Miss Alice Herman was born in Galhampton, Somerset, England on 6 December 1887 1.
She was the daughter of Samuel Herman (b. 1862), a butcher, and Jane Laver (b. 1861). Her father was born in Somerset whilst her mother was born in India to British parents. They were wed in early 1887 and Kate became one of only two children born to the couple. Her only sibling was her twin sister Kate.
Alice first appears on the 1891 census living with her family at 4 Abbey Cottages in Castle Cary, Somerset and would still be at this address by the time of the 1901 census. The family later moved to Smallways, Castle Cary and Alice was shown on the 1911 census still residing with her parents.
For several years her father was the proprietor of the Britannia Hotel in Castle Cary. Although a financially comfortable family, the past year had seen a slump in their fortunes in England and it was decided that they would emigrate. Originally booked aboard a different ship, they cancelled their voyage to allow more time to prepare. Alice, her parents and sister and her father's young employee and surrogate son George Sweet boarded the Titanic at Southampton as second class passengers (ticket number 220845 which cost £65) and were bound for her uncle Arthur Laver who was living in Bernardsville, New Jersey where he worked as a steward of the Somerset Hill Country Club.
On the night of the sinking Alice, her mother and sister were in bed when the collision occurred but reported not much of a shock. Her father, who had been on deck, returned to the cabin and told them not to fear and to stay in bed as it was bitterly cold. He went to investigate and soon returned, ordering his wife and daughters to dress and they headed to the boat deck where the ladies are believed to have departed in one of the aft starboard boats.
Her father and George Sweet were lost in the sinking and their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.
In New York, she and her family were met by her uncle Arthur Laver and his associate William David Cleland. The party journeyed to the Somerset Hill Country Club in Bernardsville where they were interviewed by The Bernardsville News.
William David Cleland, a horse trainer from Peapack, New Jersey, had been born in Scotland on 24 February 1882 2. He and Alice were wed in 1913, initially living in Gladstone, New Jersey before settling at Larger Cross Roads in Bedminster, New Jersey where Alice would live for the rest of her life and where they ran stables. She and Cleland had four children: Muriel (1915-2006, later Mrs Harry Harris), William "Jack" (b. 1916), Norman (b. 1918) and Basil (1920-1993). For a while she nursed her mother in her final years. Alice rarely spoke about the Titanic, even to her family.
Alice was later afflicted with late-onset diabetes and died from complications in Somerset Hospital on 23 March 1947 aged 59. She was buried in St Bernard's Episcopal Church Cemetery in Bernardsville. Her widower William died in 1961.