Encyclopedia Titanica

Charles Alfred Othen

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: Emily (b. 1862), Jane (b. 1865), Thomas Charles (b. 1867), Rosetta (b. 1871), his twin Florence Jessie (b. 3 March 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 had been 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 who was born in May 1907 but who died on 19 October 1907.  He was buried in the Old Common cemetery (Section P138, Plot 055).  Charles and his wife would have no more children.

The couple 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 (possibly boat 3).

Othen continued at sea after the disaster.

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 in the same plot as his wife and infant son; 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
Aged 76

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Charles Alfred Othen
Age: 36 years 1 month and 12 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Georgina Ellen Clarke, née Boden
Occupation: Fireman
Last Ship: Erin
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Rescued (boat 3)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Sunday 12th October 1952 aged 76 years

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References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Craig Stringer (2003) Titanic People, CD-ROM
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. Steve (1259)

    Steve (1259) said:

    An interesting story, my Great Grandfather was Charles Othen. After signing up to join Titanic, on the day that she left Southampton he was asked by a colleague if he could take Charles's place. Charles agreed and even though his replacement survived, he still gave his name as Charles in case of reprisal by the White Star Line.Charles later survived another sinking (believed to be the "Barbara Ella" as he named my Grandmother after it) and went on to live a full life, ending in South Africa where he died in the bath.

  2. tilly

    tilly said:

    Charlie other didn't have any children

  3. tilly

    tilly said:

    Sorry your getting confused between my great uncle and my great grandad. My great grandad immigrated to Africa he had a clot in his leg and it stopped him breathing on the way to the bath.

  4. Simon Waller

    Simon Waller said:

    Very interesting, found out today he is a distant relative of mine through my mother. So I guess that makes us cousins!!

  5. Charlene Bartlett

    Charlene Bartlett said:

    My Mother was Diane Frances Othen, daughter of George Thomas Othen. His father was Charles Duncan Pierre Othen. He was the son of Emily Othen. We are definitely related. Wow!

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