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Mrs. William C. Crichton (Mabel Gardner)

Mabel Crichton, 42, was a United States national who lived in London, England, United Kingdom.  Her cabin number was A-19 and ticket was 46088.  Mabel was friends with the opera singer Josephine Brandell. When the Lusitania was sinking, Mabel was on the port side of the ship with Brandell, Francis Bertram Jenkins, and Max Schwarcz. Mabel Crichton and Max Schwarcz were lost in the disaster. Mabel's body was recovered. Josephine Brandell and Francis Jenkins survived.

Life and Lusitania

Mabel married William C. Crichton on 24 August 1910. Both had been previously married and previously divorced. The Crichtons lived in London. Her mother was Elizabeth C. Gardner, who also lived in London and was presumably a British subject. The night of Thursday, 6 May, was when Lusitania moved into the war zone.  After the seamen's charities concert that night, Josephine moved into Mabel's A deck stateroom.  Josephine's stateroom was down on D deck and she was afraid submarines would sink the ship before she had a chance to save herself.  Mabel spent most of that night trying to calm Josephine. On Friday, 7 May, Mabel and Josephine sat down to lunch together after Josephine had finished collecting tips for the orchestra.  Also at their table were Francis Bertram Jenkins, and Max Schwarz.  They were finishing their lunch when the torpedo struck. The women rushed to the staircase to get to the boat deck.  Jenkins tried to calm Josephine and the three came out on the port side of the boat deck.  Jenkins assisted Mabel and Josephine into what was likely lifeboat 12, and he had one foot on the boat when "one of the ropes broke or one of the sailors loosed their hold and the thing collapsed and went into the water" (Jenkins' testimony). Josephine Brandell and Francis Bertram Jenkins were saved.  Mabel Crichton was not.  Her body recovered and identified, #190, as of Friday, May 14.  In news reports, her name was sometimes spelled "Creighton." William Crichton, Mabel's surviving husband, died on 16 December 1916. He left a will bequeathing his entire estate to his brothers and sisters, all American nationals.

Related pages

Mabel Crichton at the Mixed Claims Commission
Contributors: Michael Poirier Judith Tavares References: Minutes of evidence as given at the Mersey Inquiry. Hickey, Des and Gus Smith.  Seven Days to Disaster.  G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1981. Preston, Diana.  Lusitania:  An Epic Tragedy.  Berkley Books, 2002.

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