Mrs Annie Margaret Hold

Mrs Margaret Annie Hold Hold was born in Pollstraw, Lanteglos, Camelford, Cornwall, England on 7 March 1883 and later baptised on 23 May that year in St Keverne, Cornwall.  She was the illegitimate daughter of Augusta Lavinia Hill (b. 1858), a domestic cook, but the identity of her father is not certain. 

Her mother was married in 1886 to William Gregory (b. 1858), a mariner from Appledore, Devon and with him had four children: William James (1889-1890), Sarah (b. 1890), Percival John (1894-1959) and James Douglas (1901-1970).

Margaret, known as Annie, was raised by her grandparents James and Margaret Hill, the latter née Connor; she first appears with them on the 1891 census when their address was Porthoustock Cove, St Keverne and her grandfather was described as a farmer and fisherman; he was also the coxswain of the Porthoustock Lifeboat. By the time of the 1901 census Annie was still with her grandparents and was described as a house keeper. In her youth she attended St Keverne School and was active in her local parish church and choir. 

Annie was married on 18 October 1909 to childhood acquaintance Stephen Hold (b. 1868); Hold, a native of Porthoustock, had been living in California for many years and had returned to England in July 1909. Following their marriage they sailed for America aboard Teutonic on 17 November 1909. Annie and Stephen settled in Sacramento, California, appearing there on the 1910 census when her husband was by then described as a garage chauffeur. 

Contemporary media reports that due to her own ill health or the illness of a relative (sources differ as to who it was) back in England the Holds departed California in November 1911; they arrived in Southampton on 16 December 1911 aboard Olympic. For at least some of their time in England they stayed at 31 St Georges Terrace, Devonport, the home address of her husband's sister Henrietta Anstey and her family and which was also the home of her mother-in-law Anna Maria Hold. 

A card sent to Stephen's employer in April 1912 indicated that he and his wife were to arrive back in Sacramento shortly. Interestingly this card was posted in Liverpool which may indicate they were due to sail from that port but had their passage switched to Titanic due to the coal strikes. They embarked Titanic at Southampton and travelled second class under ticket number 26707, costing £26, 0s for them both.

On the night of the sinking Annie was preparing to retire when the ship struck the iceberg. An interview, reproduced in the Western Morning News, had her saying:

It felt as if something had tried to prevent the passage of the steam ship and not succeeding and was holding it back as much as it could." ... "I immediately threw some wraps around me and looked out of the door. The sight that met my eyes caused me to start for the staircase without further delay. Everywhere people were running, many of them scantily clad. Reaching the staircase I joined the mass of people that were frantically making their way to the deck. All that I can remember from the time I reached the deck is that I was suddenly grabbed and placed in a lifeboat. The next thing I remembered was finding myself in a boat a good distance from the Titanic. I could see it gradually sinking into the water. Men and women could be seen along the rails. Many were jumping overboard. Nearly all I could see wore lifebelts. It was only a short time after this that I saw the ship lurch forward a little and sink deeper. Suddenly it disappeared. After this I forgot everything until I realised I was on board another ship, the Carpathia.

Making no mention of her husband in the interview, Mrs Hold is believed to have been rescued in lifeboat 10, reportedly clad only in her nightclothes with wraps covering her. 

Annie is believed to have spent a few months in Sacramento before returning to England and she became the recipient of $4000 from her late husband's will. Back in England she found work as a bookkeeper. 

On 27 July 1915 Annie was remarried to Joseph Northey Bailey (b. 7 January 1893) of Redruth, a mariner. The couple had a son, James Hill (b. circa 1920) and for many years they lived in Hayle, Cornwall. Around the advent of the 1950s they moved to Rowland's Castle, a village in Hampshire, to take care of her husband's elderly aunt.  Annie spent the rest of her life in Rowland's Castle, later living at Four Wynds, Wellsworth Lane in that village. In later years she was said to have been afflicted with severe rheumatism, possibly the result from her exposure to the elements of the Atlantic back in 1912.  

Annie died at her home on 1 March 1960 and was just shy of her 77th birthday. Her estate, worth £22894, 6s, 11d was left to her widower and she was buried in St Keverne Churchyard on 5 March 1960, close to Titanic victim John Richard Jago Smith. The inscription on her headstone reads:

In Loving Memory of
Annie Margaret Bailey
beloved wife of Northey Bailey
died March 1st 1960
aged 76.
late of Four Wynds, Rowland's Castle, Hants
Survivor of SS Titanic
Peace, Perfect Peace.
also of
Joseph Northey Bailey
of Hayle and Rowland's Castle
died April 21st 1979
aged 86.

Her widower Joseph Northey Bailey died in Cornwall on 21 April 1979. Their son James died in Poole, Dorset on 26 July 1994. 

© Steve Coombes, UK


Articles and Stories

Cornishman (1912) 
Western Morning News (1912) 
San Francisco Examiner (1912) 
The San Francisco Call (1912) 

Comment and discuss

  1. James Hill said:

    was Annie Hills grandad James Hill involved with the Mohegan disaster when Pourthoustock lifeboat was launched?even though they didnt rescue many (only 43 were saved).if you have any info on this man leave it here and if you have anything that isnt in Annie Hills biography leave it on relations in Crew Research here.oh i checked great sea disasters about the lifeboat he served on.

  2. James Hill said:

    can anyone help me with this?

  3. Mike Herbold said:

    Steve Coombes wrote an article entitled "Mrs. Annie Margaret Hold - Titanic passenger" which appeared in the journal of the British Titanic Society, the "Atlantic Daily Bulletin", number 3, 1999. It is a lengthy article, almost two full pages long, with no pictures. You can probably order a reprint copy of that issue from the editor, Brian Ticehurst, for a nominal price. The article goes into great detail about the 1898 wreck of the SS Mohegan, and Mr. Hill's role in the saving of 57 lives.

Leave a comment


Gavin Bell, UK
Steve Coombes, UK
Chris Dohany, USA
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Homer Thiel, USA
Brian J. Ticehurst, UK
Geoff Whitfield, UK

References and Sources

The Cornishman, 16 May 1912, Cornish Lady's Experience Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]) General Register Office Certificate of Death List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) ? National Archives, NWCTB-85-T715-Vol. 4183.
Sacramento Union, 16 April 1912, Stephen Hold, who was with wife, was on the ill-fated Titanic
The West Briton, 10 March 1960, Was Survivor of Titanic, Late Mrs A. Bailey.
Unidentified newspaper (Cornwall), March 1960, death notice.
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) Annie Margaret Hold (ref: #458, last updated: 16th January 2018, accessed 11th July 2020 03:33:46 AM)