Joseph Henry Couch was born in Bootle, Lancashire, England on 8 October 1862 and he was baptised on 5 November that same year in St Mary's Church, Bootle. He was the son of Thomas Couch (1822-1889) and Ellen Berry (1841-1896). His father was Irish by birth and his mother was originally from Kinglsey, Cheshire, and they married in West Derby, Lancashire in 1861.
Joseph had seven known siblings: Ellen (b. 1866), Mary Jane (b. 1868), Thomas Edward (b. 1869), Mary Alice (b. 1871), Anne (b. 1874), Elizabeth (b. 1876) and George (b. 1879),
On the 1871 census Joseph and his family are living at 7 Canal Terrace, Bootle and his father is described as a labourer. The family have moved to 88 St John's Road, Bootle by the time of the 1881 census and Joseph, now aged 18, is described as a dock labourer. Joseph's father Thomas died in 1889 aged 67 and on the 1891 census Joseph, his widowed mother and two of his siblings are listed at 96 St John's Road, Bootle, with Joseph now being described as a marine fireman. Joseph's mother would die in 1896. Joseph does not appear on the 1901 census, perhaps already at sea, but his youngest brother George is listed as living with an aunt at an address in Walton on the Hill, Bootle. Joseph perhaps also stayed at this address whilst ashore.
When Joseph signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 42 Canton Street, Southampton, the address of a Mr Edward James Whyman and Nellie Louise Whyman and their family. His previous ship had been the Majestic. As a greaser he would earn monthly wages of £6 10s.
Joseph Henry Couch, who was unmarried, died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. He left an estate of £28, 13s 4d to Nellie Louise Whyman of 42 Canton Street, his landlady.
Gavin Bell, UK