William Ewart Caunt was born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England in the latter half of 1884. He was the son of William Ewart Caunt (1862-1911) and Emily Elizabeth Sharpe (1861-1950).
His parents, both natives of Nottingham, had married in 1882 and his father worked variously as a warehouseman and a builder's clerk. He had two known siblings: Emily Gertrude (b. 1884) and Horace Percival (b. 1886).
William first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family were living at 17 Latimer (?) Street, Bulwell, Nottinghamshire. At the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to 83 Radford Boulevard, Nottingham and William was working as a wood sawyer; when he went into the culinary profession is uncertain, but by the time of the 1911 census William was described as an unmarried ship's cook for the White Star Line and he was still living with his parents, now at 26 Princes Street, Northam, Southampton.
William was married in his native Nottingham in early 1912 to Emily Mayfield (b. 1885 in Worcester, Worcestershire, daughter of John Mayfield and Emily Teague), a lace finisher as per the 1911 census. The couple would have no children.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 23 Sidney Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic. As a grill cook he received monthly wages of £6 10s.
Caunt died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Southern Daily Echo on 29 April 1912:
CAUNT--April 15th, on the s.s. Titanic, William Ewart, the dearly loved son of Emily Elizabeth Caunt of 55 Sydney Road, Shirley, Southampton, aged 27. May his dear soul rest in peace.
He is mentioned on a family grave in the Old Cemetery, Southampton:
The Beloved Husband Of
And Son Of W. & E.E Caunt
Who Was Drowned At Sea
On The S.S Titanic
April 15th 1912
Aged 27 Years
"In The Midst Of Life We Are In Death"
His widow Emily never remarried and relocated to Nottingham where she died in 1948 (?). His mother remained in Southampton and died in 1950.
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)