deciding to strike out for a new life in America decisions were made by the family to travel to Gainesville, Florida and begin a fruit culture business. They purchased ticket number 34651, which cost £27, 15s, and they embarked Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912 as second class passengers. Whilst aboard it appears they became acquainted with Clear Cameron and Nellie Wallcroft.

Mrs West later recalled the events of the night of the sinking:

'We were all asleep when the collision took place, but were only jolted in our berths - my husband and children not even being awakened, and it was only the hurrying of passengers outside the cabin that caused alarm. The steward bade us all get up and dress thoroughly with plenty of warm things. Arthur placed lifebelts upon the children and then carried them to the boat deck. I followed carrying my handbag. After seeing us safely into the lifeboat Arthur returned to the cabin for a thermos of hot milk, and, finding the lifeboat let down he reached it by means of a rope, gave the flask to me, and, with a farewell, returned to the deck of the ship.'

Ada also recalled male interlopers in her boat who had hidden under the women's skirts; the men had to be asked to stop lighting cigarettes in fear of the women's skirts being set alight. She also stated that she did not fear for her husband's safety until after the ship had sank and she heard the cries of those in the water. A steward in the boat tried to soften the mood by shouting 'Pull up men -- they're singing in the other boats. Give them a shout!'. The boat's occupants apparently made enough of a din to drown out at least a bit of the carnage happening not far away. As day broke Ada stated that she saw no wreckage or bodies but could see many icebergs. Rescued by Carpathia, Ada and her two daughters were treated kindly. She later recalled another survivor scoff that it was wrong that Titanic's surviving officers were feted by the passengers and crew of their rescue ship, allegedly being treated to champagne in the first class dining saloon on the evening of their rescue.

With a new life in America now out of the question Ada and her daughters returned to England aboard Celtic.

Having been pregnant at the time of the disaster, Ada gave birth to a daughter on 14 September 1912 and named her Edwyna Joan in honour of her lost husband. She never remarried and resettled in Truro, Cornwall, living at 46 Lemon Street for a number of years.

Her daughters' education up to the age of 12 was sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Drapers. The year 1915 was to be a difficult year for Ada; she lost her mother in May and both her parents-in-law, Edwy and Elizabeth West, died only months apart the same year.

Ada West died in St Vincent's Nursing Home in Plympton, Devon on 20 April 1953 aged 74. One keepsake that remained in her possession for the remainder of her life was the flask that her husband had passed to her the last time she ever saw him.

Her daughter Edwyna, a Titanic survivor in her own right, was married in 1941 to Clarence Patrick Erskine-Lindop (1920-2001) who later became Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Local Government in the Bahamas and he was made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 1977. The couple are also believed to have spent time living in Manhattan. Edwyna died in Plymouth in 1969.

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6 and 7 Lemon Street, Truro

6 AND 7 LEMON STREET, TRURO

 

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Census (15)

(1901) 

CENSUS (15)

 
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    (2017) Ada Mary West Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #600, accessed 28th May 2017 03:20:33 PM)

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