Miss Mary "Molly" Frances Mainman

Molly Mainman Second Cabin Passenger Saved
[No Picture Provided]
Born Mary Frances Mainman 1 September 1898 Victoria, Australia
Died 1973 (age 75) England, United Kingdom
Age on Lusitania 16
Traveling with Alfred Mainman, Sr. (father) - Elizabeth Mainman (mother) - John Mainman (brother) - Alfred Mainman, Jr. (brother) - Elizabeth Mainman (sister) - Edwin Mainman (brother)
Citizenship British (Canada)
Residence Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Molly Mainman, 16, was a British citizen living in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with her parents Alfred and Elizabeth and her siblings JohnAlfred, Jr., 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, Sr.’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. Wealth at great cost
  5. Links of interest

A well-traveled family

Molly was born to Alfred and Elizabeth Mainman on 1 September 1898 in Victoria, Australia.  She had two older brothers, John "Jack" and Alfred, Jr. 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 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’s parents, John and Mary Mainman, passed away in early 1915.  Being John and Mary’s only child, Alfred 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 realized that relocating to England would be in his family’s best interest. Alfred 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.  Researchers have speculated that the teenage girl Herbert Ehrhardt mentions who helped entertain a group of children who wouldn’t leave Ehrhardt alone may have been Molly Mainman, but as only the mother and not the children of that family survived, the girl was more likely to have been Evelyn Neville. According to Molly’s account, when the ship was 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. Commander Chaytor of the HMS Ariadne and his wife took care of the three surviving members of the Mainman Family.  Molly searched Queenstown for the rest of her family, where she found the body of her brother Jack in the town’s temporary morgue.  Jack Mainman was body #118.  He was buried in Queenstown on 13 May, Common Grave B. The rest of the family was not recovered.

Wealth at great cost

Arriving in England, Molly and the twins were housed with Mr. and Mrs. Ellison of Liverpool.  John Mainman’s personal effects were forwarded to the Ellisons who gave them to Molly and the twins.  They also received a £25 grant from the Lusitania Relief Fund.  Molly and the twins continued on to the home of a relative, Mrs. Clarence Merrett, who lived at Montrose, St. Thomas Hill, Canterbury.  Mr. Brown, the family solicitor from Exeter, oversaw the inheritance. Molly was now the matriarch of what was left of the Mainman Family.  She raised her younger brother and sister and never married.  She died in late 1973 at age 75.

Links of Interest

Lest We Forget Part 2:  As the Lusitania Went Down - Encyclopedia Titanica  
Contributors: Jim Kalafus, USA Michael Poirier, USA Judith Tavares Hildo Thiel, The Netherlands References: Kalafus, Jim and Michael Poirier (2005).  Lest We Forget Part 2:  As the Lusitania Went Down  ET Research. <http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/lusitania-lest-we-forget-2.html> New York Times.  Monday, 10 May 1915, page 3.

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