People on board
Eleanor Strachan was born on the 15th of August 1883 in the small town of Leuchars, Fifeshire, Scotland to John Strachan and Grace Lyall. Eleanor was the fifth of their ten children, eight of whom were still alive in 1911. Of those eight, seven were girls. John was a Gamekeeper, highly regarded in Perth, according to a report at the time of his death. In the 1891 census the family was living at Aldie in the parish of Fowlis Wester, about twelve miles west of Perth. Four of the children started school there in 1888 and Eleanor joined them in 1889. Prior to that, the family had been in Errol, east of Perth. At the time of the 1901 census they were living not far away in Dunbarney, where Eleanor was working as ‘General Domestic Servant’. Her brother was a Postman and one of her sisters was a Telephone Operator.
Eleanor was not with her family in the 1911 census when they were living in Perth, and has not been found to date. Her father died in 1913 in Union Bank Lodge, 19 Skinnergate, Perth and that was still the family home in 1918. In that year Eleanor was working as Lady’s Maid to Lady Alexandra Phyllis Hamilton, daughter of the Duchess of Abercorn, but it is not known when she took up that position. In the autumn of 1918 the Duchess and Lady Hamilton were staying in Shelton Abbey in Arklow, Co Wicklow and on the 10th of October the latter was returning to England on RMS Leinster with Eleanor Strachan and her forty-three year old cook, Martha Bridges.
None of the three survived and only the body of Martha Bridges was recovered. On the 14th of October a service was held in St Mark’s Church, North Audley Street in London for Lady Hamilton, Eleanor Strachan and Martha Bridges. The King, Queen and Prince of Wales were represented.