Percy Edward Keen was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 9 August 1881, the son of James Keen (1841-1912), a house decorator, and Ellen Barnes (1845-1906). His father hailed from Wiltshire and his mother Southampton and they were married in 1875.
Percy had two known siblings out of a total of three: Frederick Charles (b. 1878) and Gertrude Ellen (b. 1886).
On the 1881 census, taken only months before Percy's birth, his family were living at 4 Woodbine Terrace, Portswood Road, South Stoneham and they would still be present here on the 1891 census. The 1901 census would see Percy still with his family at 242 Portswood Road, by now working as a printer. His circa 1905 seaman's card described him as 5'5", with blue eyes, brown hair and a medium complexion.
Percy was married in 1908 to Adelaide Martha Jane White (b. 1886 in Southampton). Together they would have two daughters, Kathleen Frances Ellen (b. 1910) and Vera Winifred Lucy (b. 1913).
On the 1911 census Percy is absent and most likely at sea. His wife and first child are listed as living at 14 Rigby Road, Southampton.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Percy gave his address as 14 Rigby Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Oceanic. As a saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.
Keen was rescued in lifeboat 15.
He returned to Southampton and resumed a career at sea and would lose his father by the end of 1912. He later lived with his wife and family at 59 Hillside Avenue, Bitterne and died in The General Hospital, Southampton on 2 November 1954 aged 73. His widow passed away on 30 May 1964.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg, Sweden
Articles and Stories
Southern Daily Echo (2002)