Cecil William Fitzpatrick was born in Kilkenny, Co Kilkenny, Ireland on 26 April 1890. He was the son of Robert Fitzpatrick (1858-1931), a policeman, and Mary Gertrude Ryan (1858-1928). He had four siblings: Bertie (b. 1888), Evelyn (b. 1892) and Gabrielle (b. 1895). Cecil and his family show up on the 1901 census of Ireland living in Church Street in Listowel, Co Kerry.
When Cecil signed on to the Titanic, he gave his address as 93 Millbrook Road, Freemantle, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Oceanic and as a mess steward he could expect to receive monthly wages of £3, 15s.
One the night of the disaster Cecil was in bed in his cabin. The shock of the impact disturbed him and he was further alarmed by the cessation of the engines. On enquiring what the matter was, he was informed that there was nothing serious amiss and went back to bed. He was later reawakened by another member of the crew and he went on deck where reported a list to port. It was here he assisted in loading the lifeboats until the boat deck was inundated and he jumped, swimming in icy water until managing to pull himself unto upturned collapsible B. He was later transferred into boat 12 and second class passenger Lillian Bentham recalled wrapping her fur coat around him to protect him from the bitter cold.
Cecil returned to England following the disaster but seems not to have stayed at sea, later working as a cashier and building contractors' assistant and residing for a time in Ipswich, Suffolk. In August 1914 he married Elsie May Moody in Hull, Yorkshire. Elsie had been born on 8 September 1889 in Hull, the daughter of Robert Moody and Julia Lintern.
The couple were not married long before Cecil went to service in the Royal Garrison Artillery as a gunner during the 1914-1918 War. Following Cecil's return to England he and his wife would go on to have four children: Patricia May (b. 1920-2011), Robert Cecil (b. 1922), Anthony Evelyn (b. 1923-2005) and Anne Moody (b. 1933).
Cecil Fitzpatrick never cared to discuss the Titanic disaster. He died in Leeds, Yorkshire on 11 July 1964. His wife Elsie passed away in Surrey on 5 November 1976.
Gavin Bell, UK