Roll Back the Clouds, my new novel about the Lusitania, releases on March 17. Many of the passengers aboard the ill-fated, final voyage appear alongside main characters, Geoff and Rosaleen Bonnard. I’ll be profiling several of them here. This week, meet Nigel Booth.
In the spring of 1915, 30-year-old Emily Hadfield Booth learned her mother in Leicester, England, was seriously ill. Emily, who had moved to Canada in 1913 to marry Henry Booth, booked passage on the Lusitania and took along her eight-month-old baby boy, Nigel, for a visit.
After the Lusitania was sunk on Friday, May 7, 1915, no trace was found of Emily, but Nigel was picked up out of the water.
On Saturday, two of Emily’s sisters traveled to the Cunard office in Liverpool, but could learn nothing of the Booths’ fate. On Monday, her parents received a cablegram from Henry Booth. He’d apparently been notified by Cunard that Nigel was safe; could someone go and get him. Emily’s sister Louisa immediately left for Queenstown.
Henry Booth traveled to Leicester to collect his son, and he fell in love with Louisa Hadfield. They married in August, 1916, and returned to Ottawa with Nigel.