Mrs. Reuben Burley (Florence Bull)

Florence Burley (née Bull), 38, was the wife of Reuben Burley, mother of Doris and Reginald Burley, and the daughter of Elizabeth Bull.  They were British citizens from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  The family was traveling together aboard Lusitania’s last voyage.  The party bought their tickets in New York.  The entire party was lost in the Lusitania sinking.  Florence’s body was either never recovered or never identified.

Life


Florence Burley was born Florence Bull, around 1877, In Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire. Florence was the daughter and second eldest child of John Henry and Elizabeth Bull. John Henry was a fruit and seed merchant, and in 1881 the family resided at 182. Albemarle St., Ashton-under-Lyne. According to the 1881 British Census, Florence's siblings were Harry Farrer, Frederick Miller, and Percy. Florence married Reuben Burley, who was born in Sheffield, England, around 1876. Reuben worked for the Great Central Railway in Ashton-under-Lyne, until 1904. Then, he and his wife emigrated to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where Reuben found work as a machinist. The couple had two children, Doris Florence, born in 1906, and Reginald, born in 1914 or 1915. Florence's father, John Henry, died in 1914, and his widow and her mother, Elizabeth Bull, went to Hamilton to visit her daughter and grandchildren. Elizabeth decided to return to England in the Spring of 1915, and Reuben and Florence decided to take their family over to England for a holiday, and accompany Elizabeth on the journey. They booked second cabin passage on the Lusitania. The entire family was lost when the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk on 7 May 1915. Only Elizabeth Bull's body was recovered and identified, #78. Florence's sister, Mrs. Meadows, who lived at Summercoats, Derbyshire, England, went to Queenstown to try and identify her mother and the Burleys, and take any of those she found home for burial. However, she arrived too late for her mother's funeral and was unable to locate any of the other bodies. Contributor: Peter Kelly, Ireland Judith Tavares

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