Mary Anne ('Annie') Robinson1, 40, was born in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England around 1871. The exact details of her family remain unknown.
When she was quite young (around 1885) she had a daughter Gladys2. The father was Henry Kerswell, recorded later as a native of Pennsylvania. No details of Henry Kerswell can be found and no marriage record between Annie and Henry has yet been located.
Annie Robinson had previously served aboard the Port Kingston (Elder Dempster Lines) and more recently with the Canadian Pacific Line. On 6 May 1909 she was onboard the Lake Champlain en route from liverpool to Montreal carrying 1,000 passengers, when it struck an iceberg. The damaged vessel limped to St John's for repairs.
When she signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 she gave her address as 128 Shirley Road, (Southampton). Her last ship had been the Lake Manitoba. As a stewardess she received monthly wages of £3 10s.
After the Titanic struck the iceberg Robinson assisted the seven ladies, a maid and a governess she had attended as stewardess. All were saved. She met Thomas Andrews:
We had already got the blankets and the lifebelts out of the rooms which were unoccupied at the foot of the staircase. Mr. Andrews said to me, "put your lifebelt on and walk about and let the passengers see you." I said to him, "It looks rather mean," and he said, "No, put it on," and then after that he said to me, "Well, if you value your life put your belt on."
She was rescued in lifeboat 11 which she said left the Titanic at 1.40pm.
After her rescue she returned to England with the other surviving crew aboard the Lapland. After they berthed in Plymouth the stewardesses were photographed as a group. Annie was also photographed talking to smoke room steward James Witter.
She was subsequently called to testify before the Board of Trade inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic (day 11).
On 9th October 1914 she was aboard the SS Devonian. According to newspaper reports she was travelling to Boston to visit her daughter Gladys (c.1885-1929)3 who had settled in Jamaica Plain with James Eugene Prentis (1874-1947)4. As the ship travelled through thick fog Annie reportedly became very anxious leading to her apparently jumping from the deck to her death:
Friday night when the Devonian slowed down in a heavy fog Mrs. Robinson apparently became nervous, and the continual sounding of the whistle so worked upon her nerves that she feared another disaster.
She was last seen when she left the main saloon about 10:30 Friday night. The suicide was not discovered until yesterday morning when she failed to appear at breakfast.
It is not recorded if her body was found but the entry in the register of deaths at sea simply states she was 'presumed drowned' between 42º35N 67º15W and 42º25N 69º30W.