William Henry Dyer was born in Hendon, Middlesex, England in 1879, his birth being registered in the first quarter of that year, and he was baptised on March 23 1879 in St Mart's Church, Hendon. He was the son of John Dyer (1825-1898) and Harriet Elizabeth Cowley (1845-1905). His father was described as a cowman at the time of his birth and hailed from Romford, Essex, marrying Harriet Cowley, a Hendon-native in 1873.
William had five known siblings: Maude Mary (b. 1874), Isabella Alice (b. 1875), Katherine Louisa (b. 1878), Jane Emma (b. 1881) and Walter Edward (b. 1882).
He first appears on the 1881 census and at that time the family were living at 11 New Brent Street, Hendon, his father now described as a farmer's labourer. They have moved to 24 Foster Street, Hendon by the time of the 1891 census. His father would pass away in 1898 aged 73 and on the 1901 census his widowed mother (now described as a charwoman) and sister Isabella are living at Seaford Cottage, Hendon. William is listed elsewhere at 17 Pembridge Square, Paddington, London where he is now described as a footman.
His mother was remarried in 1902 to a William Corcott but she passed away three years later.
William was married in St Luke's Church, Paddington on 6 March 1905 to Frances Rayment (b. 1876 in Kensington and a domestic parlourmaid on the 1901 census). The couple went on to have three children: twins Lilian Ada and Rosaline Emma (b. 3 December 1908) and Winifred Alice (b. 23 September 1910).
On the 1911 census William, his wife and daughters were living at 68 Grove Street, Southampton and he was described as a steward in the merchant service.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, William gave his address as 46 Stafford Road, (Southampton). As a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. His last ship had been the Olympic.
Dyer lost his life in the disaster. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
William's widow never remarried and eventually resettled in Amersham, Buckinghamshire where she died on 27 November 1960 aged 84.
His daughter Rosaline was married in 1937 to Ronald Wilkins. She died in 1987 in Slough, Berkshire. Her twin Lilian, never married, apparently living with her mother for the rest of her life, and she died in Amersham, Buckinghamshire in 1965. His youngest daughter Winifred was married in 1927 to Charles Watts. She died in 1994 in Yeovil, Somerset.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Gavin Bell, UK
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