Frederick Simms Reeves was born in Wokingham, Berkshire, England in 1878 and his birth was registered in the last quarter of that year. He was the son of Daniel Reeves (1839-1907) and Ellen Blackall (1843-1883), both natives of Oxfordshire who had married in Reading, Berkshire in 1865.
Frederick, better known as Fred, had three known siblings: Elizabeth (b. 1871), Rose Mary (b. 1875) and Ellen Eliza (b. 1877).
Fred first appears on the 1881 census when he and his family are living at "Embrook", Wokingham, and his father was described as a tile and pipe maker. His mother passed away in 1883 and his father never remarried. On the 1891 census the remaining family are living at 49 High Street, Warfield, Bracknell, Berkshire, his father now described as a general labourer. His father is working as a grocer's porter by the time of the 1901 census and still living in High Street, Warfield. Fred is absent, perhaps already having commenced a career at sea. His father died in 1907.
Frederick was married in Southampton in late 1908 to Jessie Annie Rosina Stokes (b. 1887 in Southampton) and they had two children, Edwin Anton (b. 1907) and Violet Rosina (b. October 4, 1909). They appear as a family on the 1911 census whilst living at 1 Castle Lane, Southampton. Fred was described as a dock labourer.
When Fred signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his birthplace as London and age as 31. His given address was 22 Cable Street, Southampton and his previous ship had been the Oceanic. As a fireman Frederick could expect monthly waged of £6.
Frederick Reeves died in the sinking. His body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#280) and was buried in Fairview Cemetary, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 7 May 1912.
© Bob Knuckle, Dundas, Ontario, Canada.
NO. 280 - MALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 35 - DARK.
CLOTHING - Dark coat and vest; dungaree pants.
EFFECTS - National Sailors' and Firemen's Union Book, No. 64717.
TATTOO - Right arm: women with Union Jack around; left arm: heart and two dots.
His widow Jessie may have remarried but what became of her is uncertain. Likewise, his son Edwin's eventual fate is unknown. His daughter Violet was married in Southampton in 1932 to Albert Culley and they had two sons and one daughter. Violet died in Christchurch, Hampshire in 1969.
References and Sources
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.
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Gavin Bell, UK
Bill Wormstedt, USA
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