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.
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.