Miss Lorna Mary Pavey

Lorna Pavey, 28, was from Fort Qui Apelle, Saskatchewan, Canada.  She was crossing aboard Lusitania to join the Red Cross.  She was at lunch when the torpedo struck the ship.  Lorna survived the Lusitania sinking. Lorna had been a governess in the employ of Frances McDonald. Frances' younger brother, Arthur Benson, would become Lorna's future husband. When the war broke out, Lorna hurried back to England to be with her family. Lorna was table companions with Archie Donald and Reverend and Margaret Gwyer.  The torpedo struck when they were at lunch.  Archie was watching Lorna eat a grapefruit and found it amusing.  He teased her about her choice of dessert, and the Gwyers joined in on teasing her. Right after the torpedo struck the ship, Reverend Gwyer instructed the passengers to stay quiet and file out of the room in an orderly fashion.  Lorna stayed in the dining room until it was almost empty, where John Wilson, who had been busy closing the portholes, found her standing there. Wilson grabbed Lorna by the hand and pulled her through the piles of flowers, silverware, and dishes that had crashed to the floor.  The list of the sinking ship caused them to climb the stairs by walking up the rungs of the banister.  They reached C deck, one deck above where they had been, where they saw a lifeboat already lowered and half full of water as well as people.  Wilson told Lorna to slide down a rope. Lorna did as Wilson instructed, and as she slid down, her skirt ballooned out like a parachute onto the water.  Wilson followed and they climbed over the gunwale into the lifeboat.  Soon they were bailing out the lifeboat with their shoes, as the boat was lowered without a plug in place (lifeboat 14?).  The lifeboat was in danger of swamping. There were only 12 people in the lifeboat, and Lorna and Wilson tried to convince the firemen at the oars to turn back to the ship to pick up more people.  The rowers refused. After they were rescued and taken to Queenstown, Lorna was registered with Thirza Winter at the Queens Hotel, where Archie Donald saw her before going with John Wilson and George Bilbrough to find their missing shipboard acquaintances. Some people from Arthur Benson's hometown of Whonnock, Maple Ridge, British Columbia, believed that Lorna's dog Lobo had been on the Lusitania and had been saved from the disaster. Lorna later married Arthur Benson, and they had a son, Christopher (Kit). They settled on Crescent Island in British Columbia. The school children there took the ferry to the school in Whonnock. Christopher recalled that Lorna tended to "liven up" PTA meetings. Contributors: Fred Braches, Canada Michael Poirier, USA References: Braches, Fred. "Whonnock's Aunt Hill." Whonnock and Ruskin. Web. Accessed 1 March 2012. <http://www.whonnock.ca/whonnock/PDFs/Benson-Whiting.pdf>. Hoehling, A. A. and Mary Hoehling.  The Last Voyage of the Lusitania 100, 174-5, 217. Madison Books, 1956.

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