Mr Alfred James Davies was born in Sedgley, Staffordshire, England in early 1888.
He was the son of Richard James Davies (b. 1859), a puddler (iron worker), and Mary Ann Cox (b. 1864) who both hailed from Sedgley and who had married in 1885. One of nine children, Alfred's siblings were: William (b. 1886), John (b. 1890), Richard (b. 1892), Joseph (b. 1895), Alice May (b. 1898), Matilda Doris (b. 1902, later Mrs Peter Schroff), Mary Gladys (b. 1904, later Mrs Charles Benedict) and Arthur (b. 1907).
He first appears on the 1891 census living with his family at 3 Woodcross Street, Sedgley but the family later relocated to West Bromwich in Staffordshire and appear there on the 1901 census living at 131 Bak (?) Lane. Aged 13 he had already left school and was working as a foundry hand, having followed in his father's footsteps. By the time he appeared on the 1911 census he was described as an iron founder and the family lived at 29 Harwood Street, West Bromwich.
Alfred's elder brother William had settled in the USA around 1905 and another brother later followed around Christmas time 1911. The brothers made a good living in their new home of Pontiac, Michigan and Alfred Davies and his two younger brothers John and Joseph, along with their uncle James Lester (husband of their mother's sister Alice), decided to make the journey themselves with the intention of saving enough money to have the rest of the family join them in due course.
Alfred was married on 8 April 1912 to Ann Maria Cartwright (b. 1891 in West Bromwich) Oldbury Parish Church. Their honeymoon was brief and the next day Alfred, his brothers and uncle left West Bromwich to journey to Southampton by train. Getting the train times incorrect, the men had to make a hurried departure by tram to Birmingham to catch a different train there.
The four men boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers (joint ticket number 48871 which cost £24, 3s). They wrote home from Southampton and Queenstown saying they were "comfortable" and having an "enjoyable passage".
All four men lost their lives in the disaster. Their sorrowful father later said they were "fine big lads" adding that they were "the best of sons."
Alfred's widow Ann had went to live with her parents John and Sarah Jane Cartwright in Oldbury following his departure. Although what became of Ann is not entirely clear, it is believed that she remarried before the end of the decade and died in the mid-1970s.
His mother and father and the remainder of his siblings emigrated to the USA the following year, departing from Liverpool on 16 February 1913 aboard Carmania and by the 1920s were living in Royal Oak, Oakland, Michigan. His father died on 4 October 1926 in Clawson, Oakland and his mother sometime in the 1940s. His last known surviving siblings were his sister Matilda and his youngest brother Arthur who died on 5 November 1995 and 25 February 1995 respectively, both in Oakland, Michigan.
References and Sources
The Free Press (West Bromwich), 19 April 1912, West Bromwich Men Missing
The Staffordshire Advertiser, 20 April 1912, Article
Birmingham Daily Gazette, April 16 1912 - April 29 inc.
Gavin Bell, UK
Alan Tucker, UK
Articles and Stories
Staffordshire Advertiser (1912)
Free Press (1912)