Master Hubert Smith

Hubert Smith, 6 months old, was the son of Alfred and Elizabeth Smith, brother of Helen Smith, nephew of Cecelia Owens, and cousin of Ronald and Reginald Owens.  Hubert was being watched by Cecelia and below decks, as were Alfred and Elizabeth, when the torpedo struck.  At that time, Helen and the boys were playing on deck. Cecelia returned Hubert to Elizabeth and Alfred and the parents went to look for their daughter.  The Smiths did not find Helen and Hubert, Elizabeth, and Alfred were lost in the Lusitania disaster.


Hubert was born in late 1914 in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, United States.  The family had relocated there from Swansea, Wales, and Alfred had found work there as an electrician.  Hubert shared his name with his uncle, Hubert Owens, the wife of his father's sister, Cecelia. By 1915, Elizabeth had become disillusioned with life in America, and Alfred and Elizabeth had decided to move the family back to Swansea.  Cecelia, Ronald, and Reginald would also go to Swansea with the Smiths and then return to the United States, since Hubert Owens would be staying in Ellwood City.


The Smith family had a personal relationship with the Cunard Line, which may have played a part in the families’ choice of sailing aboard Lusitania on her fatal last crossing. Just after lunch on Friday, 7 May, the Smith family had returned to their cabin.  While Alfred and Elizabeth proceeded to pack, Helen left their cabin with Ronald and Reginald to play out on deck.  Baby Hubert was entrusted to Cecelia's care in her cabin. Cecelia allowed Ronald and Reginald to play until two, so at 2 p.m., the two brothers left Helen by herself on deck to report to their mother. The torpedo struck soon afterward at 2:10 p.m. Alfred and Elizabeth met up with Cecelia, who gave Hubert back to them, and proceeded to look for Helen, Ronald, and Reginald. Cecelia recalled seeing Elizabeth running around frantically, with her hair falling loose around her shoulders. The Smiths and Cecelia then parted ways to look for the missing children. As the Smiths were looking for Helen, Toronto newspaperman Ernest Cowper had seen Helen on deck by herself and took her to safety in lifeboat 13. But the Smiths would not have known that. Elizabeth, Alfred, and baby Hubert were lost in the Lusitania disaster. Their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.

Links of interest

Encyclopedia Titanica:  Lest We Forget – Part 1  
Contributors: Jim Kalafus, USA Carol Keeler Peter Kelly, Ireland Mike Poirier, USA Judith Tavares References: Hickey, Des and Gus Smith.  Seven Days to Disaster, pages 115, 178, 194, 227, 274.  G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1982. Hoehling, A.A. and Mary Hoehling.  The Last Voyage of the Lusitania.  Madison Books, 1956. Kalafus, Jim and Michael Poirier (2005) Lest We Forget : Part 1 ET Research. <> Kalafus, Jim and Michael Poirier (2005) Lest We Forget Part 2:  As the Lusitania Went Down ET Research. <> Preston, Diana.  Lusitania:  An Epic Tragedy.  Berkley Books, 2002.

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