(Chris Dohany, USA)
William Henry Rattenbury was born in 1874 in St Helier, Jersey in the Channel Islands. He was the eldest son of William Rattenbury (b. 1847), a postman and fur broker, and his wife Susan (b. 1851), both St Helier natives.
William had four known siblings: Ernest (b. 1876), Frederick (b. 1880), Elsie (b. 1885) and Walter (b. 1889).
The 1881 Channel Islands census shows William and his family living at 83 Great Union Road, St Helier but they would have moved to 9 Waterloo Street by the time of the 1891 census. William aged 17, was described as a cabinet maker's apprentice and he would continue to work in the furnishing trade for some time.
William was married in 1900 to Louisa Price (b. 1872 in St Helier) and the couple had one son, Henry William, later that year.
The family appear on the 1901 census living at 26 Chevalier Road, St Helier and William is now described as a furniture dealer. What prompted William's changed in profession is not known but he would be absent from the 1911 census, indicating he was by then at sea. His wife and son were living at 55 Lower Bath Street, St Helier, the home of his brother-in-law Thomas Price.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, William gave his name as "W. Henry" and his address as 27 Romsey Road, (Southampton), a lodgings address. His last ship had been the Olympic. As assistant boots steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.
William Rattenbury died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
The fate of his wife and son is unclear.
Signed on as W. Henry
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)