Miss Dorothy Ditman Allen

Dorothy Allen, 26, was the middle daughter of Dr. Richard and Hettie D. Allen, of Oxford Pike, near Leiper Street, Frankford, Pennsylvania, and along with her sisters "enjoyed rare educational advantages."  Dorothy was a graduate of Mount Holyoke College.  In her youth she appeared in, and worked behind the scenes on, amateur stage productions. While her sisters became teachers, she entered employment with the Crompton family in 1913-14, "devoting three hours each afternoon to her duties."  To her mother she contributed a sum, of support, of $300 per year. Dorothy was lost, along with the Cromptons, in the sinking of the Lusitania, appearing on the Monday, 10 May 1915 New York Times' list of lost Americans. Dorothy Allen and two or three of the children may have been the nanny and children who Wallace Phillips saw rushing into the B deck foyer, shouting, “Torpedo!” as the torpedo was about to hit the ship. Her body was not recovered, but a letter providing details of her physical appearance has survived.  In it she is described as being five feet, with blue eyes, brown hair, stub nose, freckles, and twenty-six years old.  Her mother was granted $7,500.00 for loss of life, and $1,267.00 for lost personal property in November 1923. Dorothy Allen has maintained a high posthumous profile as governess to the ill-fated Crompton family, but few biographical details of her life are readily available beyond her employment record.

Related pages

Dorothy Allen at the Mixed Claims Commission

Links of interest

Encyclopedia Titanica - Lest We Forget: Part 1
Contributors: Jim Kalafus Michael Poirier

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