Alice Bishop was born Alice Morris in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England, in 1866, the daughter of Thomas Roberts and Louisa Morris (née Gould). Her father was a shoemaker and the family home was at 18. South Street, Kidderminster, Worcestershire.
She married Joseph Bishop, who was carpet weaver, in Kidderminster in 1884, and they lived at George Street, Kidderminster, with their two children – Walter & Joseph. Some time before 1901, they moved to Oldham, Lancashire and set up home at Turf Lane, Heyside.
In 1913, they decided to try their luck at farming in Canada and subsequently emigrated there. They arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in April 1913 on board the
Virginian, having sailed from Liverpool. Perhaps because of the war, however, they decided to return to England and consequently booked as third class passengers on the
Lusitania, leaving New York on 1st May 1915. They had booked their tickets from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Both of their children were married, Joseph, in Canada, and Walter in Oldham.
Neither Alice nor her husband survived the sinking of the Cunarder, just three weeks after they had left New York, nor were either of their bodies ever found and identified. Alice Bishop was aged 49 years.
In the summer of 1915, Walter Bishop applied for financial assistance for the loss of his parents 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 declined to award him anything, presumably because they felt he was not in need of assistance.
Joseph E. Bishop submitted a claim in Canada for the loss of cash and personal effects of his parents, and on the 19th May 1926, the Canadian Commission awarded him $700.00 with interest of 5% per annum from the date of the sinking to the date the claim was settled.
Both the house in George Street and Messrs Woodward, Grosvenor and Company’s carpet works still exist in Kidderminster today.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1871 Census of England & Wales, 1881 Census of England & Wales, 1891 Census of England & Wales, 1901 Census of England & Wales, 1911 Census of England & Wales, Canadian Passenger Lists 1865 – 1935, Canadian Claims Case No. 804, Cunard Records, Kidderminster Shuttle, Liverpool Record Office, Oldham Standard, Deaths at Sea 1871 – 1968, PRO BT 100/345, UniLiv D92/2/322, Graham Maddocks, Geoff Whitfield, Ruth Butler, Lawrence Evans, Michael Poirier, Jim Kalafus, Cliff Barry, Paul Latimer, Norman Gray.
Copyright © Peter Kelly.