Mr William Henry Taylor, 27, was born in Hampshire the son of Thomas Taylor (born c.1863).
Taylor was married on 28 January 1907 to May Calloway at Southampton Register office in a ceremony witnessed by Frank Wells and Ada Richards. They lived at 2 Broad Street, Southampton.
In 1911 May and their 4 month old daughter Alice were listed at the Broad Street address, William was absent.
He had been at sea for 8 years prior to signing-on to the Titanic on 6th April 1912, His last ship had been the Orotava.
He was rescued in Lifeboat 15 and later testified before the US Senate Inquiry.
He was asleep when the collision occurred. The alarm bell for accidents rang outside his door. About ten minutes later he heard it reported that water was coming in #1 hatch at the bow end of the ship - the first cargo hold. "We saw it (the water) come bursting up through the hatches." He and the other firemen packed their bags and went to the mess room to wait for orders. An Officer then ordered them up on deck with their lifebelts on. Taylor's assigned station, #15 lifeboat, was "shoved out...and I was ordered into it." Another Fireman (Dymond) was put in charge of the boat. After loading the boat off A deck, they were owered into the water. They then rowed some distance from the ship, afraid of the suction cause by her sinking. They did not go back for survivors "because a majority of them (the boat's passengers) said 'Pull on!'". He remembered they heard the cries of the drowning from about 10 minutes to a quarter of an hour.
Later, about 7:30, they were picked up by the Carpathia.
He testified that there had been no boat drill on the Sunday. Also, according to his testimony, there were 73 firemen saved that night, some picked up out of the water. In his lifeboat alone there were 6. He was also one of many who said they saw another ship's light in the distance which did not come to render aid. He added, later, that there was a lot of joking and 'skylarking' about the Titanic, even after it struck the iceberg. He simply stated it was understood among the crew that there was nothing to fear, the ship was unsinkable.
Taylor died in 1914 following an accident at Southampton Docks when he was struck by a large metal post.
His widow May remarried in 1915 to Joseph Albert Macey (1871-1952), a widower since 1913 who had five children. They had a son in 1922, Ronald. She died on 3 Mar 1955.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 (see ancestry.co.uk)
Gavin Bell, UK
Pat Cook, USA
Chris Dohany, USA
Articles and Stories
Hampshire Advertiser (1914)