Mr Charles Louch 1 was born in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England in early 1862.
He was the son of Samuel Louch (1827-1892), a saddler, and Maria Gould (1832-1895), Somerset natives who were married in 1855, and he had one sibling, William (b. 1859).
Charles and his family appear on the 1871 and 1881 censuses living in 25 Regent Street in Weston-Super-Mare. By the time of the latter census as a saddler, an assistant to his father. He was later married in the Spring months of 1890 2 to Alice Adelaide Slow (b. 1869), a native of Middlesex.
The recently married couple appeared on the 1891 census living at 18 North Street, Taunton, Somerset and Charles was described as a saddle and harness manufacturer. They went on to have six children: Samuel Bernard (1891-1973), Sidney Charles (1893-1979), William Bertram (1895-1927) 3, Clarence William (1896-1945), Edith Gertrude (1901-11982, later Mrs Trevor R. John) and Cecil Stanley (1902-1977).
Charles and his family lived in different locations in Somerset over the years, to include Taunton, Clevedon and Weston-Super-Mare. They appear on the 1901 census living at 24 Old Church Road, Clevedon and on the 1911 census at 24 Clevedon Road (aka Edelweiss), Weston-Super-Mare. The latter record indicates that Charles' two eldest sons had also became saddlers whilst his son William was an upholsterer.
In addition to being a well-known businessman, Charles Louch was also a frequent lay preacher in the Wesleyan Church and a member of the Clarence Park Baptist Church where he ran the Sunday School. He was previously a devoted member of the Wadham Street Baptist Church in Weston-Super-Mare.
His brother William and his wife, also called Alice, had moved to California to work, establishing a laundry business, and Charles and Alice planned a visit to them. Two weeks prior to their departure Charles had occupied the pulpit at the Lympsham Wesleyan Church and made references to his impending voyage. He and his wife boarded the Titanic at Southampton as second class passengers on 10 April 1912 (ticket number 3085 which cost £26). During the voyage they shared a dining table with Edwina Troutt, Edgar Andrew, Frank Andrew, Jacob Milling and Bertha Ilett.
Charles died in the sinking. His body was recovered from the sea on 23 April 1912 by the cable-laying vessel MacKay-Bennett. He was buried at sea the following day.
NO. 121 MALE ESTIMATED AGE 48 BEARD AND MOUSTACHE, BLACK
CLOTHING Fawn waterproof; grey mixed suit; pyjamas underneath; money belt.
EFFECTS One knife; two memo books; fountain pen; purse and £1; London City & Midland Bank, £140, pocket book; £7 10s. 4 1/2d.
NAME - CHAS LOUCH
Charles' estate, worth £5537, 19s, 4d was administered to his widow on 3 June 1912. His sons William and Charles continued the saddler's business in Weston-Super-Mare, latterly moving to 58 Regent Street. His widow returned to England and later moved to Bristol where she died on 29 April 1949. His last surviving child Edith died in Weston-Super-Mare in 1982.
- Often listed as Charles Alexander Louch. No such middle name appears in his birth or marriage records.
- Some sources say they were married on 7 January 1888. This is erroneous; their marriage was registered in the second quarter of 1890 and in the 1911 census they stated that they had been married for twenty years.
- Birth registered as William Bertram Louch; census and death records give his first name as Wilfred.
References and Sources
Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic (Public Archives of Nova Scotia) (#121)
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Gavin Bell, UK
Steve Coombes, UK