Miss Alice Maud Lines

Alice Lines Saloon Passenger Saved
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Born Alice Maud Lines December 1896 England, United Kingdom
Died November 1997 (age 100) England, United Kingdom
Age on Lusitania 18
Ticket number 46071
Cabin number E 59
Traveling with - Warren Pearl (employer) - Amy Lea Duncan Pearl (employer) - Stuart Pearl (charge) - Amy Whitewright Pearl (charge) - Susan Pearl (charge) - Audrey Pearl (charge) - Greta Lorenson (colleague)
Lifeboat 13
Rescued by Stormcock
Occupation Nanny
Citizenship British (England)
Residence New York City, New York, United States
Other name(s) - Alice Page (after marriage) - Alice Drury (after remarriage)
Spouse(s) - Francis Page (? - ?) - John Drury (? - ?) Please provide dates
Alice Lines (1896 - 1997), 18, was nanny to the Pearl children Stuart, Amy, Susan, and Audrey with her co-nanny, Greta Lorenson. Alice and Greta were employed by Surgeon-Major Warren Pearl and his wife Amy Lea Duncan Pearl. Alice was in charge of Audrey and Stuart when Lusitania was torpedoed and sinking. She and the children entered lifeboat 13, which was safely lowered, and rescued by the government patrol boat Stormcock.
  1. Employment
  2. The voyage
  3. Disaster
  4. After Lusitania
  5. Links of interest
  6. Notes


Alice was born December 1896 as the daughter of a Saxmundham cabinet maker.  She was trained at the Norland School of Nursing in London and was recruited by Warren and Amy Pearl to look after their children Stuart, Amy (nicknamed Bunny), and Susan in Folkestone, England, in 1914. Alice had met Major Pearl by appointment in a London club. Alice was wearing a large hat, as was the fashion of the time, and Warren had asked, "Will you take your hat off?" Alice complied and let down her long, red hair. Warren remarked, "Oh my wife will love you, because you've got such pretty hair". Alice was to accompany the Pearls in two years of touring the world, but war broke out in August. At that time, the Pearls were in Stockholm, Sweden and Warren secured passports for Petrograd, Russia (formerly St. Petersburg and later Leningrad) in hopes of applying his military experience there.  Their plans had to change in Helsingfors, Denmark under threats of bombardment. When Warren was arrested in German territory, Amy had to leave the children with Alice to aid her husband.  In the absence of both parents, Alice hired Danish girl Greta Lorenson to help take care of the children. Amy was expecting another child and wanted it born in the United States.  The Pearls arrived home on a Scandinavian American Liner, Frederik VIII, in early December of that year.  The baby was born in New York and christened Audrey. In the spring of 1915, Warren was instructed to report to the American Embassy in London, England.  He thus booked passage on the Lusitania with his wife, children, and nurses.  At the time, Amy was pregnant with a fifth child, a son that would be later named Vivian.  The night before sailing they had a farewell dinner party in a private room at the Plaza Hotel.

The voyage

Alice’s ticket on Lusitania was 46071, and she stayed in cabin E-59, sharing a cabin with Susan and baby Amy, nicknamed "Bunny." Throughout the voyage Warren continuously instructed Amy, Alice, and Greta what to do in case the Lusitania was torpedoed.  On Wednesday, 5 May, she was given the night off.  Alice had not felt imminent danger throughout the trip, and the lifeboat drills did not bother her.  She described the food as "tip top," and her personal steward brought her tea every morning. Alice and Greta divided their roles between them.  During the day she dined with the children in the saloon class nursery.  In the afternoon Greta took the older children to tea in the nursery, while Alice listened to the orchestra and had afternoon tea on deck.  At 6 p.m. Alice and Greta supervised the children's dinner and afterwards, with the children in bed, Alice joined Warren and Amy for dinner as Greta looked over the children. On Thursday evening, Alice was feeding baby Audrey while Warren and Amy were at cocktails.  Alice was looking forward to the concert and the dancing there.  Then, a steward came in to draw the curtains, saying, "We're getting close to Ireland.  We must black out the ports."


