William Thomas Abrams was born in Gosport, Hampshire, England in 1878 and his birth was registered in the June quarter of that year. He was the son of Charles Henry Abrams (1831-1915) and Elizabeth Esther Andrews (1837-1897), both Hampshire natives who were married sometime after 1861.
William had at least six siblings: Elizabeth Sarah (b. 1857), Mary Ann (b. 1859), William John (b. 1862), Alice (b. 1867), James (b. 1869) and Ellen (b. 1875).
On the 1881 census William and his family are listed as living at 2 Russell Street, Alverstoke, Hampshire and his father was described as a sawyer. They are still at the Russell Street address in 1891 and William is still listed as being at school. He would later go to sea and work on the docks.
William was married in Portsea in early 1899 to Nellie Scott (b. 1876 in Gosport) but they are thought to have had no children. They were listed as living at 97 Whitworth Road, Alverstoke on the 1901 census and William was described as a merchant stoker. Nellie seemingly passed away sometime before 1907 when William was married for a second time to Mabel Constance Hosmer (b. 13 February 1888 in Southampton).
On the 1911 census William is listed as an inmate at HM Prison, Romsey Road, Winchester but his crime is unknown. His wife, perhaps smarting from her husband's stretch in gaol, listed herself on the census under her maiden name and gave her marital status as single; she was, at the time, working as a domestic housemaid at the Grand Hotel, Fir Vale Road, Bournemouth. William's widowed father Henry was listed as an inmate at the House of Industry, Park Road, Alverstoke, Gosport, a poorhouse. He would later pass away in 1915.
When William signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 3 Charles Street, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Oceanic. As a fireman he would receive monthly wages of £6.
Abrams died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Hampshire Independent (unknown date):
ABRAMS--April 15th, at sea aboard Titanic, in fond and loving memory of my dear Daddy, William Abrams, of 11 Charles Street, Southampton, aged 33. Gone from our sight, but to memory ever dear.
William's widow Mabel, who had been pregnant at the time, gave birth in late 1912 to a daughter named Nancy who, unfortunately, did not live to see her third birthday and died on September 28, 1915.
Mabel Abrams was remarried in 1916 to Arthur H. Ford but she was again widowed around 1919. She remarried a second time later that same year to Frederick Chalk (1879-1965) and they had a daughter the following year, Annie. Mabel died May 31, 1965 in Winchester, Hampshire aged 77.
- Sometimes listed as C. Abraham.
Gavin Bell, UK
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