Encyclopedia Titanica

Fred Hartnell

Fred Hartnell

Mr Fred Hartnell was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 17 October 1890.

He was the son of James John Baker Hartnell (b. 1858), a hotel porter from Hampshire, and Julia Sarah Taylor (b. 1854), a native of Chelmsford, Essex, the couple having married in Southampton in 1884.

He had five siblings: John William (1885-1963), Thomas James (1887-1976), Jack (1888-1966), Charlie (1893-1970) and Nora "Pansy" (b. 1895).

Fred and his family appear on the 1891 census living at 32 Princes Road, Freemantle, Southampton but within the next few years resettled in Dover, Kent, appearing there on the 1901 census as residents of 3 Clarence Street; his mother had passed away just a few months previous in the latter half of 1900. His father remarried later in 1901 to Alice Maude Parker (b. 1867), a native of Farnborough, Kent, and this match gave Fred three half-siblings: Joe (b. 1903), Phil (1905-1990) and Mildred (1908-1992, later Mrs James Mayor).

Fred and his family returned to Southampton around 1907 where his father began working at the Star Hotel; by the time of the 1911 census they were residents of 19 Harcourt Road, Bitterne Park although Fred was absent and presumably at sea.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Hartnell gave his address as 25 Harcourt Road, Southampton. His previous ship was the Oceanic and as a saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s. He was reportedly acquainted with steward John Charman who, prior to joining Titanic, had worked at the Star Hotel as a waiter alongside Fred's father.

Hartnell survived the sinking, probably in boat 13 (some say 15). He was not called to testify at either the British or American Inquiries into the sinking.

Fred returned to Southampton and continued working at sea and served throughout the duration of World War I in the merchant service. By February 1919 he was working aboard Olympic and in August 1919 he was serving as a saloon steward aboard Canopic.

Fred died of cancer on 26 June 1920 1 in Southampton aged 29 and was buried in Hollybrook Cemetery. He left behind a widow, Fanny.2

His father and stepmother later ran the Burton Ale House in St Mary's Southampton; James Hartnell died on 2 March 1929. Fred's last known surviving direct sibling Thomas died in Bournemouth in 1976. His brother Jack, who had lived in Canada since 1909, died in Haney, British Columbia on 14 September 1966. His last known surviving half-sibling was his sister Mildred who died in Chichester on 24 February 1992.

Fred Hartnell

A later photo of Fred Hartnell (c.1919)
(National Archives CR10 collection, courtesy of Mike Poirier)


  1. Another date offered is 16 April 1920, listed as such on his headstone. This date is apparently erroneous as his death was reported in local press: Southern Echo (29 June 1920) and Hampshire Independent and Hampshire Advertiser (3 July 1920), confirming the 26 June 1920 date.
  2. Fanny is mentioned on his headstone as his widow but there are no known records for Fred having married. She was perhaps his common-law wife but curiously none of his death notices make mention of her.

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Fred Hartnell
Age: 21 years 5 months and 29 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: at 25 Harcourt Road Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Saloon Steward
Last Ship: Oceanic
Embarked: Southampton on Thursday 4th April 1912
Rescued (boat 13)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Saturday 26th June 1920 aged 29 years
Cause of Death:
Buried: Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton, Hampshire, England

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References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Birth/Death Certificate
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Comment and discuss

  1. Mr John Bond

    Mr John Bond said:

    Does anyone know who the man above, name of his mum and dad as I have relatives called hartnell and one of my relatives survived the titanic.

  2. Tony Hartnell

    Tony Hartnell said:

    I am Tony Hartnell and Fred was my great uncle,does anyone know if he had any children?

  3. Natasha Hartnell

    Natasha Hartnell said:

    Yes he did, he was my great great great grandpa

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