Charles Alfred Othen was born in Bitterne, Southampton, Hampshire, England on 3 March 1876. He was the son of James Othen (1832-1911) and Jane Meaby (1834-1918), from South Stoneham and Romsey, Hampshire respectively, who had married in 1855.
Charles had seven known siblings, including a twin sister: Emily (b. 1862), Jane (b. 1865), Thomas Charles (b. 1867), Rosetta (b. 1871), his twin Florence Jessie (b. 1876) and Joseph (b. 1883).
Charles first appears on the 1881 census living in Pound Street, South Stoneham, Hampshire and his father is described as a labourer. At the same address for the 1891 census, Charles' father is now described as an engine driver and Charles himself, aged 15, has already left school and is working as a "garden boy". Charles is absent by the time of the 1901 census but his family still reside at Pound Street, his twin-sister Florence being the sibling still at home.
Charles was married in Southampton in early 1906 to Georgina Ellen Clarke, née Boden. Georgina was born in Southampton in 1871 and was first married in 1895 to Henry David Clarke. She had no children from this marriage and her husband died in 1900. She moved back with her widowed mother Deborah Boden and appears living at 49 Cliff Road, Southampton on the 1901 census.
Charles and Georgina Othen had a son named Charles Joseph in 1907 but the child lived only a few months.
Charles and his wife appear on the 1911 census living at 6 Northumberland Road, Southampton. Charles is described here as a mariner.
When he signed-on to the Titanic as a fireman on 6th April 1912, he gave his address as 6 Northumberland Road, Southampton. His previous ship was the Erin.
Othen survived the sinking, in which lifeboat is uncertain.
Othen continued at sea after the disaster. He and his wife would remain childless.
Georgina Othen passed away in 1949. Charles continued to live at 107 Northumberland Road, Southampton and he died on October 12, 1952 aged 76. He was buried in the Old Common Cemetery and his grave appears to have remained unmarked until recently when a simple wooden cross was erected with the inscription:
Charles Lewis Othen (sic)
Died October 1952