Frederick Wormald was baptised 24 Nov 1867 at St Paul's Clapham as Henry Frederick Charles, the son of John and Caroline Wormald of Roundell Street. His father was a gunmaker1.
On the 1871 census, he is shown as Henry F, aged 3. He has 3 sisters. On the next census, the family has grown to 8 children. They have moved to Bermondsey, and John is now a fishmonger2. Henry/Frederick is a "Cabinet Maker's Assistant."
He married Emily Hitchin Hilsden 28 Sept 1890 at St Martin's Oakley Square, London3, and they appear on the 1891 census at 52 Hawkestone Road, Rotherhithe, living in 3 rooms, and he is now Frederick rather than Henry, and gives his occupation as a "wine cellarman" or "barman".
In about 1897, just after their eldest son Frederick was born, the family seem to have emigrated to South Africa, although it has not been possible to find their outgoing passenger details. With the outbreak of the Boer War, they came to Southampton from Cape Town on the SS Norham Castle in February 1901, with their first 3 children, 2 born in South Africa. Frederick is described as having no occupation45
On the 1901 census, taken on the 31 March, they are at 73 Derby Road in Southampton, and Frederick's occupation is now "Publican".
From at least 1902, when he appears in Kelly's Directory, until 29 October 1907 (when the license was transferred to Richard Henry Newman), Frederick was the landlord of the "Corfe Castle", a beer house at 13 East Street. However, by the 1911 census he is a "sea steward" and living at 28 John Street6.
He signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 having been transferreed from the St Louis. As a first class saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.
(© Bob Knuckle, Canada)
On 10 April 1912 Fred's wife and children stood at Woodcocks Boatyard, Millbrook and waved Fred off for the last time.
Fred died in the sinking, his body was recovered by the cable ship Mackay-Bennett on 24 April. The body was one of those taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia and laid out at the Mayflower Curling Rink for identification.
NO. 144. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 45. - HAIR AND MOUSTACHE, DARK.
CLOTHING - Steward's uniform; white coat marked "A. Wormald"; overcoat.
EFFECTS - Gold watch; keys; gold snake ring; gold chain and charm; sovereign purse; knife.
FIRST SALOON STEWARD, No. 74.
NAME - F. WORMALD 5 Testwood Rd., Southampton.
Great religious differences existed in Nova Scotia at the time and a Rabbi mistakenly identified Fred's body as being Jewish. On Saturday 4 May it was discovered that 10 bodies were missing (Fred's amongst them) and that they had been taken to a Jewish Cemetery and interred the previous day while a memorial service for all the victims was being held. It is for this reason that the body of Frederick Wormald lies today in the Baron De Hirsch cemetery in Halifax.
Meanwhile back in Southampton things were not very happy. Mrs Emily Hitchen Wormald spent hours outside the White Star Offices in Canute Road along with hundreds of others anxiously waiting for news, scanning each list as it was chalked on the boards outside. Eventually, with great sadness it was clear that Fred had not survived and she returned home to the children. Then came news that Fred's body had been picked up and was in Nova Scotia,
On the 24th August 1912, Emily took the children and boarded Fred's old ship the St Louis to sail for New York on her way, so the story goes, to visit Fred's grave. Emily gave the name and address of her neighbour Mrs Eustace at no 7 Testwood Road as "nearest friend." On arrival in America they were taken to Ellis Island for Immigration checks, where they were refused entry as "LPC" (liable for public charge). So they were put back on board the St Louis and returned to Southampton, arriving on the 15 September. Passengers and crew on board were touched by the story and a collection was made on board and over £40 was presented to the family.
More shocks were in store for the family on arrival back in Southampton, for when they returned to their rented house, number 5 Testwood Road, Millbrook, they found that during their six weeks absence the rapacious landlord had re-let the house to another family. Mrs Eustace next door in number 7 had stored most of their possessions in one of her upstairs rooms and other large pieces of furniture were stored in other neighbours houses and sheds. After spending the night in the Berrywood Mission Hall at the end of the road they found another empty house and moved in. By this time the 'Titanic Disaster Fund' was operating and some of the money that had been flowing in was now being distributed and Mrs Wormald and her family were well looked after.
Some of the family later returned to their roots in London. Frederick John married Edith Emily North on the 13 August 1919 at St Mary's Balham, with his brother William as one of the witnesses. He gave his occupation as "cellarman" , following his father's footsteps behind the bar rather than at sea. According to the Wandsworth electoral registers, Frederick and Edith lived at 21 Shipka Road in Balham until 1931 (Edith only got the vote in 1926, at the age of 30)
Fred Wormald is named on the brass Titanic remembrance plaque on the wall of the Holy Trinity Church, Millbrook, Southampton.
References and Sources
- London Parish Records on Ancestry.com
- by 1891 he would be an Eel Shop Proprietor in Rotherhithe
- London Parish Records on Ancestry.com
- UK Incoming Passenger Lists, Ancestry.com
- In all they had 6 children: Frederick John; William George; Joseph Richard; Mildred Ida; Jack Wallace; George Stewart
- On both these censuses, Emily has become Jane Elizabeth, but the names of the children all match the Relief Fund records, so there is no doubt this is the same family.
- 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. Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Halifax, N.S., Manuscript Group 100, Vol. 229, No. 3d, Accession 1976-191, 76 pp., unpaged.(#144)
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Vicky Green, UK
Brian Ticehurst, UK
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