Alfred Pugh was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 9 June 1891. He was the son of Samuel Pugh (b. 1845 in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire), a dock labourer, and Lydia Mary Winder (b. 1852 in Isfield, Sussex) who had married in Alverstoke, Hampshire on 2 December 1872.
He had eight known siblings: Samuel Henry John (b. 1873), Lydia Alice (b. 1876), Rhoda (b. 1878), Lilian Mary (b. 1880), Arthur Percy (b. 1881), May (b. 1883), Ada (b. 1886) and Daisy (b. 1888).
In the months prior to Alfred's birth his family were recorded on the 1891 census whilst living at 15 Church Street. His father died in 1895 and his mother never remarried, working as a charwoman to support her family. Alfred first appears on the 1901 census and at the time he and his family were living at 15 Bulls (?) Cottages, St Mary, Southampton. Alfred would be absent from the 1911 census but his mother was listed as living with her married daughter Ada Northover at 72 Orchard Lane, Southampton.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6th April 1912, Alfred gave his address as 72 Orchard Lane, (Southampton). He transferred from the Oceanic. As a third class steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.
Alfred, together with his brother, Leading Fireman Arthur Percy Pugh, nearly missed the sailing. According to Alfred another brother had to turn back and missed the sailing1.
Alfred Pugh was rescued in lifeboat 14, his brother perished.
Alfred Pugh in 1919
(National Archives CR10, Crown Copyright / Gavin Bell)
Alfred returned to Southampton and continued to work at sea with the White Star Line. His mother died in 1935. Alfred himself was married in 1927 to Annie Ione May Summers (b. 1901 in Denmead, Hampshire) and the couple had two children: Kenneth (b. 1939) and Julia K. (b. 1944).
In later years Alfred became a Titanic celebrity, appearing various TV and film interviews. He corresponded with Walter Lord during the writing of A Night to Remember and was a special guest at the book-turned-film's premiere in 1958. He lived with his wife at Ferndown in Rownhams Lane, Southampton. He died in the Royal South Hampshire Hospital on 30 October 1962, leaving an estate worth £4175, 5s to his widow Annie.