Walter Thomas Boothby was born in Docking, Norfolk, England in 1874 and was baptised on 13 September that year. He was the son of John Aubin Boothby (1847-1915) and Charlotte Rayner (1846-1932), Norfolk natives who had married in 1870.
Walter was one of ten children, one of whom died in infancy. His siblings were: Alice Marian (b. 1871), Leah Norah (b. 1872), Percy Charles (b. 1877), Maud (b. 1879), Ada Maria (b. 1882), Alfred William (b. 1883), Edward Henry (b. 1886), Joseph Henry (b. 1889) and Mabel (b. 1894).
Walter first appears on the 1881 census and at the time he and his family were living in East Street in Docking. His father, at the time, was described as a grocer's assistant. A change is his father's profession to that of a gamekeeper perhaps propelled to family to living in Alconbury, Huntingdonshire and they show up at North Road in that village on the 1891 census. Another change of profession for his father to that of a domestic gardener saw the family living in North Luffenham, Rutlandshire by the time of the 1901 census. Walter is absent, perhaps already at sea.
Walter was married in the Oakham district of Rutland in mid-1904 to Caroline Annie Tunnicliffe (b. 1881 in Braunston, Rutlandshire), a lady's maid residing in London as per the 1901 census.
Walter shows up on the 1911 census living as a lodger at 50 Ivy Road, St Denys, Southampton (the home of a Mr and Mrs William Philpott) and he is described as a married ship's steward for the White Star Line.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Walter gave his address as 50 Ivy Road, St. Denys. His last ship had been the Olympic. As a bedroom steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Boothby died in the sinking. His body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#107) and was buried at sea on 24 April 1912.
His widow apparently never remarried and settled in Edmonton, London where she died on 15 November 1953.
NO. 107. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 42. - HAIR, FAIR. PROMINENT TEETH.
CLOTHING - Uniform jacket and vest; White Star belt; pajamas.
EFFECTS - Pouch; pipe; knife; keys; 2s. 3 1/2d. and 1 franc.
NAME - W. BOOTHBY.
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.
Gavin Bell, UK