Miss Constance Miriam West

Miss Constance Miriam West was born in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England on 13 August 1907.

She was the daughter of Edwy Arthur West (b. 1875), a department store floorwalker, and Ada Mary Worth (b. 1879), both natives of Cornwall who had married on 12 September 1905. She had a younger sister, Barbara Joyce (b. 1911).

Constance and her parents appear on the 1911 census living at Livadia, 79 Paisley Road, Stourwood, Bournemouth; a few months later in May of that year her younger sister Barbara was born.

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.'

With a new life in America now out of the question Constance, her mother and baby sister returned to England aboard Celtic. They settled in Truro, Cornwall and in September 1912 Constance was gifted with another sister, Edwyna Joan.

Constance and her sisters' education up to the age of 12 was by the Worshipful Company of Drapers and she attended their boarding school in Purley, Surrey and is believed to have went on to Truro girls' high school and for many years was heavily involved with the Girl Guides. She never married and in later years became afflicted with multiple sclerosis.

Constance spent her final years living at The Firs, Riverside, Lelant, Cornwall and she died at the Manor Nursing Home in Lelant, Cornwall on 12 September 1963. Her estate was valued at £5117, 9s.

Credits
Gavin Bell

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