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Master John Harrison Chattan Stephens

John Stephens (1913 – 1915), 18 months old, was the grandson of Canadian philanthropist Frances Stephens and son of Lieutenant Chattan and Hazel Stephens (born Kemp). The family lived in Montréal, Québec, Canada. He was traveling aboard Lusitania with grandmother Frances Stephens, maid Elise Oberlin, and nurse Caroline Milne. The entire party was lost in the Lusitania sinking.

Lusitania


John Stephens was born in 1913, the younger brother of Frances Elizabeth Stephens, who was born in 1912. Their mother Hazel was the daughter of Sir Albert Edward Kemp. Their father Chattan had gone to fight in World War I on the Western Front, and Hazel had departed for England first with his sister Frances. John and his grandmother Frances were to follow later aboard Lusitania upon hearing that Chattan had fallen ill with trench fever and developed an inflammation of the heart. John stayed in cabin D-9 with his nurse, Caroline. When the Lusitania was sinking, John was in the arms of his grandmother Frances, in the company of Frederick Orr-Lewis, Dorothy Braithwaite, Lady Allan and her daughters Gwen and Anna, Lady Allan's maids Annie Walker and Emily Davis.  Frederick Orr-Lewis made sure they stayed together and had lifebelts on.  They did not know what to do as the port side lifeboats were not lowered successfully, so they waited on the port side of the boat deck, until the ship suddenly plunged and sank from beneath them. When the water enveloped them, Orr-Lewis was holding Gwen's hand, Lady Allan was holding Anna's, Lady Allan's maids Annie Walker and Emily Davis were with them, and Frances Stephens was holding onto her grandson John.  Dorothy Braithwaite was somehow separated from them. Frances' body was recovered, but baby John was not. He must have been swept out of his grandmother's arms while in the water.

A marriage from the tragedy


John Harrison Chattan Stephens' maternal grandparents were Albert Edward Kemp and Celia Wilson Kemp. Sir Edward and Lady Kemp became quite active in the Lusitania survivors and family association in Canada. In the association’s activities they became friends with Norman Copping and his wife, Virginia Norton Copping. Norman was the son of lost Lusitania passengers George Copping and Emma Black Copping. Norman Copping died in 1921, and Celia Wilson Kemp died in 1924. After years of working together for the association, Sir Edward Kemp and Virginia Norton Copping developed a bond though the tragedy. Sir Edward Kemp and Virginia Norton Copping married in Toronto, and they had one daughter. Contributors: Cherie Jones Senan Molony Michael Poirier

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