Charles Henry Kearl was born in Ventnor, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England in 1868 and his birth was registered in the first quarter of that year. He was the son of William Albert Kearl (1840-1922) and Ellen Marie Silver (1844-1903), both Hampshire natives who had married in 1865.
Charles had nine known siblings: Rosina (b. 1866), Gertrude (b. 1870), Louisa Jane (b. 1872), Frances Elizabeth (b. 1875), William Albert (b. 1876), Alfred James (b. 1876), George (b. 1880), Albert Edward (b. 1883) and Percival Oliver (b. 1884).
On the 1871 census Charles and his family are living at 40 Dock Street, St Mary, Southampton and his father is described as a Police Constable. They would be at the same address at the of the 1881 census with a 13 year old Charles being described as an errand boy. The family have moved to 177 Northumberland Road, Southampton by the time of the 1891 census but Charles is absent, apparently already at sea.
Charles was married on the Isle of Wight in 1896 to Elizabeth Leah Whittington (b. 20 February 1872 in Ventnor, Isle of Wight) and they had one son, Charles Albert, on 12 September 1897.
On the 1901 census Charles, his wife and son are living at 22 Lodge Road, Shirley, Southampton and Charles is then described as a coal porter. By the time of the 1911 census the family are living at 17 Chantry Road, Southampton and Charles is now described as a fitter's helper on board a ship.
When Charles signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 17 Chantry Road, (Southampton) and his previous ship as the New York, the vessel with which Titanic nearly collided whilst departing Southampton. As a greaser, Kearl could expect monthly wages of £6 10s.
Charles Kearl died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow Elizabeth Leah never remarried and remained in Hampshire where she died on 27 January 1953.
His son Charles Albert was married in 1931 to Doris Lizzie Snelgar (1906-1979) and they had one son and one daughter. Charles became a cook and, like his father, went to sea and served for several voyages on board the Olympic. He died in Southampton in 1979.
Gavin Bell, UK