Encyclopedia Titanica

William Mayes

William Mayes
William Mayes

William Mayes 1 was born at 73 Vulcan Street in Belfast, Ireland on 30 January 1883.2 Hailing from a Presbyterian family, he was the son of Arthur Mayes, a coal porter, and Mary Morgan.

William appears on the 1901 census living with his by then widowed father and his brother Arthur at 18 Scotch Row in east Belfast, the home address of his married sister Emma Barr and her family. William was then described, like his father, as a coal porter. 

Mayes’ ship prior to Titanic had been the Olympic. He joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
Although still in service as a fireman with the merchant fleet, Mayes volunteered for service in May 1917 with the Royal Engineers. With a far from exemplary record, he was discharged from service and eventually returned to sea. 

On 23 June 1919 William Mayes was married in Belfast’s St Anne’s Church to widow Susannah Hutton, née Cousins. He spent the next few years living at 32 Fox Street, Belfast but later his health declined and he was committed to a sanitorium where he died on 3 May 1926. He is buried with his widow Susannah—who died in 1946—in Dundonald Cemetery (plot E2 77). 


  1. William was born with the middle name John; his circa 1919 crew card and his WWI service records give the name as George whilst his marriage record and death records give the name as James. 
  2. He gives the date as 27 January 1883 in his circa 1919 crew card.

References and Sources

1901 Census
Crew Signing-On Particulars of Engagement, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (2A/45/381, A-H)
Crew ID Cards (CR10), Southampton City Archives, Crown Copyright
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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr William Mayes
Age: 29 years 2 months and 16 days (Male)
Nationality: Irish
Religion: Presbyterian
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: in
Occupation: Fireman
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Belfast on Friday 29th March 1912
Disembarked: Southampton
Died: Monday 3rd May 1926 aged 43 years
Buried: Dundonald Cemetery, Dundonald, County Down, Ireland

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