William Thomas Bott was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in 1866, his birth being registered in the September quarter of that year. He was the son of William Bott (1837-1875) and Elizabeth Morgan (1832-1921). His father was from Nottingham and his mother from Southampton and they had married in 1862, going on to have five children: Margaret (b. 1862), Mary (b. 1864), Lucy (b. 1869), Emma (b. 1871) and William.
On the 1871 census William and his family reside at 84 Melbourne Street, Southampton and his father is described as an engine fitter. His father died in London in 1875 and by the time of the 1881 census he, his mother and siblings are living at 23 Melbourne Street with his mother being described as a needlewoman (seamstress) and William as a tailor's errand boy.
William was married in Southampton in 1890 to Mary Maud Wheeler; neither seem to appear on the 1891 census. The couple appear to have had a child, Agatha Dorothy, whose birth was registered in the September quarter of 1897. Both Mary's and Agatha's deaths were registered the following quarter in circumstances uncertain and William remained a widower for the rest of his life.
On the 1901 census William is listed as a boarder at 52 Grosvenor Street and gives his age as 38 and his profession as blockmaker (?). He also declared that he was married. On the 1911 census he was living at 6 Nichols Road in Southampton and described himself as a widower and as a ship's fireman. Also living with him is a servant, married housekeeper Julia Chamberlain and her adopted daughter May, and a lodger.
When William signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 6 Nichols Road. His last ship had been the Olympic. As a greaser he received monthly wages of £6 10s.
William Bott died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
Gavin Bell, UK