William Thomas Barton was born in Liverpool, England on 26 April 1874 1 and baptised in St Anne’s Church on 4 February the following year. Hailing from a Roman Catholic family, he was the son of John Barton, a newsroom porter originally from Preston, and Elizabeth Power, a native of Ireland.
Barton appears on the 1901 census living with his married sister and his brother-in-law at an address in Toxteth and he was then described as a mariner.
From 1902 through 1906 he served aboard Campania and Carmania. In 1907 he married Charlotte Augusta Parry (b. 1877), a native of Birkenhead but they had no children; by 1911 they lived at 13 Thirmere Street in Liscard, Cheshire but William was not listed on that year’s census, perhaps at sea at the time.
In April 1912 Barton was serving as 2nd steward aboard the eastward-bound voyage of the Carpathia when that ship rescued the survivors of the Titanic.
Barton continued working at sea and served with the merchant fleet during WWI; in November 1915 he escaped with his life after the sinking of the Tara (formerly the Hibernia) which was torpedoed off the coast of Egypt, also surviving his own and the other survivors’ imprisonment following their rescue from the sea. In following years he served as chief officer aboard other ships.
William Barton and his wife retired to Ringwood, Hampshire and he died there on 17 April 1945 at the age of 70.