Encyclopedia Titanica

Lillian Renouf

Mrs Peter Henry Renouf was born as Lillian "Lilly" Elizabeth Jefferys in St John's, Guernsey in the Channel Islands on 26 February 1882.

She was the daughter of William John Jefferys (b. 1854), a general labourer, and Alice Ann Bennett (b. 1855), both Guernsey natives who had married around 1881. One of eight children, her siblings were: Ada Alice (b. 1883), Frederick William (b. 1885), Clifford Thomas (b. 1888), Ernest Wilfred (b. 1891), Hilda (b. 1897), William George Bennett (b. 1900) and Albert Edward (b. 1902).

Lillian first appears on the 1891 census living with her family at 3, The Green in St Peter's Port. Her family were listed on the 1901 census living at The Banks, 1 Elizabeth Terrace, St Sampson, her father now working as a stoker. Lillian was absent and recorded elsewhere as a domestic (chamber maid) at the Old Government House Hotel in St Peter's Port.

Lillian was married to Peter Henry Renouf (b. 1878), a carpenter and house decorator and a native of St Sampsons', Guernsey but they would have no children. The couple emigrated to the USA in 1907, leaving Southampton aboard the St Paul on 15 June and accompanying them was her brother Frederick. They appeared on the 1910 census living in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey and they lived at Florida Street in that city, along with her brother Fred and a cousin Charles Cann.

Peter and Lillian returned to Guernsey in 1911 to visit relatives, including her recently widowed father who lived at Rosslyn, St Sampsons. For their return to New Jersey they boarded the Titanic at Southampton as second class passengers (ticket number 31027 which cost £21). Travelling with them were her two brothers Clifford and Ernest Jefferys alongside several other Guernsey folk: William Douton, Lillian Bentham, Emily Rugg and Albert Denbuoy.

On the night of the sinking Lillian reported that she was in her cabin shortly after the collision :

"... I was dressing myself again when my husband and brothers burst into the cabin. They had been in the smoking room, and had seen the iceberg as it bore away from the vessel and told me to dress hurriedly although they thought there was little danger. Nearly all of the passengers thought that the Titanic could not sink. Some of them took the collision as a joke and others were annoyed at the jouncing which they had received. My husband and brothers, who were fully dressed, helped me to put on my wraps and hurried me to the deck..."

Arriving on the boat deck, she related:

"...The first and second class passengers were calm in the face of the disaster but when the steerage passengers burst up from below, the scramble for places in the boats and the bedlam of noise was awful. I saw no flagrant instances of cowardice. Everyone was terribly excited and people forgot everything but their eagerness to get off the sinking ship. It was trembling from stem to stern. The foreigners from the steerage were like animals, but an officer with a revolver stood by every boat and ordered the women to go first..."

Lillian was rescued from the sinking, escaping in lifeboat 12 with Lillian Bentham and Emily Rugg. Her husband and two brothers were lost.

Lillian continued to live in Elizabeth, New Jersey and was later remarried in the 1920s to Arthur Stead (b. 1864), a butcher and widower originally from Cleckheaton, Yorkshire who had emigrated in 1910. His first marriage was in 1885 to London-native Augusta Alice Fuller-Lipscombe and he had two children, Alice (b. 1887) and Tom (b. 1890).

Lillian and her new husband settled in Elizabeth, later at 128 Reid Street in that city. She died there on 9 July 1933 aged 51 and was cremated three days later.

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Lillian Renouf (née Jefferys)
Age: 30 years 1 month and 17 days (Female)
Nationality: Channel Islander
Marital Status: Married to Peter Henry
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 31027, £21
Rescued (boat 12)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Sunday 9th July 1933 aged 51 years

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References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]).
Titanic, Fortune & Fate, Letters, Mementos, and Personal Effects From Those Who Sailed On The Lost Ship (1998), Mariner' Museum. Simon & Schuster New York.
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183

Newspaper Articles

Guernsey Evening Press Titanic survivors Renouf, Bentham and Rugg
Elizabeth Daily Journal (16 April 1912) Elizabethans On Board Big Liner Titanic (1)
Newark Evening News (17 April 1912) ELIZABETH RESIDENTS WERE ON THE TITANIC (1)
Elizabeth Daily Journal (17 April 1912) REPORT LOSS OF 5 PERSONS COMING HERE
Elizabeth Daily Journal (18 April 1912) AWAIT COMING OF CARPATHIA WITH RESCUED
Newark Star (18 April 1912) FEAR ELIZABETH FOLK WENT DOWN WITH TITANIC
Newark Evening News (19 April 1912) JERSEY DEATH ROLL DETAILS
Elizabeth Daily Journal (19 April 1912) LEARNS SISTER WAS LOST ON FATED TITANIC (1)
Newark Evening News (19 April 1912) TELLS OF SEEING MEN SHOT DOWN ON TITANIC
Elizabeth Daily Journal (19 April 1912) Titanic Survivor Mrs Renouf Tells of Tragedy
THRILLING STORIES BY TITANIC'S SAVED; TEN ON WAY TO ELIZABETH LOSE LIVES
Newark Star (22 April 1912) TITANIC VICTIM'S HUSBAND MISSING
Elizabeth Daily Journal (26 April 1912) LONE SURVIVOR IS PENNILESS
Newark Star (29 April 1912) CHURCH HOLDS SERVICE FOR VICTIMS OF TITANIC
Newark Evening News (29 April 1912) Services for Titanic Victims
Elizabeth Daily Journal (1 May 1912) EXPRESS GRATITUDE FOR SYMPATHY SHOWN
Elizabeth Daily Journal (8 July 1933) SURVIVOR OF TITANIC DISASTER PASSES AWAY
New York Times (9 July 1933) Titanic Survivor Lillian Stead Dies
Elizabeth Daily Journal (13 July 1933) Funeral of Mrs. Arthur Stead
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Comment and discuss

  1. Gavin Bell

    Gavin Bell said:

    Anybody out there know what became of Lilian Renouf after the disaster?? Please contact me. Thanks Cameron

  2. Arne Mjåland

    Arne Mjåland said:

    I sent an article to Guernsey press which was published in April 2000. One and a half years later I had a letter from Mrs Eileen Carre, St. Sampsons Guernsey. She told me that Lillian Renouf, then Lillian Stead died 7 july 1933 in Elizabeth NJ. I do not think I have seen the exact date of her death before.Lillian was an aunt of Mrs. Carre. Mrs Carre got this information from a cousin in America. According to the obituary her husband was Arthur Stead, and they lived at 128 Reid Street, Elizabeth. She was a member of Brittania Lodge.

  3. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber said:

    Hello, Arne--- Over the past year and a half or so, I've posted to a couple of Titanic mailing lists transcriptions of New Jersey newspaper articles about Titanic's sinking. Not surprisingly, Mrs. Renouf and her family figure prominently in those articles, particularly those in the Elizabeth Daily Journal. Most of the articles I've posted so far are now available at as is an index. MAB

  4. Jennifer

    Jennifer said:

    I need a picture of Lillian Renouf for a report paper.

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Credits

Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Hermann Söldner, Germany

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2015) Lillian Renouf (ref: #553, last updated: 24th June 2015, accessed 29th November 2021 15:50:33 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/lillian-renouf.html