Encyclopedia Titanica

Albert Ernest Fryer

Albert Ernest Fryer
Albert Ernest Fryer

Albert Ernest Fryer was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 10 June 1882. He was the son of Charles Hickman (b. 1853) and Mary Ann Watts (b. 1851). His father, a marine fireman, was a native of Gosport, Hampshire and his mother from Tunbridge Wells, Kent and they had married on 15 December 1877.

Albert was born as Albert Ernest Hickman. His father, Charles Hickman, was born in 1853 in Gosport, the son of Charles Hickman and Dinah Elizabeth Fisher. Following the loss of his father is 1862 his mother was remarried to George Fryer, a mariner. Charles' 1877 marriage to Mary Ann Watts would see his first use of the name Fryer and he even listed the name of his deceased father as Charles Fryer. On the 1881 census Charles, his wife and first child are listed as Hickmans whilst living at 24 Paget Street, St Mary, Southampton but would adopt the name Fryer for future census returns.

Albert Fryer had two known siblings: James Sydney Charles (b. 1879) and Alfred Thomas (b. 1885).

There is no trace of the family on the 1891 census. By the time of the 1901 census an 18-year-old Albert is already at sea as a fireman and still living with his family, now at 24 Bond Street, Southampton. His mother died around 1905. His father never remarried and by the time of the 1911 census he was still working as a fireman and boarding at 2 Nelson Place, Cross Street, Southampton. What became of him thereafter is uncertain.

Albert was married in Southampton in 1906 to Louisa Jessie Pearce (b. 1886 in Southampton). The couple would produce thirteen children: Albert Ernest (1906-1977), Jessie Louisa (1907-1960), Charles Sidney (1910-1987), Lily Beatrice (1912-1957), Rosina (1914-1992), George (1916-1916), Ethel Louisa (1917-2004), James Sidney (1919-1993), Elsie Louise (1921-1976), Doris Violet (1923-1990), Henry (1925-2010) and Ernest Albert (1928-1999) and Maud (b. 1930).  

Albert, his wife and first three children appear on the 1911 census living at 1 China Place, Charlotte Street, Southampton and at the time he was described as a trimmer.

When he signed on to the Titanic in Southampton on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 1 Charlotte Place (Southampton) and his age as 26. He had transferred from the Olympic. As a trimmer he received monthly wages of £5, 10s.

Fryer survived the sinking (in exactly which lifeboat is unclear, possibly lifeboat 13). He was photographed with other crewmen upon his arrival home aboard the SS Lapland.

He returned to England and signed-on to the Oceanic on 10 July 1912 but failed to join the ship when it sailed. How long he continued to work at sea is uncertain.

Fryer, A. E, Trimmer, Merchant Service. : He volunteered in September 1914 and was engaged on important duties in H.M.H.S."Asturias" and H.M.Transports "Dunregan Castle" and "Orange Prince", and various other vessels. He served in many waters and did much good work until May 1917, when he was discharged. He holds the Merchant Marine War Medal and General Service Medal.  

He later became an electrician.

Family report that Albert was deeply haunted by his experiences on the Titanic and that any mention of the subject would cause him to get very angry. He died in the Royal South Hampshire Hospital on 15 November 1944 and is buried in St Mary's Extra Cemetery Southampton (Section I 52, plot 153) in an unmarked grave. His wife later passed away on 2 September 1955.

References and Sources

Crew Particulars of Engagement, Public Record Office (BT100/259)
Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen, Agreements and Crew Lists Oceanic January – August 1912
Search archive online


Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Russ Fryer, UK
Inger Sheil, UK
Jan C. Nielsen
Kerri Sundberg, USA
Bill Wormstedt, USA

Comment and discuss

  1. Harry Fryer

    Harry Fryer

    My father was a survivor of the Titanic. He was a member of the crew, a trimmer A.Fryer Harry Fryer Wales

  2. Anthony Waldren

    Anthony Waldren

    Can anyone provide information on what happened to Trimmer, Albert E Fryer who survived in Boat 13? He is known to have signed on the Oceanic later but did not sail. Hearsay evidence suggests he may later have started or rejoined his family in Lympstone, Devon. There is also a suggestion he was connected or friendly with First Class Saloon Steward Alexander James Littlejohn who was also rescued from Boat 13. Tony Waldren

  3. Phillip Gowan

    Hi Tony, Albert Ernest Fryer married and had a dozen children--some still living--and remained in England. He later became an electrician and lived his final years in Southampton. He died on November 15, 1944 of heart failure in a Southampton Hospital at the age of 57. According to a son and granddaughter, he never talked about Titanic and would become angry (even the physical "throwing things" kind of angry) if the subject was brought up--whether by outsiders or family members. I hope this helps a bit. Phil Gowan

  4. Deleted member 173198

    Deleted member 173198

    For Tony Waldren and Phil Gowan, I also hope this extra bit of information helps your quest and search about the Crew who survived the Titanic disaster. This comes directly from my own private collection, notably a book I have in my possession. The tile is called:-THE NATIONAL ROLL OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-1918. SECTION IV SOUTHAMPTON. I will quote the description about FRYER on page 141:- Fryer, A. E, Trimmer, Merchant Service. He volunteered in September 1914 and was engaged on important duties in H.M.H.S."Asturias" and H.M.Transports"Dunregan Castle" and "Orange Prince",... Read full post

  5. Arne Mjåland

    On the website San Fransisco History www zpub com/sf/m2000d.htm I found an entry posted by Harry Fryer on Oct. 29 2000: He writes "My father Albert Earnest Fryer was a trimmer on the Titanic, and was saved in lifeboat 13 He lived in Southampton and fathered 13 children which I am the third youngest. He died in 1944 and was survived by his wife, my mother. This is interesting enough because there seems to be very little information about Mr. Fryer. According to Hermann Soeldner he was 26 years old in 1912. Anybody know where Mr. Fryer died in 1944, or any have other information about him?

  6. Beth Barber

    Hi Arne - It would be great for someone to follow up on this info and try to contact Harry Fryer - He probably could give a lot more information on his father, maybe even photos. It would be a great addition to the info already on this site. - Beth I tried linking to the site you posted but I keep getting the message - Page Not Found

  7. Deleted member 173198

    Deleted member 173198

    Good morning Arne, Yesterday after doing a hard day's work, I found on the hall table a package delivered from the Central Library Southampton. This is another format to add to the library shelves and subsequently I can confirm for you that there is an entry for Fryer who died on the 16th November 1944. Title of new book cost's £6-99, and do bear in mind that doesn't included shipping or postage and packaing, and what's more, over the next couple of years this title will be updated with further entries of what has been discovered with the various microfiches! Titanic Victims and... Read full post

  8. Amanda Guy

    Charles Hickman was not the Father of Albert Ernest Fryer as he died in 1862 20 years prior to my Great Grandfather being born in 1882. His true Father was George Fryer whom his mother married in 1877 some 5 years before Albert was born.

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Albert Ernest Fryer
Age: 29 years 10 months and 5 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Louisa Jessie Pearce
Last Residence: at 1 Charlotte Place Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Trimmer
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Rescued (boat 13)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Cause of Death:
Buried: St Mary Extra Cemetery, Southampton, Hampshire, England

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