The Titanic Connection

The Titanic Connection

Mary Dunbar Kingcombe was the granddaughter of John’s brother Richard.  She was born in Bristol in 1856, the daughter of John Kingcombe, a silk mercer and Rosa Lloyd Villiers (originally Levy).  Rose Lloyd Villiers was a member of a family with theatrical connections.  She married Francis Rufford Hewlett in 1875 in Bristol.  Francis was also a silk mercer and draper, trading under the name of John Kingcombe and son in 1869 when the company went bankrupt.  Mary was widowed in 1899.

She had a number of children, including two sons Francis and Philip, who  lived India for a period of time.  In 1912 she was returning from a visit to her son Philip Rufford Hewlett, an engineer,  in Lucknow and boarded The Titanic at Southampton to visit her other son, Francis, who was living in Rapid City, South Dakota.  While in England she had visited her  daughter Rosa Mary Villiers, who was married to her cousin Edwin Adam Villiers, a theatre manager.

She was a second class passenger on The Titanic, travelling ticket number 248706 which had cost £16.00.  She survived on Lifeboat 13, the last but one to leave the doomed liner and was rescued by The Carpathia.

In an interview in the Evanston Daily News, April 25, 1912 she described the rescue

The boat was lowered and we were alone on the calm sea. It seemed much longer than it really was before we saw The Carpathia and were picked up by that boat. The treatment we were given on The Carpathia could not have been better, everything possible being done for us.

She was reunited with her son Francis in New York.

She returned to India and died in Naini Tal, India of septicaemia on 9 May 1917 and was buried in Kaladhungi Road Cemetery at the foot of the Himalayas.