Mr William John Swarbrick was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 18 October 1888. Coming from a Methodist family, he was the son of Joseph Swarbrick, a marine fireman, and Charlotte McCarten, both natives of Liverpool.
Several years after his birth the family moved to Belfast, Ireland and William appeared on the 1901 census as a pupil at Balmoral Industrial School, a working boys’ home in south Belfast. His family were listed as residents of Cosgrove Street in north Belfast on the same census. In the following years the family returned to Britain.
Swarbrick’s ship prior to Titanic had been the Heroic. He joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked. His younger brother Joseph was also serving on Titanic for the delivery trip.
William Swarbrick continued to work for sea for many years and was twice married, having no surviving children from either marriage. He died in Belfast on 16 June 1968 and is buried in Roselawn Cemetery (plot U-1987).