Miss Nellie Huston

Nellie Huston, 31, was a British subject from Wallasey, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom. She had been visiting her uncle and aunt Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. Huston of 7225 Evans Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, United States for the previous 11 months. Nellie was lost in the Lusitania disaster. Her body was not identified or recovered. A woman’s handbag was later recovered from the floating wreckage, and in it was a four page, incomplete, unsigned diary letter detailing the events of the final crossing. Selections from it were published, and based on names mentioned in the text, Nellie Huston’s parents were able to identify their daughter as the author. In the letters, Nellie writes to a woman named Ruth to "let you know how I'm getting on." Nellie talks about the cold weather and the delay of the Lusitania due to the Cameronia transfer. She also received a package in the mail, and the steward joked that it might be Nellie's birthday. Nellie's letter also talks about sewing and mentions the names: Aunt Rose, Aunt Alice, Charlie, Nellie Casson, Will Hobson, Tom, Edith Klaas and Lu. She also talks about receiving letters from Kate, Mother and Arthur, and how she heard that "Will and Bee" most likely children fond of Nellie, cried, and admits that she cried to for leaving them. The letters also talk about the Lusitania passing two cruisers, one of which was the Edward VII. Nellie's letters also mention that she had the top bunk of a room, but she had to ring a steward to get some steps because she couldn't get into her bed. She notes that the ship must have been shorthanded, as she had to wait a while. When the steward arrived, he tried to persuade her to jump to get into her bed. She recounts going to Sunday services in the first class saloon and how the orchestra played hymns, but the writing room was too full for her to write Sunday night. She talks about the weather and how it rained most of Sunday and Monday, and how she won 2nd prize, a manicure set, in a jolly whist drive on Monday night. Tuesday was a sunny and pleasant day and she did not feel seasick. Midway through the trip, on Wednesday, Nellie wondered who would meet her in England, and complements how the bedroom steward from the Cameronia (written as "Cameronian") takes care of them. She also mentions that she would do some sewing. Her last letter is from Thursday, the day before the Lusitania sinking. In it, she writes about how great of a time she has been having, how there was another late concert on Wednesday night that kept them up to 12:30 a.m., and how there would be another whist drive that night. She recorded how in the morning, the lifeboats had been swung out for emergency use, and how she expects naval escorts will meet Lusitania that day. She also mentions her pride in being British and how many English people are aboard. She also talks about how "there are quite a lot of distinguished people in the 1st class but of course you couldn’t touch them with a soft pole!" Nellie closes her letter with a poignant, "if it wasn’t for the worry I could say we’ve had a lovely trip."

Links of interest

Nellie Huston at Lest We Forget – Encyclopedia Titanica

Contributors Cliff Barry, UK Jim Kalafus, USA Peter Kelly, Ireland Mike Poirier, USA Judith Tavares Geoff Whitfield, UK References: Jim Kalafus, Michael Poirier, Cliff Barry and Peter Kelly (2013) “Lest We Forget : The Lusitania.” Gare Maritime (ref: #10962, accessed 27th April 2015 03:24:39 PM) URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/lest-we-forget-the-lusitania.html

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