Mr John Henry Perkin

Mr John Henry Perkin was born in Holsworthy, Devon, England in the closing months of 1888.

He was the son of William Perkin (b. 1853), a butcher, and Elizabeth Hooper (b. 1852), both Devonshire natives who were married in 1878.

John was the youngest of five surviving children from a total of eight and his siblings were: Elizabeth Jane (1880-1950, later Mrs Francis Chubb Hatch), Mary Ann (1881-1963), Richard (1882-1950) and William Hooper (1886-1916).

He appears on the 1891 census as a two-year-old living at Lower Square in Holsworthy, the address of his father's butcher's shop, reportedly establish since 1873, and would still be here by the time of the 1901 census. The 1911 census specifies their address as 17, The Square in Holsworthy and by that time John is described as an unmarried labourer, seemingly the only one of he and his siblings who did not become a butcher.

In 1912 he was encouraged to emigrate to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada by his relative Lewis Braund who had been farming there for a number of years. With the decision made to emigrate he subsequently travelled with Lewis, his brother Owen Harris Braund, and other relatives, Samuel and William Dennis (second cousins) and John Hall Lovell. Their journey to Southampton would have been by train from Holsworthy, it is likely their group accompanied Susan Webber of North Tamerton who was a family friend.

Boarding the Titanic at Southampton the group travelled in third class (except Susan Webber who was in second class). John's ticket was numbered 21174 and had cost £7, 5s.

Perkin and his five companions all died in the sinking. His body if recovered, was never identified.

There is a memorial to John in the churchyard of the Methodist Church, Bodmin Street, Holsworthy, Devon. The gravestone inscription reads:

John Perkin grave
© Steve Coombes, UK
William Hooper Perkin
died at Silvercrooks, October 6th 1916
aged 28 years
also of
John Henry Perkin
who was lost at sea
when the SS Titanic went down
in mid-Atlantic Ocean
April 14th 1912
aged 21 years
dearly loved sons of
William & Elizabeth Perkin
Peace, Perfect Peace.
'With loved ones far away in Jesus keeping we are safe and they.'

His family largely remained in the Holsworthy area. His mother died in 1915 but his father rallied for over a further two decades before his death on 9 May 1939. His last surviving sibling was his sister Mary Ann, a spinster, who died on 29 January 1963.

Gavin Bell, UK
Steve Coombes, UK
Chris Dohany, USA
Brian Ticehurst, UK

Articles and Stories

Holsworthy, Devon - 1901 Census (1)



Gloom at Holsworthy

Unidentified Newspaper  (1912) 


A Postcard from Titanic



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    (2015) John Henry Perkin Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1130, accessed 1st December 2015 09:55:43 PM)

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