Henry Wellesley Ashe was born in Munchins Street, Limerick City, Co Limerick, Ireland on 20 February 1871. He was the son of William Henry St George Ashe (1839-1909) and Rachel Corneille (1839-1900), both Limerick-natives who had married there in 1861. They later relocated to Birkenhead where two children were born: Edward John (b. 1863) and Sarah Jane (b. 1869). After a brief spell in Ireland where Henry was born they returned to England and settled in Liverpool.
Henry first appears on the 1881 census living at 91 Flinders Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool. His father was described as a clerk. On the 1891 census Henry is absent, having already commenced a sea-going career. His family are living at 16 Looke (?) Street, Everton at this time and his father is now described as an accountant.
Henry's mother passed away in 1900 and by the time of the 1901 census his widower father is living at 44 Phoeba Ann Street, Everton with his son Edward and married daughter Sarah Jane Crowther and her family. Henry is again absent.
He was married in 1904 in West Derby to May Rawsthorne (b. 1881 in Clitheroe, Lancashire) and they would have three children: Henry Wellesley (b. June 13, 1905), Doris Adelaide (b. October 26, 1906), William James (b. 1910).
Henry is again absent from the 1911 census but his wife and family are living at 11 Oxford Road, Aintree, Liverpool.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his age as 32, his address as 15 Wyesdale Road, Aintree, Liverpool. His last ship had been the Olympic. As a glory-hole steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s
Ashe died in the sinking. His body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#34) and he was buried at Fairview cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 8 May 1912.
NO. 34 - MALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 34 - HAIR, DARK; MOUSTACHE LIGHT
CLOTHING - Blue suit and green shirt.
EFFECTS - Gold watch and chain; keys; knife; 2 books; Freemasons' book; photos; papers; lodge badge; "Nat. Union Ship's Stewards, Butchers and Bakers."
NAME - H.W.ASHE, 15 or 17 Wysdale, Aintree
© Bob Knuckle, Canada
Henry's widow May had been pregnant at the time of the Titanic disaster and gave birth to a daughter, Gladys May later in the year. She never remarried and died in Liverpool on July 1, 1952.
His son Henry was married in 1939 to Clara Brownrigg but had no children. He later settled in Bournemouth and died there in 1993.
William James Ashe (1910-1990) was married in 1934, he emigrated to New Zealand, and had two children.
Doris Adelaide Ashe was married in 1936 to George Barlow and they had one daughter. She died in Liverpool on May 10, 1951.
Gladys May Ashe never reached her fifth birthday and died on August 7, 1917 in Liverpool.
Henry Ashe is remembered on his family gravestone in Kirkdale Cemetery, Fazakerley, Liverpool:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF HARRY,
BELOVED HUSBAND OF MAY ASHE
WHO LOST HIS LIFE ON THE TITANIC APRIL 15th 1912.
WHO DIED AUG 7th 1917 AGED 5 YEARS
"PEACE PERFECT PEACE".
BELOVED WIFE OF GEORGE BARLOW AND DAUGHTER OF ABOVE
WHO PASSED AWAY MAY 10th 1951 AGED 44 YEARS
"GOODNIGHT GOD BLESS YOU SWEETHEART"
WHO PASSED AWAY 1st JULY 1952 AGED 71 YEARS
"REUNITED WITH HER LOVED ONES"
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.
Ashe Family Website
Gavin Bell, UK
Articles and Stories
Hudson Dispatch (1912)