Margaret Louisa Boyd was born in County Armagh, Ireland, in 1895. Her father’s name is unknown, while her mother’s name was Emily. She was the only child of the marriage, and her father died when she was quite young. Her mother was a domestic servant who secured a position in the home of the Reverend James Fleetwood Berry, a prominent Protestant clergyman in Galway City, and both Margaret and her mother resided in the Berry home.
On the 18th July 1914, Margaret Boyd arrived in Quebec, Canada, on board the
Teutonic. She was hoping to take a position as a children’s nurse. It is not known if she secured the position, but by 1915, she was working in Hamilton, Ontario, and in the spring of 1915, decided to return home, perhaps because of the war in Europe.
As a consequence, she booked a second cabin passage for herself from New York to Liverpool and joined the
Lusitania at Pier 54, in New York before the liner left there for the very last time, on 1st May 1915.
Six days later, after the liner had been torpedoed and sunk, Margaret Boyd was killed and as no trace of her body was ever discovered and identified afterwards, she has no known grave. She was aged 20 years.
In the summer of 1915, her mother applied to The Lusitania Relief Fund, of Liverpool for financial help. The fund had been set up after the disaster by The Lord Mayor of Liverpool and other local dignitaries to help survivors and dependants of dead passengers who were in difficulties as a result of the sinking. The awards committee eventually granted her the sum of just £3-0s-0d on the grounds that she could produce no evidence that her daughter had ever given her much financial assistance.
1901 Census of Ireland, 1911 Census of Ireland, Canadian Passenger Lists 1865 – 1935, Cunard Records, Liverpool Record Office, Deaths at Sea 1871 – 1968, PRO BT 100/345, Graham Maddocks, Geoff Whitfield, Michael Poirier, Jim Kalafus, Cliff Barry, Paul Latimer, Norman Gray.
Copyright © Peter Kelly