It is believed she was born Catherine Augusta Hutchison on 4 June 1857 at Abernethy, Perthshire, Scotland, the daughter of John Hutchison and his wife Margaret (née Menzies). Her first name is sometimes recorded as "Katherine".
She married ship's surgeon George Yeats-Milne — possibly in 1877 — and the couple had two daughters and two sons, including:
It seems she then moved to Leeds and lived apart from her husband.
On Good Friday 1905, she was travelling on the 1:50pm Bradford to Huddersfield train. At around 2:30pm, the train collided with a shunting engine on the viaduct to the north of Huddersfield Railway Station and the first three passenger carriages "telescoped" into each other. She was found trapped under the wheels of one of the carriages, with her right foot nearly severed. She remained conscious throughout the rescue attempt but insisted that the other injured passengers were attended to first. She died at around 4:45pm, before the wheels could be lifted off her.
At the subsequent inquest, an emotional George Cecil Yeats-Milne identified his mother's body.