George Combes was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 7 September 1877 and he was later baptised on 23 May 1881 in St James' Church. He was the son of William Combes (1823-1891), a stone mason, and Elizabeth Staples (1841-1901). Both his parents were natives of Southampton and had married on 12 December 1863.
George had five known siblings: John (b. 1865), Harry (b. 1869), Walter (b. 1874), Eliza (b. 1876) and Rose (b. 1881).
George first appears on the 1881 census and was then living with his family at Court 1, 13 King Street, St Mary, Southampton. His father died in 1891 only weeks prior to the time that the 1891 census was conducted. The remnants of the family were listed as living at 12 King Street, Southampton.
George was married on Christmas Day 1900 to Imogene Taylor (b. 1879 in Poole, Dorset). The couple appear on the 1901 census living at 5 Henry Street, St Mary Southampton and George is now described as a ship's stoker and, sadly, he had lost his mother just prior to this. George and Imogene would have five children, losing one in infancy: Rosalie Emmy Elizabeth (1902-1968), George Walter William (1903-1905), Charles Frederick (1907-1990), Catherine Imogen (1909-1989) and John Albert (1913-1968)
George is absent from the 1911 census but his family are listed at 45 Coleman Street, St Mary, Southampton.
When he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 45 Coleman Street, (Southampton). His previous ship had been the Oceanic and as a fireman he would receive monthly wages of £6.
George survived the sinking, possibly escaping in lifeboat 3.
George returned to England aboard the Lapland and apparently continued his career at sea. In years to come he suffered from tuberculosis and died on 13 August 1916 aged 38. His widow never remarried and remained in Southampton where she died in 1940.
References and Sources
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Gro Register of Births Marriages and Deaths
George Combes Family Tree
Gavin Bell, UK
Sarah Combes, UK
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(2015) George Combes Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1442, accessed 29th November 2015 08:43:52 AM)
URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/george-combes.html