Mr William Morley was born in Stoughton, Sussex, England in early 1878.
He was the son of James Morley (b. 1852), a woodman, and Mary Mills (b. 1853), both natives of Fernhurst, Sussex who were married in 1875. His parents had moved from his birthplace in Sussex to Warblington in Hampshire when he was still an infant.
One of nine children born to his parents, William's siblings were: Ada (b. 1876), Kate (b. 1879), Albert (b. 1880), Arthur (b. 1882), Frederick (b. 1883), Clement (1885-1959), Thomas (b. 1886) and Frances "Florence" Alice (b. 1891).
He first appears on the 1881 census living at Rowlands Castle in Warblington, Hampshire and on the 1891 census at Finchdeen (?) Road Cottages. His father later worked as a coal merchant and corn miller and also operated the George & Dragon Inn in Halfway Bridge, Lodsworth, Sussex and the family were listed there on the 1901 census but William was not listed with them. The family were living at Lodsbridge Mill, Lodsworth by the time of the 1911 census.
William worked as a carpenter and had emigrated in 1906 and settled in Hawaii and is listed there on the 1910 census in Hilo where he became well-known in that area, working on the community's Masonic Hall and the Hackfield Building. He had later saved enough to return home to visit his family in England and stayed with them in Lodsworth.
For his homecoming to the USA Morley purchased ticket number 364506 (which cost £8, 1s) and was returning to Hawaii by way of Sacramento, California where his brother Arthur lived. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger on 10 April 1912.
William Morley was lost in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. His estate, worth £92, was administered to his father on 15 November 1912.
He is remembered on a family grave in Petworth, Sussex and still has many family on both sides of the Atlantic. His brother Arthur later had a son in 1915 and named him William in his honour.
His parents remained at the same address, Lodsbridge Mill in Sussex; his father died on 17 February 1933 but what became of his mother is not clear.
References and Sources
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55).
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260
Gavin Bell, UK
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Articles and Stories
Honolulu Star-Bulletin (1912)