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Re: The Alfred R. Mainman Family of Edmonton and the Lusitania
Posted by: stephen williamson (ID *****3009) Date: September 08, 2008 at 10:05:05
In Reply to: Re: The Alfred R. Mainman Family of Edmonton and the Lusitania by Joanne Burroughs of 1524

you probably this from
Alfred Reid Mainman, aged 55, received word in early 1915 that his parents, John and Mary, had passed away in Exeter, England. He was their only child and he inherited their considerable estate. The press reported that his parent’s solicitors had found over $10,000 in cash in the house. He realized that with the cash on hand, money in the bank, and the sale of the estate, it would be to his family’s advantage to relocate to England. He resigned from his job with the City of Edmonton’s Treasurer’s Office, and made arrangements to dispose of any household items from their Jasper Street home not needed in England. There were formalities of course, and his employers forwarded a sworn photograph of Mr. Mainman to the solicitors to assist in identification. The Mainmans were used to moving. As a young man, Alfred Mainman had settled in Victoria, Australia, in 1882. He married Elizabeth Sarah Dowsett in 1893. She gave birth to her first three children in Victoria; John, ‘Jack,’ 1894; Alfred Shaw, ‘Alf’, 1895; and Mary Frances, ‘Molly’, born September 1, 1898. The young family then immigrated to Canada and first settled in Fort Saskatchewan before establishing their permanent home in Edmonton. Elizabeth gave birth to twins on October 4, 1907; Edwin Richard, ‘Teddy,’ and Elizabeth Sarah, ‘Betty’. The family of seven booked second class passage on the Lusitania’s May 1st voyage...

There is little mention of the family’s shipboard activities. Herbert Ehrhardt talked about a girl of 16 with a large family who helped him keep a group of children entertained during the voyage. Based on his description of the girl’s family, he may have been describing Molly Mainman. He recalled encountering the girl’s family on deck, at which time one of her brothers was missing. Molly gave brief account in which she said that she and the twins were able to get in a starboard lifeboat. She was handed an infant about three months old just as the boat was lowering, and she held on to it until they reached Queenstown. Commander Chaytor of the HMS Ariadneand his wife then took charge of the three. An acquaintance who visited them said, “nothing can equal the love and tender care which this worthy couple are bestowing upon these bereaved children who are now most comfortably housed and clad and I am sure that the little ones appreciate, in their own way, the great kindness of their new friends.” Molly had the responsibility of searching the temporary morgue in Queenstown for her family, where she found only her brother Jack.

He was buried in Queenstown on May 13th. The rest of the family was not recovered.

When the Mainman children arrived in England, they were housed with Mr. and Mrs. Ellison of Liverpool. John Mainman’s personal effects were forwarded to Mr. Ellison who returned them to the family. They also received a 25 pound grant from the Lusitania Relief Fund. Their final destination was the home of Mrs. Clarence Merrett, a relative, who lived at Montrose, St. Thomas’s Hill, Canterbury. Mr. Brown, the family solicitor from Exeter, oversaw their inheritance. Molly Mainman was now the matriarch of the decimated family. She saw to the care of her siblings, and never married, dying in late 1973, at age 75. Elizabeth and Edwin settled in the Liverpool area. Elizabeth was wed to John Kennedy in 1936 and Edwin to Doris Holmes in 1937. The twins lived long lives. Edwin Mainman passed away in January 1976 in Beccles, Suffolk and Elizabeth Mainman Kennedy died in late 1983 in Lancaster.
I wonder whether you can tell me or find out maiden name of Mrs Clarence Merrett. Clarence's sister married my relation Henry Williamson and they lived on St Thomas Hill too. My parents also live at St Thomas Hill. Her Christian name was Dorothy but I have been unable to find her surname or relationship to Mainmans or Dowsetts. Clarence had been in Edmmonton so they probably married there.

Hope to hear from you, Stephen

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