William Benson was born at 6 Pilot Street in Belfast, Ireland on 13 February 1887. He was the son of shipyard worker William Benson and the former Annie Cromie.
He was one of thirteen children and hailed from a Roman Catholic family; they appear on the 1901 census living at 6 Pilot Street, Belfast and on the 1911 census as residents of 29 Garmoyle Street in the same area. At that time William was also working in the shipyards.
Benson’s ship prior to Titanic had been the Heroic. He joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
William Benson remained at Garmoyle Street for a number of years and returned to working in the shipyards. In 1916 he married linen-spinner Catherine McManus, their son William being born on 14 April 1927. He eventually returned to working at sea but after he was widowed in the early 1930s William settled in the USA. During the 1940s William was unemployed and living at 14 Sterling Place, Brooklyn.
William Benson died in Brooklyn, New York on 14 January 1967.