John "Jack" V. Mainman

John Mainman
Second Cabin Passenger
[No Picture Provided]
Born John V. Mainman
Victoria, Australia
Died 7 May 1915 (age 21)
At sea
Age on Lusitania 21
Traveling with

Alfred Mainman, Sr. (father)
Elizabeth Mainman (mother)
Alfred Mainman, Jr. (brother)
Molly Mainman (sister)
Elizabeth Mainman (sister)
Edwin Mainman (brother)

Citizenship British (Canada)
Residence Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

John "Jack" Mainman, 21, was a British citizen living in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his parents Alfred, Sr. and Elizabeth and his siblings Alfred, Jr.Molly, and twins Elizabeth and Edwin.  The Mainman Family was traveling to England aboard Lusitania in May 1915 to inherit a large estate left by Alfred’s parents.  Alfred. Sr., Elizabeth, John, and Alfred, Jr. were lost in the Lusitania sinking.  Molly and the twins were the only survivors in their family.

  1. A well-traveled family
  2. Inheritance
  3. Lusitania
  4. Links of interest


A well-traveled family 

John Mainman was born to Alfred Reid Mainman and Elizabeth Sarah Mainman (born Dowsett) in Victoria, Australia, in 1894.  His brother Alfred, Jr. followed in 1895, and his sister Molly followed in 1898, also in Victoria.

The Mainmans moved to Canada and first lived in Fort Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan before settling down in Edmonton.  There, they made a home on Jasper Street, and Alfred Sr., found a job in the City of Edmonton’s Treasurer’s Office.  The twins Edwin Richard (nicknamed Teddy) and Elizabeth Sarah (nicknamed Betty) were born in Edmonton on 4 October 1907.


Alfred, Sr.’s parents, John and Mary Mainman, passed away in early 1915.  Being John and Mary’s only child, Alfred Sr. inherited the entirety of the family estate in Exeter.  John and Mary’s solicitors had also found over $10,000 in cash in the house.  With the cash readily disposable, money in the bank, and the sale of the estate, Alfred Sr. realized that relocating to England would be in his family’s best interest.

Alfred Sr. resigned from his job at the Treasurer’s Office and made arrangements to sell any household possessions that they would not need in England.  The Mainmans booked second cabin tickets aboard what was to be Lusitania’s last crossing to claim their inheritance.


Not much is known about the Mainman Family’s activities during the voyage. According to Molly’s account, during the sinking she and the twins were able to get into a starboard lifeboat.  As the boat was about to be lowered, someone handed an infant of about three months old to her.  She held onto the baby until they reached Queenstown.  Molly and the twins Edwin and Elizabeth were the only survivors of their family.

Molly identified her John in the Queenstown’s temporary morgue.  John "Jack" Mainman was body #118.  He was buried in Queenstown on 13 May, Common Grave B. The rest of the family was not recovered.  Molly became the matriarch of the surviving Mainman Family and administratrix of the inherited estate.

Links of Interest 

Lest We Forget Part 2:  As the Lusitania Went Down - Encyclopedia Titanica 


Jim Kalafus
Michael Poirier
Judith Tavares 

Kalafus, Jim and Michael Poirier (2005).  Lest We Forget Part 2:  As the Lusitania Went Down  ET Research. <>

New York Times.  Monday, 10 May 1915, page 3.

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