Mrs. Mary Gertrude Wakefield, nee Smith: She was a widow in frail health who travelled to Birmingham, England with a nurse, Margaret Jones. Mary Gertrude Smith married Alfred Thomas Wakefield on 19 August, 1914, at Honolulu, Hawaii. She had been born 20 February 1877 in Erdington, Warwickshire, and her parents were William, a victualler born about 1825 in Perry Barr, Staffordshire, and Mary Thomas (nee Ottey; a native of Aston on Hill, Leicestershire, where she had been born about 1840) Smith, who had married 18 November 1875 in the Aston district in Warwickshire. In 1881, the Smith family lived at Golden Hillock Road in Aston, Warwickshire. Mary had a sister, Ethel Linda, 16, and there was also a servant living in the household; Bertha Myatt, 14. In 1891, the family had relocated to Vicarage Road in Kings Norton, and she had a little brother at the time, William, aged 8. She had come to Honolulu in August 1914 on the Niagara. She was 5’9” tall, had fair hair and blue eyes. Her husband, a native of Henley Arden in Warwickshire (where he also had been christened on 6 September 1874; he was the son of James and Jane, nee Edkins, Wakefield), had been an importer and commission merchant. In 1891, he lived with brothers William and John at Moseley Road in Kings Norton, and he was listed as a grocer’s assistant. He had been connected with Sachs’ Store three or four years but then started his own business, importing principally gloves, hats and other articles of men’s wear. He committed suicide in early April, 1915, purportedly due to problems with insomnia. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Wakefield had decided to go back to England and left Honolulu together with Miss Margaret Jones 13 April 1915 on the Lurline and had come to San Francisco, California, 21 April 1915, and had gone to New York from there. Having survived the sinking of the Lusitania, she was taken to hospital where she recuperated for a few days. She gave birth to a son, Albert G. Kenneth, in England 19 May 1915, i. e. just twelve days after the disaster; he was killed in action in early November 1944 during WWII. It is not known when Mrs. Wakefield passed away, but she was alive in November 1944.
”A quiet wedding, where only immediate relatives were present, was that on Wednesday afternoon at three o’clock at St. Andrew’s Cathedral when Miss Mary Gertrude Smith became the bride of Mr. Alfred T. Wakefield, Canon Ault performing the ceremony.
The bride arrived from England by way of Vancouver on the last Niagara (?) and went direct to the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Wakefield on Pacific Heights where she remained until she was married. Mr. A. Hewyard acted as best man and Mr. James Wakefield gave the bride away. For the present Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield will make their home at the Colonial Hotel.” (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 23 June 1914, p. 10) The Cunard Line listed her point of origin as Honolulu, Hawaii. Mrs. Wakefield survived the sinking of the Lusitania.
The material presented on this page has been researched by Peter Engberg-Klarström. Copyright 2017 Peter Engberg-Klarström.
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