Mr George Terrill Thresher

George Terrill Thresher

Mr George Terrill Thresher was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 1 June 1886. 

He was the son of George Samuel Thresher (1853-1903), an engine fitter, and Catherine Terrill (1855-1928).

Both George's parents were natives of Southampton and had married in 1878, producing at least ten children. George's known siblings were: Ethel Kate (b. 1878), Lilian Harriet (b. 1881), Ada (b. 1883), Emily Martha (b. 1884), Edith Ellen (b. 1888), John Thomas (b. 1890), Alice Hilda (b. 1892), Ernest Sydney (b. 1893) and Cordelia Florence (b. 1895).

George appears on the 1891 census living with his family at 50 Mount Pleasant, St Mary, Southampton but would appear at number 36 on the same street at the time of the 1901 census, he having left school by that time and being described as an errand boy. When George appeared on the 1911 census he was described as an unmarried seaman for the White Star Line and still living with his family at 36 Mount Pleasant Road, Southampton, his widowed mother then being described as a shopkeeper.

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 Thresher gave his address as 36 Mount Pleasant Road, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Oceanic and as a fireman he could expect monthly wages of £6.

Thresher survived the sinking, in which lifeboat is not certain. He was not called to testify at either the American or British Inquiries into the sinking.
Thresher returned to England and continued working at sea, sailing with the merchant fleet through the dangerous waters of WWI; during that time he made the newspapers, this time for bravery:

At Newcastle today, George Thresher, a survivor of the Titanic and recently second engineer of the steamer Wearsider, was presented with the Human Society's vellum certificate for attempting to save the life of a shipmate at Caen last August. - Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail, 13 January 1917

During peacetime he was shown working again as a fireman for White Star Line; in August 1923 he was serving aboard Homeric and was described as standing at 5' 8" and weighing 138 lbs. He remained a bachelor for much of his life before he resettled in northeast England and married in Gateshead, Durham in 1937 to Jane Fawcett (b. 7 August 1888). By 1939 their home address was 13 Easten Gardens in Felling, Gateshead in Co Durham. They had no children. 

George continued working at sea in the Merchant Navy. After WWII erupted he was working as a fireman and trimmer aboard the S.S. Parkhill, a cargo ship, when that vessel was torpedoed on 17 November 1939 off the coast of Aberdeen. The Parkhill had evaded an initial missile attack and steamed on but succumbed less than an hour later to a second assault from U-18. George Thresher became one of nine fatalities; his death record states:

Supposed drowned -- missing since the 17th November 1939

THRESHER--Felling, 13, Easten Gardens, reported missing November 27th (sic), lost at sea on s.s. Parkhill, George Terrill, beloved husband of Jane Thresher. Memorial service in Christ Church, Felling, on Sunday, January 21st, at 3 p.m.. Deeply mourned. - The Evening Chronicle, 18 January 1940

George's widow Jane never remarried and remained in Gateshead where she died in 1964.


  1. Commonwealth War Graves site give the time of death as 17 November 1939

Articles and Stories

Titanica! (2017) 
Titanica! (2017) 

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Gavin Bell, UK
Mike Poirier, USA
Brian J. Ticehurst, UK
Bill Wormstedt, USA

References and Sources

1891, 1901, 1911 Census
RMS Titanic: Agreement and Account of Crew (National Archives, London, BT100/259)
National Archives CR10 Identity card c.1919
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2020) George Terrill Thresher Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1681, updated 13th January 2020 13:22:23 PM)