The Lusitania Resource > People > Second Cabin (Second Class) Passenger List > Mrs. Rowland Anderson (Emily Mary Pybus)

Mrs. Rowland Anderson (Emily Mary Pybus)

Emily Anderson Second Cabin Passenger Saved
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Born Emily Mary Pybus 22 July 1888 Darlington, England, United Kingdom
Died 11 March 1917 (age 28) Darlington, England, United Kingdom
Age on Lusitania 26
Traveling with Barbara Anderson (daughter)
Lifeboat 15, 1
Rescued by Wanderer (Peel 11)
Citizenship British
Residence Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
Spouse(s) Rowland Anderson (1911 - 1917, her death)
Emily Anderson (née Pybus) (1888 - 1917), 26, was traveling second cabin aboard Lusitania with her daughter, Barbara Anderson.  At the time of the voyage, Emily was pregnant. Mother and daughter were at lunch when the ship was torpedoed. When the ship was sinking, Assistant Purser William Harkness picked up Barbara and placed her into lifeboat 15, and then transferred to lifeboat 1, from which both Emily and Barbara were saved by the Wanderer (Peel 11). Emily was born on 22 July 1888 in Darlington, England.  She and her husband Rowland were from neighboring towns in England. Rowland came from a large family and had 6 siblings, Alfred, Percy, Grace, Frank, Annie, and Edith. Rowland Anderson emigrated to the United States on 20 May 1910 aboard Carmania.  His original destination was Providence, Rhode Island, where is brother Percy lived, but Rowland found work as a machinist in Connecticut and settled there.  Emily followed  aboard the Cunarder Caronia, reaching the United States on 28 June 1911.  They married that month.  Their daughter Barbara was born the next year. The Andersons settled down in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where they lived at 35 Morningside Drive.  Rowland worked in New Haven as a draughtsman at the Winchester Repeating Arms factory.  He was also an accomplished artist.  Barbara would sometimes bite on Emily's jewelry when she teethed. In the spring of 1915, Emily found out that she was pregnant and with her second child and decided to visit her family in Darlington, England.  In England, Emily would be able to take advantage of the healthcare system there to take care of her tuberculosis.  She was bringing young Barbara with her.  Mother and daughter booked passage aboard Lusitania; Rowland would remain in the United States because of his work.  The war had created high demand for munitions at his factory. The day before Emily and Barbara were to sail, Rowland took Barbara around their neighborhood to say goodbye to all of their friends.  Barbara recalled that she wore a sailor dress that day.  Barbara recalled that they had not been aware of the seriousness of the submarine threat against Lusitania.  “If my father had seen the warning from the Germans, he would not have let us sail,” she told historian Michael Poirier.  Cunard’s lowering of second cabin fare aboard Lusitania to $50 was further inducement to sail on the doomed ship. Emily and Barbara stood by the rail, looking at the pier and all the people on it, when Lusitania sailed from New York.  Barbara tried looking for her father, but she could not find him among the massive crowd. Mother and daughter’s cabin aboard the ship had bunk beds.  Even though the second cabin dining saloon was originally designed to fit on one deck, because second cabin was booked so fully, the lobby the deck above was converted into dining room seating as well.  Emily and Barbara sat at a table for two on this upper deck, near the railing, where they could look down into the lower dining room below and all of the people seated at the long tables. Emily recalled Lusitania passing several warships outbound from New York and, like many others, expected naval escorts to greet them once they reached the war zone around the British Isles.  The voyage, as Emily recalled it, was “splendid” with the weather “fine all the way.”  During the trip they had become friends with Margaret and Desmond Cox. On Friday, 7 May, Emily and Barbara were at luncheon when the torpedo hit.  Young Barbara was leaning against the railing of the upper level of the lobby-converted-to dining room, clutching a spoon that had “Lusitania” engraved on it, while her mother was still sitting at the table.  Barbara looked down onto the lower level of the dining room and saw the people below scurry about in the resulting confusion. Assistant Purser William Harkness helped Emily carry Barbara upstairs to the boat deck.  There, mother and daughter saw people running all over.  They were near the stern and Barbara was standing by the railing.  Harkness scooped up Barbara into his arms and they “fell together” into lifeboat 15 as it was lowering.  The slanting deck was treacherous and Emily saw Margaret Cox lose hold of baby Desmond along the sloping deck until they too entered lifeboat 15. Barbara was not injured in the sinking and did not need to go to a hospital.  In later years, Barbara would say that Emily fell into the water but was pulled into the lifeboat, but this seems not to have been the case, and that Emily had stayed safely within the lifeboat. As the lifeboat rowed away, the ship went under, and soot from the funnels spewed all over the people in the boat.  Barbara she sat in the lifeboat facing Emily for a long period of time, seemingly lost.  They were sitting next to wireless operator Robert Leith, who had related to Emily that he had been sending out distress messages for 14 minutes before the sinking forced him to leave his post.  The lifeboat became so overcrowded from picking up people from the water that Emily and Barbara were later transferred to lifeboat 1. Both lifeboats was picked up by the fishing boat Wanderer, also known as Peel 11, and the survivors were taken to Queenstown. Mother and daughter took the train to Darlington, where Emily's parents were waiting at the station.  A reporter from North Star came to interview Emily, reporting, "It would be difficult to imagine from Mrs. Anderson's pleasant chat that she had passed through such a terrible experience.  She is possessed of strong nerves and a cheerful termperatment, and is supremely grateful for her narrow escape." The first months in England were pleasant, but Emily’s health soon took a turn for the worse, perhaps due to the hours of exposure in the open lifeboat.  In England, Emily gave birth to Barbara’s baby brother, Frank Roland, on 30 September 1915.  Frank only lived to be five months old and died 16 March 1916. Emily’s tuberculosis worsened, and she moved to a separate cottage on the family property.  Barbara was taken to see her on Christmas 1916, where Emily gave her daughter a new doll carriage.  In Emily’s last days, Barbara went to see her mother one last time, where Emily held out her arms and hugged Barbara, just holding her.  Emily died on 11 March 1917.  Barbara believed that the trauma of the Lusitania disaster killed both her brother and mother. Contributors: Barbara Anderson McDermott (Lusitania survivor) Shelley Dziedzic Michael Poirier References: Dziedzic, Shelley. “Barbara Winifred Anderson McDermott: Visit on a Sunday Afternoon, July 21, 2002.” Journeys in Time.  Online (now offline). Poirier, Michael.  “Tribute to Barbara McDermott.”  Voyage (64).  Titanic International Society.

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