Miss Irene Emily Paynter

Irene Paynter, 30, was a British national from England traveling aboard Lusitania with her father Charles after a trip to North America. Charles and Irene went down with the ship together, but Irene survived. She believed that her father was killed when wreckage struck him in the water.

Life


Irene was one of four daughters born to Charles and Emily Paynter. Her older sister, Violet Florence, was born in 1883, Her younger sisters were Evelyn Frederica "Freda" and Kathleen. Their mother Emily died in 1912 and was buried in the churchyard at Bidston. There is a large family memorial which also includes Charles Edwin and Florence Violet (d. 1951). The Paynters had a country house in the village of Syresham. One upstairs bedroom had tiny panes, one of which had a date scratched into it with a diamond by her mother. Irene and Charles lived in Liverpool, where Charles conducted business. In March 1915 Charles and Irene booked the Adriatic to go to New York. Returning home to Britain, Charles and Irene booked saloon cabin (first class) on the Lusitania. Their ticket aboard Lusitania was 46133, and her cabin was separate from her father, in B-105. They sat at Charles Bowring's table in the dining saloon. During the day they played games in the lounge with Dwight Harris and friends. Charles Paynter found his daughter packing in her cabin when the ship struck. Mr. Bowring tried to help Irene with her lifebelt, and Ralph Moodie eventually adjusted it for her. Charles and Irene went down together. She was under the impression that her father was struck by wreckage and that is what killed him. She believed that she was in the water for over three hours and was unconscious when she was rescued. She was badly bruised, but not otherwise injured. Charles Bowring escorted Irene home. Charles Paynter's body washed up at Queenstown, number 37. Irene wrote a letter about her experiences. She and none of her sisters ever married. By the mid 1950’s, Irene was living with a companion, a Miss Smart and was renting out her Syresham country home. Contributors: Marjorie Hayes Darjany Michael Poirier Ann Paynter Roberts Judith Tavares References: Ellis Island Online. <http://www.ellisisland.org/> Liverpool Post and Mercury, 12 May 1915.

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