Arthur Lawrence was born in Poplar, London, England on 30 April 1875. He was baptised three years later on 11 June 1878 in All Saints Church, Poplar.
He was the son of Arthur Lawrence (1845-1909), a railway clerk, and Mary Ann Edwards (1846-1928). His father was a native of Raydon, Suffolk and his mother was from Langham, Essex and he had nine known siblings: Alfred (b. 1869), William Henry (b. 1871), Maria (b. 1872), Annie (b. 1873), Albert Edward (b. 1877), Agnes (b. 1880), Charles (b. 1882), Frank (b. 1883) and George (b. 1888).
Arthur first appears on the 1881 census living at 10 Bedford Street in Poplar, later moving to 14 Lumsden Street, also in Poplar, showing up at that address on the 1891 census. Arthur, aged 15, has already left school and is working as an errand boy by the time of the latter record. The family later settled in Essex and show up on the 1901 census living at 29 Essex Street, West Ham where his father was now described as a self-employed newsagent. Arthur is absent, perhaps already at sea. His father passed away in 1909 and his widowed mother and brother Charles appear on the 1911 census living at Rectory Road, Hawkwell, Hockley, Essex.
Arthur was married in Liverpool in 1903 to Elizabeth Ellen Hughes (b. 1870 in Liverpool) and the couple had one son, John Arthur, who was born in Lancashire on 23 December 1904. The family are listed on the 1911 census living at West Street in Rochford, Essex where Elizabeth reportedly ran a sweet shop. Arthur was described as a seafarer in the merchant service.
He initially signed-on to the Titanic in Belfast for her delivery trip to Southampton. When he signed-on again, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 66 Old Oxford Street, (Southampton) and his last ship as the Adriatic. As a saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Lawrence died in the sinking. His body was later recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#90).
NO. 90. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 35. - HAIR, MEDIUM.
CLOTHING - Black rainproof coat; dark mixture suit; white steward's coat marked " A. Laurance"' knitted vest; green and pink pajamas.
EFFECTS - Gun metal watch and chain; button book; bundle letters; two fountain pens; pocket knife; keys; book of stamps; empty purse.
NAME - A. LAWRENCE.
The body was taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia and forwarded, on 4 May, to Liverpool via Boston on the Arabic (sailed 7 May).
Arthur Lawrence was buried at West Derby Cemetery, Liverpool, England. His widow never remarried and later relocated to Birkenhead where she died in 1934.
His son John was married in 1941 to Mary Lilian Swanton before emigrating to Canada. He died in Kamloops, British Columbia on 24 January 1971.
Had a wife (Lily) and young son, wife ran a sweet shop at Rochford, Essex.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
White Star Line (1912.) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Brian Ticehurst (1996) Titanic's Memorials World wide: Where they are Located. ISBN 1 871733 05 7
Gavin Bell, UK
Articles and Stories
Southend Standard (1912)