Wardle, Cissie (nee Dooley)

Drowned 7th May 1915 in the sinking of the Lusitania, aged 22


Wardle-Cissie MT1915-05-21 webEARLY LIFE

Cissie (or Sissie) Dooley was born in 1892, the daughter of Annie Maria and Charles Dooley, a gardener. In 1901, the family lived at 2 Fowler Street, Macclesfield, and included George Frederick (11), James Charles (10), Sissie (8), Ernest (5), John Thomas (4) and Sidney (1).

On 24 September 1907, at the age of 15 years 6 months, Sissie enrolled with Macclesfield Technical School. Her occupation was that of tenter and she lived at 14 Fowler Street.

At the age of 18 Cissie was employed as a cotton hand at Lower Heys Mill and still living at 14 Fowler St, Macclesfield, with her parents, brothers and a sister, Florrie (7).

Cissie emigrated to America on 23rd June 1914 to join her brother, James Dooley, at South Attleborough, Massachusetts, sailing in 3rd class accommodation on the Franconia from Liverpool and arriving in Boston, Massachusetts on 1st July. On arrival, she named her brother as her next of kin.

Cissie married 23 year old Frank Wardle, a Tannery Operative formerly from Prestbury, Cheshire, at North Attleborough, Massachusetts, on 27th September 1914. Frank had arrived in Boston the year before Cissie on 5th August 1913, having sailed from Liverpool on the Laconia. He named his father, William Wardle of 6 Tolls St, Prestbury, as next-of-kin.




The 'Lusitania'Cissie sailed from America on the ill-fated Lusitania on a 3rd class ticket under the name of ‘Mrs Frank Wardle’ and died when it was sunk by the German submarine U-20 on Friday 7 May 1915, approximately 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse on the west coast of Ireland. Cissie’s body was either not recovered or not identified.

Cissie was returning to Macclesfield to see her two brothers, Fred and Ernest Dooley, before they departed for the front with the 7th Cheshire Regiment. When the list of those missing was released, the name ‘Frank Wardle’ was printed (without the prefix ‘Mrs’) and her parents hoped that this meant Cissie was not on the ill-fated vessel. However, a cablegram sent to their son Joseph Dooley in America on Tuesday morning, enquiring whether Cissie had cancelled her booking, elicited a reply on Wednesday evening confirming that she had indeed sailed on the Lusitania.

Information about the events of that day can be found on the Lusitania Online website. Further information can be found on the Liverpool Maritime Museum website.



Cissie’s family placed the following ‘In Memoriam’ notice in the Macclesfield Times and East Cheshire Observer newspaper of 13th May 1921:

“WARDLE – In loving memory of our dear daughter (Cissie), who was drowned on the Lusitania, May 7th, 1915. – “Cherished memories bring silent tears” – Fondly remembered by Father, Mother, Sister and Brothers. – 14, Fowler Street.”

Two of Cissie’s brothers served with the 7th Cheshire Regiment: Ernest Dooley (service number 2652) and George Frederick Dooley (service numbers 2299 and 290499). It is believed they both survived the war. Her brother John Thomas Dooley served as Private 29243 with the South Wales Borderers, and also survived.

Cissie’s brother-in-law Thomas Wardle served with the 8th Cheshire Regiment (service number 14500) and died in Egypt in October 1915.


Wardle, Cissie (nee Dooley) — 2 Comments

  1. I follow Macclesfield Reflects with great interest and gratitude. The posting on Cissie Dooley Wardle was very moving. I didnt know anything about this lady.

  2. I only found her by chance when I saw the ‘In memoriam’ notice. She could so easily have been forgotten.
    I am pleased to learn that you find the website interesting.