Encyclopedia Titanica

Sarah Daniels

Personal Maid to Mrs Allison

Miss Sarah Daniels1, 33, was born in London.  She was 5' 6'' tall, with a fair complexion, fair hair and blue eyes.

She boarded the Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912 as a first-class passenger travelling as a maid with the Allison family: Hudson and his wife Bess and their two infant children Loraine and Trevor.  Also travelling with them in first class was a children's nurse Alice Cleaver and two other servants: Mildred Brown and George Swane, who both travelled in second class.  

When the Titanic stopped at Queenstown, Ireland Sarah sent a postcard to a friend Nell Green2:

I wish you were here, it is a lovely boat and it would do you good. Am just going on deck. Fisdig2

On the night of 14 April, after the ship hit the iceberg Sarah was able to board a lifeboat and leave the shp. 

MAID TELLS STORY
"I did not even know that the engines had stopped when a maid came into my cabin and told me to get dressed," said Miss Sarah Daniels, one of the maids who accompanied the Allison party on the ill-fated Titanic, who, together with Miss Alice Cleaver, the nurse, carrying the little baby, the sole survivor of the family; and Mildred Brown, another maid, arrived in Montreal on the Delaware and Hudson train this evening. 

"I was so sleepy that as soon as the maid left the room," continued Miss Daniels "I got into bed again, and only began to dress when another girl came in and roused me.

We all did as we were told. There was no excitement and not knowing what had happened, we were not alarmed.  The boat I was in was not very crowded. There were only 4 men in the boat, and they took the oars. There was no officer in the boat, and a woman steered as we were rowing away in the darkness." - Weekly Free Press and Prairie Farmer, Winnipeg, 24 April 1912

The Allison's cook Mildren Brown later wrote:

I found Sallie had got on alright but poor girl she keeps worrying about her things, of course we have lost everything bar what we stand up in.

Her employers, the Allisons, along with their baby daughter Loraine, died in the sinking.  The infant Trevor was carried off the ship by his nursemaid Alice Cleaver.

The party returned to Montreal where Sarah gave some interviews to the press that were widely syndicated but what became of Sarah Daniels after this date is currently unknown.

Notes

  1. Sarah's Identity. 
    There is very little information about who Sarah Daniels was or what became of her.  In common with several other servants, she does not appear in the extant passenger list but she is listed in the immigration list of survivors arriving aboard the Carpathia on 18 April.  
    In the immigration list Sarah gave her nearest friend or relative as a friend Miss Green, Harborne, Birmingham, the same person (Nell Green) to whom she sent the postcard from Queenstown. 
    Assuming that Sarah Daniels was her real name (she is sometimes listed as Sallie and Sadie), then she may have been the Sarah Rebecca Daniels was born at 18 East Street in Marylebone, London, England on 10 November 1875. She was later baptised on 2 January 1876 in St Marylebone, Westminster. She was the daughter of Samuel Daniels (b. 1835), a zinc merchants porter, and Catherine Mary Warren (b. 1840), both London natives. Her siblings were: Samuel (b. 1868), James John (b. 1869), Catherine Margaret (b. 1870), Benjamin (b. 1873), Mary (b. 1874), Christopher (b. 1877), Jane (b. 1880) and Joseph (b. 1882). She appears on the 1881 census living at 18 East Street in Marylebone, London. By the time of the 1911 census she was working as a domestic servant at Valkyrie, 12 Cranes Park Avenue in Surbiton, Surrey, the household of a George William Dibben and his family.  Further research is needed to ascertain if this is the Sarah Daniels that was on the Titanic.  It has also been suggested that Sarah's later married name was Sarah Selleck or Sellick, but the supporting evidence for this is unknown.
  2. The full name of the recipient of the postcard was Ellen Louisa Green, she was born in Birmingham in 1879 and died on 15 Nov 1963, aged 84. She was still living at the same address given on the postcard in 1963.  Sarah seems to have sometimes signed postcards with this nickname, the significance of which is unknown. Other postcards were signed simply "S."

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Miss Sarah Daniels
Born: circa.1879 in London, England
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: in London, England
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 113781, £151 16s
Rescued (boat 8)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912

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References and Sources

Atlantic Daily Bulletin, Journal of the British Titanic Society (1995) No.3, p.5.

Research Articles

Titanica! (2018) Titanic: The Disappeared
Which Titanic survivors have never been found?

Newspaper Articles

Unidentified Newspaper PERISHES WITH BABE
Chicago Daily Tribune (20 April 1912) She would not leave her husband and went down with Titanic.
Chooses To Die With Husband

Images

152 Abbey Road

Documents and Certificates

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912, National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]).

