Roberta Elizabeth Mary "Cissy" Maioni was born in Norfolk in early 1892. She boarded the Titanic at Southampton, traveling as maid to Lucy, Countess of Rothes. According to her family Cissy become fond of a young crew member, but the romance was cut short when the Titanic collided with an iceberg. The crew member gave Roberta a White Star Line badge from his uniform which she always kept with her in later life, she never revealed the steward's identity. The Countess of Rothes, her cousin Gladys Cherry and Ms. Maioni survived the sinking in Lifeboat 8. After their arrival in New York on board the RMS Carpathia the party stayed at the Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue. Whilst there Roberta wrote a poem all about her experience of the sinking.

Meanwhile news of the tragedy slowly filtered through to Roberta's family at Manir Farm in Surrey. Her sisters were walking to the village when they were told the news. When they raced home and told their mother Adelaide Maioni the news, she fainted. It was three weeks before Cissy's mother knew that her teenage daughter was safe. Cissy's surname had been spelled incorrectly on the passenger lists as Miss Maloney. Eventually the White Star Line confirmed she was one of the survivors.(*,*)

Mrs Maioni, Manir Farm, Surrey
Replying to your favour of the 17th inst. We are pleased to inform you that amongst the lists of those saved appears the name of Miss Maioni, which is no doubt your daughter, and we congratulate you on the fact of her safety.
Yours Faithfully
White Star Line

When Cissy was reunited with her family, her once beautiful hair was reportedly in tatters, much of it torn and pulled as she caught it while taking her turn rowing the lifeboat.

Roberta Maioni married Yorkshire businessman Cunliffe Bolling in the spring of 1919 in Lambeth. Cissy and Cliff, as he was known, had no children.

In 1926 Cissy wrote a personal account of her experience on the Titanic for a short story competition run by the Daily Express.

Roberta Bolling (née Maioni) died January 17th, 1963 at the age of 71 in an English nursing home. She suffered from severe arthritis which she attributed to her exposure to the cold on the night of the sinking.

Roberta's account, the badge given to her by the steward, and the poem which she wrote in New York, were auctioned in Devizes, Wiltshire, England in February 1999.


She is portrayed by Sophie Rundle in the 2012 mini-series.

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