Mr Harry Noss was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 29 December 1881.
He was the youngest son of Henry Noss (1825-1898) and Ellen Cork (1839-1906). His father--who had various jobs down the years, including trunk maker, printer and general dealer--hailed from Islington, London and his mother from Southampton and they were married in 1870. They had started their family a decade beforehand and besides Henry had a further seven children: William (b. 1860), Ellen (b. 1862), Jane (b. 1866), Charlotte (b. 1870), Annie (b. 1874), John (b. 1876) and Emma (b. 1879).
In the months prior to Henry's birth his family were recorded on the 1881 census living at 11 Stoneham Place in South Stoneham. When Henry appeared on the 1891 census the family were resident at 66 Valley Road, South Stoneham. Henry was absent from the family home, 1 Henry Street, by the time of the 1901 census, indicating that he was likely already serving at sea by this point.
He was married in 1908 to Annie Elizabeth Collings (b. 1888), also a native of Southampton. By 1911 they were living at 12 Back Lane, Itchen, Southampton; Henry was described as a ship's fireman and he and his wife had two children: Henry Louis (1908-1991) and William Edward (1909-2002). Another child, a daughter named Winifred Anne (1911-2006), was born later that year.
When Harry Noss signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 12 Back Lane, Southampton. His last ship had been the Thames and as a fireman he received monthly wages of £6. His nephew Bertram Arthur Noss, the son of his eldest brother William, was also a fireman on the Titanic.
Noss was rescued on Lifeboat 15. Frank Dymond recalled how he and Noss took turns at the tiller. Henry returned to Southampton to his family. His wife had been pregnant at the time of the disaster and gave birth to a son on 29 September 1912, whom they named Herbert James (1912-1982). It did not end there and they went on to have several more children, bringing their brood close to a dozen. Henry returned to life at sea following the disaster. In December 1919 he was working aboard the Caronia, and later served on the Orbita, Vestris and Berengaria.
Harry Noss died on 5 June 1961 aged 79. His widow Annie died two years later on 12 May 1963.
Peter Engberg, Sweden
Brian Ticehurst, UK
National Archives CR 10 Identity Cards BT350
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Craig Stringer (2003) Titanic People (CDROM)
Daily Mirror 17 May 1912
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