Mrs William Angle was born as Florence Agnes Hughes in Radford Semele, Warwickshire, England on 8 March 1876. She was later baptised on 14 May that same year in Whitnash, Warwickshire.
She was the daughter of George Hughes (b. 1844), a shepherd, and Sarah Ann Hawkins (b. 1839). Her father was originally from Mickleton, Gloucestershire whilst her mother hailed from Radstone, Northamptonshire and they had married in Warwickshire in 1865. Florence had eight known siblings: George (b. 1865) Charles Joseph (b. 1867), William Thomas (b. 1869), Mabel Louisa (b. 1872), Walter Richard (b. 1874), Harriet Emily (b. 1877), Jane (b. 1879) and Emma Annie (b. 1882). She also had a half sister, Sarah Elizabeth (b. 1858 in Croughton, Northamptonshire), a daughter of her mother's from a previous and ambiguous relationship.
Florence and her family appear on the 1881 census living in Kingston Cottage in Chesterton, Warwickshire; also living with them was her half-sister Sarah. By the time of the 1891 census the family are living in Heathcote, St Nicholas, Warwickshire. Florence later trained to be a nurse and when she appeared on the 1901 census she was described as an asylum nurse, living and working in the Warwickshire County Asylum for Lunatics in Hatton.
Florence was married in her native Warwickshire in late 1906 to William Angle (b. 1881), a tile maker and fixer originally from Staffordshire. They emigrated only a short while later on 24 November 1906 aboard the Campania; immigration records at the time describe her as standing at 5' 10" and with brown hair, grey eyes and a fair complexion and her given destination address was 460 West 24th Street, New York City.
By 1912 Mr and Mrs Angle, who were childless, made their home at 339 West 19th Street, Manhattan.
Florence and her husband returned home to England in late 1911 to visit her husband's mother in Stoke. Her own parents and brother Charles lived at 14 Mill Street, Warwick.
William and Florence, for their return to New York, booked passage aboard Titanic as second class passengers (ticket number 226875 which cost £26).
From a 1961 interview Mrs Angle recounted that she had been asleep at the time of the collision; her husband wakened her, telling her that something had happened and to get dressed. He went up on deck to investigate but Florence nonchalantly fell back asleep and only the commotion from outside her cabin stirred her again. The couple went to the upper decks together and Florence was later separated from her husband and placed into a lifeboat. The last she saw of him was of him waving to her from the deck.
Florence survived the sinking, escaping lifeboat 11, but her husband William was lost.
THE TITANIC DISASTER--After the publication of our last issue Nurse Hughes, of Mill Street, received a cablegram stating that her sister, Mrs Angle, had been saved and her brother-in-law drowned. In our advertisement columns will be found a list of the donations to the Mayor's fund. - Warwick and Warwickshire Advertiser, 27 April 1912
Florence continued to New York where she spent time recuperating due to various respiratory ailments and she garnered work as a housekeeper. Her time in New York proved brief and she returned home to England, arriving in Liverpool on 8 November 1912 aboard the Cedric.
Whether Florence ever returned to New York is not certain. She never remarried and later settled in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire at 33 Arlington Avenue where she lived for many years and continued to practice as a nurse.
Perhaps not mentioning the Titanic very much over her long life, in July 1961 the elderly yet feisty Mrs Angle marched down to the offices of the Coventry Evening Telegraph. That paper had reported the death in New York of Finnish-born Helga Hirvonen who claimed to be the last living person of the Titanic disaster. Mrs Angle was there to set the record straight and told them that not only was she a Titanic survivor and very much alive and well but that she was certain that other living survivors were out there, too!
In her last years and in deteriorating heath Florence Angle was cared for by friends; she died on 20 August 1969 aged 93 and was later cremated.
TITANIC DISASTER SURVIVOR DIES
A LEAMINGTON woman, Mrs Florence Angle, who survived the Titanic disaster in 1912 had died, aged 93.
Mrs Angle lost her husband in the disaster when the Titanic, on her maiden voyage to America, struck an iceberg and sank.
Mrs Angle's home was in Arlington Avenue, Leamington, but in recent years she was cared for by friends at 103 Tachbrook Road.
The funeral took place yesterday at Canley crematory, Coventry. - Coventry Evening Telegraph, 26 August 1969