On Friday, 7 May, Alice and Greta took Stuart, young Amy, and Susan to lunch in the nursery while Audrey stayed sleeping in Alice's room.  Just before 2 p.m., Alice returned downstairs to feed Audrey and took Stuart with her so that he could take a nap.  Stuart was lying down and Alice was feeding Audrey when the torpedo hit. According to Hickey and Smith's Seven Days to Disaster, Alice wrapped Audrey in a shawl and took Stuart by the hand, saying, "Come along, we won't wait for anything." In an interview with Malcolm Brown, Alice recalled that when the torpedo hit, Stuart cried out, "I don't want to be drowned, I don't want to be drowned". Alice crossed over to him, saying, "Hang on to me what ever happens", and he did. Alice, Greta, and the Pearls met up, put on their lifejackets, and went up top to the Boat Deck. According to the Malcolm Brown interview, they had climbed up one flight of stairs when they felt a second torpedo impact. At that point, Greta, who was ahead of Alice, called back, "What shall I do?" Alice answered, "You look after Bunny". The ensuing crowd rushing out of the ship separated them.  Alice had Stuart and Audrey with her and instructed Stuart to stay with her "no matter what happens". In the Malcolm interview, Alice stated that she never saw Greta, Susan, and baby Amy again, but according to Hickey and Smith, Alice saw Greta once more with Susan, but young Amy was missing. Alice, alarmed, cried out, "What have you done with my baby?" "A stewardess took her to a lifeboat."  A visibly frightened Greta explained.  "Oh, what are we to do?" "Don't bother with anybody else."  Alice answered.  "Just watch the children." As little Amy Pearl was not among the survivors, it may be presumed that the lifeboat that the stewardess took the child to was not lowered successfully and upset. Greta and Susan were also lost in the disaster. Their bodies were never recovered or identified. The following is from Alice's 1915 testimony:
1781 (Solicitor-General):  What happened to you then? (Alice):  I had difficulty standing.  I was knocked towards the ship and had a hill to climb to get into the lifeboat.1782 (Solicitor-General):  But you did it with the children, did you? (Alice):  Yes, I had the baby in my arms and a little boy of five hanging to my skirt. 1783 (Solicitor-General):  And you got them into the boat on the port side? (Alice):  Yes. 1784 (Solicitor General):  Did anyone help you? (Alice):  The passengers on board.  Two gentlemen helped me up the stairs.  One left me to get a lifebelt for me, but I saw him no more, and another passenger helped me into the boat. 1785 (Solicitor-General):  Were there any sailors there? (Alice):  I saw none. 1786 (Solicitor-General):  What happened next? (Alice):  We went down to the boat quite easily until we got to the bottom and the water splashed up.  It was rather difficult to get away. 1787 (Solicitor-General):  But you got away safely on the port side? (Alice):  Yes.* 1788 (Solicitor-General):  And you and both the children were all right? (Alice):  Quite all right, except a few bruises.
Alice's later recollections of the event were somewhat different. Alice claimed that she was blocked entry into a lifeboat, but a sailor forcibly snatched Stuart from her and placed her into the boat.  Alice tried to follow, but she was held back.  The boat started to lower, and with Audrey still tied to her, Alice made her way through and jumped for the boat - and missed. Screaming, she and Audrey landed in the water, but are later pulled into the boat by Alice's long hair.  Alice would later credit her hair for saving her life. According to Ballard and Dunmore, a Frenchman (perhaps Samuel Abramowitz) then made room for her to sit down. After Alice thanked him, the man said, "You have perhaps lost your husband. Do not worry.  I am wealthy.  I will look after you." "Thanks very much," was all Alice could say, wondering if she had been the first woman proposed to during a sinking. Admittedly, the latter account makes a better story, but in light of the previous testimony, it seems more likely that this story was a later embellishment. In Queenstown, Alice, Audrey, and Stuart were reunited Warren and his wife Amy, not a trace of Greta, young Amy, or Susan could be found.  Warren, Amy, and Alice attended the open sessions of the ensuing Mersey Inquiry.  Afterwards, Alice and the surviving Pearl family recuperated in Suffolk.

After Lusitania

At the time of the Lusitania sinking, Alice had been engaged, but ill health had prevented the wedding from taking place. After an extended period of time, the engagement was cancelled. Alice married Francis Page of Yorkshire. When he passed away, she married John Drury, a retired hairdresser from Manchester.  Alice also granted interviews about her experiences of the Lusitania sinking, now in books, news articles, and documentaries. She continued to keep close contact with Audrey Pearl throughout her life until Alice's death in November 1997.  Alice Lines Drury was 100.

Links of interest

An Interview with Alice Lines Drury - Imperial War Museum


* Alice's testimony of leaving the ship by a port-side lifeboat does not match the description of any other survivors'.  Therefore it seems likely that she escaped in a starboard boat, #13, and her description of climbing a hill to get into a boat about her moving from the bow to the stern and not from starboard to port. Contributors: Paul Latimer Martin Lines Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd Michael Poirier Eric Sauder References: Deposition of Major F. Warren Pearl. Minutes of Evidence as given at the Mersey Inquiry. Ballard, Dr. Robert D. with Spencer Dunmore.  Exploring the Lusitania.   Warner Books, Inc.,  1995. Brown, Malcolm. The Imperial War Museum Book of The First World War: A Great Conflict Recalled in Previously Unpublished Letters, Diaries and Memoirs. Sidgwick and Jackson, 1991. Hickey, Des and Gus Smith.  Seven Days to Disaster.  G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1981.

About the Author