Isabella Harding Morrow was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, on the 28th July 1872, the fourth daughter and fifth child of seven, of John C. and Mary Morrow. Her father had been born in Ireland in 1834 and her mother had been born in London in1842. She had five sisters, Cecilia, born in 1863, Agnes, born in 1866, Margaret, born in 1869, Jessie, born in 1873 and Annie, born in 1879. She also had one brother, Robert, born in 1870.
Isabella Morrow was unmarried and lived at 72, Queen's Road, Bootle, Lancashire. Her father had been a professional mariner and she decided to follow his lead by serving in the Mercantile Marine.
On 12th April 1915, she engaged at Liverpool, as a stewardess in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania, at a monthly rate of pay of £4-0s-0d. She reported for duty on board ship, on the morning of 17th April, before the liner sailed out of the River Mersey for the last time on her way to New York. Her previous ship had been the Cunarder
Alaunia, although she had also served fairly regularly on the Lusitania previously to that.
Three weeks later, the steamer was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20, on her return journey to Liverpool, only twelve miles off the southern coast of Ireland and only hours away from her home port. Out of 22 stewardesses on board when the ship left New York, only nine survived the disaster. Miss Morrow was not amongst those nine.
Her body was never recovered and identified afterwards and consequently, she is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London. She was aged 42 years.
In a letter written to the Cunard Offices in Queenstown on 21st May 1915, relatives seeking information about second cabin passenger Mrs. Rose Bird sent a full description of her, probably to aid in the identification of a hitherto unidentified body. As well as this, they also added: -
"On last two trips across was very weak and always took her meals in her cabin. Miss Morrow the Stewardess, could identify her if the latter has survived."
Unfortunately, Miss Morrow was unable to help!
Administration of Isabel Morrow’s estate was granted, on 7th July 1915, to her widowed mother Mary, who lived at 98, Worcester Road, Bootle. Her effects amounted to £308-15s-11d., (£308.84p.), a considerable sum in those days for a person in a relatively poorly paid job. In August 1915, the balance of wages owing to her by The Cunard Steamship Company, was also forwarded to her mother. This was in respect of her service on board the
Lusitania from 17th April to 8th May 1915, 24 hours after the liner had foundered.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1911 English Census, 1901 English Census, 1891 English Census, 1881 British Census, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, Lawrence Evans, Probate Records, PRO BT 100/345, UniLiv. PR13/6, PRO BT 334.