Wilfred James Bunnell was born in Tranmere, Cheshire, England in 1891, his birth being registered in the July quarter of that year. He was the son of Joseph Bunnell (b. 1857) and Martha Harrison (1858-1900). His parents were natives of Pensby, Cheshire and Liverpool, respectively and had married in Liverpool in 1878. He was baptized on 8 October 1891 at St Mary, Birkenhead.
Wilfred Bunnell pictured in the Birkenhead News (20 April 1912)
Courtesy of Gavin Bell, UK
Wilfred first appears on the 1901 UK census living at 184 Peel Street, Birkenhead, Lancashire with his father and siblings: Florence (b. 1881), Joseph (b. 1883), Charles (b. 1884), Ethel (b. 1888) and Mabel (b. 1890). His father is described as a bakers shop keeper and a widower. He would remarry twice, first in 1904 to Marion Kirkland who died during childbirth with their daughter Marion in 1908; and secondly in 1910 to Cicely Marrin.
By the time of the 1911 census Wilfred is living at 27 Lilly Street, Birkenhead with his father, stepmother Cicely, brother Charles and step-sister Marion (b. 1908). Wilfred is described as a French polisher apprentice and is unmarried.
Wilfred was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 47 Kingsfield Road, Southampton. His last ship had been the Olympic. As a plates steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.
Bunnell died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His father Joseph died in Birkenhead in 1930.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
England, Cheshire Parish Registers, 1538-2000
Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg, Sweden