Miss Mabel Elvina Martin

Miss Mabel Elvina Martin was born at 21 Goldsmith Road in Acton, London, England on 18 March 1892 and was baptised on 16 October that same year in St Dunstan's Church. 

She was the daughter of London-born Alfred Thomas Martin (b. circa 1863), a banker's clerk, and Alice Emily Bulley (b. circa 1867) of Maldon, Essex. Her parents had been married in Acton on 12 October 1887 with both their addresses being stated as Grove Road, Acton.

She had an elder sister, Eva Marguerite (1889-1972) who appeared with her parents on the 1891 census as residents of 21 Goldsmith Road, Acton. Little else is known about Mabel's early or familial life.

On the 1911 census Mabel is shown working and living at the Tavistock Hotel, Covent Garden, West London as a bookkeeper. 

When she signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 Miss Martin gave her address as 1 Apsley Villa, Horn Lane, Acton, London. The Titanic was her first working sea voyage and she was one of two female cashiers in Gatti's Titanic restaurant, the other being Ruth Bowker. Her discharge book describes her as standing at 5' 4" and with brown hair and eyes and a dark complexion.

Miss Martin was rescued in lifeboat 6 alongside Ruth Bowker and it has been said that she was among the women in that boat who helped row. She was not required to give evidence to either the US or British Inquiries into the disaster.

Mabel was married in 1914 to Francesco Rafaelle Odone Albertella who was born 1 September 1891 in Westminster, the son of Italian immigrants Angelo Albertella and Genevia Raffaeli. His family were connected in the restaurant business and he and Mabel went on to run their own restaurant (the Rendez-vous?); by the time of the 1939 British register their address was 255 Richmond Road, Kingston, Surrey and where Mabel would live for the rest of her life.

Mabel and Francesco had one child, a daughter Joan, who was born in Brighton in 1921.

Mabel Martin was involved in a motorcycling accident and died in Kingston Hospital on 2 April 1960 aged 68. She was buried on 9 April in St Andrew's Church, Ham, Surrey. She left an estate valued at £274, 17s, 11d to her husband, who himself passed away on 11 June 1974. Her daughter Joan was married in 1952 to George C. Lewis and lived for many years in Woking, Surrey, retaining several items belonging to her mother connected to Titanic, including her discharge book. These items were placed up for auction in 2017.

 

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Comment and discuss

  1. Charles Provost said:

    Many people that were passengers of lifeboat #6, including Major Peuchen and several other first class ladies, recalled a woman, Mrs M. E. A. Norton, who pluckily took the oars during the night of the sinking. I searched everywhere but cannot find this Mrs Norton. Peuchen gave her address at the Senate Inquiry, 'Apsley terrace' or something of that effect. I should read again his account and post Mrs Norton's address later. Any help will be appreciated. Charles

  2. Charles Provost said:

    Mrs M. E. A. Norton: 'Apsley Villa', Horn Lane, Acton, London.

  3. Michael Friedman (Mike) said:

    Might she perhaps actually have been Miss Martin, one of the a la carte restaurant cashiers?

  4. Charles Provost said:

    Thank you Michael! You got it. I checked in her biography and Miss Martin's address is given as 'Apsley Villa', Horn Lane, Acton, London. Exactly the same as Major Peuchen gave at the Inquiry for 'Mrs Norton'. I don't know why but I was searching in the first class passengers of boat #6 and I did not check properly in the crew. Thanks again. Charles

  5. Mona Parks said:

    I'm new to the message board, so maybe I missed something, but should i put Miss Norton in the dead end file?

  6. Ben Holme said:

    For "Miss Norton" read "Miss Margaret E. Martin", second cashier for the A la Carte restaurant who escaped the liner in boat #6. Presumably, the confusion over the woman's surmane originated from Major Arthur Peuchen's testimony to the American inquiry when recalling his fellow boat occupants: SMITH: Do you know who these women were at the oars? PEUCHEN: I know one of them. SMITH: Give the name. PEUCHEN: If you will excuse me, I will have to look it up. (referring to memorandum.) Miss M.E.A. Norton, Apsley Villa, Horn Lane, Acton, London. Hope this helps, Regards, Ben

  7. Brian Meister said:

    Dear Mona and Ben, The lady to which you are referring did exist, as Ben has pointed out. However, her name was, in fact, Miss Mabel E Martin. I have two examples of her writing out her name as Mabel, as well as her children re- lating their mother's name as Mabel after her death in 1960. As you are aware, Miss Martin held the position as 2nd Cashier in the Cafe Parisien and escaped with the Head Cashier, Miss Ruth Bowker in Lifeboat 6. Hope this helps. Brian M

  8. Ben Holme said:

    Most interesting, Brian! Many thanks for the tidbit Re. Miss Martin's christian name. For some reason, I've rather glossed over the two cashiers. I've always thought both women remained fairly elusive post-1912. Best Regards, Ben

  9. Mona Parks said:

    Dear Brian and Ben,thanks so much. I'm sorta new at the research and to the message board and I love both. Ya'll have been so much help. Mona

  10. Mike Shetina said:

    Archibald Gracie Also Lists Miss Norton As A Passenger Of Boat Six. Hope This Helps Mike Shetina

  11. margaret Botten said:

    Could anyone give me information on Margaret Martin,who was said to be a survivor in boat no.6

  12. Lester Mitcham said:

    You will find her biography here:

  13. margaret Botten said:

    Thank you so much Lester.I know now why I could never come up with anything about Miss Martin, because she went by the 1st name of Mabel.

  14. avatar

    Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Hello Margaret - here is my print out on Miss Martin - it may help a bit: MARTIN, Miss Mabel Elvina Elizabeth. Saved in Lifeboat number 6. 1 Apsley Villa, Horn Lane, Acton, London. Occupation - 2nd Cashier (Ritz Restaurant). 20 years old. (Born in Acton). First Voyage. Marconigram sent 18th April 1912 to: Miss C. care Thomas Cook, Piccadilly, London, England. ''Don't worry, all saved. - Elizabeth''. Marconi signal placed at Carpathia's Signal office but not transmitted - no time. E., T. Cooks, Piccadilly, London. Saved. Cheers Brian

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Credits

Gavin Bell, UK

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Christie's and Bellman's auctions of personal items

 
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) Mabel Elvina Martin (ref: #1993, last updated: 2nd August 2018, accessed 28th May 2020 22:12:24 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/mabel-edwina-martin.html