Joan Mary Adams was born in Chertsey, Surrey, England, in 1913, the daughter of Albert Edwin and Gertrude Adams (née Pollett). Both of her parents had worked in, what were then known as, Lunatic Asylums.
Shortly after her birth in 1913, her father immigrated to Canada to try and find work and find a home for the family. In April 1914, Joan and her mother made the voyage to Canada on board the
Royal Edward to join him. The family settled in Edmonton, Alberta.
In September 1914, Joan’s father enlisted in one of the local battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and by Spring 1915, he had already left Canada for England and possibly the Western Front. As a result, her mother decided to return to relatives in Bristol, and consequently, she booked second cabin passage for herself and Joan on the
Lusitania and the pair joined the liner before she left New York for the last time ever, just after mid-day on 1st May 1915.
After the ship was sunk, six days later, although Mrs. Adams was counted amongst the survivors her daughter Joan perished! As her body was never recovered from the sea and identified, Joan Adams has no known grave. She was aged a mere two years!
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, Canadian Passenger Lists 1865 – 1935, Cunard Records, Edmonton Journal, Deaths at Sea 1871 – 1968, PRO BT 100/345, Western Daily Press, Graham Maddocks, Geoff Whitfield, Michael Poirier, Jim Kalafus, Cliff Barry, Paul Latimer, Norman Gray.
Copyright © Peter Kelly