William John Braiden (also spelled Braden) was born at 2 Hopes Place in Belfast, Ireland on 2 March 1875. 1 Coming from a Church of Ireland family, he was the son of John Braiden, a brass moulder, and Rosetta O’Neill.
In January 1898 Braiden joined the Royal Navy, first serving as a stoker. He was listed at the Pembroke II shore station before winding up his naval service aboard the Cumberland in July 1905 after which he went ashore. Records show that he spent numerous periods of detention for misbehaviour and they also describe him as standing at 5’ 6¾” and having brown hair, blue eyes, a fresh complexion and numerous tattoos on his arms.
Described as a sailor and giving his address as 26 Crimea Street, Braiden was married in Belfast’s Trinity Church on 6 October 1907 to Margaret Teeney (b. circa 1886), the Australian-born daughter of a tailor. By 1911 the couple had four children (Robert, Margaretta, William and Edward) and were living at 55 James Street in Shankill Road area of Belfast.
Braiden’s ship prior to Titanic had been the Galway Castle. He joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
In September 1912 William Braiden was a signatory of the Ulster Covenant, a petition signed by nearly 500,000 citizens opposing Irish Home Rule.
William Braiden worked at sea throughout WWI and continued to do so in the following peacetime years. He died in Belfast on 9 July 1946.