Evelyn Marsden was born on 15 October, 1883, at Stockyard Creek, Dalkey, about 80 km north of Adelaide, Australia. By 1912 her father was the station master at Hoyleton, a further 20 km north. As a teenager Evelyn learnt to row on the Murray River by friends at Murray Bridge.
She trained at the Melbourne Hospital, then did a trip by sea to England as a shipboard companion. This induced her to seek a position on the water. She became a stewardess on the Oceanic, Olympic and later the Titanic. She became engaged to a doctor on the Macedonia.
After the ship struck she and May Sloan were given brandy to drink by Dr Simpson. Evelyn escaped on Lifeboat 16. Shortly afterwards she married Dr William James, who also worked for the White Star Line. In November 1912 they returned to Adelaide where he worked at the local hospital. They had no children, but moved to Wallaroo, then to Bondi at Sydney.
Evelyn died on 30 August, 1938, aged 54. A relative said that Dr James arranged to die soon afterwards as he couldn’t live without her. They are buried in Waverley Cemetery, Sydney. A gravestone was erected to mark the site on 5 October, 2000.
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