Miss Gladys Cherry was born in Greenwich, London, England at the Royal Naval College on 27 August 1881. She was later baptised on 22 November that year in East Christ Church in Greenwich.
She was the daughter of James Frederick Cherry (b. 1842), a civil clerk and librarian, and Lady Emily Louisa Haworth-Leslie (b. 1852), the daughter of Mary Elizabeth, the 18th Countess of Rothes. Her father hailed from Berkshire and her mother from Devonshire and they had married in Holy Trinity Church, Chelsea on 25 April 1871. Gladys was the youngest of three children, her elder siblings being: Miriam Emily (1872-1954) and Charles Cameron Leslie (1873-1931).
Gladys' father passed away on 3 January 1884 aged 42. At the time the family were living at The Maples in Blackheath, Kent and her father had been in the service of the Admiralty Department of the Civil Service. Her mother never remarried and died in Surrey on 21 April 1936.
Gladys first appears on the 1891 census living at 24 Fairholm Road in Fulham, London and on the 1901 census at flat 44, Wetherby Mansions in Earls Court, Kensington, London. On the 1911 census her mother was listed as living at Flat 18, 87 Victoria Street, Westminster but Gladys was not listed, perhaps travelling abroad.
She boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her cousin the Countess of Rothes and her maid Roberta Maioni (joint ticket number 110152 which cost £86, 10s). They occupied cabin B-77.
The three ladies were rescued in lifeboat 8 and later Miss Cherry wrote to Able Seaman Thomas Jones who had been in the boat with them in a letter which was published in some newspapers:
LETTER TO TITANIC HERO
Thomas Jones, a native of Anglesey, who was an able seaman on the Titanic, has received the following letter, dated from the Great Northern Hotel, New York:
"I feel I must write and tell you how splendidly you took charge of our boat on the fatal night. There were only four English people in it-my cousin Lady Rothes, her maid, you and myself-and I think you were wonderful.
"The dreadful regret I shall always have, and I know you share with me, is that we ought to have gone back to see whom we could pick up; but if you remember, there was only an American lady, my cousin, self and you who wanted to return. I could not hear the discussion very clearly, as I was at the tiller; but everyone forward and the three men refused; but I shall always remember your words: "ladies, if any of us are saved, remember, I wanted to go back. I would rather drown with them than leave them." You did all you could, and being my own countryman, I wanted to tell you this.
"Yours very truly, Gladys Cherry."
The Henley and South Oxfordshire Standard (incorporating "The Henley Free Press"), 7th June 1912 (p.3)
In an interview Jones said that there were thirty-five ladies and three men in his boat. When he saw the Titanic had sunk he wanted to go back and save some of those struggling in the water, but was overruled.
Gladys Cherry returned to England and in 1928 was married to George Octavius Shaw Pringle (b. 1 August 1867), a retired Royal Artillery Major. George had been born in Edinburgh and had been married to an English woman named Kathleen Lillian Elizabeth Mary Whitehead (b. 1872 in Selby, Yorkshire). The couple were childless and what became of Kathleen is unknown. George had served in the Royal Artillery in Kent in the 1890s as a Lieutenant with Thomas St Aubyn Barrett Lennard Nevinson, the future husband of another Titanic survivor, Mary Natalie Wick.
Gladys and her husband, who also remained childless, settled in Godalming, Surrey in Mount Alvernia on Tuesley Lane. George Pringle died on 17 August 1952. Gladys herself died in Godalming on 4 May 1965 and was cremated 8th May 1965 at Woking St. Johns crematorium, Surrey, London. Her ashes were scattered on 22 May 1965 in Tennyson Lake Garden at the crematorium.
Just a quick note: Miss Cherry was only the first cousin in law to the Countess of Rothes (which I thankfully learned from some relatives, who do not wish their names to be addressed). Gladys was the daughter of Frederick James, Lord Cherry and his wife, Emily Louisa Haworth (Aunt of Norman Evelyn, Lord Leslie, 19th Earl of Rothes, and Baron of Ballinbreich). Gladys was the youngest of three children, and, as mentioned, she married George Octavius Shaw Pringle (some time after April 1928, in her late forties, thus having no children with Mr Pringle, a military officer). She (as also mentioned...