Miscellaneous

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, New York; NWCTB-85-T715-Vol. 4183.
(1912) Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic, Titanic Inquiry Project

Bibliography

Don Lynch & Ken Marschall (1992) Titanic: An Illustrated History, London, Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0 340 56271 4
Judith Geller (1998) Titanic: Women and Children First, Haynes, ISBN 0393046664
Alan Hustak (1999) Titanic: The Canadian Story, Véhicule Press. ISBN 1 55065 113 7
Dinah Burnett (2000) From workhouse to prison to .......... the Titanic?, ISBN 0953728803
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Comment and discuss

  1. mary mason

    mary mason said:

    does any one know what became of sarah daniels after the disaster, like if she married and had children and when she died? thanks

  2. Shannon Duff

    Shannon Duff said:

    No clue, sorry

  3. Jason Lee Daniel

    Jason Lee Daniel said:

    I am also intrigued to know what became of her.....I am trying to trace my ancestry and find out if any of the three "daniels" in the first class are in my lineage.....so if you find something, please let me know.....

  4. Brian Ahern

    Brian Ahern said:

    Jason et al, Judith Geller's "Women and Children First" discussed Sarah. I don't remember if it discussed her ultimate fate, although it did include a letter to relations in England following the disaster. She discussed the somber travelling party back to Canada consisting of the surviving servants and Allison family relatives; and described trying to seem respectfully solemn when she was really feeling euphoric at being alive.

  5. Garret

    Garret said:

    She left with Trevor with him in boat 11, as in says here ... please get your information right and so which boat did they enter/leave in

  6. Phoebe Head

    Phoebe Head said:

    Alice Cleaver had Trevor.

  7. Jane (2586)

    Jane (2586) said:

    How do you know that Sarah Rebecca Daniels was THE Sarah Daniels on the ship? WHat connects them?

  8. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    I have been meaning to try and research about Sarah Rebecca Daniels' life following the Titanic disaster. Very little information is available on the web but I'll keep searching. I did not know about the letter that she is supposed to have sent her British relatives after the disaster (see above post). I think I do have a copy of Judith Geller's book somewhere (most likely packed with many others in a warehouse waiting to be shipped to our second home in India once this Coronavirus situation improves) but have so far missed the account about this letter. As far as I am aware, she sent a... Read full post

  9. Encyclopedia Titanica

    Encyclopedia Titanica said:

    Let's look at what we actually know about the Titanic survivor and go from there. She appears to not be in the passenger list, like several other servants, but she is in the immigration list of passengers leaving the Carpathia. This gives her name (we have to assume it is genuine but some passengers used aliases), states she is 33 years old, born in London, single, is Maid to Mrs Allison, gives a physical description, and a home country contact of Miss (or Mrs) Green, Harborne, Birmingham. It says it is her first trip to the USA, this leaves open the question of whether she had ever been to... Read full post

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  10. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    Very interesting post, Phil. I have met several Titanic enthusiasts (mostly BTS members) who felt that there was something dodgy about Sarah Daniels' background and that might be the reason that so little is known about it. It has been suggested that Sarah was one Sarah Rebecca Daniels who was born at 18 East Street in Marylebone, London, England on 10 November 1875. The age isn't too far off and she was a Sarah Daniels born in London who was later a maid, but it is unclear if there is any actual evidence that this is the Titanic... Read full post

  11. Encyclopedia Titanica

    Encyclopedia Titanica said:

    OK, I'd be interested to know what accounts these are as the only place I have seen her age mentioned is on the immigration list.

  12. Seumas

    Seumas said:

    Might the recently unsealed 1921 Census of England & Wales be of any use ?

  13. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    To be honest, I cannot think off the top of my head where I saw that date of birth 10th November 1875; could it have been on her ET bio before it was revised? It still says that DoB on the "Titanic Wiki" site but I accept that it is a rather lightweight source. But I am sure that I have seen that supposed date of birth elsewhere and have a VERY good reason to remember it; I was born on that exact... Read full post

  14. Encyclopedia Titanica

    Encyclopedia Titanica said:

    Never heard of that site but they must have just copied the date off the old ET bio. It is still in the bio footnotes as it might be her, but there doesn't seem to be any additional corroborating evidence to link this person with the Titanic survivor other than similarities of name, age and occupation etc.

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Acknowledgements

George Behe, USA
Gavin Bell, UK
John Clifford, USA
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany