Constance Margaret Kate Brown was born at Eriviat, Henllan, Denbighshire, Wales, in 1884, the second youngest of the six children of Henry and Catherine Brown (née Bevan). It is likely her father, who was a game keeper, was employed by the Ffoulkes family on the estate of Eriviat Hall when she was born.
By 1891, the family had relocated to Mount Zion, in the village of Condover, Shropshire, and then later, they had moved to the nearby village of Rushbury. In 1915, the family home was at 3. Roman Bank, Rushbury, Shropshire, England.
While still a teenager, Constance entered domestic service and was employed by Mr. Cyril E. Greenall as a housemaid at Willoughby Hall, Ancaster, Lincolnshire. Then, on the 11th June 1910, she boarded the
S.S. Cedric at Liverpool, bound for New York City.
She eventually went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., where she found work as a domestic servant, and in 1911, her youngest sister, Evelyn joined her. They resided at 1373. Locust Street, Philadelphia.
In April 1915, Constance and Evelyn booked third class passages on what turned out to be the
Lusitania’s final voyage, to return home to Shropshire for a holiday.
Constance and her sister were both killed when the ship was sunk and neither of their bodies were ever recovered from the sea afterwards and identified. Constance was aged 31 years.
After the sinking, Henry Brown applied for financial assistance to The Lusitania Relief Fund, which had been set up after the disaster by The Lord Mayor of Liverpool and other worthy dignitaries, to help those survivors and relatives of the dead, who found themselves in difficulties as a result of the sinking. The committee administering the fund awarded him the sum of £2-0s-0d., on 16th August, in respect of the loss of his two daughters.
Both sisters are commemorated on the headstone on the family grave in the churchyard of St. Peter’s, the parish church of Rushbury. The relevant inscription states: -
ALSO OF CONSTANCE,
AGED 31 YEARS.
AGED 28 YEARS. .....
WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE SINKING
OF THE S.S. LUSITANIA BY A GERMAN SUBMARINE
OFF THE IRISH COAST, 7TH MAY 1915.
“FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH”
Catherine Brown died in December 1930, aged 83 years and Henry Brown three months later, in March 1931, aged 81years.
Register of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1891 Census of England & Wales, 1901 Census of England & Wales, New York Passenger Lists 1820 – 1957, Cunard Records, Deaths at Sea 1871 – 1915, Britain's Maritime Memorials, PRO BT 100/345, UniLiv D92/2/189, Graham Maddocks, Meg Jones, Geoff Whitfield, Michael Poirier, Jim Kalafus, Cliff Barry, Paul Latimer, Norman Gray.
Copyright © Peter Kelly.