Mr Harry Yearsley

Mr Harry Yearsley (Saloon steward, 1st class)  was born 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) 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 is described as a retired grocer. The family have relocated to Southampton by the 1891 census and are living in Holy Rood House. Harry is now described as a waiter.

Harry was married on 9 July 1898 in Southampton to Flora Anne Louise Fielder who had been born in 1876 in Andover. 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 on the 1901 census living at 17 Clifford Street Court, Southampton and by the time of the 1911 census they are living at 6 Gloucester Passage, Southampton. Harry is absent, apparently at sea.

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 is believed to have been rescued in lifeboat 9. He was not required to testify at either the British or American Inquiries into the sinking.     

He returned to Southampton and lived 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 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 welcomed another daughter, Alma. He was widowed in 1923 and Harry himself passed away on 18 November 1939 as a result of pneumonia. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Hollybrook Cemetery in Shirley, Southampton.

Credits
Gavin Bell, UK

References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
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