The Lusitania Resource > People > Saloon (First Class) Passenger List > Miss Greta Anna Jacobina Reuter-Lorenson

Miss Greta Anna Jacobina Reuter-Lorenson

Greta Lorenson, 21, was a nanny to the Pearl children, Stuart, Amy, Susan, and Audrey. Greta was a Danish woman who was hired by fellow nurse to the Pearl children, Alice Lines, when the Pearl family was in Copenhagen. Greta was traveling aboard Lusitania with Alice Lines, the Pearl children, and the parents Surgeon-Major Warren Pearl and Amy Lea Duncan Pearl, as the Pearl family was moving to England. Greta, along with children Amy and Susan Pearl, were lost when Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk. Alice, Stuart, Audrey, and the parents Warren and Amy survived. According to Hickey and Smith's Seven Days to Disaster, Greta had a brother who died on the Titanic, but evidence for this is doubtful. The Titanic passenger and crew list does not have a Danish man named Lorenson, and Alice Lines in later years stated that she never heard of any such stories from Greta.

Lusitania


Greta's ticket on Lusitania was 46071, and she stayed in cabin E-67, sharing a cabin with Stuart and Audrey. Throughout the voyage Warren continuously instructed Amy, Alice, and Greta what to do in case the Lusitania was torpedoed. Greta and Alice divided their roles between them. During the day Alice dined with the children in the first 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. Afterwards, with the children in bed, Greta looked over the children as Alice joined Warren and Amy for dinner. 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 went downstairs with Stuart to look after Audrey while Greta remained above decks. The torpedo hit just after 2 p.m. Greta, Alice, and the Pearls met up, put on their lifejackets, and went up top to the Boat Deck. In an interview with Malcolm Brown, Alice Lines recalled that 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, with Audrey and Stuart found Greta with Susan later, but young Amy was missing. Alice alarmed, cried, "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. Warren and his wife Amy spotted Greta and Susan standing by a boat swung out and ready to be launched. However, they had lost track of Alice, Stuart, and Audrey, not knowing that they had escaped safely in a lifeboat. The ship was listing to starboard and soon righted herself.  The Pearls and Lindon Bates separated to continue to look for the missing children without success.  The Lusitania was on a fairly even keel by that time and a boat filled with people crashed inboard, crushing people on deck.  Just then the Lusitania made a plunge to starboard and water rushed over the forecastle.  The missing children were still not found and Warren found two planks for him, Amy, Greta, and Susan. The sea came charging at them, throwing everyone on deck into the sea as the ship plunged underneath.  Greta and Susan were lost in the disaster. Their bodies were never recovered or identified. Contributors Hildur Panula-Heinonen Michael Poirier Eric Sauder References Deposition of Major F. Warren Pearl. 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