Annie Louise Harrott was born in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on the 16th February 1890, the daughter of Arthur Joseph and Florence Harrott (née King). Her father was a hosiery manager at a woollen mill, and the family home was at 32. Bank Street, Aberdeen.
On completion of her education, Annie became a dressmaker. In 1909, her father had immigrated to Canada, and when her mother died in April 1911, it was decided that Annie and some of her siblings would join him.
On the 31st August 1912, Annie and six of her younger siblings arrived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on board the Letitia, having sailed from Glasgow. They then made their way to Toronto, Ontario, where they were reunited with their father.
On the 19th January 1915, she married Arthur Wellesley Elliott in Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario. Her husband was an electrician, and the couple established their home at 1103. Tenth Street West, Calgary, Alberta.
In the spring of 1915, her husband decided to travel to England, where two of his brothers were working. Annie decided to accompany him, and consequently, they booked second cabin passage on the Lusitania. They joined the ship at Pier 54 in New York harbour on the morning of 1st May 1915, in time for her sailing out of that port in the early afternoon. By this time, Annie was expecting their first child.
Six days later, Annie survived the vessel’s torpedoing and sinking off the southern coast of Ireland, although her husband perished.
Having been rescued from the sea, she was landed at Queenstown, where she gave a brief interview to a representative from local newspaper The Cork Examiner, and this reported: -
She was in a most distressed condition as there is no news of her husband; and it is presumed that he is drowned. They left the boat together but were soon parted and she was picked up by one of the boats.
No trace of Arthur Elliot, either alive or dead was ever found and as a result, he has no known grave.
On the 10th July 1915, Annie Elliott boarded the New York at Liverpool, disembarking in New York City eight days later. From there, she travelled to Carleton Place, to the home of an aunt of her late husband, and it was here, on the 29th December 1915, that she gave birth to their daughter – Helen Louise.
Annie lodged a claim with the Canadian Commission on her return to Canada, seeking compensation for the loss of her husband and the personal belongings they lost in the sinking of the Lusitania. She gave evidence that she was without means, and that her husband had left no property, or life insurance. Her claim was decided in November 1926, and she was awarded $15,000 for the loss of Arthur, and $1,877.00 for the loss of their personal possessions in the sinking of the Lusitania.
Annie lived for some years in Ottawa, Ontario, where she found work as a clerk. She never remarried. She died suddenly on the 10th August 1952 in Toronto, Ontario, aged 62 years. She is buried in Pinecrest Cemetery, Ottawa, Ontario.
Ontario Canada Marriages 1826 – 1937, 1891 Census of Scotland, 1901 Census of Scotland, 1921 Census of Canada, Canadian Passenger Lists 1865 – 1935, New York Passenger Lists 1820 – 1957, Canadian Claims Case No. 836, Cork Examiner, Ottawa Citizen, Cunard Records, Deaths at Sea 1871 – 1968, Graham Maddocks, Geoff Whitfield, Michael Poirier, Jim Kalafus, Cliff Barry, Paul Latimer, Norman Gray.
Copyright © Peter Kelly.