Hi there! I've recently began researching my family tree, and to gather some information i logged on to a search engine and typed in my unusual surname 'Cherry'. I was amazed to find that a miss Gladys Cherry had been aboard the titanic with her cousin (the Countess of Rothes)and they'd survived. Gladys was born in London in 1881 and died in Surrey in 1965. She married an army officer, George Octavius Shaw Pringle. My research so far has shown me that I have family & relatives which is widespread across the UK, including Scotland, Carlisle, & Eastbourne as many of my great aunts and uncles...
Hi, Claire! An official welcome from the only other Cherry on the ET board! I did some limited research one time to see if I was related to passenger Gladys Cherry, but my ancestors were not from England, and nothing short of a very remote connection would be possible at this point... Again, welcome to the ET and I hope you find more genealogy to add to your research! Kind regards, Dan Cherry USA
The has always puzzled me. I couldn't find any relevant information about how she passed her voyage, how was her personality, what were her activities before and after 1912. Did she give any interview after the tragedy and did other passengers report to chat with her during the voyage? Almost nobody reported seeing her on board and she didn't even appear in James Cameron's film. Did she never leave her room to have dinner? I think you'll help me people. Regards, João
The fact that she was one of the few in lifeboat 8 who wanted to return for those struggling in the water gives a window into her character. We can also glean from that letter that she was quite nationalist in her sentiments. My sense is of a haughty but good-hearted aristocratic woman.
"….The Countess of Rothes's cousin have always puzzled me…." Gladys Cherry was actually a cousin of Noelle’s husband, Norman, Earl of Rothes; she was therefore technically Noelle’s cousin-in-law. "…I couldn't find any relevant information about how she passed her voyage, how was her personality, what were her activities before and after 1912…." Gladys and Noelle were out and about quite a bit on board. Gladys’ personality? She seems to have been high-spirited and chatty. She was active on the social scene in London and probably continued to be, though I haven’t...
Joao- 3 letters of hers survive at the Liverpool maritime museum in England. She also published something in the NY Herald I believe.
The Atlantic Daily Bulletin, the journal of the British Titanic Society, published Cherry’s letters a few years ago, and both she and Noelle contributed to a book of tributes to Henry Forbes Julian that his wife published after the disaster.
Hi Randy and Michael - would either of you know anything about her husband? I've never been able to find out anything on the Shaw Pringle family. Regards,
Gladys Cherry married an army officer, Brian, but I don't know any detailed information about him. Anybody knows if Gladys, as a single woman, was being maintained by her cousin Norman? I know that at that time,single 30 and 40-year-old and so else single women frequently lived with the money of her parents, brothers-in-law or elder brothers. Was that the case of Miss Cherry? And is there any report of her personal relation with the Countess? Thank you people, João
Brian — I know nothing at all about Gladys Cherry’s activities post-1912 other than that she married and lived a long life. The Pringles that I’ve read about were titled and held diplomatic positions. The 1920s Hollywood actress Aileen Pringle was a member of this family. I have no idea whether this is the same branch that Gladys married into but it seems likely. Joao — Gladys’ family was prominent. Her father had died, supposedly leaving a tidy sum, and her mother, Lady Emily Cherry (nee Haworth-Leslie), if not very rich in her own right, was sufficiently well-off. I doubt...
PS — Gladys Cherry and Norman Rothes were both grandchildren of the 18th Countess of Rothes, so Gladys may have received an inheritance from her.
One thing I would like to know was why Gladys was crossing the Atlantic with the Countess? Was she moving to Canada?
Hi Randy! Gladys Pringle lived, during her latter years at The White Hart Hotel, Witley, Surrey. She died 4th May 1965 at Mount Alvernia, Godalming, Surrey. Beneficiaries of her will were Ada Barlow (O.B.E) and Peggy Barron.
Thanks, Randy and Geoff. Now I know what her death certificate meant when, if I'm correct, it listed her occupation as "of the White Hart". It obviously meant that this was her home. She seems like a likable sort, though with an excessive (though forgivable and not at all unusual among people of any country) nationalism. Her letter to Seaman Jones seemed to want to make out that the Britons in boat 8 all wanted to row back to save people in the water. She said the only Britons in the boat were her, the Countess, Roberta M, and Seaman Jones. She conveniently ignores that all the men she...