Christina Fraser Campbell known as ‘Tina’ Campbell was born in Inverness, Inverness-shire, Scotland, on the 22nd September 1885, the daughter of Robert and Catherine Campbell (née Fraser). Her father was described at various times as a tinsmith, sheet iron worker, gasfitter, and ironmonger. Tina was one of eight known children.
At some time, probably in 1910 or 1911, she had immigrated to Canada where she found a position as a housekeeper in Calgary, Alberta.
In the spring of 1915, however, perhaps because of the war in Europe, or just to visit her family, she decided to return home to Scotland. Consequently, she booked second cabin passage for herself on the May sailing of the
Lusitania. She boarded the liner at her berth at Pier 54 in New York, on the morning of 1st May 1915, in time for the vessel’s scheduled 10.00 sailing. This was then postponed until the early afternoon whilst the liner took on board passengers, cargo and some crew from Anchor Liner Cameronia which the British Admiralty had requisitioned as a troop ship at the end of April.
Six days later, on the afternoon of 7th May, the Lusitania was torpedoed by the German submarine
U-20, twelve miles off The Old Head of Kinsale in southern Ireland and sank only eighteen minutes later. At that stage of her voyage, she was a mere twelve or fourteen hours away from her Liverpool destination.
Tina Campbell was one of nearly 380 second cabin passengers who were killed as a result of this action and as her body was never recovered from the sea and identified afterwards, she has no known grave. She was aged 29 years.
On the 10th May 1915, a cable was received from Cunard’s Boston office in the office in either Queenstown or Liverpool, which simply requested: -
INQUIRY HERE MISS TINA S. (sic) CAMPBELL SECOND CABIN.
to which a reply was sent the following day: -
NEW YORK CABLES MISS TINA S. CAMPBELL NOT ON BOARD.
Then, in answer to this, a letter was received from Boston on 14th May, which said: -
In regard to Miss Tina S. Campbell, second cabin passenger, New York has since confirmed that she did sail; the mistake being due, as we understand it, to some discrepancy in her name at the time she embarked.
Tina Campbell’s family remembered her on a family gravestone in Inverness (Tomnahurich) Cemetery, which still exists today.
Mrs. Hannah Urquhart, a sister of Tina’s living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, later lodged a claim on behave of herself, and two of her other sisters residing in Canada – Miss Frances Campbell, of Adanac, Saskatchewan, and Mrs. Mabel Dickie, of Toronto, Ontario, for the loss of Tina’s personal effects and money which she stated she was in possession of on board the
Lusitania. The claim was decided upon by the Canadian Commission, which had been established to decide on such claims, and in April 1926 she was awarded $1,000.00, with interest of 5% from the 10th January 1920.
1891 Scotland Census, 1901 Scotland Census, Cunard Records, NGMM D/Lus/4/1, PRO BT 100/345, UniLiv.PR13/6, UniLiv D/92/2/363, Deaths at Sea 1871 – 1968, Canadian Claims Case No. 833, Dundee Courier, Calgary Herald, Graham Maddocks, Geoff Whitfield, Michael Poirier, Jim Kalafus, Cliff Barry, Paul Latimer, Norman Gray.
Copyright © Peter Kelly.