Rose Joseph died in Brighton on 5th December 1969 aged eighty one years.
At the time of her death she was living in a property right on the sea-front at Marine Parade in Brighton where her last years in employment had been spent as a waitress.
Born in Aldgate, City of London, in 1888, she was the seventh child of Marks and Clara Joseph. They were both Polish immigrants who had arrived in the U.K in the 1870s and settled in the East End of London.
On 3rd February 1896 (aged almost eight years) Rose was admitted to the Jewish Free School and her address is recorded in the school admission register as 17, New Street which was where the family lived for many years. At that time the school leaving age in England was eleven but in 1899 it was planned to raise it to twelve. Rose left the school in April 1899 presumably to avoid having to stay on at school for a further year. What she did next is a matter of conjecture but as two of her sisters were cigar makers she may have gone into that industry.
However on 24th May 1910, aged just twenty two years, she boarded the Cunard liner S.S. Ivernia and travelled by herself from Liverpool to Boston. How amazing is that! Her name is recorded in the passenger list along with hundreds of others who made the journey to a new life.
S.S. Ivernia had been launched in 1899 and although fitted with electricity and refrigeration it was not one of Cunard's luxury vessels; it was designed to transport the huge immigrant trade from Europe to the U.S.A. There are a couple of drawings of the ship on the Cunard heritage website. There were 164 first class cabins; 200 second class cabins but 1600 third class cabins. The third class cabins could accommodate 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 persons and had access to an open promenade area, smoking area and ladies room. In addition there was a third class passengers covered promenade area with lavatories and baths. Ivernia was exceptional in that the ship had the largest funnel ever fitted measuring 60 feet in height. Unfortunately Ivernia was torpedoed in January 1917 and sunk with the loss of 120 lives.
Rose was the great aunt of my husband, Michael Murray. She lived with him and his mother for a while in the early 1960s. He can remember she taught him to play Patience and when he asked her why she went to America she said it was to be a nanny for a family in Park Lane (maybe Park Avenue) but she left because she didn't like the husband. She returned to England and lived for several years with a friend who sold postcards in Blackpool. In the 1920s she returned to America where she saw a man jump out of the train carriage and on another occasion saw a man shoot someone dead in a train. Michael's mother told him Rose had promised her a diamond ring but it was given to her younger sister when she was eighteen (in 1930) and the memory still rankled. His strongest memory of Rose is coming home from school and finding her unconscious, their flat filled with the smell of gas (poisonous coal gas in those days) and getting an ambulance to take her urgently to hospital. Expecting gratitude for saving her life, he visited her in hospital. "Why didn't you leave me to die you B*%&*+!?" she demanded in great annoyance and soon afterwards took herself back off to Brighton.
This postcard is dated 1909 and might be a view Rose saw when she initially arrived in Boston in 1910. Who knows? She took her story with her to her grave and that's where it remains.