Margaret Ballantyne was born in Scotland in 1886. The family home was in Glasgow, Lanarkshire.
She had been working in New York, N.Y., in the United States of America and in the spring of 1915, decided to return home to Scotland, perhaps because of the Great War.
As a consequence, she booked a third class passage for herself from New York to Liverpool on the first stage of the journey, 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 was torpedoed and sunk, Margaret Ballantyne managed to survive, probably because she was able to get into one of the lifeboats which were successfully launched.
Once she had been rescued from the sea and landed at Queenstown, she was able to make it back to Glasgow.
From there, in the summer of 1915, she successfully applied for financial assistance to The Lusitania Relief Fund, of Liverpool. This 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. The awards committee eventually granted her the sum of £3-0s-0d and promised to consider any further claims. It is not known, however, if any further money was ever granted to her.
Cunard Records, Liverpool Record Office, PRO BT 100/345, Graham Maddocks, Geoff Whitfield, Michael Poirier, Jim Kalafus, Cliff Barry, Paul Latimer, Norman Gray.
Copyright © Peter Kelly