Ewart Sydenham Burr was born in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England over the summer months of 1883 and his birth was registered in Barton Regis in that year's third quarter. He was the son of Francis Harry Burr (1857-1934), an oil and coalman, and Catherine Anne Maria Sydenham (1859-1935). His father and mother were from Banbury, Oxfordshire and Clifton, Bristol, respectively and had married in Gloucestershire in 1881.
Ewart was one of six children, his siblings being: Reginald Francis (b. 1882), Cecil Hall (b. 1884), Harold Percy (b. 1886), Amy Gladys (b. 1888) and Clarence Douglas (b. 1891).
Ewart first appears on the 1891 census and at that time he and his family were living at 137 Westgate Street in Gloucester, Gloucestershire. The family relocated to Scotland and show up on the 1901 census living at 154 Nithsdale Road, Pollockshields, Glasgow where his father was now described as a branch manager in the photography industry. Ewart, aged 17, was described as a hosier's assistant. He may have left this profession behind soon after and went to sea, possibly as early as 1903, the entire family having later shifted to living in Southampton.
Ewart was married in Southampton in 1910 to his namesake Ethel Alice Amelia Burr (b. 21 November 1885 in Southampton, daughter of Frank and Alice Burr) and the couple had one son, Cecil Ewart, on 5 December 1910.
Ewart, his wife and son appear on the 1911 census living at 142 Millbrook Road, Freemantle, Southampton, the home of his wife's uncle, Christopher Phillisbrook and his family. Ewart is described at that time as an assurance agent.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 48 Above Bar, (Southampton), the home address of his mother and father, although he is believed to have lived at 34 Victoria Road in Southampton with his wife and son. As a first class steward Burr received monthly wages of £3 15s. His last ship had been Oceanic.
He wrote a letter to his wife which he posted when the Titanic touched at Queenstown on 11 April 1912. In it he describes working in the first class saloon and serving at the Countess of Rothes' table.
Burr died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. Ethel Burr received word of his death on 19 April in a telegram:
Much Regret Burr not Saved
Ewart's widow Ethel never remarried and remained in Hampshire, later living in the New Forest area. She died in 1983 aged 97, having been a widow for over seventy years.
Ewart's son Cecil was later married to Gwendoline Sandy and raised a family, living in Hampshire for the remainder of his life where he passed away in 1996.
References and Sources
Southern Daily Echo, 28 March 1998 Titanic: A Voyage into History
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260) and White Star Line (1912.)
Gavin Bell, UK