Ernest Thomas Barker was born in Islington, Middlesex, England in late 1871 and his birth was registered in the last quarter of that year. He was the son of Thomas Barker (b. 1834 in St Brides), a licensed victualler and publican, and the former Isabella Wilgress Haward (b. 1846 in Paddington), both Middlesex-natives who had married in Holy Trinity Church, Haverstock Hill, Camden, London on 13 March 1870.
He had three known siblings: Constance Florence (b. 1873) and twins Beatrice Maud and John Richard (b. 1875). Beatrice died on Christmas Eve 1875 aged only 9 months,
On the 1871 census, taken only months before Ernest's birth, his parents were living at 57 Charlotte Street, Islington and the family would still be here on the 1881 census. That particular address was the Golden Lion public house which his father ran. Ernest appears on no further census records.
His mother died on 9 August 1885 and his father never remarried, dying on 4 April 1903. When his father died, his estate worth £438, 10s was split between his three surviving children. Ernest was then indicated to be a public house manager.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Ernest gave his address as 4 Grand Parade, Haringey, (London), the home of his sister Constance Florence Ellis Pirie and her family. As a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s. His last ship had been the Olympic.
Barker died in the sinking. His body was later recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#159) and buried at sea on 24 April 1912.
N0. 159. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 50. - HAIR, FAIR.
CLOTHING - Blue jacket and vest; dark pants; pajamas under.
EFFECTS - Pipe; knife; pouch.
NAME - ERNEST T. BARKER.
Ernest is remembered on the family headstone in Highgate Cemetery, Islington. The grave lay unattended and unnoticed for many years until in April 2012 the grave was discovered, repaired and a commemoration service was held
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
White Star Line (1912.) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax, N.S.
Ham & High (2012) Steward who died on the Titanic to be commemorated at Highgate Cemetery April 13 2012
Gavin Bell, UK