Supposed crew member Henry 'Harry' Baylis


There is a story, passed on through the generations of my family, that my Great Grandfather Henry 'Harry' Baylis was believed to have joined the crew of the Titanic under an assumed name and perished in the disaster. He went on the run from the Royal Navy in 1910 and disappeared. I wondered whether anyone could tell me whether those enlisting as crew would have had to produce any form of identification. One of Harry's granddaughters was told that it was thought he had gone under the name of Arthur Tizard and was employed as a stoker. However, the records that I have seen on Encyclopedia Titanica provide family backgrounds for this crew member, including details of parents, siblings, spouse and children, that contradict this.
People joining the ship had to produce a little book called a Certificate of Continuous Discharge. This contained a record of ships served in and voyages made. In 1912, the books contained no photo, so it was possible for somebody to steal a book and join a ship under a false name.

On the other hand, there are oodles of family fairy tales about people who were supposedly passengers or crew on Titanic. Here in Adelaide, Australia, we have three documented phonys. World wide, there could be hundreds.



The information about the Certificate of Continuous Discharge book is new to me and provides a useful insight.

A researcher from Dorset Family History Society found someone in the 1911 census that she thinks may have been my Gt Grandfather, Harry Baylis, going under a false name. This was a Harry Lingh living in Southampton and working as a stevedore.

My Great Grandmother went on to marry someone called Frederick Tizard, which is why I think the rumour came about that he may have used the name Arthur Tizard due to a possible family connection.

I agree that this could be a phoney story. However, what I do know is that he vanishes from the face of the earth after 1911, leaving his wife and three sons behind. He was a deserter from the Royal Navy, so would have been trying to stay below the radar using false details.



One theory that has been put forward, following a search on Encyclopaedia Titanica, is that my Great Grandfather, Henry 'Harry' BAYLIS (born in 1879 in Portland, Dorset), could be the member of crew that enlisted under the name of Harry BREWER. The records show that the exact background of Henry 'Harry' Brewer was unclear and there was no record of his marriage to Edith WORDON. The signature used when enlisting bears a striking resemblance to the flamboyant way in which my Gt Grandfather formed the 'H' of his forename and 'B' of his surname. It appears that Edith and Harry's son, Harry Marks Brewer, never went on to marry. I'm therefore not sure whether there is anyone living from this lineage that could be approached to establish if they are a DNA match. Looking for suggestions as to new lines of enquiry that could be pursued.


  • Signature - Harry Baylis.jpg
    Signature - Harry Baylis.jpg
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