Mrs Bessie Waldo Allison - Titanic First Class Passenger
Mrs Bessie Waldo Allison (née Daniels) was a first class passenger travelling aboard Titanic with her family, Hudson Joshua Creighton Allison, her husband; Hudson Trevor, their baby son, and Helen Loraine Allison, their two year old daughter. Accompanying the family aboard Titanic were their servants, Alice Cleaver, who was Hudson Trevor’s nursemaid; Sarah Daniels, a maid; George Swane (in 2nd class), the families chauffer, and Amelia Mary Brown (in 2nd class), who was a cook.
Bessie Allison, the daughter of Arville and Sarah Daniels, was born on 14th November 1886 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US. She married Hudson Joshua Creighton Allison on 7th December 1907. By the time of their marriage, her husband had already made himself a fortune in business. The Allison’s were devoted Methodists and were involved in bible and Sunday school classes. The couple’s daughter, Helen Loraine, was born on 5th June 1909. Their son, Hudson Trevor, was born on 7th May 1911. In 1912, they were living in Montreal, Québéc, Canada.
In March 1912, the Allison’s sailed to Britain so that Hudson could attend a Director’s meeting of the British Canadian Lumber Corporation. While they were in Britain, they visited the Scottish Highlands, where Hudson purchased two dozen horses to be sent home to the family farm in Canada. Before boarding Titanic the Allison’s recruited the four servants that started the journey home aboard the ship with them.
The family and their new servants boarded Titanic in Southampton on 10th April 1912. After the collision with the iceberg Hudson Trevor was taken to the boat deck by his nursemaid, Alice Cleaver. From the boat deck both Hudson Trevor and Alice Cleaver safely boarded Lifeboat 11. It is said that Hudson and Bessie may not have been aware that their baby was in a lifeboat and spent most of time in which Titanic was sinking searching for their baby. It was, however, widely reported in the press after the disaster that Bessie refused to leave the ship without her husband. Bessie Allison, her husband and daughter were all lost in the sinking. Hudson Trevor Allison was the only member of the family to survive. Of their servants, George Swane was the only person to perish.
Bessie Allison’s body is not known to have been recovered.
Around a month after his funeral had taken place, the horses that Hudson had purchased in Britain safely arrived at the family’s farm.
In the 1996 made for TV film/mini-series the Allison’s are portrayed and their story, although not all factual, is a key part of the film/ mini-series. Bessie Allison was played by Harley Jane Kozak.