Lady Alexandra Phyllis Hamilton, 42, was an unmarried member of a well known British aristocratic family. Her father, Sir James Hamilton, was the Duke of Abercorn in the Irish Peerage. She was travelling back to the UK accompanied by the family cook, Mrs Martha Bridge and servant Eleanor Strachan.
When RMS Leinster was sinking it is reported that she gave her lifejacket to her servant, saying “I’m a strong swimmer”. Sadly all three ladies perished. Only the body of Martha Bridge, a spinster aged 27, was recovered for burial.
The Hamilton family was connected by marriage to the Spencer family. Lady Alexandra Phyllis Hamilton was the the Great-Grand Aunt of Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales and also a second cousin of Winston Churchill.
Photograph published in the Leeds Mercury of 14 October 1918 (findmypast website).
It might be of interest to know that Lady Alexandra Phyllis (known as Phyllis) Hamilton was a distant cousin of Winston Churchill. She was named after her godmother, Princess Alexandra of Wales, wife of the future King Edward Vll. On 26 June 1896, her mother, Lady Mary Hamilton, Duchess of Hamilton, christened the RMS Ulster, sister ship of the RMS Leinster. Lady Phyllis, Martha Bridge and Elenor Strachan were lost while returning from Shelton Abbey, Arklow, County Wicklow, Ireland, having visited Ralph Francis Howard, 7th Early of Wicklow, whose wife Mary Gladys (née Hamilton) Phyllis’s sister had died the previous year. Martha Bridge’s body was identified by Reginald Armstrong of Shelton Abbey.
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