Encyclopedia Titanica

Harry Yearsley

Harry Yearsley
Harry Yearsley

Mr Harry Yearsley was born at Chantry Street in Andover, Hampshire, England on 3 December 1871, later being baptised on Valentine's Day (14 February) the following year.

He was the son of Henry Yearsley (1848-1904), a grocer's assistant, and Emily Chambers (1847-1923). His father was from Dorchester, Dorset and his mother from Andover and they had married in Middlesex in 1868 and went on to have seven children: Flora (b. 1868), Edwin John (b. 1870), Eva (b. 1874), Alfred James (b. 1875), Alice (b. 1877), Emily Jane (b. 1880) and Harry.

Harry first appears on the 1881 census with his family at 47 East Street in Andover; his father was by then described as a retired grocer. The family had relocated to Southampton by the time of the 1891 census and were living in Holy Rood House when Harry was described as a waiter.

When Harry first went to sea is not certain; he was married in Holy Rood, Southampton on 9 July 1898 to Andover-native Flora Anne Louise Fielder (b. 1876), daughter of police constable Benjamin Fielder and Ann, née Willis. By then he was described as a steward.

The couple went on to have eight children (as of 1912), with seven surviving infancy: Doris Eveline (1900-1992), Flora Winifred (1901-1985), Gladys Amy (1903-1977), Ernest Benjamin (1906-1964), Irene Annie (1908-1994), Edwin John (1909-1942) and Sidney Herbert (1911-1983).

The family appear on the 1901 census living at 17 Clifford Street Court, Southampton. By the following year they had moved to 6 Gloucester Passage, Southampton, an address that Harry would live at for the rest of his life: they appear there on both the 1902 street directory and 1911 census; Harry was absent, from the latter record and apparently at sea. He appears on several crew records through 1907, serving as a steward aboard the Majestic and stating his address as 6 Gloucester Passage.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 6 Gloucester Passage, Southampton. His last ship had been the Olympic and as a saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.

Yearsley was rescued but no account has yet been found to firmly establish in which lifeboat he escaped (boats 9 and 15 have both been suggested).  He was not required to testify at either the British or American Inquiries into the sinking.    

He returned to Southampton and remained at 6 Gloucester Passage for the rest of his life. He continued to work at sea and following the outbreak of WWI was quick to volunteer for service and was posted to the SS Braemar Castle on which he served for several voyages in the Mediterranean and was aboard when that ship was mined in the Aegean in November 1916. Fortunately, Harry again escaped with his life. He was discharged in 1917 and was awarded the General Service and Mercantile Marine War Medals.

In 1921 Harry and his wife Flora had another daughter, Alma. 

Harry was widowed in 1923; he rallied on until 18 November 1939 when he passed away from pneumonia. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Hollybrook Cemetery in Shirley, Southampton.

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Craig Stringer (2003) Titanic People, CD-ROM
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth
Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage
National Roll of the Great War, 1914-1918

Research Articles

Titanica! (2017) Shipwrecked again!
Titanic passengers and crew that experienced shipwrecks either before or after the Titanic disaster.
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. Jeffjessop

    My name is Jeffrey R Jessop and I am a great grandson of Harry Yearsley. I am in possession of his Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates. I can tell you that Harry was born in Andover, Hampshire, England and not in London.I have a photograph of him on board a ship (drying plates). I would be most interested to identify the ship .... could it be Titanic (negatives unloaded at Queenstown)? Or perhaps his previous ship - the Olympic? I've also identified him in the front row of the famous photograph of the surviving crew in New York. If you give me details I'll e-mail the pictures.

  2. James Cronan

    Jeffrey, the First World War medal index cards show Harry Jessop as receiving the British War Medal and Mercantile Marine Medal with ribbons. The cards confirm year of birth as 1872 and place of birth as Andover. James Cronan

  3. Donald Yearsley

    Just curious. Did Harry Yearsley have any relatives, last name Yearsley, who imigrated to the US.

  4. paul grant

    Hi can you send my the photo as my mum is the grand daughter of harry learsley, her mun was Doris learsley the oldest of child, your grand mother being the second oldest.if you could sent me the photo please

  5. Darren Yearsley

    Hi Donald, I know my father had a step brother who's real name was I think Linton but went by the name of Jimmy. He took the name Yearsley but was not his birth name. He was residing in New Jersey the last I heard.

  6. Hi Jeffrey I'm Jessica Stimson great great niece of Henry yearsley I was wondering if you know any of the pellatt or yearsley family? If you would like to get in touch my email is it would be great to hear from you

  7. Darren Yearsley

    Hi, I'm Darren Yearsley, great grandson of Harry. Would be great to see the photos :)

  8. Leanne2021

    Hi i am also a relation and have desperately been searching for a book with details of Harry in. Does anyone know of any?

Reply Watch Thread

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Harry Yearsley
Age: 40 years 4 months and 12 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Flora Anne Louise Fielder
Last Residence: at 6 Gloucester PassageSouthampton, Hampshire, England
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Southampton on Thursday 4th April 1912
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Saturday 18th November 1939 aged 67 years
Cause of Death:
Buried: Holybrook Cemetery, Southampton, Hampshire, England

Page Options

Watch this page

Improve this Biography

If you have any corrections or something to add please  get in touch