Margaret Elizabeth Foulkes was born Margaret Elizabeth Hughes in 1873 in Sandycroft, Flintshire, Wales, the daughter of John and Jane Hughes. At some time, the family moved to Bootle, Lancashire, near Liverpool.
On 6 November 1895 Margaret married William Foulkes, who was a seaman, at St Leonard’s Church, Bootle. The couple had no children, and by 1915 William Foulkes had died. She resided at 64 Brook Road, Bootle, with her widowed sister, Sarah Adams, and her nephew, Leonard Adams.
She engaged as a stewardess in the Stewards' Department on board the Lusitania at Liverpool Pier Head on the morning of 17 April 1915 just before the liner left the River Mersey for the last time. As a stewardess her monthly wage was £4-0s-0d. It was not the first time that she had served on the vessel.
Having completed the liner’s crossing to New York without mishap, Stewardess Foulkes was still serving on board on the early afternoon of 1 May, as the
Lusitania left New York to begin her return to Liverpool. Six days out of that port, on the afternoon of 7 May, the liner was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20, within sight of the coast of southern Ireland and only some 250 miles away from the safety of her home port.
There were 22 stewardesses on board when the vessel was struck, nine were saved and thirteen were lost. Unfortunately Margaret Foulkes was one of those lost. She was aged 42. As her body was never recovered and identified after the disaster, she has no known grave, so she is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
On 23 August 1915 administration of Stewardess Foulkes’ estate was granted to her mother, her effects amounting to £51-16s-0d (£51.80).
After the death of her father, her mother married a Mr Henry Lewis and they moved to 220 Marsh Lane, Bootle, Lancashire.
The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted a yearly pension to Mrs Sarah Adams, who was obviously someway dependant on her sister. This amounted to £13-0s-0d (£13) payable at the rate of £1-1s-8d (£1.07) per month.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1881 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, David Irving, Robert O'Brien, Probate Records, PRO BT 100/345, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.