Elizabeth Lavington was born in Wells, Somerset, England on 31 January 1872 and she was baptised on 7 March that same year in St Cuthbert's Church in Wells. She was the daughter of Richard Inward Lavington (1842-1884) and Leah Reynolds (1843-1930). Her father was originally from Hampshire and her mother from Middlesex and they were married in Winchester, Hampshire in 1866, living in Wells for a time before settling back in Hampshire.
Elizabeth had four known siblings: Richard (b. 1874), Fanny (b. 1877), George (b. 1879) and Martha (b. 1882)
Elizabeth, better known as Bessie, first appears on the 1881 census when she and her family are living at the Ampfield White Horse Inn in Hursley, Winchester, Hampshire where her father was the Innkeeper. Her father died in 1884 aged 42. When the 1891 census was taken Elizabeth was listed at 3 Station Road (?) in Weeke, Hampshire. Her mother was described as a tobacconist and Elizabeth as her assistant. Elizabeth was working as a barmaid by the time of the 1901 census when she was living in High Street, St Panracs, London. Sometime thereafter she went to sea and appears on the 1911 census as a visitor at 18 Milton Road, All Saints, Southampton, the same address as Titanic steward Charles McKay, and she was listed as a mercantile marine stewardess.
When Elizabeth signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, she gave her address as Manor Farm, Headbourne Road, Winchester, the home of her married sister Fanny Hunt and her family. Her previous ship had been the Olympic. As a stewardess she received monthly wages of £3.
During the evacuation of the Titanic, Miss Lavington escaped in lifeboat 11.
How long Elizabeth continued her career at sea is uncertain. She lost her mother Leah on 24 September 1930 and she continued to live in the Hampshire area, later living at 39a Anstey Road, Alton, Hampshire where she died on 1 September 1949 aged 77. She was cremated in Woking on 6 September and she left and estate worth £128 6s 9d to her sister Fanny Hunt.
References and SourcesAgreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Hampshire Chronicle, 10 September 1949