Mrs Dorothy Ann Turpin (née Wonnacott)

Mrs William John Turpin (Dorothy Ann Wonnacott) was born in Plymouth, Devon, England on 25 April 1885.

She was the daughter of Arscott Wonnacott (1852-1917), a carpenter and joiner, and Mary Jane Rees (1858-1937), natives of Holsworthy, Devon who were married in 1878 who would go on to have seven children, four surviving infancy. Dorothy's siblings were: Charles Thomas (1879-1966), Lucy Jane (b. 1882, later Mrs George Gordon Gilbert) and Gertrude May (1894-1985, later Mrs Stanley Kirk).

Dorothy appears on the 1891 census with her family living at 1 Caprera (?) Place, St Andrew, Plymouth and on the 1901 census at 2 Sladden Terrace and by which time she was described as a shop assistant.

She was married to William John Turpin (b. 1882), a carpenter, on 23 March 1908 at Eldad Presbyterian Church in Plymouth. The couple lived at 59 Chaddlewood Avenue, Lipson, Plymouth for a period when later that year William secured work in the USA. They later lived in Garfield in Salt Lake City, Utah and show up there on the 1910 census. They remained childless.

In August 1911 Dorothy and her husband returned to England to visit their respective families. Her parents were by then living at 17 Endsleigh Place, Plymouth. For their return to Utah the Turpins boarded the Titanic at Southampton and travelled in second class (ticket number 11668 which cost £21). On the night of the sinking second officer Lightoller encountered a West-Country couple late on during the evacuation. Advising the lady that lifeboats were still being filled and that she should try and board one, she replied "Not on your life." It is possible that this couple were the Turpins.

The couple died in the sinking and their bodies were never recovered.

Her father died in 1917 and her mother in 1937. Her last surviving sibling Gertrude died in Barnstaple, Devon in 1985 aged 91.

Laura Barbetti, Australia
Gavin Bell, UK
Steve Coombes, UK
Chris Dohany, USA
Arthur Merchant, USA
Graham Naylor, Plymouth
Brian Ticehurst, UK
Anita West, New Zealand

Articles and Stories




Bound for Salt Lake City

Western Morning News  (1912) 



Western Morning News  (1912) 


Titanic Disaster, Westcountry Passengers and Crew

Western Morning News  (1912) 


Mr and Mrs Turpin

Illustrated Western Weekly News  (1912) 


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    (2015) Dorothy Ann Turpin Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #584, accessed 9th October 2015 07:47:00 AM)

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