Annie Ryan had been a stewardess aboard Reina Del Pacifico before the war, served on Highland Princess in September 1939 and Highland Patriot in early 1940 before being directed to join City of Benares on 10 September 1940, only three days before her fateful last voyage. She survived the sinking and was rescued by HMS Hurricane.
Annie received the Kings Commendation for her bravery in the tragic event and was also awarded the oak leaf cluster to be placed upon her medals bar, in recognition of her service. After she recovered from the trauma of the sinking, she continued to served as a stewardess aboard Batory, Britannic and Empire Life until being discharged from war service in March 1946. Annie married E.J. Seville and their son Rod was born in November 1947.